Daily Reyd

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

2 comments

  1. About the YCT alumni blog post: It is unfair to say they took a step back. Their position is the same as YCT’s — none of Rabbis Weiss, Linzer or Lopatin would consider anything short of Torah miSinai acceptable, nor did any of them advocate for Partnership Minyanim.

    Torah miSinai isn’t really part of the debate, actually. It’s more about willingness to place ideological clarity above inclusion. They can’t eject heretics because they’re too open and welcoming, but since they do so even for people in teaching roles (eg Zev Farber), we aren’t clear about the complexion of the community they’re welcoming people to. The party line becomes buried in the noise. But that’s different than changing it.

    As for their labeling Partnership Minyanim as a valid eilu va’eilu position, although vehemently not theirs — I don’t know what to make of it. They discuss the need for a change in practice to be positive both spiritually and in terms of communal unity. But they don’t discuss ordaining women as Maharat. YCT does stand for ordaining women, even though we can ask whether it addresses a spiritual thirst we are supposed to be accommodating and it certainly is divisive. Without knowing where these students stand on a topic their alma mater did innovate, I do not know how to interpret that whole argument.

    • R. Asher Lopatin posted on Facebook: “I personally attend and participate in Shachar, the local Riverdale Partnership minyan – along with my entire family.”

      R. Ysoscher Katz wrote a responsum permitting synagogues to call women to the Torah.

      Technically, YCT does NOT stand for ordaining women. Yeshivat Maharat stands for it. But I think that is a technicality and many in YCT’s leadership have actively supported women’s ordination.

      While I was disappointed that this statement does not mention women’s ordination, I still see it as an important step back into the Orthodox community.

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