New Periodical: Hakirah 24

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Spring 2018 issue of Hakirah (no. 24):

  • Letters – R. Nati Helfgot and R. Yehoshua Pfeffer on Charedim in the army. R. Yehuda Henkin and Prof. Aryeh Frimer on calling women to the Torah, particularly regarding hosafos. Alan Messner, R. Moshe Wiener and Dr. Jeremy Brown on solar eclipses, a Gemara in Sukkah and the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s final explanation of the issue.
  • Historical Revisionism by the Families of Rav Kook’s Disciples: Three Case Studies by Eitam Henkin hy”d – Conclusive proof of historical revisionism removing Religious Zionist affiliations of Rav Yitzchak Arieli, Rav Mordechai Ilan and Rav Yitzchak Schulzinger by their family, sometimes openly admitted.
  • Rav Hildesheimer’s Response to Ultra-Orthodoxy by Gil Student – My annotated translation of Rav Azriel Hildesheimer’s response to the 1865 pesak din of Michalowitz, which arguably marks the beginning of the Charedi movement.
  • Adversity and Authorship: As Revealed in the Introductions of Early Hebrew Books by Marvin J. Heller – An exploration of the personal tragedies of rabbinic authors, as described in the introductions to their books. (See also the introduction to Revid Ha-Zahav on the Torah.)
  • A Tour of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine Through Jewish Eyes by Edward Reichman and Anna Dysert – Highlights of the contents of a Montreal library of rare historical medical books, as they relate to Jewish history and thought.
  • Rav Soloveitchik’s New World View by David P. Goldman – Description of philosophical problems facing 19th and early 20th century philosophers, and how Rav Soloveitchik addressed it with a halakhic philosophy of time.
  • Reinterpretation and Resistance to the Mitzvah of Tefillah by Asher Benzion Buchman – A careful reading of the Chinukh, Rambam and Ramban on the subject of prayer.
  • The Gaon of Vilna, the Hatam Sofer, and the Hazon Ish: Minhag and the Crisis of Modernity by Benjamin Brown – Orthodoxy does not consist primarily of a response to modernity but a continuity of the past. The Charon Ish’s textualism was a facet of Litvish intellectual elitism, not a response to modernity. Although maybe the widespread adoption of this attitude is a response to modernity.
  • Teaching Mussar at the FBI by Cary Friedman – How an Orthodox rabbi (my former colleague at the OU) teaches Slabodka Mussar to law enforcement professionals as a way of overcoming the extreme stress and disillusionment of the job — all without invoking religion.
  • Why is there no kosher meat or poultry that is certified humane? by Heshey and Malky Zelcer – Requires stunning but a kosher alternative should be found
  • Pareve Cloned Beef Burgers: Health and Halakhic Considerations by John D. Loike, Ira Bedzow, Moshe Tendler – Technical background on this hot topic. Concludes strictly on almost every halakhic question.
  • Apprehending the Divine Through the Religious Act: Rabbi Yaakov Anatoli’s Introduction to Malmad HaTalmidim by David Guttman – An overview of a controversial Medieval Jewish philosopher’s introduction to his magnum opus. Full text in the Hebrew section.
  • In Search of Nimrod: Nimrod and Esau as Parallel Figures by Geula Twersky- Explores in depth the parallel language and themes, using both traditional and academic sources.
  • ”Our Salty Tears”: The History and Significance of an Interpretation of Dipping in Salt Water at the Seder by Zvi Ron – A thoroughly researched survey of reasons for using specifically salt water (and whether it is necessary).
  • The Mitzvah of Visiting the Sick: The Differences Between a Visit and Its Substitutes (Hebrew) by Yossi Green – An examination of the underlying principles of the mitzvah to visit the sick, with attention to the practical implications.
  • Introduction to Rabbi Ya’akov Anatoli’s Sefer Malmad Ha-Talmidim (Hebrew) by David Guttman – The annotated text accompanying the above English analysis.
  • A Letter From Rav Eliezer Bloch to the Writer Shai Agnon Regarding the Reincarnation of a Soul in Germany (Hebrew) by Marc Shapiro – A rationalist German rabbi tells his famous former neighbor about a gentile woman in Germany who seemed to have a dybbuk inside her.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of, 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 currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four 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.

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