Author Archives: Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief 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 serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also 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.

Marriage and Free Will

by R. Gil Student The concept of “Bashert,” a person’s soulmate, warms the heart and plays into our notions of romance. The Gemara (Sotah 2a) says that forty days before the creation of a fetus, a divine voice calls out that the daughter of so-and-so is for so-and-so. It seems from this text that a man and woman are destined ...

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Deception and Justification

by R. Gil Student I. Deception Is Bad Was Ya’akov punished for deceiving his father, Yitzchak, in obtaining the firstborn’s blessing? The story, as told in Gen. 27, offers no judgment but many modern commentators, focused solely on the simple meaning (peshat), insist that Lavan’s subsequent deception of Ya’akov served as punishment for the earlier trickery. Additionally, Ya’akov’s sons’ sale ...

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Daily Reyd

• On the professionalization of Jewish non-profits – Sharing the Wealth • RIETS Celebrates Ordination of 150 Rabbis at First Chag HaSemikhah Since COVID Began • Turkish Police Seize Precious Jewish Books Smuggled by Syrian Guerrillas • Senior Dayan warns of climate change impact, urges more responsibility

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Five Quick Divrei Torah on Toldos 5782

by R. Gil Student link to audio In less than ten minutes: 1) The Brisker Rav on the intent of mockers, 2) Netziv on the place for prayer, 3) Rav Ya’akov Ettlinger on the nature of blessings, 4) Rav Shmuel Rozovsky on the best way to receive blessings, 5) Chofetz Chaim on when to plan for your legacy. Subscribe to ...

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Daily Reyd

• The Jewish Musician Who Risked His Path to Stardom to Keep the Sabbath • Poker Philanthropist Gershon Distenfeld Wins WSOP Bracelet, Pledges All Winnings to Charity • YU Clarifies Fans Can Attend Women’s Basketball Games After Team Was Told They Were Banned Due to ‘Orthodox Law’

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Daily Reyd

• The 5783 Yeshiva/Seminary and Gap Year program buyers guide • Cancel Culture, Jewish Educators Style • Rav Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Gershon Edelstein Declare Prayer Session on Thursday Re Bennet Initiatives

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Books Received

Shomer Emunim; The Introduction to Kabbalah by R. Yosef Ergas, translated by R. Avinoam Fraenkel (Urim) Who Will Remember You?: A Philosophical Study and Theory of Memory and Will by Israel Bitton (Hamilton)

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Daily Reyd

• An Orthodox synagogue is suing the city that tried to shut it down • I assume innocence until guilt is proven. However, the story in general tells us how careful we need to be with pre-Pesach kashering – Rabbis Indicted Over Fatal Adult Home Fire • Israeli and American rabbis call on Bennet and Biden to take climate change seriously at ...

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Five Quick Divrei Torah on Chayei Sarah 5782

by R. Gil Student link to audio In less than ten minutes: 1) Rav Ya’akov Kamenetsky on Sarah’s lifespan, 2) The Vilna Gaon on the two words for maybe, 3) Rav Yitzchak Sorotzkin on blessing Hashem for miracles, 4) Divrei Shaul on free will and marriage, 5) Brisker Rav on whether to marry someone due to miracles. Subscribe to Five ...

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Daily Reyd

• Chief Rabbis Call for Halt on Attack Against Kashrus • Greece’s top court nixes ritual slaughter permit, calls for alternative solution • As pandemic drove Judaism online, Chabad bet on more than $137 million in real estate

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