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 and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance 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.

Giving Away a Mitzvah

by R. Gil Student I. Paying for a Mitzvah We spend money on mitzvos. Some mitzvos are free, some are not, and some come with hidden costs. But whether paying yeshivah tuition or buying an esrog, we gladly spend the money G-d gave us to fulfill our religious obligations. What about giving up some of your mitzvah so someone else can fulfill his mitzvah? An obscure law about ...

Read More »

Daily Reyd

• Why Data Matters: A Conversation with Social Scientist Matt Williams https://jewishaction.com/jewish-world/why-data-matters-a-conversation-with-social-scientist-matt-williams/ • De Blasio threatens to close Satmar Headquarters https://forward.com/fast-forward/459939/de-blasio-satmar-headquarters-closure-threat/ • Orthodox growth in Jackson leads to school board win https://forward.com/news/national/459978/jackson-new-jersey-lakewood-election-school-board/ • A Catholic Tribute to Lord Sacks https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/12/a-catholic-tribute-to-lord-sacks  

Read More »

Daily Reyd

• M Hauer – The New Normal: To Accept, To Reject, or To Embrace https://jewishaction.com/from-the-desk-of-rabbi-moshe-hauer/the-new-normal-to-accept-to-reject-or-to-embrace/ • M Bane – Observations of a Kavod Maven https://jewishaction.com/preidents-message/observations-of-a-kavod-maven/ • I really don’t care who offers help and insight in learning Torah but if I don’t get value, I will quickly stop learning a text or commentary (assuming the person is frum, otherwise there are other limitations I ...

Read More »

Daily Reyd

• R Neuwirth – The Israeli-Arab Conflict: A Spiritual Perspective https://traditiononline.org/the-israeli-arab-conflict-a-spiritual-perspective/ • ‘Goodbye to Hannukah,’ Says a Headline in the Post-Judaism New York Times https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/12/06/goodbye-to-hannukah-says-a-headline-in-the-post-judaism-new-york-times/ • Ex-Hasidic couple lose case against Quebec government over inadequate education https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/12/03/ex-hasidic-couple-lose-case-against-quebec-government-over-inadequate-education.html • A tribute to mark the completion of Shloshim for Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks https://rabbisacks.org/shloshim/

Read More »

A New Post-Coronavirus Era of Halachah?

by R. Gil Student The beautiful flow of Jewish life was tragically diverted by Coronavirus. The pandemic altered our experiences of communal worship, celebrations, mourning and the plethora of daily rituals that constitute a major part of Jewish life. Many people were traumatized to varying degrees by the disruptions caused by the pandemic, without even discussing the great suffering and ...

Read More »

Daily Reyd

• D Alter – The Future of Our Shuls Post-Pandemic https://jewishlink.news//features/40887-the-future-of-our-shuls-post-pandemic • Betsy DeVos loved religious education — what will happen to Jewish schools under Biden? https://forward.com/news/459597/on-education-policy-orthodox-groups-must-return-to-earth-after-high-of/

Read More »

Are Stories Any Good?

by R. Gil Student I. Learning From Stories Judaism thrives on stories that inspire and educate. The Talmud and Midrash contain many such stories, some about legal cases and others about interactions filled with important messages. The Talmud explicitly discusses how to use stories properly, which can inform how we consume information in other areas of our lives. For example, ...

Read More »

Daily Reyd

• M Helfand – What does the Supreme Court decision actually change for synagogues in COVID hot spots? It’s complicated. https://www.jta.org/2020/12/02/opinion/what-does-the-supreme-court-decision-actually-change-for-synagogues-in-covid-hot-spots-its-complicated • The pandemic is making visible how important religious liberty is to Orthodox Jews in America https://www.jta.org/2020/12/02/politics/the-pandemic-is-making-visible-how-important-religious-liberty-is-to-orthodox-jews-in-america • Don’t divorce her: Rabbi’s letter to Henry VIII at heart of British Library show https://www.timesofisrael.com/dont-divorce-her-rabbis-letter-to-henry-viii-at-heart-of-british-library-show/

Read More »

Daily Reyd

• Politically conservative – Conservative Jews like me are being chased out of synagogues https://forward.com/scribe/459392/conservative-jews-like-me-are-being-chased-out-of-synagogues/ • R A Shafran – The real reason so many Orthodox Jews voted for Trump https://forward.com/opinion/459338/the-real-reason-so-many-orthodox-jews-voted-for-trump/ • When expressing traditional religious beliefs is considered hateful – UK rabbi, accused of homophobia, sues two local town councillors https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thefreethinker/2020/12/uk-rabbi-accused-of-homophobia-sues-two-local-town-councillors/ • How Can Jewish Institutions Adapt to the Pandemic Revolution? https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/325488/how-can-jewish-institutions-adapt-to-the-pandemic-revolution/

Read More »

Daily Reyd

Today is “Giving Tuesday.” Please consider donating to your local shuls and communal organizations that are suffering severe financial difficulties now. • Y Levine, a rabbi who was not in the red zone and wasn’t subject to the 10-person restriction being discussed – The Supreme Court’s repeal of synagogue restrictions won’t change anything for Orthodox congregations like mine https://www.jta.org/2020/11/30/opinion/the-supreme-courts-repeal-of-synagogue-restrictions-wont-change-anything-for-orthodox-congregations-like-mine • Ayelet ...

Read More »