Author Archives: Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief 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 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.

Our Right To Speak Out On Israel II

R. Jeffrey Saks pointed me to a number of statements by R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik on this topic in his recently published letters, Community, Covenant and Commitment: Selected Letters and Communications: “I never declared any opinion on issues [of territorial compromise in Israel] that according to my view only those Jews who are defending the borders of the land with ...

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Our Right To Speak Out On Israel

In the current issue of The Jewish Week, Chananya Weissman discusses the reasons some claim that Americans may not voice an opinion on Israel’s policies and attempts to rebut them. Unfortunately, he seems to have neglected the primary argument that I have always heard: You cannot properly understand the situation in Israel without living there. He somewhat addresses it with ...

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Flatbush Eruv III

(Continued from here and here) From R. Chaim Jachter, Gray Matter (n.p., 2000), pp. 174-177: During the 1970s, the contruction of the eruv in Flatbush (a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York) aroused great controversy. To this day, its permissibility remains disputed. The Va’ad Harabanim of Flatbush permits carrying inside the Flatbush eruv, while many rabbis and rashei yeshivah there, such ...

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Slifkin This Sunday

(download flyer here) < p style=”font-family:Times-New-Roman;font-size:36px”>SCIENCE and TORAH An Advanced Seminar for Adults < p style=”font-family:Times-New-Roman;font-size:18px”>RABBI NATAN SLIFKIN < p style=”font-family:Arial;font-size:14px”>Best-selling and controversial author of Nature’s Song,Mysterious Creatures, Seasons of Life, The Science of Torah,and The Camel, the Hare and the Hyrax < p style=”font-family:Arial;font-size:18px”>Sunday, July 10th < p style=”font-family:Arial;font-size:14px”>Schedule:11am-12:30pm Untangling Evolution1:30-3pm Mysterious Creatures: Chazal and Zoology3:30-5pm The Camel, the ...

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Shaking Hands With Women III

Another correction: I was incorrect in stating R. Yisroel Belsky’s view on the subject. This is what someone involved in kosher supervision, in a position to know R. Belsky’s view, wrote to me: Rav Belsky holds that, generally, a mashgiach should NOT shake the hand of a female factory official. He holds that the Hetter should be used ONLY in ...

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To Delete Or Not To Delete

It seems that someone put up an entry for me in Wikipedia. I certainly did not do it because it isn’t my style and, no matter how many times it’s been explained to me, I don’t quite get how the whole Wiki thing works. Anyway, there is now a debate on whether or not to delete the entry. As I ...

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Casting a Lot

The book of Esther (3:7) tells us “הפיל פור הוא הגורל לפני המן,” which the KJV translates as “they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman” and the NRSV as “they cast Pur–which means ‘the lot’–before Haman.” What is this Pur and why does the Hebrew imply that it was thrown (הפיל)? R. David Cohen, in his Sefer Esther ...

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Important New Policy

This is actually not a new policy, but on the advice of halakhic counsel I am formalizing this policy about this blog: This blog is intended only for the interchange of ideas for the purpose of Torah study, promoting enlightened public policy and/or the refinement of character. Comments in that spirit are welcome but those that entail denigration of character ...

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