Author Archives: 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 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.

History and Talmud Study

A few weeks ago, I put up a notice that I am accepting free subscriptions to periodicals and listing them on my blog (over on the right, near the top). Shortly thereafter, one of the editors of the journal Hakirah: The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought contacted me and even dropped off a copy of their inaugural issue ...

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I found this in an old e-mail from a (non-Jewish) friend, from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Main Entry: ci·derPronunciation: ‘sI-d&rFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English sidre, from Middle French, from Late Latin sicera strong drink, from Greek sikera, from Hebrew shEkhAr1 : fermented apple juice often made sparkling by carbonation or fermentation in a sealed container2 : the expressed juice of fruit (as ...

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The Religious Zionism Debate

I. Heresy R. Yoel Teitelbaum, the “Satmar Rav,” in his Va-Yoel Moshe, Ma’amar Gimmel Shevu’os, chs. 40-42 (in the Ashkenazi 5760 edition, pp. 51-57), discusses whether there can be Ge’ulah (ultimate redemption) without Teshuvah (communal repentance). He points out that this is debated in Sanhedrin 97b between R. Yehoshua and R. Eliezer, with the former allowing for redemption without repentance ...

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R. Gedaliah Nadel

Although I am not a fan of everything Chakira writes, he has two excellent recent posts about R. Gedaliah Nadel, “the greatest rabbi you’ve never heard of.” The two posts are here and here.

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New Kosher Animals

The Rabbi and the Antelope: It’s a safe bet Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has never had a day like Monday, when he was expected to rule on the kosher status of several varieties of antelope from central Africa… All the animals – eland, oryx, deer, fallow and kodo – are related to the antelope, and Peretz says they all meet ...

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Understanding the Patriarchs III

Elijah Schochet and Solomon Spiro, Saul Lieberman: The Man and his Work: Lieberman was greatly displeased by a senior sermon delivered on December 11, 1954, parshat Vayishlah, in the Seminary synagogue by one of his students, Baruch Levine, in which Levine criticized the Patriarch Jacob for his deviousness. Lieberman was particularly distressed when Levine, dealing with the etymology of “Yaakov,” ...

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Mussar Kallah III

Mussar Kallah IIIJewish Community Center of San Francisco, CARESERVE THE DATE!! – May 8, 2005 / 29 Nissan 5765 An extraordinary gathering will take place on May 8 that will bring together some of the most highly regarded teachers of the little-known but ancient Jewish spiritual tradition called Mussar. This will be the third gathering of this type, New York ...

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Why Do We Need Organized Religion?

Why do we need organized religion? Dennis Prager & Joseph Telushkin, The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, p. 41: We need organized religion for the same reason we need organized political parties, or any organized social movement. Whether it be to attain national independence, elect a particular candidate, or, in the case of Judaism, perfect the world through ethical ...

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