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.

A Psalm of Sunamis

My rav pointed to Psalm 46 as one that fits strikingly well with the recent Sunami tragedy. While most commentators take it allegorically, the literal reading resonates well after this past week’s natural disaster. Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the ...

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Non-Kosher Quotes

From Sefer Ha-Hayim: I received some online and offline comments about the title of a recent post on Hirhurim, the origin of which is in the Christian bible. R. Yehuda Henkin has an interesting teshuvah (#26) in volume 4 of Bnei Banim on the subject of whether those who believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is the messiah are considered to ...

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Shehitah Controversy V

Some statements from the OU that are worth reading: Statement of Rabbis and Certifying Agencies on Recent Publicity on Kosher Slaughter Message from Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb and Rabbi Menachem Genack Setting the Record Straight on Kosher Slaughter Clarification of the Second Cut at Agriprocessors

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Moshe and Mada

The naming of Moshe raises a number of questions. Recall that he was discovered in the water by Pharoah’s daughter and was nursed by his mother. The Torah then tells us, “When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharoah’s daughter, who made him her son. She named him Moshe, explaining, “I drew him (meshisihu) out of the water” ...

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Talking in Shul

MoChassid links to two articles about talking in shul. R. Moshe Weinberger points out that the statement “When you make G-d comfortable in your home, you can make yourself comfortable in His” is ludicrous and contrary to halakhah.

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Blau on the Prowl II

Now you know how I had access to an early copy of the new issue of The Torah U-Mada Journal and knew that R. Yitzi Blau tears apart some letter-writers. I give in. He’s right and I’m wrong.

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Devastation and Death

My heart goes out to those affected by the terrible disaster that occurred this weekend. Frankly, I don’t know what to say or do. I am just blown away by the enormity of the tragedy.

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The Ordination of Women

There are currently two main types of semikhah. One is called a heter hora’ah and the other has no real name but is colloquially referred to as a rabbi’s driver’s license. The former is a license to issue halakhic rulings. The latter is essentially a letter stating that the holder is worthy of holding the title rabbi and being a ...

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