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.

Calculating the Redemption

Exodus 13:17 “Now when Pharoah let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Phillistines, although it was nearer…” Shemos Rabbah (20:11) explains that members of the tribe of Ephraim were overly anxious in their anticipation of the Ge’ulah, the Redemption from Egypt, and miscalculated when it was to occur. They were thirty ...

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Charedi Top Ten

R. Yitzchok Adlerstein sent me this jokeful e-mail (with permission to post): My defense of Rabbi Nosson Slifkin in Cross-Currents was a lightning rod for criticism, both from the right and the left. It was expected. Some was more imaginative than others, at least according to what others told me. I didn’t bother to read it. One reader apparently warned ...

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Banned III – Age of the Universe

I am planning a series of posts to try to demonstrate the premise upon which I am acting, namely that the issues underlying the herem on R. Nosson Slifkin’s books (link) is a matter of contemporary debate, with solid Torah sources on both sides of the debate. This first post is about the age of the universe. Was the universe ...

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Buy the Books

Mysterious Creatures and The Camel, the Hare, & the Hyrax are now available for purchase from Yashar Books. Go to and scroll down. Unfortunately, The Science of Torah is entirely out of print.

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Copernicus and the Jews

I was always told that the conflict between science and religion was an illusion created by the Catholic Church in the early modern era. They were the ones opposed to the radical scientific advances of the time and not the Jews. It is only our lack of historical knowledge and the influence of our predominantly Christian society that makes us ...

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This poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik about the droves who left the yeshivos in his day always moved me. It is about the dedication and loneliness of those who remained in the beis medrash despite the overwhelming temptation outside its walls. I haven’t seen it in years. Thanks to Out of Step Jew who directed me to the website. See ...

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Fast of the Firstborns

R. Shmaryahu Shulman, in his Merish Ba-Birah on Parashas Bo (p. 61a), raises an issue that is relevant to this year’s calendar. Every year, firstborn sons are, due to ancient custom, expected to fast on the day before Pesah, although the practice has become to celebrate the completion of a talmudic tractate (siyum) thereby overriding the fast. When the fast ...

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R. Yitzchak Adlerstein publicly supports R. Nosson Slifkin on Cross Currents: This author has his name on every one of the banned books. I am as supportive of the thrust of those books as when I first wrote those approbations. I believe that the thrust of what he wrote is firmly in line with the teaching of Rav Hai Gaon, ...

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