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.

Just In Time For Summer 2004

Today, 4 days into the summer of 2004, I received my copy of the Summer 2003 issue of Tradition. Gentlemen, you can do better than this. (I’m referring to timing, not quality.) Some very good letters. One from R. Gidon Rothstein pointing out that feminist innovators cannot just argue in favor of each new practice but must also take into ...

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Rabbinic Disrespect

The Gemara in Gittin (7a) tells the story of Mar Ukva’s troubles with Geniva. Geniva was a talmid hakham, as we shall see soon, who would insult and curse Mar Ukva, the av beis din in his locale, and this behavior caused Mar Ukva great pain. Mar Ukva was so troubled by this conduct that he asked R’ Elazar whether ...

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YU Torah

RIETS has put together a new website with a nicely organized selection of audio shi’urim and a few written texts. Kudos to those involved! (Thanks to Steven I. for pointing out this site)

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New York Water III

To clarify on R. Hershel Schachter’s pesak: In my haste, I left out some very important points. 1. The creatures in the water are dead. However, if, when alive, they were identifiable as creatures by their movement then, even when dead, they are still prohibited. 2. R. Shachter “heard” that the majority of specks in Boro Park and Flatbush water ...

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New York Water II

My source tells me that R. Hershel Schachter has reversed his opinion regarding water in New York. I have a copy of his in-house letter on the subject but have been instructed not to post it verbatim. What R. Schachter says is that if you can see a speck in water and the speck is moving (i.e. from that movement ...

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R. Tzvi Yehuda Kook in R. Shlomo Aviner, Gan Na’ul, pp. 32-33: Mixed swimming is the most severe example of intermingling between the sexes but coeducation also has no connection to normal Judaism. In normal, healthy, kosher Judaism, who knew of such a thing? Boys learned in a heder and girls alone in a school. When we came to Israel, ...

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Waiting for Mashiah

I wrote in a comment, regarding Mashiah: “but still believe that he can come at any time” In my haste I implied that one must belief that Mashiah can come at any time. R. Henkin e-mailed me that this is incorrect, as he explained in his book. Here is a translation of a letter of his that is posted online: ...

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Cheating II

My old friend, R. Uri Cohen, was kind enough to send me his translation of a similar responsum from R. Shlomo Aviner (Iturei Kohanim no. 49, Nissan 1989, pp. 19-20): QUESTION: I heard it’s permitted to cheat, since it isn’t genevat da’at (deception), as the teachers know that cheating goes on, and also it would be “a decree that the ...

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