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.

The Chosen People

The current issue of Jewish Action has a symposium on the touchy subject of Jews being the chosen people. Without taking away from the other writers, I would like to focus on the excellent article written by R. Mosheh Lichtenstein. The main reason this article appeals to me is that it echoes ideas I have been saying for a number ...

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Or’hos Tzadikim

Or’hos Tzadikim is an anonymous religio-ethical book that has had a tremendous and lasting impact on Judaism. The question we will address here is when and where the book was written. R. Eliyahu de Vidas, in his 1575 work Reishis Hokhmah (sha’ar ahavah, ch. 6), quotes the Or’hos Tzadikim so we can set that year (or, taking into account the ...

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I wish all of my friends/readers a year of growth and success. Le-shanah tovah tikasevu ve-sehasemu! The following topics are what you might find discussed on Hirhurim in the upcoming year: Women rabbis The citation of non-Orthodox sources The eternity of the Torah Highlights of new books

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Torah Stream

R. Yosef Viener has a new website to sell his tapes, CDs and videos. It is not too often that Agudah rabbis put up (or have someone put up for them) their own websites, and this is worth noting as R. Viener is a rising star in the Agudah world. I know him personally and, even though we do not ...

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Consciencious Objection

There is a blog that looks very Jewish – even frum – but is, in fact, run by a Karaite who is disseminating his heretical views in the appearance of a disenfranchised, anti-establishment Modern Orthodox Jew. He is a self-proclaimed Am Ha’aretz (ignoramus, in late rabbinic terminology). It pains me when other Jewish blogs link to this heresy. Remember that ...

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In Search of Leaders

In a recent issue of Jewish Action, R. Reuven Spolter wrote about the “brain drain” in the Modern Orthodox world in which many of the most talented and promising leaders are moving to Israel, leaving America with a dearth of leaders for the next generation. The current issue (Fall 2004) has a number of letters on the subject. One writer ...

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Avodah Zarah Wigs VIII

My wife has been hearing for a while rumors of rabbis permitting all wigs and has been bugging me to ask my halakhic authority. I finally did and he said that there is no problem with the wigs.

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Raising Children

From this week’s Newsweek: [Newsweek:] What happens to kids — developmentally, emotionally — who have everything they want? [Prof. Mary] Pipher: They’re set up to be narcissistic, spoiled, not inclined to work hard, and with impulse-control problems. Words to remember.

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Voluntary Obligations

Can a woman, who is not obligated in certain ritual acts, perform those acts on behalf of someone who is obligated (i.e. a man)? This question shook the intellectual world of the Conservative movement twenty years ago when the debate over women’s ordination was raging. I. The Theory of Self-Imposed Obligation Prof.* Joel Roth (“On the Ordination of Women as ...

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Anniversary of 9-11

In the Jewish calendar, today is the anniversary (yahrtzeit) of 9-11. It is hard to believe that it was three years ago that the whole terrifying tragedy took place. One of the mourners told me this morning that he still receives e-mails and letters every month from people who were inspired by the acts of his brother, an Orthodox Jew ...

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