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 currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four 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 Religious Zionism Debate IX

It seems my work is now being done by others. Readers responded giving me the following interesting information: I. R. Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz From Artscroll’s Reb Shraga Feivel: The Life and Times of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, the Architect of Torah in America, pp. 331-332, 335-336, On Friday, November 29, 1947, the United Nations debated the issue of partitioning the ...

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The Religious Zionism Debate VIII

Listen to this recording of the capture of the Old City of Jerusalem. Is there really a need to say any more? If this doesn’t bring tears to your eyes and hope to your heart, then there’s no point in reading any of these posts. If it does, then there probably isn’t any point either. (The transcript isn’t that good, ...

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Turtle Back with the Zoo Rabbi

From here (PDF): Zoo Torahat theTurtle Back ZooWest Orange, New Jerseywith the “Zoo Rabbi”Rabbi Natan Slifkin For Adults and Older ChildrenFeaturing Live Animal Presentations!Sunday, June 26th, 2005Schedule:1pm Torah Tour of the Turtle Back Zoo3pm Wonders of the Animal Kingdom4:30 Serpents and Crocodile Kings6pm Kosher Signs and Symbolism7:30 Perek Shirah – Nature’s Song Limit of 60 people per presentation (all lectures ...

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Yashar Books on Google Print

Yesterday, I went to the BookExpo America in the Javits Center. One of the booths I visited was for Google Print. This is a new Google feature that allows user to search through books and read excerpts. I had submitted two of my books–The Right and the Good: Halakhah and Human Relations and Israel Salanter: Religious-Ethical Thinker–but when I tested ...

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Mistaken Devotion

The Gemara (Yoma 19b) relates the story of a particular Sadducee who utilized an opportunity to implement his Sadducee doctrine by preparing a sacrifice contrary to the traditional (i.e. Pharisaic) way. He prepared an incense offering in the courtyard and then brought it into the Holy of Holies, rather than preparing it while already in the Holy of Holies. When ...

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A Dying Language

When my older son was in Pre-1A (that’s in between kindergarten and first grade), he came home one day proud that he had figured out, without being explicitly taught, how to count to five in Yiddish. I said, “Wonderful. Let’s hear.” After he finished, I said, “That’s great. You almost got it perfect. Do you want to try again?” My ...

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Yom Yerushalayim on Open Access

We have just posted another item to Open Access, this time a timely essay by Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin about the theological importance of the State of Israel. This essay, posted just in time for Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Reunification Day), is an excerpt from Rabbi Henkin’s 1999 book Equality Lost. Essay available here, free of charge as always.

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The Definition of Out of Town

My Brooklyn neighborhood post office has the following slots for mail: This zip code, Brooklyn, Out of Town. Sorry, Queens, Monsey and Lakewood. The US Postal Service has declared you to be “Out of Town.”

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Censuses in the Desert

Why are the censuses generally, but not always, rounded to the nearest hundred? If it was done with rounding, then all of the numbers should be in hundreds without exception. Prof. Eli Merzbach quotes some commentators on this topic and suggests himself: In my opinion both questions can be answered by relying on the following general rules that pertain to ...

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