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 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.

David and Bassheva

The Gemara in Shabbos 56a relates the following: R. Shmuel bar Nahmeni said in the name of R. Yonasan: Whoever says that David sinned is nothing but mistaken, as it says “And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him…” (1 Shmuel 18:14). Is it possible that a sin came to his hands and the ...

Read More »

Understanding the Patriarchs II

(The first post on this subject is here.) I found, online, an article mentioned in one of the comments recently: Imitate the Ramban, Not the Professors: An interview with Shalom Carmy from Hamevaser, vol. 38 no. 1 One reason that people shrink the larger than life personalities of Tanakh to pop-psychology size is that they are accustomed to treat themselves ...

Read More »

Herem of Rabbenu Gershom

On a biblical level, a man is allowed to marry more than one woman. While it has never been a common Jewish practice, at least not in biblical or talmudic times nor in Ashkenazic countries, it was technically permitted. Tradition has it that around the year 1000 CE, Rabbenu Gershom (Me’or ha-Golah) promulgated a ban or a decree prohibiting, among ...

Read More »

Ingredients of Rabbinic Leadership

TorahWeb once again produces a relevant and significant statement by a respected scholar from the ranks of Yeshiva University-RIETS roshei yeshivah. This week, R. Dr. Michael Rosensweig discusses the elements that make a successful rabbinic leader: The need for breadth of vision in halachic leadership obviously extends to single rabbinic authorities striving to emulate the model of Moshe and the ...

Read More »

Approaches to Midrash Halakhah

This post is in response to a question that Ezra Butler posted to his blog about “three schools of thought, each believing diametrically opposite beliefs about the root of rabbinic law. is it divine like the gaonim, man-learned like maimonidies, or man-chosen like nachmanidies.” I. Introduction In a 1994 lecture a Harvard Law School, Prof. Moshe Halbertal of Hebrew University ...

Read More »

Letter To A Philosophical Dropout From Orthodoxy II

R. Shalom Carmy was contacted by a former student who confessed that he lost his belief long ago and has become a confirmed Orthoprax Jew. Can Rabbi Carmy help him recover his faith? R. Carmy corresponded with this student and one of his letters has been published by Atid as a pamhplet, titled “Forgive Us, Father-in-Law, For We Know Not ...

Read More »

Judaism in Culture: Much Ado About Nothing

There has already been quite a bit of buzz about Dr. Alan Brill’s article in the recently released issue of The Edah Journal, titled “Judaism in Culture: Beyond the Bifurcation of Torah and Madda.” Frankly, I don’t see the big deal. He writes as if this were his manifesto but it seems to me to be one of the most ...

Read More »

The Academic Study of the Talmud

In every interaction I have had with R. Dr. Pinchas Hayman, a professor of Talmud at Bar Ilan and the head of the Revadim project, he has come across as an extremely level-headed and realistic talmid hakham. However, when I read his article “Implications of Academic Approaches to the Study of the Babylonian Talmud for the Beliefs and Religious Attitudes ...

Read More »

The Haredization of American Orthodoxy II

Here is a brief summary of R. Berel Wein’s article (mentioned by J.I. in the comments section) attempting to explain the shift to the right in American Orthodoxy: Samuel Heilman posited four reasons for the “shift to the right” in American Orthodoxy: 1. Moral decline of general American society 2. Influence of Haredi teachers in Modern Orthodox schools 3. Decline ...

Read More »

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter