Waging War on Shabbos

by R. Gil Student Religious Jews violate Shabbos in response to even a life threatening situation. Religious soldiers fight war 24/7 in order to protect lives. This is widely understood nowadays. But was it always accepted that we may wage war on Shabbos? Some claim that this religious permission arose only in the time of the Second Temple, during the ...

Read More »

Religious Inspiration in Response to Crisis

by R. Gil Student I. Aliyah in Response to Crisis We learn from Ya’akov that the common response to danger, to plead with God, is proper. People promise to become better if they or their loved ones survive the crisis. They genuinely grow in religious devotion. Sometimes this growth lasts and sometimes it disappears as life returns to normal. If ...

Read More »

Leaving Israel During War

by R. Gil Student I. Danger in Yeshiva? It is now common for many American yeshiva students to spend a “gap year” in Israel after high school. This year usually fosters religious growth through intense study in a specialized environment. Since war began in Israel over Sukkos, due to a horrific terrorist attack, every student in Israel for a gap ...

Read More »

An IDF Soldier’s Dirty Uniform

by R. Gil Student When we pray, we talk to the King of kings. In that spirit, we should dress as if we are meeting a king (see Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chaim 91:5). Most people today are not as strict about this as they can be. It is rare to find men who wear a suit and tie for every ...

Read More »

What Torah Should a Soldier Learn?

by R. Gil Student A soldier in active times, which sadly we find ourselves at the time of this writing, often has only a few minutes a day in which he can learn Torah. In this extremely limited time, what should he learn? Obviously, a soldier’s primary duty is his military mission. This must take priority and he should not ...

Read More »

The Siege of Gaza in Halakhah

by R. Gil Student Israel is currently laying siege on the Gaza strip in order to prevent terrorists from leaving, particularly with Israeli hostages. Is a full siege on Gaza halakhically permissible? In the summer of 1982, the Israeli army placed a siege on Beirut in a successful attempt to force the PLO out of Lebanon. On August 6th, then-Chief ...

Read More »

Rethinking Revelation

I am now able to share my article published in the book, The Revelation at Sinai: What Does “Torah from Heaven” Mean?, co-edited by me, Yoram Hazony and Alex Sztuden. The article critiques the approaches of R. Louis Jacobs, R. Abraham J. Heschel and Rav Menachem Kasher, and offers a different, Maimonidean approach. Link to file or click on the ...

Read More »

The Strange Allure of Idolatry and Moshe’s Death

by R. Gil Student Link to audio Sometimes the stories of the Bible resonate with us as they reflect our own feelings and interactions. Other times, they seem puzzling. For example, the repeated worship of idolatry — sticks and stones — baffles us. Even after all those warnings, the Jews keep returning to what seems to us as mere silliness. ...

Read More »

Meta Midrash: Shabbos Shuvah

by R. Gil Student Link to audio The Future is Full of Mitzvos The Hebrew year we have just begun is 5784, ה׳תשפ״ד. To mark the year, I will spend time studying and teaching the classic midrashic work, Parashas Derakhim, so that it will be a year of Parashas Derakhim (תהא שנת פרשת דרכים). Rav Yehudah Rosannes was the rabbi ...

Read More »

Three Brief Reviews

In the Fall 2023 issue of Jewish Action, I review the following three books: Torat Chaim: Words to Share at Life’s Meaningful Moments edited by Rabbis Wes Kalmar, Noah Cheses, Steven Miodownik and Brahm Weinberg The Golden Age of the Lithuanian Yeshivas by Ben-Tsiyon Klibansky Choshev Mishpat: Software Ethics in Halacha by Shaul Moshe Alter Torat Chaim: Words to Share at Life’s ...

Read More »

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter