Returning To The Rav’s Teshuvah Lectures

by R. Gil Student Book review of: Before Hashem You Shall Be Purified: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on the Days of Awe (Expanded Edition) Edited by Dr. Arnold Lustiger OU Press, 205 pages Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (henceforth, the Rav) spoke in a majestic manner that captivated listeners for hours at a time. He dissected complicated halachic subjects in an exciting and ...

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Three Brief Reviews

In the Fall 2022 issue of Jewish Action, I review the following three books: Judaism of the Poskim: Responsa and the Nature of Orthodox Judaism by R. Gidon Rothstein Authentically Orthodox: A Tradition-Bound Faith in American Life by R. Zev Eleff Make Your Berachos Meaningful: A Deeper Understanding of the Opening Words of All Our Berachos by R. Mechel Handler Judaism of the Poskim: ...

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Can Mashiach Come on Rosh Hashanah?

by R. Gil Student We believe, with complete faith, that Mashiach will come and we wait daily for his arrival. Does that mean that he can come any day? On the one hand, this is all a theoretical exercise. When he comes, he comes. We won’t tell him, “Sorry, it’s the wrong day.” However, the Sages discussed this, which means ...

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Could Acher Return?

by R. Gil Student I. Acher’s Sins Repentance, teshuvah, is an ability to repair the past and create a better future. Everyone sins. Teshuvah allows you to get past that, to learn from your mistakes and improve yourself. Those who are mostly religious and those who are mostly non-religious need teshuvah in order to become better Jews. In theory, anyone ...

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That’s Rabbi So-and-So To You

by R. Gil Student Aside from its obvious effect on those who became ill, Covid caused many secondary effects in society. Among them is clergy exit. Clergy of all religions faced unusual strain during the pandemic and many clergy members have decided to change professions. I was asked by a rabbi who left the rabbinate for a corporate career whether ...

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Re’eh: The Spiritual Source of Amazon Prime

by R. Gil Student Everyone likes the feeling of getting a new toy. Whether you are a child and it’s a literal toy or you are an adult and it is whatever “thing” makes you happy — clothes, gadgets, food, exercise equipment, or — my favorite — books. When it is on its way, you have this excited feeling of ...

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Dream Interpretations

by R. Gil Student Our dreams intrigue us and sometimes haunt us. Often, they challenge us to try to understand their meaning. Granted, not all dreams contain a divine message. As we discussed earlier, today almost all dreams are products of the messages that are hurled at us non-stop all day. But let’s assume that a specific dream is, indeed, ...

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Avoiding Social Media Envy

by R. Gil Student I. Social Media Discontent Social media is what we make of it. The different social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, etc. — allow us to share thoughts and pictures with others and engage in conversation with them. What we share, what we discuss, is up to us. For some reason, a lot of social media usage ...

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Last Names in Jewish Law

by R. Gil Student I. What’s In a Surname? Last names serve to identify an individual with greater specificity. There may be many men named Yosef ben Ya’akov in the marketplace but Yosef ben Ya’akov Schwartz is much less common. Should we use last names in Jewish ritual and particularly in Jewish legal documents like a kesubah and get? Initially, ...

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What Technology is Good For

by R. Gil Student The internet and related technology offer us unprecedented connections across the world. As with any tool, how we use it makes all the difference. Therefore, because of the great stakes, we should spend serious time thinking about how we should interact with new technology compared to how we currently use it, and adjust as appropriate. What ...

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