Author: Rabbi Gil Student

Reviews in Brief – Spring 2023

A journey to finding depth in a seemingly simple mathematical system, a story overcoming personal tragedy and a book exploring apostasy in Medieval Europe.

Reviews in Brief – Winter 2022

As a reader, you will find yourself involved in the conversation, appreciating the different views and the intricacy of defining the halachic parameters of new technology.

Reviews in Brief – Summer 2020

Rather than claiming to be history, this book openly reports stories that reflect the worldviews of the speakers. These are conversations with great people about great leaders and great institutions.

Reviews in Brief

Widen Your Tent, False Facts and True Rumors, and the Eternal Fire of Sefer Vayikra

Reviews in Brief: Spring 2019

[Rabbi Safran] is keenly aware of the challenges of loneliness, the temptations of cynicism, the subtle yet insidious subversion of Torah values we face every day.

Reviews in Brief

Has Rabbi Abramowitz undermined Maimonides’ literary concealment? Can a soldier pray in his uniform? Is the Torah pro or anti wealth? Is prayer futile for a terminally ill patient? These questions and more in Rabbi Student’s latest Reviews in Brief.

Shabbat Table Torah

How do you convey values? How do you start those important conversations in a way that is not awkward or alienating? The traditional method is the devar Torah, an insight into the weekly Torah portion.

Reviews in Brief

Rabbi Gamliel Shmalo’s Learning To Grow is billed as “a spiritual guide to your year in Israel” but do not be fooled. This book is a guide to a meaningful life regardless of your circumstances.

Reviews in Brief

Finance, as an industry, has gained a reputation as a ruthless, amoral field where the only rule is to make money and the only law is to not get caught breaking the law. Every generalization like that has some truth to it, but paints with an exceedingly broad brush.

Reviews in Brief

We pray and recite blessings in Hebrew, study sacred Hebrew texts and speak Hebrew in Israel. But what is this language? Where did it come from and how did it become the de facto Jewish language after centuries of Yiddish, Ladino and other Jewish languages?

Reviews in Brief

We often associate the reflourishing study of Tanach in the Orthodox community with the impressive analytics of the “New School” that effectively began with Nehama Leibowitz and continues to this day. Yet with all the brilliant lectures, journals and books, are the average laypeople neglecting the basics?

Top Ten Online Torah Resources

I used to be a regular visitor to the New York Public Library’s Dorot Division, consulting its vast collection of rabbinic texts with the assistance of its expert librarians. While I treasure the memories of the many hours I spent there, I have not actually stepped foot into a library in ages. As long as […]

New Science, Same Torah

New Heavens and a New Earth: The Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought By Jeremy Brown Oxford University Press New York, 2013 416 pages Torah, Chazal and Science By Moshe Meiselman Israel Bookshop Publications New Jersey, 2013 928 pages Reviewed by Gil Student You might have thought,1 based on the plethora of Orthodox scientists and doctors, […]

Journey of Faith: A Comprehensive Commentary on Sefer Bamidbar

Journey of Faith: A Comprehensive Commentary on Sefer Bamidbar By Yonasan David Arenias Shaarei Torah Publications, 2013 640 pages Mikraot Gedolot, the classic set of Chumashim containing a plethora of rabbinic commentaries, was not designed by a classroom teacher. Approaching the page can be intimidating. Setting aside the difficulties of deciphering the varieties of Hebrew […]

The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat

The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat By Mordechai Willig Maggid and Yeshiva University Press Jerusalem; New York, 2013 479 pages There are certain tricks of the trade to being a rabbi. Only one in a million can have every halachah at his fingertips. The rest must simply prepare themselves for possible inquiries. […]

The Making of a Halachic Decision

The Making of a Halachic Decision By Moshe Walter Menucha Publishers Brooklyn, 2013 231 pages How do rabbis decide halachah? To a large degree, it depends on what they were taught. But how do the greatest scholars of a generation make their way through the bookshelves full of different views? The answer lies in the […]

Movers & Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape

Movers & Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape By Elliot Resnick Brenn Books, 2013 344 pages Headlines are often misleading. They tell you what is newsworthy, what is unusual. They don’t tell you about the important people who make the world run smoothly. Elliot Resnick’s Movers & Shakers introduces readers to people […]

Jewish Identity: Who is a Jew?

Jewish Identity: Who is a Jew? Compiled by Baruch Litvin Ktav Publishing House, Inc. Jersey City, 2012 372 pages In 1958, an embattled Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, on orders from a Knesset committee, sent inquiries to fifty Jewish scholars around the world concerning the “Who is a Jew” issue (i.e., how should Israel register the […]

In Search of Torah Wisdom: Questions You Forgot to Ask Your Rebbi

In Search of Torah Wisdom: Questions You Forgot to Ask Your Rebbi By Rabbi Yisroel Miller Mosaica Press Brooklyn, 2012 400 pages Rabbi Yisroel Miller’s In Search of Torah Wisdom: Questions You Forgot to Ask Your Rebbi is a refreshing example of principled pluralism. He is a Litvak, a Lakewood-trained yeshivah devotee, unafraid to state […]

The Sages, Vol. 3: The Galilean Period

The Sages, Vol. 3: The Galilean Period By Rabbi Binyamin Lau Maggid Books Jerusalem, 2013 420 pages Rabbis are just like other people in that each has his own personality, strengths and interests. Rabbi Binyamin Lau’s popular Pirkei Avot classes in Jerusalem, published in multiple volumes in Hebrew and now in English translation, explore the […]