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    David Shatz

 

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  • Mind, Body and Judaism

    David Shatz and Joel B. Wolowelsky

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    The essays in this volume focus primarily on the interaction of Torah with the disciplines of psychology and biology. The first section deals with the more general issue of science and religion. Three prominent scholars with recognized expertise in the secular disciplines discuss the general issue, followed by a prominent scientist with extensive training in Torah discussing the more specific question of evolution.

    The second section , "Judaism and Mental Heath Forum : A Fictional Case with Commentaries," explores the issue of psychology and religion through a series of responses to a fictional case in which a psychiatrist unfamiliar with Orthodox Judaism attempts to treat an "obsessed" religious personality.

    The final sections deal with the interface between biology and religion. The symposium on "Judaism, Genetic Engineering and the Cloning of Humans" explores such issues as: What are the moral and religious limits of the new technologies, their appropriate and inappropriate uses? Are these technologies really welcome? How shall we understand human identity when some people will have had no parents? Then, moving from the beginning of life to its end, "The Halakhic Definition of Death in Light of Medical History" places the current halakhic debate on whether brain death constitutes halakhic death in the context of a history of the past debates on defining the end of life.

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  • MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik # 03

    Out of the Whirlwind

    Joseph B. Soloveitchik

    David Shatz, Joel B. Wolowelsky and Reuven Ziegler

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    The topics of mourning and suffering are among the most salient in the writings of Rabbi Soloveitchik, both when he describes personal experiences and when he articulates his philosophy.

    The essays in this volume powerfully illustrate the Rav's peerless ability to derive a Jewish understanding of both God and the human condition from Biblical and Halakhic sources. The Rav explores such topics as the stages of mourning, the relationship between mourning practices and the mourner's inner experience, the contrasts between individual and communal mourning, the significance of suffering, and the importance of emotions in the Jewish world view.

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  • MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik # 11

    Vision and Leadership

    Joseph B. Soloveitchik

    David Shatz, Joel B. Wolowelsky, and Reuven Ziegler

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    Vision and Leadership, the eleventh in the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, presents Rabbi Soloveitchik's reflections on Biblical narratives and characters, beginning with the Joseph stories and the Jewish people's sojourn in Egypt and ending with the story of Moses' death on the brink of return to the Promised Land. Through careful exegesis of the verses, illuminating analyses of character, and insightful readings of midrashim and classic medieval commentators, the reflections in this book seek the underlying messages of biblical stories and an understanding of what they teach us about past and present events in the life of the Jewish people. They also shed light on broader concepts, such as the nature of justice, idolatry, spiritual authority, and Halakhic thought. 

     

    Soon after the revelation at Sinai, the Jews committed the sin of the Golden Calf. We should note that prima facie this sin was more abominable, more horrible, than the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. If we translate it into Halakhic terms, the sin of the Tree of Knowledge consisted in eating forbidden foods, while the sin of the Golden Calf touched the very essence of Judaism, namely, the prohibition against idolatry. Yet, when Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge, all future generations were struck by disaster. Adam alienated himself from his Creator and was driven out of Paradise. According to Hazal, God had intended for man to live forever, but the original sin brought about death and man became mortal. When the community alienated itself from the Creator by worshipping the Golden Calf, the consequences of the sin were not as tragic.

    ~ excerpted from Vision and Leadership

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