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    Shalom Carmy

picture of Rabbi Shalom Carmy  

Rabbi Shalom Carmy, who teaches Jewish studies and philosophy at Yeshiva University, is an Editor of the series Me-Otzar ho-Rav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Carmy is also the Editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought.



 

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  • MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik # 02

    Worship of the Heart

    Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

    Shalom Carmy

    "Prayer, indeed, is the symbolic portrayal of a range of experiences that form the ecstatic state of mind. Is such an exalted experience something in which every human being may share; or is it confined to the religious genius - a curious and unique type of personality who is capable of attaining this ecstatic state of mind, of rapture and unification, a personality who rejects what seems clearly, logically and tangibly to be the natural order, for the sake of tending a reality which is beyond one's grasp? Is prayer only for the mystic? We, in contrast to the mystic, are all physically and mentally children of this external concrete world and therefore, if this be true, cannot make the leap from the sensuous and real into the transcendent and absolute....

    "What then does avodah she-ba-lev mean for us, with our unmystical bent of mind that tends toward the real and practical? Can we achieve the kavvanah of tefillah in our ordinary modest way though we are not able to embark upon the great and strange adventure of the spirit? Of course the answer must be formulated in the affirmative, for otherwise tefillah would be the exclusive privilege of the imaginative genius, the mystic, and, as such, would be denied to ordinary man.Such an assertion would contradict the very essence of the Halakhah, which is an exoteric discipline to be practiced by the philosopher and simpleton, the poet and the dull person alike."

    ~ Excerpted from Worship of the Heart

    The biblical command to serve God "with all your heart" is interpreted by Jewish tradition to refer to prayer. The Rav here explores the crucial interface between living religious experience and halakhic norms --the hallmark of his work. He analyzes the Amidah, the Shema, and other biblical and liturgical texts, and also considers the tension between human dependence and exaltation, the ethical and the aesthetic, the presence and absence of God, and the yearning for stability and the desire for change.

    ~ Excerpted from Worship of the Heart

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  • Covenantal Imperatives

    Walter S. Wurzburger

    Eliezer L. Jacobs and Shalom Carmy

    Covenantal Imperatives, a collection of essays selected from the nearly six decades of Rabbi Walter Wurzburger's illustrious career, combines the author’s mastery of Halakhah with a deep understanding of Jewish philosophy. Covering topics ranging from cooperation with non-Orthodox branches of Judaism, the Sabbath, and his concept of modern Orthodoxy, Rabbi Wurzburger’s essays are a true representation of the work of an original thinker and leader in the American Jewish community.

    About the Author

    Rabbi Walter S. Wurzburger, Ph.D. (1920–2002), a distinguished leader and teacher in the Jewish community for nearly sixty years, was a vital force in modern Orthodox thought. He taught philosophy at Yeshiva University for thirty-five years and held rabbinic posts in Boston and Toronto prior to leading Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence, New York from 1967 to 1994, remaining rabbi emeritus until his death. 

    During his quarter-century as the Editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought, he helped shape the agenda of the modern Orthodox community and elevated its ideological discourse significantly. Rabbi Wurzburger served as the President of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Rabbinical Council of Canada and the Synagogue Council of America. He is the author of two books: Ethics of Responsibility: Pluralistic Approaches to Covenantal Ethics and God Is Proof Enough. He also co-edited A Treasury of Tradition. 

    Rabbi Wurzburger, who received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and remained one of his most faithful students, was ordained at Yeshiva University and received his MA and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is survived by Naomi, his wife of fifty-five years, and their children and grandchildren. 


    About the Editors

    Rabbi Shalom Carmy, who teaches Jewish studies and philosophy at Yeshiva University, is an Editor of the series Me-Otzar ho-Rav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Carmy is also the Editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. 

    A graduate of Rutgers University, Eliezer Jacobs attended Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion in Israel. Eliezer works as a public relations consultant and lives in New York City.

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