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    Yosef Blau

 

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  • Orthodox Forum # 13

    Lomdus: The Conceptual Approach to Jewish Learning

    Yosef Blau

    Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University, established the Orthodox Forum in 1989 to create a venue where major issues affecting the Jewish community can be discussed. Each year, academicians, rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva Jewish educators and communal professionals from America and Israel, present papers analyzing a topic from different perspectives. Comments made often lead to revisions and rethinking which are reflected in the book that emerges.

    In the eleventh conference of the Orthodox Forum (1999), instead of focusing on a challenge that emanated from the interaction of Judaism with general society, an internal development was examined. Central to Jewish life is Torah study and any shift in how religious texts are understood has many ripple effects.

    It is over a century since "lomdus," the conceptual approach to Jewish learning associated primarily with Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, his disciples and descendants, was introduced to the world of Talmudic scholars. This methodology has gained both approval and criticism. Its has influenced Jewish thought, Jewish education on different levels, Biblical studies and Halakhic decision making. The Orthodox Forum convened a conference to analyze its impact, challenges and future directions.

    This volume includes the papers written for the conference supplemented by an intriguing analysis of how the method has developed over the generations.

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