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Memories of a Giant

Memories of a Giant

Eulogies in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Edited by Michael A. Bierman

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Memories of a Giant  is a wonderful tribute to the great Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Edited with great care and devotion, it seeks to depict “the Rav” to the average, thoughtful layperson through the very human and personal perspectives of members of his family, as well as devoted disciples. In addition to being a man of deep learning and powerful intellect, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik is presented here as a man of great chesed, profound personal piety and impeccable integrity. The eulogies (hespidem) collected in this volume, delivered by leaders of the Orthodox community, chronicle the impact of not only a brilliant philosopher and master pedagogue, but a caring, thoughtful and awe-inspiring teacher and role model.


About the Editor


Mr. Michael A. Bierman received a B. A. in Psychology from Long Island University, an M. A. in Contemporary Jewish Studies from the Philip W. Lown School of Brandeis University, and an M. S. W. from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University. He currently serves as the Supervisor of the Rockland County Adult Home in Pomona, NY. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Bierman worked in the field of Jewish Communal Affairs for over twenty-five years in Washington DC, Pittsburgh, PA, and Rockland County, NY. He is a founding board member and officer of Kahilat Ohavei Zion of Wesley Hills, NY and Adjunct Professor, Jewish Studies Department, Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Praise for Memories of a Giant


The litany of luminaries who offer their own reminiscences of The Rav is impressive, and includes names such as Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schachter (who writes the books forward as well as the portion entitled Thoughts On Parshat Shemini), Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein (The Rav at Jubilee: An Appreciation), Rabbi Shalom Carmy (A Three-Part Tribute), Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin (My Rebbe, The Rav), Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm (Hesped Mar: A Eulogy for the Rav), Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosensweig (The Rav As Communal Leader) and Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks (A Hesped in Honor of Rav Yosef Soloveitchik).


About half of the 42 eulogies appear in print for the first time, including that delivered at The Rav’s funeral by his brother, Rabbi Ahron Soloveitchik, zt”l.


Perhaps the book is best summed up by Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Twersky who writes, “The Rav was such a hakham hamasorah. His decisive contribution was quantitative and qualitative: he disseminated Torah and enhanced kevod haTorah. His tireless, vigorous, imaginative teaching, on so many different levels, suffused the masorah with charm and fascination, revealed its profundities and thereby buoyed the confidence of so many individuals . . . ”


– Howard Riell, JCOR Kesher


This beautiful volume is the first publication of the Rabbi Soloveitchik Library under the auspices of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Boston and a fitting tribute to a rare Torah giant as well as a giant among men. We look forward to subsequent publications by the Institute that will perpetuate and disseminate the thought and values of the Rav to an “orphaned generation” of American and world Jewry.


– Stephen H. Garrin, Jewish Book World


Bierman’s introduction states the books ambition: “This book is designed to introduce Rav Soloveitchik to the majority of people who hereunto have had no exposure to him or his writings . . . This anthology of eulogies-written primarily by family members and students-is designed as an introduction to the Rav . . . and to his human and personal characteristics.”


We, the students of Yeshiva University, have had no exposure to him, and although we may have read his writings, we simply do not know him. If you have not read “Memories,” it is an excellent idea to do so . . . 


All in all, for those who consider themselves in any way connected to Modern Orthodoxy or YU, this book is a must read.


– Menachem Wecker, The Commentator

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The Rabbi Soloveitchik Library

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