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Scholarly Man of Faith

Studies in the Thought and Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Edited by Ephraim Kanarfogel and Dov Schwartz

This volume addresses a series of fascinating yet less-explored aspects of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik's teachings and thinking. The essays included delve into the Rav's approach toward understanding biblical figures in a comparative light, his views on emotion and intellect and their interrelationship, his appreciation of Yehudah ha-Levi as a seminal Jewish thinker, his unusual understanding of the history of medieval rabbinic literature and the implications for modernity, and his attitude and approach toward scientific method. The volume concludes with an extensive bibliographic survey of contemporary scholarship on Rav Soloveitchik's writings and thought. Long-time students and listeners, and an ever-increasing cadre of newer devotees, will not fail to be deeply impressed and inspired by the range, profundity, and humanity of the Rav's work


  • Introduction

  • Shalom Carmy, "In Many Respects God was Closer to Abraham than He was to Moses," Themes in Emergence of Ethical Man

  • Shira Weiss, Biblical Hermeneutics in the Thought of R. Soloveitchik: A Preliminary Appraisal of the Influence of R. Yehudah Halevi

  • Alex Sztuden, The Identity of Love and Cognition in the Thought of R. Joseph Soloveitchik

  • Ephraim Kanarfogel, The History of the Tosafists and their Literary Corpus according to Rav Soloveitchik's Interpretrations of the Qinot for Tishah B'Av

  • Daniel Rynhold, Science of Hermeneutics? Rav Soloveitchik's Scientific Method Revisited

  • David Shatz, Contemporary Scholarship on Rabbi Soloveitchik's Thought: Where We Are, Where We Can Go

  • Contributors

About the Editors: 

Ephraim Kanarfogel is the E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature, and Law at Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He is a winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Scholarship and the Goldstein-Goren International Book Prize in Jewish Thought, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Jewish History.

Dov Schwartz is Professor of Philosophy at Bar-Ilan University, where he heads the Warhaftig Research Institute for Religious Zionism. He is a winner of the EMET Prize in the Humanities, and serves as editor of Da'at, a leading journal of Jewish thought, and the bibliographic journal Alei Sefer.

Shalom Carmy, "In Many Respects God was Closer to Abraham than He was to Moses," Themes in Emergence of Ethical Man 

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~Review by Daniel D. Stuhlman, AJL Reviews
Rabbi Soloveitchik was a great teacher and philosopher whose views on Judaism and Zionism have influenced several generations of modern Orthodox Jews, as well as the general Jewish community. Even non-Jews have demonstrated interest in his ethical philosophy, such as the book written by the Jesuit priest, Christian Rutishauser for his doctoral thesis: The Human Condition and the Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Jersey City, Ktav, 2013).

The essays edited by Kanarfogel and Schwartz examine Soloveitchik’s views of ethics, Biblical hermeneutics, love and cognition, and the history of the Tosafists. The essays are scholarly with copious footnotes, and they are aimed at experts in the field. For this reader, the most interesting contribution was the last in the book: a bibliographic review of the scholarship on Soloveitchik’s thought. Overall, the essays demonstrate that Soloveitchik’s writings on Jewish law and the human experience, while sometimes dated, will continue to apply today and in the future. This book is recommended for all libraries; however, the scholarly nature of the book may limit its broad appeal. (Posted on 12/12/2018)

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Additional Info

Additional Info

ISBN 978-965-524-281-2
Pages 198
Format Hardcover
SKU urim1525
Publisher Urim Publications