Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik was not only one of the outstanding Talmudists and religious leaders of the twentieth century, but also one of its most creative and seminal Jewish thinkers. This comprehensive study of Rabbi Soloveitchik's religious philosophy offers a broad perspective and balanced understanding of his work. By interpreting and analyzing both individual essays and overarching themes in an accessible and engaging manner, it uncovers the depth, majesty and fascination of his thought.
From the Foreword by Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter:
Rabbi Soloveitchik was well-known and highly respected for his original mind and charismatic personality, his intimate knowledge of the totality of Jewish tradition and mastery of Western philosophy, his intense fealty to the mesorah combined with a real openness to the best in the surrounding world, his radical intellectual honesty and demanding search for truth, his dazzling intellect and total lack of pretense, his extraordinary power of selfrevelation and deep-seated sense of privacy, his courage to blaze his own trail and do what he felt was right even when it was not easy…
What needs to endure for the future is the substance of his ideas, the compelling nature of his teachings, and the content of his Torah. And for this we express deep and profound gratitude to Rabbi Reuven Ziegler. Rabbi Ziegler has devoted many years to studying the works of the Rav and we are the beneficiaries of his wisdom and his efforts… He has done a masterful job in formulating the teachings and world-view of the Rav in a clear, organized, thoughtful and comprehensive way. Through a careful analysis of the many works of the Rav, Rabbi Ziegler has succeeded in explicating his complex ideas and complicated language in a comprehensible manner and making them accessible to a wide audience interested in more fully understanding and appreciating the world of this spiritual and intellectual giant of Torah. Moving from theme to theme and through essay after essay in the Rav’s multi-faceted oeuvre, and with complete mastery of the growing secondary literature on his subject, Rabbi Ziegler’s careful and sensitive analysis is extraordinarily insightful, highly compelling and exceptionally well-done. The world of Rabbi Soloveitchik the person has been lost, but the world of Rabbi Soloveitchik the thinker, author and teacher has been gracefully and magnificently preserved.