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The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

Special Holiday Shiur
Yeshivat Har Etzion



INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF RAV SOLOVEITCHIK

by Rav Ronnie Ziegler

LECTURE #00: Bibliographical Supplement


Contents:

I. Jewish Thought
A. Written by Rav Soloveitchik
B. Written by Others
II. Halakha
A. Written by Rav Soloveitchik
B. Written by Others
III. On the Web

IV. Secondary Sources

V. Biography

Following family tradition, Rav Soloveitchik published relatively little in his lifetime. This led some of his students to publish their own adaptations or summaries of his many shiurim and lectures. Although in this course we will study only articles written by Rav Soloveitchik himself, I will provide below a list of some works prepared by others in his name, in addition to a list of all of his own writings.

The most comprehensive bibliography published to date was compiled by Dr. Zanvel Klein, and appears (in abridged form) in The Torah Umadda Journal, vol. 4 (1993), published by Yeshiva University. There is another bibliography by Mordechai Gafni in Da'at, vol. 31 (1993), published by Bar Ilan University. On the web, you can find an updated bibliography by Prof. Eli Turkel at the location:

http://www.math.tau.ac.il/~turkel/engsol.html (English)

http://www.math.tau.ac.il/~turkel/hebsol.html (Hebrew)

In addition to the works mentioned below, thousands of tapes of the Rav are available through various tape libraries, which will hopefully soon be combined into a centralized library. Furthermore, several volumes are currently in preparation which will contain essays left by the Rav in manuscript. These are part of the MeOtzar HoRav Series (the first volume of which, Family Redeemed, appears below), and readers will be updated as they are published.
 

I. JEWISH THOUGHT

A. WRITTEN BY RAV SOLOVEITCHIK
i) Books and Essays in English:
  1. "Confrontation," Tradition 6:2 (Spring 1964), reprinted in A Treasury of Tradition, NY: Hebrew Publishing Co., 1967.
  2. "The Lonely Man of Faith," Tradition 7:2 (Summer 1965), and republished as a book - NY: Doubleday, 1992, and Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996.
  3. Five articles published in Tradition 17:2 (Spring 1978) - these essays are very important, but unfortunately they are unavailable elsewhere in English:
    1. "The Community,"
    2. "Majesty and Humility,"
    3. "Catharsis,"
    4. "Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah"
    5. "A Tribute to the Rebbetzin of Talne."
  4. "The Synagogue as an Institution and as an Idea," in The Rabbi Joseph Lookstein Memorial Volume, ed. L. Landman, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1980.
  5. Halakhic Man, translated from Hebrew by L. Kaplan, Philadelphia: JPS, 1983.
  6. The Halakhic Mind, NY: Free Press, 1986.
  7. "The Voice of My Beloved that Knocketh," translated from Hebrew by L. Kaplan, in Theological and Halakhic Reflections on the Holocaust, ed. B. Rosenberg, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1992.
  8. "A Halakhic Approach to Suffering," The Torah U-Madda Journal, vol. 8 (1998-1999).
  9. Family Redeemed: Essays on Family Relationships, eds. David Shatz and Joel Wolowelsky, Toras HoRav Foundation, 2000 (Volume One of the MeOtzar HoRav Series: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik). Contains six essays:
    1. "Adam and Eve,"
    2. "Marriage,"
    3. "The Redemption of Sexual Life,"
    4. "Parenthood: Natural and Redeemed,"
    5. "Kibbud u-Mora: Honor and Fear of Parents,"
    6. "Torah and Shekhinah" (the first annual Tonya Soloveitchik Memorial Lecture).
ii) Books and Essays in Hebrew:
  1. Ish Ha-Halakha: Galui Ve-nistar, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1979. The first two pieces are among his most important works:
    1. "Ish Ha-Halakha,"
    2. "U-vikkashtem Mi-sham,"
    3. "Ra'ayonot al Ha-tefilla."
  2. Divrei Hagut Ve-ha'arakha, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1982. Contains five original Hebrew articles and seven translations of English articles. The original Hebrew articles are:
    1. "Kol Dodi Dofek," an address on Yom Ha-atzma'ut 1956, which has since been translated into English (see above, "The Voice of My Beloved...");
    2. "Ma Dodekh Mi-dod," a eulogy for the Brisker Rav, R. Yitzchak Ze'ev Soloveitchik;
    3. "Peleitat Sofreihem," a eulogy for R. Hayyim Heller, translated into English in Shiurei Harav (below);
    4. "Be-seter U-vegalui," a eulogy for R. Ze'ev Gold;
    5. "Nos'ei Ha-tzitz Ve-hachoshen," a eulogy for R. Chayyim Ozer Grodzinsky.
Although four of the five essays listed above are labeled as eulogies, they deal with important themes personified by the eulogized individuals and are therefore of interest even to people not familiar with these individuals.

The above two collections are more comprehensive than the Hebrew collection of Rav Soloveitchik's articles entitled Be-sod Ha-yachid Ve-hayachad, ed. Pinchas Peli, Jerusalem: Orot, 1976. The only article appearing in the latter volume which does not appear in the former two is the important essay, "Al Ahavat Ha-Torah U-ge'ulat Nefesh Ha-dor," which is reprinted in a slightly abridged form in Divrei Hashkafa (below).

Additionally, "The Lonely Man of Faith" has been translated into Hebrew in the volume Ish Ha-emuna, Jerusalem: Mosad Harav Kook, 1968.

B. WRITTEN BY OTHERS:

i) English
  1. Shiurei Harav, ed. Joseph Epstein, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1994 (originally 1974). Contains several important pieces, such as "Sacred and Profane" and "A Eulogy for the Talner Rebbe."
  2. Reflections of the Rav, adapted by Rabbi Abraham Besdin, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1979.
  3. Man of Faith in the Modern World (Reflections of the Rav, vol. 2), adapted by Rabbi Abraham Besdin, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1989.
  4. On Repentance, ed. Pinchas Peli, Jerusalem: Orot, 1980; reprinted Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press, 1984, and Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996.
  5. Five Addresses (to the Religious Zionists of America), Jerusalem: Tal Orot, 1983.
  6. Before Hashem You Shall Be Purified: Rabbi Soloveitchik on the Days of Awe, adapted by Arnold Lustiger, Edison, NJ: Ohr Publishing, 1998.
ii) Hebrew

(Note: the following books are all based on lectures originally delivered in Yiddish or English.)

  1. Al Ha-teshuva, ed. Pinchas Peli, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1974.
  2. Chamesh Derashot, Jerusalem: Tal Orot, 1974.
  3. Perakim Be-machshevet Ha-rav, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1982 - a translation of Reflections of the Rav.
  4. Yemei Zikkaron, ed. Moshe Krone, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1986.
  5. Divrei Hashkafa, ed. Moshe Krone, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1992. Contains an important article by Rav Soloveitchik, "Al Ahavat Ha-Torah...," and summaries of various lectures.
II. HALAKHA
A. Written or Reviewed by the Rav:
  1. Shiurim Le-zekher Abba Mari z"l, 2 vols., Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 1983 and 1985.
  2. Kovetz Chiddushei Torah, Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 1984.
  3. Kunteres Be-inyan Avodat Yom Ha-kippurim, written by Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, Jerusalem: N.P., 1986.
  4. Chiddushei Ha-gram Ve-hagrid al Inyanei Kodshim, NY: Morasha Foundation, c. 1993.
B. By others:

Many of the Rav's disciples have published books based largely or wholly on the Rav's teachings; notable among these are the books by Rav Herschel Schachter (Nefesh Ha-rav, Eretz Ha-tzvi, Ikvei Ha-tzon), Rav Michel Shurkin (Harerei Kedem: Be-inyanei Ha-moadim) and Rav Zvi Reichman (Reshimot Shiurim al Massekhtot Sukka, Nedarim, Shevuot). The Torah journals Messorah (published by the Orthodox Union) and Beit Yitzchak (published by Yeshivat Rabbenu Yitzchak Elchanan, Yeshiva University) are also good sources of articles based on the Rav's shiurim. Messorah has also published the first of a projected series of volumes entitled Shiurei Harav, this volume on the subjects of aveilut and Tisha Be-Av, ed. Rav Elyakim Koenigsberg (Jerusalem: Messorah, 1999).

A Pesach Haggada based on the Rav's shiurim, entitled Si'ach Ha-grid, was compliled by Rav Yitzchak Lichtenstein (Jerusalem: Reishit Yerushalayim, 1995). B. David Schreiber has transcribed Yarchei Kalla addresses (combining halakha and aggada) in his multivolume Nora'ot Harav series on the holidays. Finally, Rav Aharon Ziegler (no relation) has gathered oral piskei halakha of the Rav in his book Halakhic Positions of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1998).
 

III. ON THE WEB

The main sources of information about the Rav on the Web are:
  • The Mail-Jewish Rav Soloveitchik archives, containing transcripts and summaries of some of his shiurim and of eulogies delivered during his Sheloshim, as well as a discussion by MJ participants about his significance and other information.
(http://shamash.nysernet.org/mail-jewish/rov)
  • MJ-Ravtorah, containing summaries of the Rav's shiurim on Parashat Ha-shavua, based on notes by Dr. Israel Rivkin and edited by Josh Rapps.
(http://www.shamash.org/tanach/tanach/commentary/mj-ravtorah)
  • Jewish Torah Audio has downloadable audio files of the Rav on various subjects.
(http://www.613.org/rav.html)
  • For a launchpad to these and various other websites on the Rav, see Rabbi Josh Cypess's Rav website.
(http://www.yucs.org/~cypess/rav)

 
IV. SECONDARY SOURCES

The above-mentioned bibliographies (by Klein, Gafni, and Turkel) contain references to the secondary literature about Rav Soloveitchik (which is surprisingly meager but rapidly expanding). Several collections of studies have been published:

  • Tradition 30:4 (Summer 1996), published by the Rabbinical Council of America - a memorial issue devoted entirely to the Rav; this was later printed as a book - Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Man of Halakha, Man of Faith, ed. Rabbi Menachem Genack, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1998.
  • Emuna Bi-zemanim Mishtanim (Faith in Changing Times), ed. Avi Sagi, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1996 - a col
 
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