The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash
Special Holiday Shiur
Yeshivat Har Etzion
INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF RAV SOLOVEITCHIK
by Rav Ronnie Ziegler
LECTURE #1a: Bibliographical Supplement
Contents: I.Jewish Thought II.Halakha 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 complete 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.
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.
I. JEWISH THOUGHT
A. WRITTEN BY RAV SOLOVEITCHIK:
*"Confrontation," Tradition 6:2 (Spring 1964), reprinted in A Treasury of Tradition, NY: Hebrew Publishing Co., 1967. *"The Lonely Man of Faith," Tradition 7:2 (Summer 1965), and republished as a book - NY: Doubleday, 1992, and Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996. *5 articles published in Tradition 17:2 (Spring 1978): "The Community;" "Majesty and Humility;" "Catharsis;" "Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah;" "A Tribute to the Rebbetzin of Talne." *"The Synagogue as an Institution and as an Idea," in The Rabbi Joseph Lookstein Memorial Volume, ed. L. Landman, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1980. *Halakhic Man, translated from Hebrew by L. Kaplan, Philadelphia: JPS, 1983. *The Halakhic Mind, NY: Free Press, 1986. *"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.
*Ish Ha-halakha: Galui Ve-nistar, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1979. Contains two of his most important works, "Ish Ha-Halakha" and "U-vikkashtem Mi-sham," as well as "Ra'ayonot al Ha-tefilla." *Divrei Hagut Ve-ha'arakha, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1982. Contains five original Hebrew articles and six translations of English articles. The original Hebrew articles are: *"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..."); *"Ma Dodekh Mi-dod," a eulogy for the Brisker Rav, R. Yitzchak Ze'ev Soloveitchik; *"Peleitat Sofreihem," a eulogy for R. Hayyim Heller, translated into English in Shiurei Harav (below); *"Ba-seter U-vagalui," a eulogy for R. Gold; *"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 "Al Ahavat Ha-Torah U- ge'ulat Nefesh Ha-dor," which is reprinted in a slightly abridged form in "Divrei Hashkafa." 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:
*Shiurei Harav, ed. Joseph Epstein, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1994 (originally 1974). Contains several important pieces, such as "Sacred and Profane." *Reflections of the Rav, adapted by Rabbi Abraham Besdin, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1979. *Man of Faith in the Modern World (Reflections of the Rav, vol. 2), adapted by Rabbi Abraham Besdin, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1989. *On Repentance, ed. Pinchas Peli, Jerusalem: Orot, 1980; reprinted Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press, 1984, and Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996. *Five Addresses (to the Religious Zionists of America), Jerusalem: Tal Orot, 1983.
(Note: the following books are all based on lectures originally delivered in Yiddish or English.) *Al Ha-teshuva, ed. Pinchas Peli, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1974. *Chamesh Derashot, Jerusalem: Tal Orot, 1974. *Perakim Be-machshevet Ha-rav, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1982 - a translation of Reflections of the Rav. *Yemei Zikkaron, ed. Moshe Krone, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1986. *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.
A. Written or Reviewed by the Rav:
*Shiurim Le-zekher Abba Mari z"l, 2 vols., Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 1983 and 1985. *Kovetz Chiddushei Torah, Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 1984. *Kunteres Be-inyan Avodat Yom Ha-kippurim, Jerusalem: N.P., 1986. *Chiddushei Ha-gram Ve-hagrid al Inyanei Kodshim, NY: Morasha Foundation, c. 1993.
B. By others:
Many of the Rav's talmidim have published books based largely or wholly on the Rav's teachings; most notable among these are the books by Rav Herschel Schachter (Nefesh Ha-rav, Eretz Ha-tzvi, Ikvei Ha-tzon) 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. Additionally, a Pesach Haggada based on the Rav's shiurim, entitled Si'ach Ha-grid, was recently compliled by Rav Yitzchak Lichtenstein (Jerusalem: Reishit Yerushalayim, 1995).
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)
IV. SECONDARY SOURCES
The above-mentioned bibliographies by Klein and Gafni contain references to the secondary literature about Rav Soloveitchik (which is surprisingly meager but rapidly expanding). In the years since these bibliographies were compiled, many new studies have been published, three collections of which I will mention: *Tradition 30:4 (Summer 1996), published by the Rabbinical Council of America - a memorial issue devoted entirely to the Rav; *Emuna Bi-zemanim Mishtanim (Faith in Changing Times), ed. Avi Sagi, Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1996 - a collection of Hebrew studies on Rav Soloveitchik's thought. *Exploring the Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, ed. Rabbi M. Angel, Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1997 - a collection of previously published articles from the journal Tradition.
No full-length biography of the Rav has yet been published, but one is currently being prepared by Rav Aharon Rakeffet. Excerpts of this book appear in the first two volumes mentioned in Section IV above. The Rav's sister, Shulamith Meiselman, published a memoir primarily about her parents - The Soloveitchik Heritage: A Daughter's Perspective, NJ: Ktav, 1995. The many eulogies of the Rav scattered throvarious Jewish publications (Tradition, Jewish Action, etc.) and Yeshiva University journals (Hamevaser, Commentator, ) especially in Spring-Summer 1993 present an interesting composite portrait.
For questions or comments to the instructor, please write to RAV@ETZION.ORG.IL
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