• February 18, 2020
  • 23 5780, Sh'vat
  • פרשת משפטים

The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Join Rabbi Jeffrey Saks  for a survey of some of the major themes in Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s thought and religious philosophy as seen in his shorter essays.

October 15, 2013 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 1
Class description

Intro to “Sacred and Profane”: Over the next number of weeks we’ll make our way through Rabbi Soloveitchik’s important (and often overlooked) essay, “Sacred and Profane – Kodesh and Chol in World Perspective.” For those wanting some intro and background to the Rav’s thought and biography, listen to THIS archived shiur.

October 22, 2013 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 2
Class description

Challenge of Religious Experience: Thanks for joining us in the intro class on “Kodesh and Chol”. Please try to read ahead (from section on p. 57: “The Challenge of Religious Experience”).

October 29, 2013 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 3
Class description

Holiness of Place: Continuing into discussion of how holiness (kedushah) manifests itself in physical space from p. 59 in this essay. R. Lichtenstein’s essay (mentioned last time) “Is there and Ethic Independent of the Halakhah” can be accessed HERE.

November 12, 2013 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 4
Class description

Holiness of Time: I will skip ahead to the section on Kedushat HaZman (starting in the essay on p. 64), but please read the passage “To Live in God” (pp. 63-64) to yourselves as it summarizes the vies on sanctity of place we discussed in our last session. We will have to make a detour through the history of philosophy of time, and may also compare to what the Rav writes in Halakhic Man, pp. 117-123.

November 19, 2013 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 5
Class description

Qualitative and Quantitative Time: Continuing in this essay from p. 65. Please review footnote 13 especially re Zeno’s Paradox (or cheat with THIS video or Wikipedia). If you want to access the section from Halakhic Man (pp. 117-123) on sanctity of time we learned last week, it is available HERE.

November 26, 2013 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 6
Class description

Time Conquest: Continuing from page 68 in Sacred and Profane. (The quote I was searching for in the last shiur was from Walden, chapter 1: As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.)

December 3, 2013 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 7
Class description

Creative Teshuvah: What does the whole notion of Minyan HaDorot (= Qualitative Time) have to do with Teshuva (Repentance)? Continue with Section 4 (from p. 73) in the essay. The Rav’s famous talk on the “Uniting of the Generations” (which I mentioned last time) can and should be listened to HERE.

December 17, 2013 6:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Lesson 8
Class description

Kodesh & Chol – Conclusion: For our final session we will finish this essay (from p. 77 until the end) and try to make some concluding remarks about the Rav’s theories of kedusha. (For those that can handle the Hebrew you may find THIS article from the Kipa website an interesting contrast to the worldview presented in R. Soloveitchik’s essay.)

Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding director of ATID – The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education, in Jerusalem, and its WebYeshiva.org program. He is the Editor of the journal Tradition, Series Editor of The S.Y. Agnon Library at The Toby Press, and Director of Research at the Agnon House in Jerusalem. A three-time graduate of Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semicha), Rabbi Saks has published widely on Jewish thought, education, and literature (see www.webyeshiva.org/rabbisaks).