Volume 7 Number 1

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Books of Rav Soloveitchik.
         [Eli Turkel]
Hesped for the Rav - Boston, R' Aaron
         [Mike Gerver]
Kol Dodi Dofek
         [Eli Turkel]


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 93 11:29:28 +0300
Subject: Books of Rav Soloveitchik.

     In response to several private requests I am listing the
books of the works of R. Soloveitchik that I know.

1. The Lonely Man of Faith - 1965 Tradition
   Doubleday -1992     also translated to Hebrew and French
   Analysis of the first two chapters of Bereshit
   Adam I - technological man versus Adam II - spiritual man

2. Halakhic Man translated by L. Kaplan
   Jewsih Publication Society of America 1983
   original in Hebrew as Ish-ha-Halakha in Talpiot 1983
   also translated into French.
   Ideal vision of the rabbi.

3. Halakhic Mind originally written in 1944 published in 1986 by
   Seth Press distributed by Free Press division of McMillan
   only "real philosophy" book of the Rav.

4. Reflections of the Rav by R. A. Besdin
   Department of Torah Education in the Diaspora, WZO, 1979.
   translated into Hebrew as Perakhim be-machkeshevet ha-Rav.
   collection of speeches by the Rav, mainly in the 1970's.

5. Man of Faith in the Modern World; Reflections of the Rav II
   Ktav Publishing House, 1989.

6. Chamesh Derashot. translated from yiddish by S. Telzner
   Machon Tal Orot, 1974.
   5 speeches of R. Soloveitchik to the Mizrachi

7. Al ha-Teshuva by P. Peli.
   collection of speeches by R. Soloveitchik to the RCA between
   Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Mainly on the Rambam hilchot Teshuva.
   translated later as On repentance.
   Department of Torah Education in the Diaspora, WZO,1975.

8. Ish ha-Halakha, Galui ve-Nistar.
   Ish ha-Halakha and u-bekhastam mesham (originally haDarom 1979)
   and ra-ayanot al hatefila.
   Department of Torah Education in the Diaspora, WZO, 1979.

9. Divrei Hagot ve-harakha
   collection of articles and speeches of R. Soloveitchik
      a. Kol Dodi Dofek - on Israel
      b. euologies on Brisker rav, Talnar Rav (Twersky), Rav Heller
         and Hayim Ozer Grozinski
      c. Bet Knesset
      d. Seter va-galui
      e. a collection dedicated to the rebetzin from Talner (Twersky).
    Department of Torah Education in the Diaspora, WZO, 1981

10. Yimei Zikharon
    translated from yiddish by M. Krona.
    doesn't indicate the origin but I suspect it is from the aggadata
    portion of the Rav's yahrzeit derashot.
    Department of Torah Education in the Diaspora, WZO, 1986.

11. Divrei hashkafa
    translated from yiddish by M. Krona
    portions from the aggadata of the yahrzeit derashot.
    Department of Torah Education in the Diaspora, WZO,    1992.

12. Kibbutz Hiddushei Torah.
    collection of articles that appeared in Torah Journals from both
    R. Moshe Soloveitchik and R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
    Machon Yerushalayim, no year given.

13. Shiurim le-zekher aaba Mori zz"l : I
    halakhic portion of various yahrzeit derashot
    no publisher given, 1983.

14. Shiurim le-zekher abba Mori zz"l : II  
    halakhic portion of various yahrzeit derashot
    no publisher given, 1985.

15. Hiddiushei ha-Gran ve-ha-Grid.
    joint Torah thoughts of R. Soloveitchik and his father on the
    laws of sacrifices. Apparantly from notes of his son Hayim.
    Genesis Jerusalem Institute
    no date given but has to be 1993.

16. Reshimot Shiurim - Succah
    edited version of R. Soloveitchik's shiurim of succah
    by Rav H. Reichman
    photoset by Perfect Type Association, Cleveland, 1988.

17. Reshimot Shiurim - Shevuot, Nedarim
    edited version of R. Soloveitchik's shiurim of Shevuot and Nedarim
    by Rav. H. Reichman
    photoset by Perfect Type Association, Cleveland, 1993.

    There is also a book, Kavod ha-rav dedicated to his forty years
as rosh ha-yeshiva at Yeshiva University. It contains articles from
R. Feinstein, R. Ruderman, R. Gifter and various rabbis from YU and
    books by R. Soloveitchik's brother, R. Ahron Soloveitchik.

1.  Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind
    Genesis Jerusalem Press 1991

2.  The Warmth and the Light
    Genesis Jerusalem Press, 1992.
    on the weekly sedra, Bereshit and Shemot.

    His son, Hayim Soloveitchik has several books on history and
halakha from Magnes Press, hebrew University.

Eli Turkel


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1993 1:28:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hesped for the Rav - Boston, R' Aaron

In v6n98, Avi asked whether anyone on the list who had been at the levaya
of the Rav could give an account of the hesped given by the Rav's brother
R. Aaron Soloveichik. Since no one else has replied to this request so far,
I will give it a try, although I am certainly not the best person to do
it. I heard the hesped from pretty far back in the Maimonides School gym,
over the closed circuit TV system, and was not able to understand some parts
of it. I hope that someone else who was there, or who has access to a tape
or transcript of it, can fill us in on these parts.

R. Aaron started by referring to the familiar metaphor of the Torah as
light, and expanded this metaphor to describe the different roles of the
Rav, his father R. Moshe, and his grandfather R. Chaim.  R. Chaim lived in
a world where Torah was accepted and familiar, and he only had to
_reflect_ it to the people, which is the simplest thing that can be done
with light. In America, R. Moshe faced a more difficult problem. He had
to convey light from the rarefied medium of the traditional Jewish world
to a denser medium, where Torah was not as well understood. This required
_refraction_ of the light, in order to reach the people. The Rav had an
even more difficult task, conveying Torah to a world that was not only
ignorant but hostile to it, i.e. an opaque medium. This required
_diffraction_ of light, breaking it up into all colors of the rainbow, not
simply teaching Torah in the traditional way, but analyzing it in terms
of philosophy, etc.

He then went on to discuss Gen. 37:4, about Joseph's brothers' resentment
of him. The word "vayisn'u" is usually translated as "they hated" but R.
Aaron felt that "hated" or even "disliked" was too strong a word, that a
better translation would be "resented." All of the brothers, he explained,
had the potential, but only Joseph lived up to his full potential in
learning from his father Jacob the Torah that Jacob had learned in the
yeshiva of Shem and Ever. It was for this reason that the brothers resented
Joseph. He went on to talk about Joseph's dreams, and his experiences
living in a pagan land, and becoming an important leader there.

Many people criticized the Rav, R. Aaron said, because he taught philosophy,
such as the Kuzari, not just teaching Torah in a traditional way. They
resented him because they were not able to analyze the Torah, to break it 
up it into many colors (the ketonet passim, Joseph's coat of many colors)
as he was. But this diffraction of the light of Torah was necessary in
this time and place, in order to transmit it through an opaque medium to
the Jewish people.

The Rav was the only son of R. Moshe who was zocheh [worthy] to care for
him just before he was nifter. On his death bed, R. Moshe asked the Rav
to wash his hands, and say brachot for him when he woke up. (R. Aaron said
he did not want to favor any of the Rav's children, but wanted to point
out that his daughter and son-in-law, Atara and R. Yitzchak Twersky, were
similarly zocheh to care for the Rav in his final years.) R. Moshe then told
the Rav a midrash about Joseph, but I could not follow this. R. Aaron also 
said something about seeing R. Moshe lying on the floor in his tallis. [I 
hope someone can describe this part of the hesped, which I had a difficult
time understanding.]

The Rav inherited the "genes" of Volozhin [through his father] and Pruzhin
[through his mother]. When the second Beit Hamikdash was in flames, the
pirchei kahuna [young kohanim] climbed up on the roof and threw the
keys into the flames, whereupon a hand reached out from heaven and took
them. But, R. Aaron said, the pirchei kehuna should not have done this.
They should have kept the keys. If only they had kept the keys, the
Beit Hamikdash could have been rebuilt. The communities of Brisk, of
Volozhin, of Pruzhin, and all of the learning they contained, were
similarly destroyed in flames. R. Aaron concluded the hesped by saying,
almost shouting, "Don't throw the keys of Brisk and Volozhin into the 
flames! Keep the keys, and help to rebuild!"

Addendum: That night, between mincha and ma'ariv, I was fortunate to be in
on a conversation with Rabbi Israel Miller of Y.U., who was spending Pesach
with his daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Norman Kram, who are neighbors
of ours. Rabbi Miller, who knew the Rav well for decades, was asked whether
he though that R. Aaron held the opinion that teaching philosophy, and
using it to analyze the Torah, was a necessary evil, required because of
the times we live in, but would not be taught and learned by Jews in an 
ideal world. Rabbi Miller replied that R. Aaron clearly did hold that view,
but that he wasn't at all sure that the Rav held that view. He had, after
all, not only learned Kuzari, as R. Aaron had mentioned, but such
philosophers as Kant, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger.

Rabbi Miller also told a couple of stories about the Rav which I will
include here since they may be of interest. R. Miller was witness to two
historic meetings: the only meeting between the Rav and the Lubavitcher
Rebbe after they came to America, and the only meeting between the Rav
and Menachem Begin. The meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe occurred about
1961, when the Rebbe was sitting shiva for his mother. Although they had
been good friends in Berlin in the late 1920's, as Eli Turkel pointed out
in his biographical sketch, they did not engage in any kind of small talk
or personal conversation. Instead, they spoke about an interesting halachic
question which is permissible to talk about while sitting shiva. The Rebbe's
had davened ma'ariv on the evening his mother nifter, although she was
nifter before he had davened ma'ariv, since he did not know about it until
after he davened. The question came up of whether his period of mourning
would be considered to begin before or after ma'ariv. They discussed this
for about half and hour, well above the heads of everyone else who was
present. The Rav then stood up, said "Ha-makom yinachem..." ["May G-d
comfort you...", the traditional greeting to mourners] and left. He spoke
to the Rebbe on the phone several times after that, but never saw him in
person again.

The meeting with Menachem Begin occurred when Begin was visiting the United
States about 1978. Begin had expressed an interest in meeting the Rav and
offered to come up to Boston, but the Rav insisted on going to New York
to visit Begin, out of respect for the office of the Prime Minister
(the malkhut). To Rabbi Miller's surprise, they did not talk politics, but
instead Begin reminisced about his childhood in Brest-Litovsk (Brisk),
when the Rav's grandfather R. Chaim was the rabbi. R. Chaim, who (unlike
R. Moshe and the Rav) was very anti-Zionist, used to kick Begin out of shul
for engaging in Zionist activities.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 93 11:29:35 +0300
Subject: Kol Dodi Dofek

     With the recent passing of R. Soloveitchik zz"l and Israel
Independence day I thought I would use the opportunity to give
selections from his article, Kol Dodi Dofek. The article appears in the
collection, Divrei hagot ve-harakha. There is no indication when the
article itself appeared but from internal evidence it was written
approximately in 1963. As will become clear things have not changed in
the thirty years since then. The article is almost 50 pages long and so
I will just pick out portions of it. I am not aware of any English

    The article begins with a discussion of good and evil. In 
particular R. Soloveitchik says that Job was punished for not 
participating in the events of his generation even though he was very 
rich and could have helped out.The rav then turns to the six knocks 
(shesh defikot). He is referring to the establishment of the state of 
Israel and the six effects that he perceives that it had.
    1. the political effect, the knock of the secretary general of       
the UN in opening the debate on Israel. This was the only time that 
the US and the Soviet Union voted together on a major issue. R. 
Solovetchik feels that the UN was created just for this event.
    2. The knock on the miltary field. Israel defeats its enemies , 
the few against the many. G-d hardens the heart of the enemy to 
attack. Had the Arabs accepted the original plan Jerusalem would not 
have been included in the Jewish state.
    3. The knock in the theological arena. The Christians have always 
claimed that the Jews were driven out for their sins and the Catholic 
church inhertited the land in their turn. (The Vatican still refuses 
to recognize Israel). John Foster Dulles claims that the Arabs hate 
Israel because the Jews killed Mohammed. R. Soloveitchik says that 
this is a Freudian slip and he was covering up for the charge that the 
Jews killed Jesus. R. Soloveitchik says he enjoys reading the Catholic 
newspapers and their reporting on waiting for Israel's reaction to 
some event.
    4. The effect on the Jewish youth. It gives Jews everywhere a 
sense of self-worth and at least partially slows down assimilation. It 
makes it more difficult for Jews to deny their Jewishness.
    5. It demonstrates that Jewish blood is not free (hefker). An eye 
for an eye. Every person and every nation has the right of self-
defense. The Jewish liberals in Russia in 1905 claimed that Jews 
cannot get revenge under any circumstances but that is not the 
halakhic viewpoint (bah ba-machkteret). We cannot be dependent on the 
good graces of the super-powers for our defense. In the days of 
Hiltler no one cared about the Jews and it can happen again.
    6. Israel is now open for Jews in trouble around the world. Had 
the state existed during World War II hundreds of thousands would have 
been saved.

    The land of Israel was waiting for the return of the Jews. Every 
other country in the region was settled, only Israel remained 
desolate. Had another nation come and settled the land it would have 
been impossible for the Jews to return. The crusaders, the Turks and 
others conquered the land but no one really cultivated the land. The 
land blossomed only when the Jews returned. We have (justified) 
complaints against the non-religious leaders of the state. But to be 
fair the religious would have a much greater say in the affairs of the 
state if the religious had flocked to Israel. Even today (1963) the 
non-religious Jews give much larger sums to Israel than the religious 
ones. If money were available then more religious kibbutzim, schools 
etc. could be established. The Torah talks about the priest declaring 
a spot (negah) - tameh . Religious Jews are much better at blaming 
others than in improving the situation. The Jew cannot contribute much 
because the hotel in Florida raised its rates.
     The Rav then proceeds to define what makes the Jews a nation.
    1. A common historical heritage . Achashevrus (or Hitler) didn't 
differentiate between the religious or non-religious Jew, the poor , 
the rich.
    2. A common feeling between all sectors. If one part of the Jewish 
people are in trouble than we are all hurt. Just like a body where a 
sore in the foot affects the entire body.
    3. Activity of the Jews for Jews around the world. On the other 
hand the Jewish people is blamed because a few Jews were communists 
but no one would condemn the entire Russian people because their 
leaders are communists.
    4. Charity for Jews around the world.
Beyond this is the connection of the entire Jewish people to G-d and 
the Torah. The nonreligious don't realize that it is impossible to 
ever make the Jews like any other nation. The Jews will always be a 
separate entity and different whether they like it or not. (The rav then 
has a lengthy halakhic discussion of the 2 aspects of a nation, 
physical and spiritual and its affect on conversion)
     What should be the relation of American Jewry to Israel ? The rav 
blames the American-Jewish community (including himself) for not 
reacting to the Holocaust in Europe. We must not make the same mistake 
again and ignore Israel. Anyone who thinks that Israel has weakened
anti-semitism is wrong. The whole world uses Israel as an excuse to 
pick on the Jews. It is imperative for American-Jewry come to the 
defense of Israel. We believe that we are a separate people and use 
this a stepping stone to becoming a holy people.

In case anyone thinks that these opinions are agreed by everyone I will
quote from two responsa of gedolim with very different attitudes towards
people they consider as being less religious.

    When Germany first proclamated laws against the Jews in Germany 
Agudat Israel in Eastern Europe proclaimed a day of fasting and prayer 
on their behalf. They wrote to many rabbis to sign on the 
proclamation. One famous rabbi refused on the ground that the German 
Jews were wicked and deserved the punishment they were getting. Even 
in the incense  (ketoret)chelbaba (a bad smelling spice) was included 
only because it was only a small fraction, but if most of the people 
are wicked than the entire society deserves to be destroyed.

   When Poale Aguda wanted to raise money to support their kibbutzim
that had financial problems in leaving the fields fallow during shemitta, 
one prominent rabbi refused to sign the petition. He said that the youth 
groups of Poale Aguda had boys and girls together and so they were sinners 
and could not be supported even to do a mitzvah especially since shemittah 
today is only a rabbinic requirement.

Eli Turkel


End of Volume 7 Issue 1