Audio Roundup Special: R Yosef Blau

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by Joel Rich

This is a series of chaburot given by R Y Blau at Stern College. He intends to continue them in next fall’s semester.


Rabbi Yosef Blau-Kol Dodi Dofek

Chaburah #1

History of Soloveitchik family, Zionism and kol dodi dofek. It was originally written and delivered in Yiddish and later translated to Hebrew (and edited and added to by R YBS). R Kook and R YBS had different approaches to religious Zionism.

Kol dodi dofeik begins with a discussion for theodicy as background for approaching the shoah.

Chaburah #2

Fate (man as subject) turning into destiny (man as object) was R YBS’s response to theodicy. We can’t see the whole picture so asking why isn’t fruitful, rather ask what does HKBH want from me now?

Chaburah #3

Iyov’s original issue was a lack of empathy/communal responsibility. The orthodox community must maintain its orthodoxy while guiding the entire Jewish community towards our shared destiny.

Chaburah #4

We must analyze (not ask “why”) nisyonot for lessons and take responsibility for responding to the perceived message sent to the klal (even without 100% certainty) (me – it’s not an algorithm but weight of evidence) the message in the 40’s was HKBH’s knocking on our door.

Chaburah #5

The shoah was about hester panim. The state of israel was HKBH’s reintroducing himself through history. The reintroduction is seen through the ”six knocks” which includes political, military and theological hints.

Chaburah #6

Israel was viewed as a refuge, it needed population and investment which was supplied primarily by the non-orthodox community. R YBS developed the brit avot (mitzraim)/fate and brit sinai/destiny covenants as a framework for joint efforts with the non-orthodox.

Chaburah #7

Fuller development of working with the non-orthodox through the fate/destiny covenants. The responsibility shows by the non-orthodox regarding the state of israel was of “religious” significance.

Chaburah #8

Our free will is used in our efforts to imitato dei (vhalachta bdrachov). We have always needed to support each other out of fear of our enemies but we have an additional lawyer added that our by common destiny. The state of israel should reflect our common destiny.

Chaburah #9

Discussion of the brit goral and brit yiud (jewish identity and destiny) as represented at the “conversion” of the jewish people.

Chaburah #10

More on brit goral and brit yiud including applications to religious Zionism. Also covered, R Moshe Soloveitchik on amalek today.

Chaburah #11

What unique role can religious zionism play in the zionistic project? We can’t eliminate fate (antisemitism) but we can raise israel to the level of destiny. Also discussed, R YBS v R Kook on the role of the diaspora, the state and messianism.


About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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