Journal

On the Love of Torah and the Redemption of This Generation’s Soul

by Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik The following is a translation by David Derovan of a portion of a Hebrew article by Rav Soloveitchik which was published in Divrei Hashkafah, W.Z.O. Department for Torah Education and Culture for the Diaspora: Jerusalem 1992, pp. 241-258. The article first appeared in Hebrew in HaDo’ar, New York, 1 Sivan 5720, 1960. (Words in parenthesis ...

Read More »

Shavuot: Flowers and Greenery

by R. Ari Enkin There is a widespread1 custom to decorate the home2 and synagogue with plants, flowers, and other greenery in honor of Shavuot.3 The Vilna Gaon, however, opposed the custom due to its similarity to a Christian holiday practice.4 Some say that the Vilna Gaon only opposed the use of trees as part of the Shavuot decorations, but ...

Read More »

Using Manuscripts in Learning

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz, author of the recently published The Neshamah: A Study of the Human Soul The Sugya The Gemara in Nedarim 3b seeks an example of the prohibition to violate a vow or oath: “He shall not violate his word – לא יחל דברו (Devarim 30:3).” The Gemara suggests a case of a person who takes a vow (נדר) ...

Read More »

When Social Justice Replaces Judaism

by David P. Goldman Review of To Heal the World?: How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel, by Jonathan Neumann (All Points/St. Martins, 2018, 288 pages)   What are the Jews good for? Six out of ten American Jews marry out (seven out of ten excluding the Orthodox), which suggests that even they don’t have an answer. Few children ...

Read More »

Shabbat Afternoon

by R. Ari Enkin Three of our greatest leaders passed away on a Shabbat afternoon: David, Yosef, and according to most sources, Moshe Rabbeinu.1 Other sources seem to indicate that Moshe Rabbeinu died on a Friday.2 A number of customs are observed on Shabbat afternoons to commemorate their passing, some of which are lesser-known and may even go completely unnoticed ...

Read More »

Vihi Noam

by R. Ari Enkin A short reading, known as “vihi noam,” is recited after the shemoneh esrei at Ma’ariv on motza’ei Shabbat. It opens with the verse “vihi noam,”1 (hence the name of the reading) and continues with Tehillim chapter 91 and “v’atah kadosh”.2 V’atah kadosh is essentially the “uva l’tzion” prayer but without its opening verses of redemption. The ...

Read More »

The Fourth Knock

by Dr. Arnold Lustiger A Reassessment of the “Fourth Knock” in Kol Dodi Dofek First presented as an address by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik at Yeshiva University on Yom HaAtzmaut in 1956 which was later published, Kol Dodi Dofek has become a classic text of religious Zionist philosophy. Kol Dodi Dofek discusses theodicy and the Holocaust as well as the ...

Read More »

Between Evil and Hypocrisy: Passover Perspectives on the Punishments of Pharaoh

Between Evil and Hypocrisy: Passover Perspectives on the Punishments of Pharaoh A Yiddish Lecture delivered by R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Parshat Beshalach, 11 January 1957 Transcribed and edited by R. Basil Herring in honor of the Rav’s 25th Yahrzeit, in Nissan 5778, and in recognition of his unparalleled greatness and brilliance as a teacher of Torah to his and ...

Read More »