Review of Moadei HaRav

MoadeiHaRav web1By Rabbi Ari Enkin

Rabbi Shlomo Pick’s “Moadei Harav” is a welcome and refreshing window into the thought, style, and rulings of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik. This may very well be the clearest and most readable book on the Rav that offers readers of all levels a glimpse into the world of Rav Soloveitchik’s halachic teachings. Most other books on Rav Soloveitchik empathize his philosophy, and they are not always the most reader-friendly volumes.

I found almost all the essays to be practical and of great interest. Except for the entry on the status of Eretz Yisrael (“shem eretz yisrael” vs. “kedushat eretz yisrael”) all essays revolve around the holidays (hence the name of the book). Some of the essays I enjoyed most are the status of Kriat Shema on Yom Kippur (a davar shebekedusha?), Pirsumei Nissa of Chanuka (the difference between “revealing” and “demonstrating” the miracles of Chanuka) , the Status of  “Simcha” of the two days of Purim, the status of Purim eve (a detailed discussion on ata kadosh, kaddish titkabel, and shehecheyanu), the Mitzva of Charoset (Rav Soloveitchik’s interpretation of the Rambam), and the setting of the date of Shavuot (a look at several rishonim).

There is an extensive introduction of essays on the Rav and his style of Torah study and Talmudic analysis. This is a quality publication suitable for all.

This review originally appeared on Torah Book Reviews.

Review of Torah Mysteries Illuminated

By Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins TMI-pasteon.indd

This book is a collection of fascinating discussions related to Jewish thought. From holidays to daily commandments, Thomas Furst articulates an original approach in understanding fundamental questions and lessons in Judaism, including the implications of Shabbat and the importance of learning Torah in Israel. The essays provide clear answers for broad questions that focus on laws and traditions which stem from the Hebrew Bible. Continue reading “Review of Torah Mysteries Illuminated