Kol Dodi Dofek: Confronting today’s reality

February 26, 2015

By Alan Jay GerberMajesty and Humility

This week, I shall focus on the legacy of a speech by the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik originally delivered in Yiddish before a gathering of the Religious Zionists of American in May 1956 on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. It was subsequently expanded upon, translated into Hebrew, and ultimately into English where it gained traction among many elements within the intellectual community of American Jewry.

The emotional heft inherent in its teachings, especially in the Rav’s perspective of the horrors of the Holocaust and the historic legacy of Jew hatred through the ages, has given this address (published as a book, “Kol Dodi Dofek: Listen, My Beloved Knocks,” KTAV Publishing House 2006) the richly deserved status of a Jewish theological class. This theological spin of the Rav’s work on this delicate subject was viewed by many serious scholars as a pivotal moment in the reality that Jews have come to face concerning the hostile world around them.

In his classic work, “Majesty and Humility” (Urim/OU Press, 2012), detailing the thoughts of the Rav, Rabbi Reuven Ziegler goes into great detail concerning the deeper meanings of “Kol Dodi Dofek.” In his review of this work by Rabbi Ziegler, the late Prof. Charles M. Raffel of Stern College wrote the following concerning Rabbi Ziegler’s treatment of the Rav’s teachings on this subject: Read the rest of this entry »

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A Review of Majesty and Humility: The Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

November 17, 2013

by Charles M. RaffelMajesty and Humility

R. Reuven Ziegler’s examination of the Rav’s religious philosophy in this new book is an invaluable resource to perpetuate a meaningful appreciation of the Rav’s legacy. He provides a clear overview of the major essays and significant themes, with patient attention to fleshing out the underlying philosophic ideas of the Rav’s writings….

One may reasonably conclude that a cadre of students, educated and enlightened by this comprehensive and accessible book, will emerge with sufficient fluency in the Rav’s writings to meaningfully engage the original texts on their own. For offering such a luminous entry into the heart of the Rav’s philosophy, we are all in R. Ziegler’s debt.

This review first appeared in the Torah U’Madda Journal


Majesty and Humility: A Review

June 9, 2013

by Alex OzarMajesty and Humility

Soloveitchik aimed to provide his students with a window into the soul of a genuinely religious individual, to open their hearts to the depth and breadth of a full-blooded experience of faith. For modern man in search of authentic religion, both the intellectual brilliance and the spiritual resonance of Soloveitchik’s thought can, with due investment of energy and care, provide invaluable direction, illumination, and inspiration. Reuven Ziegler’s Majesty and Humility is a good place to start.

This review originally appeared in First Things.