Soloveitchik, Joseph

Soloveitchik, Joseph

(sŏ'ləvā`chĭk), 1903–93, Jewish Talmudist and philosopher. Born into a rabbinic family in Poland, he was educated according to his grandfather's analytical method of Talmud study and also earned a Ph.D. at the Univ. of Berlin in 1931. In 1932 he came to the United States where he became rabbi in Boston. In 1941 he succeeded his father as professor of Talmud at Yeshiva Univ., New York. In essays and especially in oral discourse, Soloveitchik stressed the need for halakahhalakah
or halacha
[Heb.,=law], in Judaism, the body of law regulating all aspects of life, including religious ritual, familial and personal status, civil relations, criminal law, and relations with non-Jews.
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 as a means of gaining mastery over one's own nature, as well as for drawing closer to God. As a teacher, and as chairman of the Halakah Commission of the Rabbinical Council of America, he exerted a large influence over mainstream Orthodox Jewry in America.

Bibliography

See his Halakhic Man (1944, tr. 1983) and The Halakhic Mind (1984).

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