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SOCIETY & SELF: ON THE WRITINGS OF RABBI JOSEPH B. SOLOVEITCHIK
SOCIETY & SELF: ON THE WRITINGS OF RABBI JOSEPH B. SOLOVEITCHIK
 
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Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the towering rabbinic figure of the twentieth century, was known as much for his creative philosophical articulation of major Jewish themes as for his brilliance in the realm of Jewish law. Professor Gerald Blidstein, recipient of the Israel Prize and one of the preeminent contemporary academicians in the field of Jewish thought, has long been a student of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s work and has written widely on it. Society and Self brings together Professor Blidstein’s most thoughtful and thought-provoking essays, challenging those who are familiar with Rabbi Soloveitchik’s teachings to reconsider some of their basic notions of his ideas, and introducing others to this rarified world in an accessible manner. Does Rabbi Soloveitchik fit the mold of the conventional religious Zionist? What does he really think of relationships and interaction with the non-Jewish world? How does the inherent tension between the individual and the community play out in his thought? What do the physical, emotional, religious, and philosophical aspects of marriage tell us about the Jewish view of the marital union? How should we understand death and mourning? Clearly expressed and cogently argued, Society and Self tackles these and other questions with a subtle and nuanced understanding of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s thought. Some may find Professor Blidstein’s conclusions surprising and unconventional; all will be rewarded by his elegant style, perceptive analysis, and impeccable scholarship.

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