Rav Soloveitchik Searches for God
Join Rabbi Jeffrey Saks as he explores Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik‘s essay “Uvikkashtem miSham” (in English: And From There You Shall Seek). How can the individual seek out God? What is the mystery of Devekut (cleaving to Him)? How does engagement with the natural and spiritual worlds aid us and fail us in our quest? How does God ultimately find us instead? — These questions stand at the center of this important sequel and companion text to Rabbi Soloveitchik‘s monumental Halakhic Man.
NOTE: It is highly recommended but not obligatory, to purchase “Uvikkashtem miSham.” It can be found on Amazon HERE.
Rav Soloveitchik Searches for God: Lesson 1
Introduction-In this series we will undertake a careful read of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s essay וביקשתם משם in its English translation And from There You Shall Seek (MeOtzar HaRav, 2009) – available HERE on Amazon. While we will make sections of the work available online, it is highly recommended that you purchase the book.
This work, which explores the religious quest, is very much a follow-up to his monumental Halakhic Man (visit our series on that earlier work HERE.) For an introduction to the Rav’s life and thought, listen HERE.
Rav Soloveitchik Searches for God: Lesson 3
Rav Soloveitchik Searches for God: Lesson 5
Yearning Yet Fearful Heart-Continuing with chapter 5 (pp. 39-45). Consider the verse at Exodus 33:20 — what is it saying about the God encounter? — and let us touch on The Rav, Stephen Hawking, Black Holes and Fear of the Dark From the March 14, 2018 NY Times obituary of Stephen Hawking: Having spent the best part of his life grappling with black holes and cosmic doom, Dr. Hawking had no fear of the dark. “They’re named black holes because they are related to human fears of being destroyed or gobbled up,” he once told an interviewer. “I don’t have fears of being thrown into them. I understand them. I feel in a sense that I am their master.” The implications for our discussion of knowledge leading to awe and away from fear should be clear.
Rav Soloveitchik Searches for God: Lesson 11
Rav Soloveitchik Searches for God: Lesson 13
Rav Soloveitchik Searches for God: Lesson 14
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding director of ATID – The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education, in Jerusalem, and its WebYeshiva.org program. He is the Editor of the journal Tradition, Series Editor of The S.Y. Agnon Library at The Toby Press, and Director of Research at the Agnon House in Jerusalem. A three-time graduate of Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semicha), Rabbi Saks has published widely on Jewish thought, education, and literature (see webyeshiva.org/rabbisaks).