The Lonely Man of Faith

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9781613290033: The Lonely Man of Faith

The Lonely Man of Faith is a timeless philosophical essay by one of the twentieth century's greatest Jewish philosophers, Talmudic scholars, and religious leaders, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. In this classic work, Rabbi Soloveitchik probes the inner experience of those who seek both redemptive closeness with God and creative engagement with the world. With characteristic brilliance and eloquence, he delineates the struggle of people of faith to navigate between seemingly contradictory aspects of the human condition: the spiritual and the material, the religious and the scientific, the covenantal and the majestic.

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From the Inside Flap:

Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the rabbi known as "The Rav" by his followers worldwide, was a leading authority on the meaning of Jewish law and prominent force in building bridges between traditional Orthodox Judaism and the modern world. In THE LONELY MAN OF FAITH, a soaring, eloquent essay first published in "Tradition magazine in 1965, Soloveitchik investigates the essential loneliness of the person of faith in our narcissistic, materially oriented, utilitarian society. In this modern classic, Soloveitchik uses the story of Adam and Eve as a springboard, interweaving insights from such important Western philosophers as Kierkegaard and Kant with innovative readings of Genesis to provide guidance for the faithful in today's world. He explains prayer as "the harbinger of moral reformation," and discusses with empathy and understanding the despair and exasperation of individuals who seek personal redemption through direct knowledge of a God who seems remote and unapproachable. He shows that while the faithful may become members of a religious community, their true home is "the abode of loneliness." In a moving personal testimony, Soloveitchik demonstrates a deep-seated commitment, intellectual courage, and integrity that people of all religions will respond to.

About the Author:

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik—known as the Rav—was one of the twentieth century’s most preeminent and influential Jewish scholars. Born in 1903 in Belarus, Russia to a family renowned for its talmudic genius, and a graduate of the University of Berlin with a doctorate in philosophy, the Rav represented a halakhically-centered Orthodoxy engaged with the world. In the early 1930s, the Rav accepted the position of Chief Rabbi of Boston, the city that remained his home until his death in 1993. In the early 1940s, the Rav succeeded his father as the rosh yeshiva of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, a position he held with great distinction until ill health forced his retirement in 1985. As rosh yeshiva, he became the spiritual mentor of thousands of American-trained rabbis and was universally acknowledged as the intellectual leader of an open and engaged Orthodoxy.

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