Articles by Avraham Wein

Of Concepts and Precision: Understanding Torat Brisk

During the lifetime of Rabbi Hayyim Soloveitchik (1853-1918), a revolution occurred in the world of Talmud Torah. Despite the well known aversion of the leaders of this movement to publish, what has been termed the “Brisker method” caught fire in yeshivot and quickly became an extremely ... Read more →

Letter from the Editor

In the newly published Toras HoRav volume titled Halakhic Morality, Rabbi Soloveitchik distinguishes between two aspects of Jewish life: a derekh ha-hayyim and signon ha-hayyim. The derekh ha-hayyim, way of life, is universal. As signified by the Shulhan Arukh, each Jew needs to follow the ... Read more →

Of Priorities and Perspective: Land for Peace in the Thought of Religious Zionist Thinkers

In the aftermath of the Baruch Goldstein massacre,[1] Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and rosh yeshiva of its hesder yeshiva, eulogized Goldstein in front of the beit midrash of the yeshiva. This eulogy horrified Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion, and ... Read more →

Of Obligation, Brotherhood, and Confusion: Why Did Yonah Run?

In the waning hours of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, the book of Yonah is read. A standard explanation for this practice is that Nineveh’s repentance and subsequent redemption following God’s decree serve as both a critical and timely reminder of the opportunity for ... Read more →

Of Perspective and Paradox: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Analysis of Holiness

In[1] the opening of his famous essay “Sacred and Profane,” Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik writes, “In the same fashion that kodesh and hol form the spiritual framework of our halakha, so do the kodesh and hol determine the dichotomy of living experience into sacred and profane… This ... Read more →

Of Sensitivity and Humility: An Exposition of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein’s Approach to the Suffering of Others

  Over the course of the last century, two immeasurably significant events occurred in Jewish history. The first was the Holocaust, which consisted of the murder of six million Jews and the suffering of countless more. The second was the establishment of the State of Israel, a redemption ... Read more →

Of Angels and Men: Peshat As A Universal Tool

In the opening pages of Family Redeemed, Rabbi Soloveitchik proclaims:[i] [ii] “I am sorry to say that many Jews don’t look to Bible for guidance and that its spiritual message, so indispensable for man today, is completely ignored. Our approach to Biblical interpretation is too often ... Read more →