Majesty and Humility

The Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

By Reuven Ziegler

Edited by Jacob J. Schacter

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 432

ISBN: 978-965-524-076-4


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Majesty and Humility:
The Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
Rabbi Reuven Ziegler
Preface by Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein

Foreword by Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter
Published by Urim Publications in association with Maimonides School and the OU Press
Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik was not only one of the outstanding Talmudists and religious leaders of the twentieth century, but also one of its most creative and seminal Jewish thinkers. This comprehensive study of Rabbi Soloveitchik's religious philosophy offers a broad perspective and balanced understanding of his work. By interpreting and analyzing both individual essays and overarching themes in an accessible and engaging manner, it uncovers the depth, majesty and fascination of his thought.
"Rabbi Soloveitchik was well-known and highly respected for his original mind and charismatic personality, his intimate knowledge of the totality of Jewish tradition and mastery of Western philosophy, his intense fealty to the mesorah combined with a real openness to the best in the surrounding world, his radical intellectual honesty and demanding search for truth, his dazzling intellect and total lack of pretense, his extraordinary power of self-revelation and deep-seated sense of privacy, his courage to blaze his own trail and do what he felt was right even when it was not easy." ~ From the Foreword by Rabbi Dr. J.J. Schachter
What needs to endure for the future is the substance of his ideas, the compelling nature of his teachings, and the content of his Torah. And for this we express deep and profound gratitude to Rabbi Reuven Ziegler. Rabbi Ziegler has devoted many years to studying the works of the Rav and we are the beneficiaries of his wisdom and his efforts He has done a masterful job in formulating the teachings and world-view of the Rav in a clear, organized, thoughtful and comprehensive way. Through a careful analysis of the many works of the Rav, Rabbi Ziegler has succeeded in explicating his complex ideas and complicated language in a comprehensible manner and making them accessible to a wide audience interested in more fully understanding and appreciating the world of this spiritual and intellectual giant of Torah. Moving from theme to theme and through essay after essay in the Rav's multi-faceted oeuvre, and with complete mastery of the growing secondary literature on his subject, Rabbi Ziegler's careful and sensitive analysis is extraordinarily insightful, highly compelling and exceptionally well-done. The world of Rabbi Soloveitchik the person has been lost, but the world of Rabbi Soloveitchik the thinker, author and teacher has been gracefully and magnificently preserved.
About the Author
Rabbi Reuven Ziegler is Director of Research and Archives of the Toras HoRav Foundation and has edited numerous volumes of Rabbi Soloveitchik's writings. He is also a founder of Yeshivat Har Etzion's Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash and serves as its Editor-in-Chief.
About the Series Editor
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University and Senior Scholar at its Center for the Jewish Future.
Praise for Majesty and Humility
"Rabbi Ziegler's Majesty and Humility constitutes a meaningful contribution to our corpus of Jewish religious thought Readers familiar with both the Rav's persona and his writing will be favorably impressed by the sensitivity manifested in the book - both that of its author and that of his subject.... Such a study must be judged by the quality of its content, by the incisiveness of its insight, by the depth of its probes, by its innovative clarity.... I trust that my vote of confidence in this opus is fully justified, as it is indeed deserving of high regard with respect to the foregoing criteria."
~ Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein, Rosh Ha-Yeshivah, Yeshivat Har Etzion
"This volume is an ideal entree into Rabbi Soloveitchik's thought - but is even more than that. By skillfully drawing connections between various writings, by clarifying many challenging ideas and passages, and by integrating the Rav's life with his thought, Rabbi Ziegler presents fresh, penetrating perspectives and insights that will enlighten even seasoned readers. The author makes demanding philosophical works exciting and accessible. All who care about Jewish thought should read this outstanding work."
~ Dr. David Shatz, Professor of Philosophy, Yeshiva University
Maimonides School ( is a landmark of Jewish learning and tradition in New England. Founded in 1937 by the venerated Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt"l, its pillars include excellence in Judaic and general studies, a richness of Jewish tradition, an unconditional love for the State of Israel, and a spirit of kindness and compassion - for fellow Jews and all of society.
The Rabbi Soloveitchik Library, under the auspices of Maimonides School, is a collection of volumes designed to enhance the understanding and appreciation of one of the greatest Torah giants of twentieth century Jewish life.