Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
Edited by Rabbi Menachem D. Genack
Published in Association with the OU Press
"In my experiential - not intellectual - memory, two nights stand out as singular, as endowed with a unique and fascinating quality, exalted in their holiness and shining with a dazzling beauty: the night of the Seder and the night of Kol Nidrei. As a child I was fascinated, indeed entranced, by these two clear, moonlit nights, both wrapped in grandeur and majesty. I used to feel stimulated, aroused, inspired; illuminating vision heightened my senses, which were sharpened and liberated from all inhibitions. A strange silence, stillness, peace, quiet, and serenity enveloped me. I surrendered to a stream of overflowing joy and ecstasy." ~ Excerpted from The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, known to all the "the Rav," was one of the Torah giants and seminal Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century. For him, the Seder night was a magnificent experience, an exalted evening like no other in the year. Uplifted by the grandeur of the Seder, the Rav filled page after page of his writings and lectures with his extraordinary insights and brilliant analysis of its text, the Haggadah.
In an attempt to convey the excitement and inspiration felt by the Rav on the Seder night, many of his most remarkable and penetrating commentaries have been collected in this Haggadah. It includes excerpts from his public lectures, from published works and unpublished tapes, as well as reconstructions of his lectures on the Haggadah and Pesah (the laws of Passover). The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening offers a glimpse into the originality and brilliance of the Rav's teachings as he uncovers new dimensions of meaning and significance in the Haggadah.
About the Author
Rabbi Soloveitchik zt"l (1903-1993) was not only one of the outstanding talmudists of the twentieth century, but also one of its most creative and seminal Jewish thinkers. Drawing from a vast reservoir of Jewish and general knowledge, "the Rav," as he is widely known, brought Jewish thought and law to bear on the interpretation and assessment of the modern experience. For over four decades, Rabbi Soloveitchik commuted weekly from his home in Brookline, Massachusetts to New York City, where he gave the senior shiur (class in Talmud) at Yeshiva University's affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), where he taught and inspired generations of students, among them many of the future leaders of all areas of Jewish communal life. By his extensive personal teaching and influence, he contributed vitally to the dynamic resurgence of Orthodox Judaism in America.