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Covenental Imperatives: Essays by Walter S. Wurzburger on Jewish Law, Thought, and Community » (05)

Book cover image of Covenental Imperatives: Essays by Walter S. Wurzburger on Jewish Law, Thought, and Community by Shalom Carmy

Authors: Shalom Carmy
ISBN-13: 9789655240009, ISBN-10: 9655240002
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Urim Publications
Date Published: August 2008
Edition: 05

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Author Biography: Shalom Carmy

Rabbi Walter S. Wurzburger, Ph.D. (1920 2002), a distinguished leader and teacher in the Jewish community for nearly sixty years, was a vital force in modern Orthodox thought. He taught philosophy at Yeshiva University for thirty-five years and held rabbinic posts in Boston and Toronto prior to leading Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence, New York from 1967 to 1994, remaining rabbi emeritus until his death. During his quarter-century as the Editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought, he helped shape the agenda of the modern Orthodox community and elevated its ideological discourse significantly. Rabbi Wurzburger served as the President of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Rabbinical Council of Canada and the Synagogue Council of America. He is the author of two books: Ethics of Responsibility: Pluralistic Approaches to Covenantal Ethics and God Is Proof Enough. He also co-edited A Treasury of Tradition. Rabbi Wurzburger, who received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and remained one of his most faithful students, was ordained at Yeshiva University and received his MA and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is survived by Naomi, his wife of fifty-five years, and their children and grandchildren. Rabbi Shalom Carmy, who teaches Jewish studies and philosophy at Yeshiva University, is an Editor of the series Me-Otzar ho-Rav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Carmy is also the Editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. A graduate of Rutgers University, Elie Jacobs attended Yeshivat Shaa€arei Mevaseret Zion in Israel. Elie works as a public relations consultant and lives in NewYork City.

Book Synopsis

Covenantal Imperatives, a collection of essays selected from the nearly six decades of Rabbi Walter Wurzburger's illustrious career, combines the author's master of Halakhah with a deep understanding of Jewish philosophy. By adopting religious cohesion as the cornerstone of his ideas, Rabbi Wurzburger builds a case for the meeting point of ethics and traditional Judaism, delving deeply into the thoughts of some of the greatest Jewish thinkers, especially those of his teacher, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Covering topics ranging from cooperation with non-Orthodox branches of Judaism, the Sabbath, and his concept of modern Orthodoxy, Rabbi Wurzburger's essays are a true representation of the work of an original thinker and leader in the American Jewish community.

Table of Contents

Preface Norman Lamm Lamm, Norman 9

Acknowledgements Eliezer L. Jacobs Jacobs, Eliezer L. 11

Introduction Shalom Carmy Carmy, Shalom 14

Pt. I On Ethics

Foundations of Jewish Ethics 21

What Is Unique About Jewish Ethics? 33

Covenantal Imperatives 46

Darkhei Shalom 55

Law as the Basis of a Moral Society 61

Religion and Morality 75

Pt. II On Jewish Thought

The Centrality of Virtue-Ethics in Maimonides 91

Imitatio Dei in Maimonides's Sefer-Ha-Mitzvot and the Mishneh Torah 100

Rabbi Hayyim of Volozhin 105

Samson Raphael Hirsch's Doctrine of Inner Revelation 123

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik as a Posek of Postmodern Orthodoxy 133

The Centrality of Creativity in the Thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik 150

The Maimonidean Matrix of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's Two-Tiered Ethics 161

Imitatio Dei in the Philosophy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik 172

Pt. III On Jewish Community

Cooperation With Non-Orthodox Jews 193

Confronting the Challenge of the Values of Modernity 202

Centrist Orthodoxy: Ideology Or Atmosphere? 212

Religious Zionism: Compromise Or Ideal? 220

Pt. IV On Jewish Life

Alienation and Exile 229

Orthodox Judaism and Human Purpose 239

A Jewish Theology and Philosophy of the Sabbath 258

Meta-Halakhic Propositions 270

Tradition as Away to the Future: A Jewish Perspective 281

The Faith of the Jewish People 289

On the Authority in the Halakhah 295

Halakhah: The Tensions Between the Claims of Tradition and the Claims of the Self 300

Pluralism and the Halakhah 308

Credits 327