By: Commentator Staff  | 

Dr. J. Soloveitchik Advises Dedication of Body to Deity (Vol. 13, Issue 7)

Commemorating the seventh anniversary of his father’s death, Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik lectured here in Yiddish to an audience drawn from several of New York's Talmud schools.

A complex and highly erudite discourse honored the memory of the late Rabbi Moses Soloveitchik, who preceded his son as ranking professor of Talmud at the Seminary.

Concluding extensive halachik remarks, Dr. Soloveitchik quoted the familiar verse from the prayer rendered at the end of a meal: “The name of the Lond shall be blessed from now unto eternity.” He inferred several philosophic concepts from the words “now” and “eternity.”

Jewish Faith Not Mystical

“The Jewish, faith differs from the mystical in that it accounts for the ‘now,’ in that it includes the present material life. It is not difficult to pray to God; to eat in His presence, to eat for him involves a higher dedication.

“The mystic makes light of material concerns. We answer, ‘Only if the body serves God truly can the soul grasp His omnipotence. But if the body is allowed to live its own life, then the soul's understanding of divinity is vitiated.’

“‘Eternity’ balances the ‘now.’ Disavowing the mystic, we also disavow the epicurean who believes only in materialism.”