By: Yosef Lemel  | 

Archival Compilation: The Yahrtzeit of the Rav

Today marks the 28th yahrtzeit of Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Much has been written by and about this gadol, a fixture in Yeshiva and modern Jewish history. In honor of his yahrtzeit, The Commentator has republished 16 articles relating to the aftermath of his passing, including many reflections from his students including Rabbi Norman Lamm, Rabbi Yosef Blau and Rabbi Shalom Carmy.


YU Azkara Mourns Passing of the Rav 
By: Jamin Koslowe | News | April 28, 1993 
“Dr. Lamm said that the Rav’s genius caused him to experience a great deal of personal loneliness. The Rav’s only real friend was the Rambam. According to Dr. Lamm, this sense of alienation manifested itself in the Rav’s overall conception of life, especially in his analytical approach.”

Thousands Attend Rav’s Funeral in Brookline
By: Jamin Koslowe | News | April 28, 1993
“Rav Aaron called his brother ‘the founder of the spiritual life of Jewish people. He had to penetrate information into students who were raised in an environment hostile to the Torah.’” 

Teachings of The Rav: Something for Us to Remember
By: The Commentator Editorial Board | Editorials | April 28, 1993 
“Fortunately, the Yeshiva is providing the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Rav through the eyes and words of his talmidim, our Roshei Yeshiva.”

The Challenge of Change 
By: The Commentator Editorial Board | Editorials | April 28, 1993 
“To paraphrase Dr. Lamm’s hesped, do not distort the Rav and his teachings, but realize and act upon them.”

From the Editor’s Desk: Recognizing the Rosh HaYeshiva 
By: Michael Z. Kellman | Editorials | April 28, 1993 
“The Rav is gone, his equal will not be found. Yet, we must discover how to continue to live in his absence, with our Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Norman Lamm.” 

“Only the Rav Could be Maspid the Rav”
By: Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“Despite the austere majesty and the irrepressible dynamism of his shiurim, and despite the fear of coming to a class of the Rav unprepared, we intuitively knew that we had a friend — a father, an older brother — in him.” 

“A Relentless Search for Conceptual Understanding”
By: Dr. Norman Linzer | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“At Wurzweiler, we require every student to read and study the Rav’s “Lonely Man of Faith” in the Jewish Social Philosophy class. Over 3000 students have been fortunate to grapple with the concept of man’s duality as portrayed in the two Adams and to apply this typology to social work and other aspects of the human condition.”

What I Couldn’t Learn Anywhere Else
By: Rabbi Shalom Carmy | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“More than any other Jewish thinker, the Rav’s memorable and sometimes brutal honesty taught us what both conventional piety and fashionable liberalism seemed intent to conceal: that religion is no escape from conflict, but the ultimate encounter with reality.” 

“The Greatest Rosh Yeshiva in the World”
By: Rabbi Menachem Genack | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“When I would visit him in these last years, though debilitated, he would quote sections of the Rambam by heart.” 

“Memories of a Spiritual Giant”
By: Dr. Israel Miller | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“He could explain the most difficult thoughts so that even a neophyte could grasp their meaning.”

“Penetrating Analysis and Endless Creativity”
By: Rabbi Yosef Blau | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“Each Shabbat morning, after praying at Maimonides we walked the Rav home and listened as he systematically clarified all unresolved issues without a moment's hesitation.” 

“The Reservoir of Knowledge Was Deep and Wide” 
By: Rabbi Edward Davis | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“The classroom atmosphere was electric, as each of the sixty students sat on the edge of his seat in a lecture that would last anywhere from two to four hours, concentrating on every word that the Rav said and yet dreading being called on to read.” 

Redefining What it Means to Learn Gemara 
By: Rabbi David Benovitz | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“The only authority he tolerated was that imposed by his own mind. This process, which took hours or even days, bared his thinking to us in a way that I never, before or since, saw a Rebbe or teacher have the confidence (and courage) to do.” 

“Prodigious of Mind… Nobility of Spirit”
By: Rabbi Zevulun Charlop | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“The halacha is like him -- like the young Reb Yoshe Ber, everywhere. He reigns surely, and without peer, over the vast and voluminous and intimidating terrain of the entire corpus of Jewish law and lore.”

The Rav: “Master, Teacher, Par Excellence” 
By: Rabbi Bernard Rosensweig | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“The Rav was the architect of our approach to Torah Judaism. He was not its creator; but he gave it substance, meaning, and direction.”

Total Devotion to His Craft and His Talmidim 
By: Barry Eisenberg | Opinions | April 28, 1993 
“He was totally devoted to his craft and to his talmidim as the consummate melamed.”

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