Jewish Philosophy: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth (Kenny) Brander is Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University.  He concurrently serves as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. The CJF shapes, enriches and inspires the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva. It does so by infusing the student body with the spirit of leadership and a sense of klal Yisrael. CJF serves to build, cultivate and support communities, rabbinic and lay leaders, and individuals. Furthermore, CJF is creating a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva. Rabbi Brander is rabbi emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue, founding dean of the Boca Raton Community Kollel and founder of the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School of Broward and Palm Beach counties. During his 14 years of service to that community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to some 600 families. Rabbi Brander is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. At RIETS, he had the distinction of serving as personal aide to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He also received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics. He received his PhD in general philosophy from Florida Atlantic University. Sample Titles Playing God: Can I Choose my Child? PGD and Genetic Screening – A Torah Perspective My Egg, My Husband, Her Womb, Whose Child? The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine Through the Prism of Jewish Law The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine in Jewish Law: A Torah Perspective End of Life Issues Through the Prism of Halakhah Fertility Procedures The Gift of Life: Donating Organs; A Jewish Perspective Our Health and Well-being: Compassionate and Halakhic Treatment of the Terminally Ill Patient Stem Cell Research – The Definition of Life as seen in Parshat Mishpatim Ethics of War “Is Zionism Diametrically Opposed to Judaism?” Contemporary...

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Rabbi David Horwitz

Rabbi David Horwitz is a rosh yeshiva and the Rabbi Dovid Lifshitz Professor of Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He also is an instructor of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva College and teaches an advanced shiur (lecture) for the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies. In 1997, Rabbi Horwitz received Yeshiva’s 13th Annual Moshe and Madelaine Baumel Judaic Faculty Incentive Award, which honors outstanding Jewish studies educators at the University and RIETS. Rabbi Horwitz is an alumnus of Yeshiva University High School for Boys (where he won the National Bible Contest, Chidon Hatanach), Yeshiva College, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon. Sample Titles Issues in Sefiras HaOmer Inyanei Pesach Halachic Issues in Japan Sefirat HaOmer – Is Verbalization Necessary? Halakha and the Scientific Revolution Rav Horowitz Sefer Hamadda Human Effort and Determinism in Ralbag Memories of the Rav Torah Umadda Rambam vs The Chachmei Ashkenaz on the Haggadah – some surprising differences An Argument of Rav and Shmuel – Matchil B’Gnut U’Lsayem B’Shevach – Spiritual Redemption and Talmud Torah The Corporate Completeness of Kelal...

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Rabbi Aharon Kahn

Rabbi Aharon Kahn was named Joel Jablonski Professor of Talmud and Codes at Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in 1988. A specialist in rabbinic law, Rabbi Kahn was ordained at RIETS in 1969 and later earned Semikhah Yadin Yadin, the highest level of rabbinic ordination, from the late Torah sages Rabbi Mendel Zaks and Rabbi Moshe Duber Rivkin. For 20 years, he studied with the late, revered Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Leib Merkin Distinguished Professor of Talmud and Jewish Philsophy at RIETS, who was considered the foremost authority on Halakhah (Jewish law) and chief mentor and inspiration of authentic Jewish leadership on this continent. For ten of those years, he was Rabbi Soloveitchik’s assistant. Rabbi Kahn was appointed Rosh Kollel of RIETS’ prestigious Kollel Elyon at its inception and served in that position from 1983 to 1998. At RIETS, Rabbi Kahn was co-editor of the University’s Centennial Torah volume, Yevul Hayovlot, which contained a sampling of the Torah scholarship of Yeshiva’s roshei yeshiva since its inception. He is also the author of nine volumes spanning the entire range of Jewish scholarship. Rabbi Kahn completed eighteen year tenure as spiritual leader of the Downtown Talmud Torah Synagogue on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1987. He then moved to the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn where he established Knesseth Bais Avigdor, a unique congregation that provides opportunities for lay people to engage in serious Torah study on a daily basis. His wife, Rebetzin Rachel Kahn, is the principal of the Bais Yaakov of the East Side. Mr. Jablonski established the Chair in Talmud and Codes in memory of his parents, Chaim and Sima Weissman Jablonski, and his brother, Bezalel in July, 1988. Sample Titles Memories of the Rav Perspectives on Tzedaka Teshuvah–It’s Time! The Rambam’s Mitzvah of Koreich Giving Thanks–Hakoras Hatovah: A Yesod in Yahadus Nosai Be’ol im Chaveiro: The Passion in Compassion Chazal’s Perspective on Daily Life...

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Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff

Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff of Yeshiva University’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, is a noted scholar, author and teacher. Born in New York City in 1937, Rabbi Rakeffet moved with his family to Israel in 1969, following seven years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Ephraim and Maplewood Jewish Center in New Jersey. Rabbi Rakeffet has written many entries for Encyclopedia Judaica, including the one on the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. His two-volume “The Rav: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik” was published in 1999 by KTAV Publishing House. Most recently, Rabbi Rakeffet’s scholarly memoir, “From Washington Avenue to Washington Street”, was published in 2011 by the OU Press in conjunction with Gefen Publishing House. Rabbi Rakeffet is also the author of “Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy,” a biography of Yeshiva’s first president published by the Jewish Publication Society; and “The Silver Era: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation,” about the life and times of Rabbi Eliezer Silver (1881-1968) and published by Feldheim. Both these works have gone through three editions. In 1997, he published two volumes of “Rakafot Aharon,” a collection of published scholarship in the fields of halakha and Jewish history. The Yeshiva College Alumni Association awarded its annual Bernard Revel Memorial Award in Religion and Religious Education to Rabbi Rakeffet in 1975, the first time the award ceremony took place in Israel. He has taught at Jerusalem’s Torah College for Men, Machon Gold, Michlalah (the Jerusalem College for Women) and Midreshet Moriah, an advanced Torah study program for women....

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Rabbi Herschel Reichman

Rabbi Herschel Reichman is a rosh yeshiva and the Bronka Weintraub Professor of Talmud at the Mazer Yeshiva Program/Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Reichman considers himself primarily a student of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. However, Rabbi Reichman officially received his semikha (rabbinical ordination) from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, with whom he studied Jewish law in a private tutorial. Rabbi Reichman is known for his passionate support of Religious Zionism. Rabbi Reichman has authored five volumes of Reshimos Shiurim, which are lucid notes and explanations of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s lectures on specific sections of the Talmud. These include the mesechtot (tractates) of Sukkah, Shavuot, Nedarim and Bava Kamma. Additionally, Rabbi Reichman is a teacher of Hasidism, and is particularly fond of the philosophy of the Shem Mishmuel. Rabbi Reichman gives a weekly shiur at Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence, N.Y. Rabbi Reichman received a BA from Yeshiva and a PhD in operations research from New York University. Sample Titles Chanukah: The Wisdom of Greece Vs. The Wisdom of the Torah The Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael Memories of the Rav Pesach...

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Dr. Daniel Rynhold

Dr. Daniel Rynhold arrived on these shores from London, England, in August 2007 to take up a position as an assistant professor in modern Jewish philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. Educated at the universities of Cambridge and London, Dr. Rynhold had previously been a lecturer in Judaism in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College London, a position he had held since 2001. This followed two years as a lecturer at the renowned Jews’ College of London. Dr. Rynhold published his first book, “Two Models of Jewish Philosophy: Justifying One’s Practices” in 2005 with Oxford University Press, and is completing the manuscript for his second book “An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy.” He has published articles on topics in Jewish philosophy, including the problem of evil, Nietzsche and Jewish philosophy, and the thought of Moses Maimonides and the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Sample Titles Is there such a thing as Jewish Philosophy? A Response to the Nietzschean critique of religion out of the sources of Judaism Who would be Chief Rabbi? Modern Orthodoxy in the UK An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy The philosophical thought of Rav Soloveitchik Ta’amei...

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Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a noted Talmudic scholar, has had a distinguished career with the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, of Yeshiva University, for more than 40 years. He joined the faculty in 1967 at the age of 26, the youngest rosh yeshiva at RIETS. Since 1971, Rabbi Schachter has been rosh kollel in the Marcos and Adina Katz Kollel (Institute for Advanced Research in Rabbinics) and also holds the Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud. In addition to his teaching duties, Rabbi Schachter lectures, writes and serves as a world renowned decisor of Jewish law. A prolific author, he has written more than 100 articles, in Hebrew and English for such scholarly publications as HaPardes, Hadarom, Beth Yitzchak and Or Hamizrach. His books include Eretz HaTzvi, B’ikvei HaTzon, Nefesh HaRav, MiPninei HaRav and Ginat Egoz. At age 22, Rabbi Schachter was appointed assistant to the renowned Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Schachter earned his BA from Yeshiva College, an MA in Hebrew literature from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies in 1967, and was ordained at RIETS that same year. Sample Titles A Torah Perspective on Earning (and Not Earning) a Living – Supporting Ourselves and Others Halachic Issues of the Tuition Crisis Gender Separation in Halacha: Al Cheit…B’siach Sifsoseinu Marriage in Halacha and Hashkafa How Open Is Too Open? Halachic Guidelines For Internet use I AM Worthy…Of Forgiveness – Why This Year Will Be Different The Legacy of the Rav Is there A Chiyuv to Make Aliyah? Should I Call the Police? Clarifying the Issurim of Mesira and Chilul Hashem Pride & Prejudice: Growing Through the Shidduch Process Crossing the Line: Halachic Standards for Inclusion or Exclusion from Communal Life and the Tzibbur Double Standards in Our Lives Talmud Torah at the Center of Family Life Priorities in Tzedaka Issues of Shabbos, Yom Tov, and Kashrus in Dentistry Kol Yisroel Areivim Zeh Bozeh: Our Responsibilities to Others and to Ourselves Pursuit of Happiness...

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Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter

Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future, at Yeshiva University. From 2000 to 2005 he served as dean of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Boston. He was the first rabbi of the Young Israel of Sharon, Mass., from 1977 to 1981, creating a vibrant and committed community. From 1981 to 2000, he served as rabbi of The Jewish Center in Manhattan, moving the congregation from 180 to more than 600 members over the course of his tenure, and also served as rabbi of the Maimonides Minyan in Brookline, MA from 2000 to 2005. Rabbi Schacter is co-author of the award winning “A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy and American Judaism” published by Columbia University Press in 1996; author of “The Lord is Righteous in All His Ways: Reflections on the Tish‘ah be-Av Kinot by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik” (2006); and close to 50 articles and reviews. He is founding editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, a prestigious academic publication which has gained international acclaim. Rabbi Schacter holds a number of prominent Jewish communal positions. He served as founding present of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations of the Upper West Side from 1994 to 2000, is a member of the board of governors of the Orthodox Union and is on the editorial boards of Tradition, Jewish Action, BDD (Bechal Derachecha Da’ehu) and Jewish Educational Leadership. Sample Titles The Power of Connections: Thoughts on Rosh Hashanah Yom Hashoah Haskalah,Secular Studies and the Close of the Yeshiva in Volozhin in 1892 Facing the Truths of History Torah Umadda Revisited: The Editor’s Intro Ashkenazim, Sephardim and the Hannukah Menorah: A Study in Cultural Cross-Transference Beyond Rabbi Akiva’s Students Sefirah Mourning In Medieval And Modern Times The Concept of Amalek in Jewish Law and History Sitting in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeret The Meaning and Significance of Tisha B’Av:...

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Rabbi Mordechai Willig

Rabbi Mordechai Willig is Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Dr. Sol Roth Professor of Talmud and Contemporary Halachah. He has been a rosh yeshiva at the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies since 1973 and a rosh kollel at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Willig has served as spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Riverdale in the Bronx, N.Y., since 1974. He is the author of Am Mordechai, which came out in two volumes (1992 on brachot and 2005 on Shabbat), and has authored many articles in Torah scholarship journals. Rabbi Willig is the deputy av beis din of the Beth Din of America. He has been an outspoken advocate of the halachic prenuptual agreement as a preventative measure against the creation of agunot. Rabbi Willig received a BA in mathematics from Yeshiva College in 1968 and an MS in Jewish history in 1971 from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He received semikha (rabbinic ordination) that same year at RIETS. Sample Titles Peru U’revu – How Many Children and When In G-d We Trust? Balancing Work & Other Mitzvos Marriage and Machlokes: Middos, Parents/In-Laws and Divorce Are We Really Willing To Change? Practical Suggestions for Feeling Yom Hadin Survival Guide to Dating Practical Applications of Tznius: At Home, Work, Shul, and in the Street Gambling in Halacha Hellenism Revisited: Outside Influences on Our Lives Dress Down Shabbos? Laws Relating to Female/Male Patients (negiah, yichud, chattzitza for mikvah etc.) Pursuit of Happiness Drinking: Purim and Beyond Helenism Today: Secular Values vs. Torah Values Teshuva and Tefillah: Two Paths to Hashem Sefira: Halacha and Hashkafa The Weapons of Eisav in the Hands of Yishmael; The Reaction to Twin Tragedies Eis Tsara, Emunah, and 9-11-2001 Shavuos: Preparing for Kabolas HaTorah Should Women Light Chanukah Candles? Simcha on Rosh Hashana Yomim Noraim /...

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