Twentieth Anniversary Edition of Rabbi Norman Lamm’s Masterwork Includes New Preface by Author, Afterward by Chief Rabbi Sacks
Yeshiva University will be publishing a 20th anniversary edition of YU Chancellor Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm’s masterwork, Torah Umadda, with a new preface by the author and an afterward by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. The volume is scheduled for release by Maggid Books, an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem, on December 1, 2010.
First published in 1990, Torah Umadda focuses on how “human intellectual enterprise” outside of the study of sacred biblical and Talmudic texts, specifically education in the arts and sciences, fit within the framework of Torah Judaism. Throughout the work, Rabbi Lamm posits that the confrontation between Judaism and secular culture results in heightened creativity within Judaism.
In the book’s new preface, Rabbi Lamm explains that this philosophy has advanced considerably since Torah Umadda first went to print and he believes that it is only a matter of time before its greatest detractors enter the fray.
“I do not know of any plans to build formal, university-level academic institutions catering to the Ultra-Orthodox community but it stands to reason that once the mold is broken, the heretofore solid wall of opposition to Torah Umadda will crumble in North America and in Israel,” submits Rabbi Lamm.
“It may take a while but it will come because there is a need for it, because the Torah needs it as it has needed students throughout the ages, because the world needs it to function in a manner that will cause kiddush ha-Shem [sanctification of G-d’s name] for Jews and Judaism in our age and for all time.”
The 20th anniversary edition of Torah Umadda represents the work’s third printing and the first time it has been available for purchase from major retailers in over five years.
The new edition of Torah Umadda is the second of many planned projects from the new partnership between Yeshiva University and Koren Publishers Jerusalem. In October, Koren released Mitokh Ha-Ohel, a collection of original essays on the weekly parashiyot [Torah portions] authored by rabbis and professors from every division of Yeshiva University and plans to release a multi-volume set on topics of contemporary Jewish law, authored by the University’s Roshei Yeshiva, in the coming months.