Commemorating the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, YUTorah Offers a Tribute to the Rav
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the Rav, was born in Belarus, Russia in 1903, a scion of an enduring rabbinic dynasty. His grandfather, Rabbi Chaim of Brisk, developed an innovative system of Talmudic study-the acclaimed “Brisker method”-which stressed incisive analysis and precise classification.
Trained by his father, Rabbi Moses Soloveitchik, in this approach, the Rav earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Berlin in 1932 and came to the United States the following year. He lived in Boston where he served as the spiritual leader of the community and started the Maimonides Day School in 1937.
In 1941, Rabbi Soloveitchik was appointed rosh yeshiva at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, succeeding his father, who, as rosh yeshiva since 1929, had transplanted the Brisk legacy on American soil. The Rav enriched this system of learning through a creative fusion of Jewish and Western scholarship. In 1983, through an endowment by Maurice H. Saval, RIETS’ Semikhah Program was renamed the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Center of Rabbinic Studies. The Rav’s ordination of some 2,000 rabbis over nearly half a century is unmatched and extends his influence beyond the borders of time and place.
Nissan 18, the second day of Chol Hamoed Pesach, marks the 19th yahrtzeit of Rabbi Soloveitchik zt”l. Download the Rav’s writings, listen to his shiurim and watch a video of his students’ reflections at YUTorah.