Sep 10, 2008 — Yeshiva University has just launched a Web site devoted to the scholarly work of Dr. Norman Lamm, chancellor of YU, where visitors can access hundreds of his sermons. The Web site, www.yu.edu/lammheritage, is the first component of the Lamm Heritage, which was created on the occasion of Dr. Lamm’s 80th birthday to honor his almost 60 years of exceptional scholarly, spiritual, and leadership contributions to the University and world Jewish community.
The Lamm Heritage Web site features the Lamm Archives, a collection of over 800 manuscripts spanning more than half a century, from 1951 to 2004, that include almost all of the sermons delivered by Dr. Lamm during his years in the rabbinate. They are his full, unedited sermons, exactly as he delivered them, in typescript or handwritten format. The collection will eventually also contain audio and video of his lectures.
The archives are searchable by date, particular words appearing in the text, or by occasion (Jewish holidays, Torah portions, or celebrations). This is the first time the full collection of sermons has been made available to the general public. The only published collection of Dr. Lamm’s sermons, The Royal Reach, is now out of print.
“With their exquisite language, brilliant homiletic insights, and powerful messages, Dr. Lamm’s sermons excite, inspire and edify no less today than when they were delivered,” said Dr. David Shatz, professor of philosophy at YU’s Stern College for Women and editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, who heard many of the sermons as a teenager growing up on Manhattan’s West Side. “They also provide a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of a great spokesman, thinker and leader who always speaks with relevance and timeliness.”
As part of the Lamm Heritage, the University will also present the Lamm Prize, a substantial financial award, to select leading scholars who embody the values of the chancellor. As visiting scholars at YU, Lamm Prize winners will give lectures, teach courses, and lead discussions within the YU community.
In addition, Yad Lamm, a permanent visible tribute, will be built on campus to tell the story of Dr. Lamm’s 27 years as president of YU through pictures, memorabilia, and other displays. The Lamm Heritage will also endow and enhance the Rabbi Norman Lamm Kollel L’Hora’ah (Yadin Yadin), an advanced juridical rabbinic ordination program at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS).
“Norman Lamm is a visionary of Torah Umadda who continues to guide and invigorate us,” said YU President Richard Joel. “Those of us who are inspired by his leadership and seek to build on his achievements need to be surrounded by his ongoing contributions to Jewish thought and learning.”
Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1927, Dr. Lamm graduated from YU’s Yeshiva College in 1949 summa cum laude and was class valedictorian. He was ordained at RIETS in 1951 and followed that with a PhD in Jewish philosophy at the university’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies in 1966. In 1976 he was elected as the third president of YU and served in that capacity until 2003, when he was installed as chancellor.
Dr. Lamm has gained worldwide recognition for his writings and discourses on interpretation of Jewish philosophy and law, especially in the fields of science, technology and philosophy in the modern world. He has authored ten books, including The Religious Thought of Hasidism: Text and Commentary, which won the coveted Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought from the Jewish Book Council.
“The Jewish world is indebted to Dr. Norman Lamm for his outstanding contributions and the phenomenal accomplishments and success during his 27 years as president of YU,” said Morry J. Weiss, chairman of the YU Board of Trustees.
To share a personal memory, view the archives, or support the Lamm Heritage, visit www.yu.edu/lammheritage.