Originally published in Journal of Jewish Studies 41:2.
Abraham R. Besdin (ed.), Man of Faith in the Modern World: Reflections of the Rav, vol. 2 (adapted from the lectures of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik). Ktav, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1989. 164 pp. $15.95.
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik is renowned throughout the Jewish world as Halakhist, thinker and orator. His lectures in Boston and New York were attended by many hundreds of Jews from all walks of life and have been highly acclaimed. Rabbi Besdin provides his own adaptation of Soloveitchik’s reflections on the themes of the symbolism of the precepts (the white and blue threads in the tzitzit, for instance, represent the clear periods in communal and individual life and the periods of doubt and uncertainty); the man of faith in a technological world; the ideal of Jewish marriage; repentance; and many more. References to the sources are provided in the notes in Hebrew.
The author admits that his work, as an adaptation, cannot succeed entirely in capturing the full flavour of the original. In their present form these reflections fall somewhere between the theological and the sermonic.