R. Hayyim Soloveitchik and Academic Talmudic Hermeneutics

Proper Intention in the Preparation of Jewish Ritual Objects

in Review of Rabbinic Judaism
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This article offers a detailed description of R. Hayyim Soloveitchik’s commentary on the Talmudic discussions about the requirement for proper intention when making Jewish ritual objects, i.e., Sefer Torah, Mezuzah, etc., and a comparison to the academic commentary on that issue. It describes the relationship between the two genres of commentary, academic and rabbinic, and illustrates the differences and similarities between the commentaries of these two parallel interpretive communities. In this way, the paper sheds new light on the character of R. Hayyim as a Talmudic commentator.

  • 3

    BrownThe Hazon Ish pp. 315–316 esp. nn. 14 19.

  • 5

    BrownThe Hazon Ish p. 320; see also the literary citations ibid. nn. 39–41. On R. Hayyim and his circle’s influence on Halakhah see M. Willing “The Brisker Derekh and Pesak Halakhah” in The Conceptual Approach to Jewish Learning (New York 2006) pp. 115–129.

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  • 7

    BrownThe Hazon Ish pp. 321–323.

  • 14

    This translation follows Moscovitz“Designation Is Significant” p. 228 even though he notes that “this translation is not fully adequate” (ibid. n. 3).

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  • 15

    SolomonThe Analytic Movement p. 49.

  • 30

    Moscovitz“Designation Is Significant” p. 241 n. 65.

  • 39

    GinzbergGinzei Schechter p. 531; Moscovitz “Designation Is Significant” p. 249.

  • 40

    Moscovitz“Designation Is Significant” pp. 248–250.

  • 47

    See SolomonThe Analytic Movement p. 185.

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