The Rav on Tefillah
An Anthology of Teachings by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Jewish Prayer
The Levovitz Edition
Edited and annotated by Rabbi Dr. Jay Goldmintz
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik is known as “the Rav” because he was the teacher par excellence of his generation, but his contributions to our understanding and practice of Tefillah (Jewish prayer) are particularly noteworthy. The Rav approached Tefillah with great depth and intellectual rigor, exploring its philosophical and existential dimensions. His teachings have had a profound impact on the Jewish community; however, they are not always readily accessible. The vocabulary of the Rav’s philosophical writings sometimes acts as a barrier for the uninitiated, while many of the Rav’s shiurim are available only in Hebrew. In addition, these teachings are dispersed in a wide variety of publications as well as unpublished lecture notes, often making them difficult to obtain and locate.
To address these issues, veteran educator Rabbi Dr. Jay Goldmintz, a pioneer in the teaching of Jewish prayer, has compiled The Rav on Tefillah. Rabbi Goldmintz has collated teachings of the Rav which focus both on the macro and micro features of prayer, organizing them according to the sequence of the Siddur but without the space constraints of a Siddur commentary. Rabbi Goldmintz prefaces the Rav’s words with brief introductions which offer relevant context and background; notes contain sources, additional references, and alternative interpretations. In his Overview, Rabbi Goldmintz presents the central themes to which the Rav returns throughout in his approach to Tefillah. Rabbi Goldmintz’s work will help readers understand both the particulars of prayer and its overall structure so to achieve the goal of prayer, worship of the heart.