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The Opening Of Halakhic Man: A Covert Dialogue With Homo Religiosus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the figure of Halakhic Man as an ideal type while exploring its deconstruction into its elementary components or, presenting it as a figure that is actually not amenable to such deconstruction. Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik describes Halakhic Man as a figure representing a balance between homo religious and cognitive man. He tries to bring halakhic men closer to the American Jews who live and function in a modern-pragmatic world on the one hand, and in a communitarian society with religious symbols on the other. According to the interpretation of Halakhic Man, R. Soloveitchik tries to create a link between modern man and the elites of Eastern European yeshivot, not only as a memorial to a lost word but also in a search for continuity and renewal. The chapter shows how Soloveitchik resorted to a writing style that cannot be exhausted by the reading of its overt, literal layer.

Keywords: American Jews; cognitive man; Eastern European yeshivot; Halakhic Man; homo religious; Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik



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