New Books Network

In The Last Rabbi: Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition (Indiana University Press, 2016), William Kolbrener, professor of English at Bar Ilan University in Israel,...

In The Last Rabbi: Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition (Indiana University Press, 2016), William Kolbrener, professor of English at Bar Ilan University in Israel, explores the life and thought of Joseph Soloveitchik, the scion of the Brisk rabbinic dynasty, from both literary and psychoanalytic perspectives. The result is both a compelling critique of extant receptions of Soloveitchik’s thought and a nuanced exploration of the sources and struggles at the root of the Rav’s towering intellectual and halakhic achievements. The book will be of interest to students of rabbinic hermeneutics, modern Jewish thought, psychoanalysis, and the Western philosophical tradition — all intellectual realms in which Soloveitchik was well versed.


David Gottlieb is a PhD Candidate in the History of Judaism at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His research focuses on interpretations of the Binding of Isaac and the formation of Jewish cultural memory. He can be reached at davidg1@uchicago.edu.