The Jewish Religious Experience from Halakhah, Aggadah and Kabbalah: Two Series of Lectures by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, based on the notes of Rabbis Robert Blau and Yaakov Homnick

Based on Rabbi Soloveitchik’s course taught at the Bernard Revel Graduate School in 1946–1947, these lectures present a sustained argument for the preeminence of Halakhah within Jewish tradition. Nonetheless, Halakhah itself “was re-worked first by Aggadah and then by Kabbalah,” and this totality of Halakhah, Aggadah and Kabbalah shapes the Jewish religious experience. Halakhah “atomizes and breaks everything down into simple elements.” When it reverses the process and “begins to make a structural whole… it enters into the realm of Aggadah.” Kabbalah, too, is integral to the Jewish religious experience. “The kabbalistic perspective rests on Halakhah” and “Halakhah never took exception to Kabbalah.” The greatness of the Jewish religious experience is its integration of Halakhah, Aggadah and Kabbalah. “No other religion has such a triad.”

With contributions from: Alan Blau, Asher Benzion Buchman, Eliyahu Krakowski, Daniel Rynhold, Jeffrey Saks, Heshey Zelcer, Mark Zelcer, and Shlomo Zuckier


Jointly published by Hakirah and Tradition. Available from Amazon.