Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wandering through the Tradition archives -- "The Halakhah's Philosophy of Man" by Norman Lamm

I finally took some time to wander through the Tradition online archive. It is a resource that they make available for free to subscribers to the periodical and for $25 a year for online access only.

What a resource! It has all Tradition articles from the beginning, which was 1958. I reviewing the Excel list of article titles and authors, the article from the Spring 1962 issue by Norman Lamm entitled, "The Halakhah's Philosophy of Man" caught my eye. While I expected an analysis of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik's work, instead I read an review of the work In His Image, but Rabbi Dr. Samual Belkin, the YU President at the time.

In the article, Rabbi Lamm writes,

He shows how the Halalchah expresses the insights which, together, represent the sanctity of the human personality, a sanctity which derives from God's creation of man "in His image."


The belief in God as Creator and Possessor of the world makes it imperative that man fashion for himself a way of life patterned on such a belief. This is the essence and intent of the halakhic life: to translate the abstract principle into simple actions of daily living.

I definitely enjoyed the article, but more importantly, I am glad I began to explore the Tradition archive. I had used the Tradition CD for a few years, but this is much simpler to use.

And if anyone has read Dr. Belkin's In His Image, I would be interested to hear if it still holds up after more than 50 years.

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