Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rav Soloveitchik's Lectures on Bereishis

I would like to share with you a problem that has bothered me for a while. Most of you are aware that Rav Soloveitchik gave public lectures on many topics through the years. In the 1940's he gave lectures on Bereishis which involved his views on science and evolution as well as halacha, kabbala and philosophy. One of the students who took notes of some of these lectures, requested that they be edited and given a proper introduction and critical notes be provided to expand and place the lecture in context.

This has been done concerning the lectures on Bereishis by a good friend - Rav Meir Treibitz - who is not only a master of the Torah literature but is also intimately acquainted with kabbalah and philosophy - as well as having a Ph.D. in physics etc etc. He also wrote an introduction to my sefer Daas Torah.

The sponsor of the original process - due to his many difficulties has not been able to pay for the work nor is he prepared to publish it as originally intended. The person who produced the notes - has no money to pay for anything - but insists on his ownership of the notes he took. A major Orthodox organization as well as various members of the family have expressed great appreciation for the tremendous work which has been done - and they look forward to more such efforts. But they seem preoccupied and after 6 months despite promises - nothing is happening.

In sum, the brilliant exposition of Rav Solveitchik's notes on Bereishis is finished. But there is no obvious path for the work to be published. Lawyers who have been consulted have said the issue could stay in courts for many years - assuming that one can afford the legal expenses.

I will publish excerpts on this blog. Anyone who has a solution for this painful problem - should please contact me.


  1. I don't understand - is it simply a problem of money, or is there an ownership conflict going on?

    The one is solvable, the other may not be.

  2. Dov said...

    I don't understand - is it simply a problem of money, or is there an ownership conflict going on?
    It is a chicken and egg problem. The one who started it isn't finishing but hasn't let go of it. The ones who are interested are not getting involved because it is not simply a money problem. Money though is obviously needed. More important is someone or some organization to take charge of the project. The family seems to want to be acknowledged but they are not doing anything to advance the project.

  3. Has there been any progress on this? A lot of people would love access to the transcripts as well as Rabbi Treibitzs notes.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.