Meir Soloveichik

(Meir Yaakov Soloveichik)

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A society that is all self-interest and no comradeship is not a society at all. But a society that is all comradeship and no self-interest is also not a society; it is a sect - or, on the largest scale, totalitarianism. Society
As delineated in the biblical book of Leviticus, Israel's atonement was achieved, year after year, through the sacrifices brought on that day by the high priest.
As with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, the origins of Shearith Israel trace back to a small group of religious freedom-seekers and a treacherous ocean passage to the New World.
Bride and groom are not just two contracting parties but two loving and beloved companions, joined in establishing a home that will be nothing less than a source of immortality.
By forbidding Jews to destroy their hair, the Bible warns them away from seeking the siren song of eternal youth. By encouraging Jews to grow beards, it reminds them that they will not be young forever, that they must prepare the ground for those who come after, just as their fathers did for them.
Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
Either Jesus is the son of God, or he is not. Religion & God
Europe is no longer a Christian continent; few Europeans attend religious services on Sunday, and the European Union recently refused to refer to Europe's religious heritage in its fledgling constitution.
Even as Jews and Christians profoundly disagree about the truth, they are united in the belief that there is a truth to be sought. Truth
For both Protestants and Catholics, and whether or not absolute continence is demanded of the clergy, celibacy remains a blessed spiritual state.
For Jews, the paradigmatic convert is the biblical Ruth, who sought not only a new relationship with God but also a new nationality. Religion & God
God can desire to enter into a relationship with us; he can be drawn to some aspect of our identity. Religion & God
How can finite man commune with an infinite God? To both Christians and Jews, God himself has made that possible by irrupting into the temporal world. To Christians, God became man in the Incarnation; to Jews, the God that spoke out of the fire on Mount Sinai gave his Torah. Religion & God
Humanity was created in the image of God; our love is a reflection of his. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
I am humbled and deeply honored to have been asked to serve the congregants of Shearith Israel, a congregation with an incomparable history, where some of America's most distinguished rabbis have pastored and preached. History
I continue to dream of a day when my skullcap will not stick out so much.
I do work a lot on arguing that things which people assume are always wrong are not necessarily so and, indeed, can often be right. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If Christians see Mormonism as a dramatic deviation from a millennia-old, biblically-based faith, Jews see Christianity in the same light. Religion & God
If God loves human beings and seeks to relate to them because he is drawn to something unique about them, then his love must be exclusive and cannot be universal. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
If R. Akiva was perhaps overly generous in judging his generation, it can perhaps be ascribed to the belief, based on his own experience, that everyone is capable of a dramatic life change. Life
In both Israel and America, Jews have experienced unparalleled freedoms, achieved great economic success, and exercised appropriate degrees of political power. Power ;Success
Jews bear children not only because the carnal election of Abraham must continue. For Jews, raising children is essential to living a rounded ethical life. Life
Jews focus on the Torah, the embodiment of God's will; Christians, on an embodied God. Religion & God
Jews seek to cleave to the will of God as set forth in the Bible and, particularly, the Pentateuch, with its rabbinic commentaries, the Mishnah and Talmud. Religion & God
Judaism, I would argue, does demand love for our fellow human beings, but only to an extent. 'Hate' is not always synonymous with the terribly sinful. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Marriage is about love, but it is not first and foremost about love. First and foremost, marriage is about continuity and transmission. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
Not only were the Jewish people beloved, but God himself had taken pains to let them know it. Could there be any clearer sign that he continued to believe in their potential, even without the Temple, to achieve forgiveness and ultimately merit the Temple's rebuilding? Religion & God
Of all the rabbinic sages of antiquity, perhaps none was more influential or famous than Rabbi Akiva. Fame
Ours is decidedly not an age of Abrahams, Jacobs, or of youthful Elazars proud to be regarded as men of seventy. On the contrary, it is one in which the external signs of aging are avoided at all costs, youth is worshipped, and immortality is sought not in children but in Botox.
Over the course of history, many Jews have ultimately embraced Christianity - some forcibly, some in order to advance in non-Jewish society, some out of wholehearted belief. Society ;History
Rather than forgive, we can wish ill; rather than hope for repentance, we can instead hope that our enemies experience the wrath of God. Hope ;Religion & God
Religions, by definition, disagree as to the truth - a reality that cannot be overcome by demanding that one or the other faith repudiate its claim to truth. Truth ;Religion & God
Religious relativism is not the answer to disagreement between faiths; yet relativism, and a blurring of religious distinctions, all too often result when two deeply believing faith communities engage each other in the public arena on theological issues. Religion & God
Stanley Hauerwas is correct that Judaism insists on the bearing of children because it is essential to Jewish continuity. But to end the matter there is to miss an essential point: if we are to learn to love others, Judaism says, we must begin by loving those who are closest to us. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The election of the Jewish people is the result of God's falling in love with Abraham and founding a family with him. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
The essence of a religion can be discovered by asking its adherents one question: 'What, to your mind, was the seminal moment in the history of the world?' History ;Religion & God
The eternal link between Lincoln's life and Passover - the fact that Lincoln's death, marked in the Hebrew calendar, coincides with Passover every year - is certainly fitting, and perhaps even part of the providence that Lincoln began to see in his own life and the life of his nation. Life ;Death
The giving of the Torah is a story of God seeking to provide humanity with the opportunity to make moral decisions. Religion & God
The Hebrew Bible, while firmly opposing pagan sexual practices, nevertheless celebrates man's and woman's desire for each other as divinely designed.
The moment that one person in an argument claims to be God, dialogue and debate become impossible. Religion & God
The practice of shaving makes its first appearance in the Bible in connection with the story of Joseph, who as a young man was sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt, where he was subsequently imprisoned on false charges.
There is, of course, only one chosen nation. But Abraham Lincoln would call America 'an almost chosen nation' because he believed that America had a providential role to play in history, inspired by the example of God's ancient covenant people. History ;Religion & God
Throughout its history, the members of Shearith Israel have observed Thanksgiving by reciting in synagogue the same psalms of praise and gratitude sung by Jews all over the world on festive days like Hanukkah. History
To Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant Christians, communion involves partaking of the physical real presence of God in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. By contrast, the Torah draws the Jew into engagement with God's infinite mind. Torah learning is the definitive Jewish mode of communion with God. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Religion & God
To the Christian Church, the destruction of the Temple served as an ultimate sign that the Jews were no longer God's chosen people, divine favor having now been transferred to a newer and better Israel. Religion & God
Traditional Christians cannot conceive of God as Mormons do: a God who has a wife, who invites other human beings to become gods with him. Religion & God
Traditional Judaism has always embraced the doctrine of the immortality of the soul and the ultimate resurrection of the dead.
We Americans unite faith and freedom in asserting that our liberties are your gift, God, not that of government. Religion & God ;Freedom & Liberty
We know a great deal about the configuration of the menorah from the biblical book of Exodus. Beaten out of solid gold, the ancient candelabrum boasted six branches emerging from a seventh, its central shaft. The menorah was adorned with golden buttons, cups, and flowers.
We live in an age in which the biblical-moral traditions that have guided us for centuries are increasingly being forgotten.
When the Temple was destroyed, the Jewish people faced a crisis unlike any other in its history. For centuries, the sacrificial system had served as the primary medium of atonement before the Almighty. History
While Jews and Christians both agree on many religious issues, we disagree, and believe each other profoundly wrong, about others.