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And From There You Shall Seek
And From There You Shall Seek
U-vikashtem Mi-sham

Author:Joseph B. Soloveitchik

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Number of Pages:230

Hard Cover


Translated from the Hebrew by Naomi Goldblum

The present volume is a translation of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's classic essay, “U-Vikkashtem mi-Sham.” Drafted in the 1940’s as a companion to his earlier treatise Halakhic Man, this powerful and wide-ranging work was published in Hebrew only in 1978. Drawing its title from Deuteronomy 4:29 – “And from there you shall seek the Lord your God, and you shall find Him if you search for Him with all of your heart and all of your soul” – and framed by the evocative metaphors of the Song of Songs, the essay charts the individual’s search for God, a quest which culminates in the stage of devekut, cleaving to Him.

The human being initially seeks God by examining the natural and spiritual worlds. But this search fails; hence God must reveal Himself and express His will. Rabbi Soloveitchik explicates the contrast between these two different modes of experiencing the divine: the natural consciousness, marked by freedom and creativity, and the revelational consciousness, marked by compulsion and discipline. The remainder of the work elaborates on this dialectic, exploring such themes as the imitation of God, devekut, mercy and justice, trust and fear, love and awe, the rule of intellect, elevation of the body, the perpetuity of God’s word, and creation and revelation.

And From There You Shall Seek is Rabbi Soloveitchik’s fullest and most elaborate examination of religious consciousness and the dynamics of religious experience. Its presentation of the challenging interplay between cultural creativity, religious practice, and spiritual quest is sure to enrich the contemporary reader.