Sacred Time: A Journey through the Jewish Holidays
“The rhythms of the Jewish calendar are nothing less than the pulsating of the Jewish soul through the centuries.”
What is the Jewish idea of time? How can it be made sacred? Rabbi Soloveichik ties together three incredible stories about Hasidim in Alaska, former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and former refusenik Natan Sharansky.
Release date: August 30, 2018
Is Rosh Hashanah really best understood as the “Jewish New Year”? What is the relationship between British royalty and this esteemed Jewish holiday? What can Ashkenazi Jews learn from their Sephardic brethren about the holiday’s deeper meaning?
Release date: September 7, 2018
Rabbi Soloveichik explores Judaism’s “Day of Atonement,” the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Does the process of repentance, wherein we recall our many failings, year after year, mean that man is inherently bad or “fallen”? Is there truth in the claim that man is merely a material being, wholly determined by his irrepressible urges? The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, rightly understood, offers a resounding “no”—and conveys a message of faith and hope in the divinely-given purpose of man.
Release date: September 17, 2018
Sukkot appears profoundly out of place in today’s world—the dwelling in huts, the hoisting of palm fronds aloft—one might regard it as an anachronism, or irreconcilable with modernity. What can it mean
to contemporary Jews?
Release date: September 28, 2018
In the Hebrew Bible, the Jews are described as a chosen people—but what are they chosen for? Rabbi Soloveichik explains that each of Judaism’s two types of sacred time, Shabbat and the Jewish festivals, exemplifies a unique aspect of the Jewish calling.
Release date: October 23, 2018
Families on Hanukkah gather together and celebrate around dreidels, chocolate coins, and presents. Yet the holiday’s most profound meaning is in its core symbol and ritual: the lighting of the menorah. Rabbi Soloveichik takes us through Hanukkah’s two pivotal historical stages, the age of the Temple and the age of Diaspora, teaching us about the triumph of monotheism and Judaism, and the lessons Hanukkah’s miracles hold for anyone who cares about Jewish survival.
Release date: November 30, 2018
Today, Tu Bishvat has evolved into a kind of Jewish Earth Day. Yet the holiday’s contemporary transformation teaches us more about the crisis of modern identity than about the day’s authentic meaning. Rightly understood, Tu Bishvat’s history and traditions remind us of the roots of Jewish identity and its rootedness in the Land in Israel.
Release date: January 14, 2019
Purim is a holiday marked by levity, costumes, and celebration. Yet its ultimate premise is deadly serious. It asks us to recognize not only that Haman exists in every generation, but also that our Jewishness binds us to one another, whether we like it or not. Purim is, in other words, the holiday of Jewish solidarity.
Release date: March 8, 2019
Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom, has extraordinary insight into the nature of liberty. Modeled after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms,” Rabbi Meir Soloveichik delineates a more ancient set of four freedoms which derive from the Hebrew Bible and lay at the core of the Passover Seder and its rituals. These are the freedoms that Jews and all Americans must rediscover for the sake of their own spiritual health and political vitality.
Release date: April 10, 2019
The declaration of Israeli independence and the Israeli victories in 1967 were two of the most significant moments in Jewish History. But what does it mean to mark these moments as holidays, to commemorate and celebrate them as part of the Jewish calendar year? And how does Jerusalem Day allow us to fully understand the very meaning of Jewish statehood itself?
Release date: May 8, 2019
On Shavuot, Jews celebrate receiving the Torah at Sinai. With all its commandments, the Torah is the source of Jews’ most profound joy. But how can law, so complex and didactic, be a source of joy and inspiration that leads to an encounter with God?
Release date: June 6, 2019
Today, the Jewish state is restored and Jerusalem is in our hands. Why do we still mourn ancient Jerusalem’s destruction when we have so much to celebrate?
Release date: August 5, 2019
About Rabbi Soloveichik
Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan, the oldest Jewish community in the United States, founded in 1654. He is also director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Soloveichik has lectured internationally to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on topics relating to faith in America, the Hebraic roots of the American founding, Jewish theology, bioethics, wartime ethics, and Jewish-Christian relations. His essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Mosaic, the Jewish Review of Books, Commentary, First Things, Azure, Tradition, and the Torah U-Madda Journal. Rabbi Soloveichik is a descendent of one of the great dynasties of Orthodox Judaism: he is the son of Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, and the great nephew of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Rabbi Soloveichik graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University, received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and studied at its Beren Kollel Elyon. He has also studied at Yale Divinity School, and in 2010, he received his doctorate in religion from Princeton University.