New OU Press Book Brings Relevance to Jewish Holidays

16 Feb 2011


The Jewish holidays are not only joyous celebrations but repositories of profound teachings on personal and communal priorities, as eloquently portrayed in Rabbi Norman Lamm’s new book, Festivals of Faith: Reflections on the Jewish Holidays. Published by OU Press | Jewish Educational Publications and RIETS/Yeshiva University Press, this new book of insights by the venerable sage of Modern Orthodoxy adds a further layer of relevance to the annual cycle of holy days.

No single contemporary scholar exemplifies the combination of fidelity to tradition and engagement with modernity more than Rabbi Lamm. With his unique charm and formidable erudition, Rabbi Lamm explores the holidays’ lessons for parenting and education, financial integrity and religious intensity, tradition and transition, and much more. In this new volume, he travels across the calendar, expertly distilling themes and ideas from classic texts and providing new meaning to the familiar holidays.

Rabbi Lamm is one of the most gifted and profound thinkers of the Modern Orthodox community. In addition to serving as Chancellor of Yeshiva University and Rosh HaYeshiva of its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, he was the founding editor of Tradition, the journal of Orthodox thought published by the Rabbinical Council of America, and to this day convenes the Orthodox Forum, a think tank of rabbis, academicians, and community leaders that meets annually to discuss topics of concern in the Orthodox community.

Before assuming the presidency of Yeshiva University, Rabbi Lamm served for many years as Rabbi of The Jewish Center, one of New York City’s most prominent and vibrant Orthodox synagogues. A prolific author in the field of Jewish philosophy and law, a distinguished academician, and a charismatic pulpit rabbi, Rabbi Lamm has made, and continues to make, an extraordinary impact on the Jewish community. With a rare combination of penetrating scholarship and eloquence of expression, he has successfully presented a Torah view of contemporary Jewish life that speaks movingly to all.

This volume was edited by Dr. David Shatz, Professor of Philosophy at Yeshiva University and Editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal and the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Dr. Shatz carefully selected and edited the material from Rabbi Lamm’s archives, assisted by Rabbi Simon Posner, Executive Editor of OU Press and Associate Editor of this volume.

This book is the latest offering from OU Press, the publishing house of the Orthodox Union, that recently published Darosh Darash Yosef: Discourses of Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik on the Weekly Parashah by Rabbi Avishai David; and Hilchot Tefillah: A Comprehensive Guide to the Laws of Daily Prayer by Rabbi David Brofsky. Important future books include the Koren Mesorat HaRav Siddur, a new prayer book with a magisterial commentary based on the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s teachings, accompanied by the eloquent translation of the prayers by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the popular Koren layout.

Copies of Festivals of Faith, which cost $27.95 each, are available through Those who wish to place a bulk order (at a discounted price) can contact OU Press at

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