cover image The Lonely Man of Faith

The Lonely Man of Faith

Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Doubleday Books, $16 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-385-42262-8

Fusing the existential acuity of Kierkegaard with the wisdom of the Old Testament, Boston Orthodox rabbi Soloveitchik has produced a timeless spiritual guide for men and women of all religions. In this soaring, eloquent essay, first published in Tradition magazine in 1965, ``The Rav,'' as he is known to his followers worldwide, investigates the essential aloneness of the person of faith, whom he deems a misfit in our narcissistic, technologically oriented, utilitarian society. Using the story of Adam and Eve as a springboard, Soloveitchik explains prayer as ``the harbinger of moral reformation'' and probes the despair and exasperation of individuals who seek to redeem existence through direct knowledge of a God who seems remote and unapproachable. Although the faithful may become members of a ``convenantal community,'' their true home, he writes, is ``the abode of loneliness'' as they shuttle between the transcendent and the mundane. Sudden shafts of illumination confront the reader at every turn in this inspirational personal testament. (Apr.)