Thursday, August 14, 2008

The last of the Chasidei Ashkenaz - HaRav Dovid Tzvi Hoffmann

Of all the great rabbinic figures with which the Jewish people have been blessed, R Dovid Tzvi Hoffman stands forth as a towering figure of unparalleled greatness. His scholarship extended to many fields and he made significant contributions to the every one of them.

Specifically, he laid some crucial foundation blocks to the field of critical scholarship of Rabbinic literature. He single-handedly dismantled the impenetrable fortress of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis. He wrote hundreds of Responsa that show an exceptionally clear grasp of halachic decsion making. His work on the Shulchan Aruch remains unmatched in the field of apologetics. All this is besides his many important articles in various German periodicals that unfortunately still await translation.

This is in terms of his scholarship. On his tremendous greatness on the personal level , the two accounts quoted here speak for themselves.

In the following series of posts, I would like to try to, at least in some small measure, to give a basic overview of the many fields that R' Dovid Tzvi contributed to, with an emphasis on the citation of articles that can be found online. At the end I will upload his Hebrew articles from the Beis Vaad L'Chachomim I mentioned earlier.

2 - Biblical Criticism and Parshanut -Part A, Part B
4- Rabbinics - Part A

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