Rabbi Meir Soloveichik was a scholar in residence at YICC about nine years ago, before he had his PhD.
Then, about four years ago, he was in residence one weekend at Bnai David-Judea.
This week he was in Los Angeles representing Yeshiva University, where he’s the director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought.
Big whoopy doo, you say. Who cares?
Well, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik is not only American Orthodox Judaism’s leading public intellectual, he’s about American Orthodox Judaism’s only public intellectual. Which other Orthodox Jews speak from the Jewish tradition about the wider world in the esteemed intellectual publications?
Friday night, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik spoke at a home near Young Israel of North Beverly Hills about Adams, Jefferson and the Jews.
On Shabbos morning, he spoke at Beth Jacob about “Tebow and Tefilla.”
He opened with five minutes on why Tim Tebow matters. He’s the most public prayer in America today. There’s a website about his form of prayer — Tebowing.com.
The rabbi listed several reasons why this form of prayer is important but I’ve forgotten them.
Rabbi Meir Soloveichik apparently believes that Tim Tebow will soon be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets.
The rabbi praised the way the quarterback was unafraid to pray publicly. The rabbi praised the quarterback’s charitable works, such as flying in sick kids to his games and meeting with them before and after the contests, often spending an hour after games and bringing his teammates with him.
The rabbi said that a few years ago at a Hanukkah party at the White House, President Bush put his arm around him and said, “Thank you for your good work for the Lord.”
The rabbi doubted whether the president truly knew if the rabbi was doing good work for the Lord, but the rabbi is attempting to do good work for the Lord with his Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. The rabbi said that Orthodox Jews should not just benefit from America, but give back to it from the wisdom of their tradition.