Covenantal Imperatives
Essays by Walter S. Wurzburger on
Jewish Law,Thought & Community

Edited By Eliezer L. Jacobs & Shalom Carmy
July 2008
Urim Publications
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
ISBN: 9789655240009
325 pages, 6 3/4 x 9 1/2"
$28.95 Hardcover


Covenantal Imperatives, a collection of essays selected from the nearly six decades of Rabbi Walter Wurzburger's illustrious career, combines the author’s mastery of Halakhah with a deep understanding of Jewish philosophy. By adopting religious cohesion as the cornerstone of his ideas, Rabbi Wurzburger builds a case for the meeting point of ethics and traditional Judaism, delving deeply into the thoughts of some of the greatest Jewish thinkers, especially those of his teacher, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Covering topics ranging from cooperation with non-Orthodox branches of Judaism, the Sabbath, and his concept of modern Orthodoxy, Rabbi Wurzburger’s essays are a true representation of the work of an original thinker and leader in the American Jewish community.

Rabbi Walter S. Wurzburger, Ph.D. (1920–2002), a distinguished leader and teacher in the Jewish community for nearly sixty years, was a vital force in modern Orthodox thought. He taught philosophy at Yeshiva University for thirty-five years and held rabbinic posts in Boston and Toronto prior to leading Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence, New York from 1967 to 1994, remaining rabbi emeritus until his death.

During his quarter-century as the Editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought, he helped shape the agenda of the modern Orthodox community and elevated its ideological discourse significantly. Rabbi Wurzburger served as the President of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Rabbinical Council of Canada and the Synagogue Council of America. He is the author of two books: Ethics of Responsibility: Pluralistic Approaches to Covenantal Ethics and God Is Proof Enough. He also co-edited A Treasury of Tradition.

Rabbi Wurzburger, who received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and remained one of his most faithful students, was ordained at Yeshiva University and received his MA and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is survived by Naomi, his wife of fifty-five years, and their children and grandchildren.

About the Author:
Rabbi Shalom Carmy, who teaches Jewish studies and philosophy at Yeshiva University, is an Editor of the series Me-Otzar ho-Rav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Carmy is also the Editor of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought.

A graduate of Rutgers University, Elie Jacobs attended Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion in Israel. Elie works as a public relations consultant and lives in New York City.



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