University presses often publish dense academic books that elicit little interest from the masses. Popular publishing houses sometimes take the opposite route, producing light, aesthetically-pleasing works that some people like calling “fluff.” Join the two together, however, and one hopefully gets books that both nourish the soul and please the eye. Such is the nature of a recent collaboration between Yeshiva University Press and Maggid Books (an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem).
In October, the two publishing houses released Mitokh Ha-Ohel, a compendium of divrei Torah on all of Chumash by dozens of different Yeshiva University rabbis, professors, and instructors; in November, they published a special 20th anniversary addition of Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm’s seminal work, Torah Umadda,with an afterword by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks; and this week, this publishing duo will release its third volume, The Laws and Concepts of Niddah, by YU Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky. This latest work is also the inaugural volume of a projected series of practical halachic books by YU’s roshei yeshiva.
“It’s part of a newly focused initiative to cultivate and develop works from the roshei yeshiva and rabbinic faculty of YU,” said Rabbi Daniel Feldman, the Practical Halakhah Series editor, and an instructor in YU’s Stone Beit Midrash Program.
Many of the ideas and halachic positions of YU’s roshei yeshiva already reach a wide audience via Yeshiva University’s Torah website, www.YUTorah.org. This new series of halachic works, however, promises to expand that audience further still. Rabbi Sobolofsky’s book on niddah includes supplementary notes and halachic rulings by noted YU scholars Rav Hershel Schachter, Rav Mordechai Willig, and Rav Yaakov Neuburger.
“A major component of Yeshiva University’s contribution to the world is to make the Torah available within our four walls,” said Rabbi Feldman, “but it’s also to make it available beyond our four walls to the broader community . We’re really excited about [Rabbi Sobolofsky's book].”