Download A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community by Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter PDF

By Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter

Mordecai Kaplan, the founding father of the Reconstructionist flow, was once the main influential and debatable radical Jewish philosopher within the 20th century. This ebook examines the highbrow impacts that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the mix of private, strategic, and occupation purposes that saved Kaplan with regards to Orthodox Jews, posing a query the most important to the knowledge of any faith: Can a longtime non secular workforce research from a heretic who has rejected its so much basic ideals?

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Bring[ing] the message of Judaism to the rising generation in strict conformity with the traditional rules . . ”46 Practically speaking, beginning in , services with men and women separated by a mechitzah (partition) were held “usually on Sabbath afternoons” and often in the vestry rooms of the larger Orthodox congregations. Recognizing the growing unfamiliarity of potential worshipers with the Hebrew siddur, the Endeavorers instituted supplementary English readings and considered substituting English-language translations for the traditional prayers.

For the members of Congregation Beth Israel Bikkur Cholim, an English-speaking rabbi was essential to their identity as American Jews. This synagogue “of Americanized Jews of Polish origin and their Americanborn posterity” traced its origins to downtown’s Chrystie Street in . D. from a German university to be its spiritual leader. Bernard Drachman accepted that call and was prayerfully confident that, given “the history and composition of the congregation . . it would be naturally receptive to .

He was convinced that modern Jews now recognized “that rites and ceremonies are of human origin . . , Orthodoxy] . . so blind and stupid sometimes that we do not realize what is going on before us . . ” He scoffed at the idea that traditional prayers can remain unaltered and their outdated statements explained away as somehow speaking to contemporary experiences. “We will be uttering prayers,” he chided, for Babylonian academies fifteen hundred years after all traces of them is gone. We will be uttering curses against sectaries whose very names have been forgotten.

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