By Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter
Mordecai Kaplan, the founding father of the Reconstructionist circulate, was once the main influential and debatable radical Jewish philosopher within the 20th century. This e-book examines the highbrow impacts that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the combo of private, strategic, and occupation purposes that saved Kaplan with regards to Orthodox Jews, posing a query an important to the certainty of any faith: Can a longtime non secular staff research from a heretic who has rejected its such a lot primary ideals?
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Extra info for A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community
31 Ultimately, Kaplan had the closest ongoing relationship with Israeli, who married Kaplan’s sister, Sophie. 32 While at the seminary, Kaplan and his cohorts lived up to the expectations of their parents and the downtowners who saluted their enrollment there. These serious and religiously observant rabbinical students followed a very strict academic and religious regimen. “Every morning,” Kaplan once reminisced, “the students would hold services beginning at : and go down to the basement for breakfast at :.
They ran a small talmud torah (religious school) that offered a varied curriculum of Bible, history, religion, Hebrew spelling, and grammar taught by volunteers after public school hours and on Sundays. In Drachman would articulate a comprehensive understanding of the value of such an educational system within Orthodox Judaism. That same year Kaplan, Abelson, and Solomon taught Endeavorer Bible and history classes on East Broadway and Clinton Street. 47 Gurock CH 2 10/16/96 8:13 AM Page 30 • TRAINING AT THE SEMINARY For Kaplan, Endeavorer activities exposed or alerted him to two other essential realities about American Orthodox life that would hold him in good stead in the future.
I ask not for riches, I ask not for fame, only that God should open the eyes of my parents to see how they are slowly permitting my soul and spirit to die within me. . [My parents] believe that my ideas will change . . but I tell [them] that ideas are as subject to natural law as bodies , and it is by the fatality of things that I believe as I do, and can never change. 18 In other words, by mid-decade Kaplan had lost faith in the origins and meaning of the ceremonies and prayers held sacred by Orthodox Jews.