By Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter
Mordecai Kaplan, the founding father of the Reconstructionist stream, used to be the main influential and arguable radical Jewish philosopher within the 20th century. This publication examines the highbrow affects that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the combo of private, strategic, and profession purposes that stored Kaplan with reference to Orthodox Jews, posing a question the most important to the certainty of any faith: Can a longtime non secular team research from a heretic who has rejected its such a lot basic ideals?
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Additional resources for A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community
To support this important institution [Jewish Theological Seminary] . . 17 Immigrant banker Sender Jarmalowski was not as articulate about his views on the legitimacy of the seminary’s Orthodoxy. But he undeniably applauded the Kaplans’ career plans for their son. 20 Jarmalowski was not the only Lower East Side lay leader to support or be linked to both the association activities and the seminary initiative. Indeed, there was a community of interest of which they and the Kaplans were a part that, once again, constituted a different strain within a variegated immigrant Orthodox community.
2 Ha-Ivri, one of the early Orthodox periodicals on the Lower East Side, led the chorus of criticism of the seminary’s mission and activities. It scoffed at what it characterized as the low level of Torah learning achieved by seminary students. The weekly once claimed that the advanced students had finished but seventeen pages of Talmud and only segments of Rashi’s commentary in the course of an entire year of study. 3 A reporter for the Yiddishe Welt, another organ of downtown Orthodoxy, shared this negative assessment of the seminary’s work and people.
To be sure, this unofficial historian of Norfolk Street’s Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol—the seat of Rabbi Jacob Joseph’s court—who was a founder of Etz Chaim and secretary of the association,6 had his difficulties with the seminary’s unorthodox faculty members. In , for example, Eisenstein strongly criticized Alexander Kohut. ” For him, Radicals simply wanted to change Judaism quickly while Conservatives were more patient and circumspect. ” The school had to be certain “not to admit Radical congregations to its association because if their numbers increased over the course of time, they would overturn” the seminary’s mission.
A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community by Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter