By Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter
Mordecai Kaplan, the founding father of the Reconstructionist flow, used to be the main influential and arguable radical Jewish philosopher within the 20th century. This booklet examines the highbrow impacts that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the combo of private, strategic, and profession purposes that saved Kaplan on the subject of Orthodox Jews, posing a question the most important to the certainty of any faith: Can a longtime spiritual team examine from a heretic who has rejected its so much basic ideals?
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Additional resources for A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community
23 This latter school was established in to continue Etz Chaim’s type of education on a more advanced level. At its inception was literally an East European yeshiva on American soil, with a curriculum and outlook comparable to Volozhin. 24 But, for now, and operated in different worlds. 25 Given what Jarmalowski and his fellows had come to believe, it was a moment of shared joy for the family and congregation when, at his bar mitzvah on June , , seminary student Mordecai Kaplan ascended the Kehal Adath Jeshurun pulpit and offered a learned rabbinic discourse in Yiddish.
17 Within the privacy of his journal Kaplan blamed both his parents and himself for his predicament. They had wanted him so much to be a spiritual leader for his generation, and he had acquiesced. But now, to his own shame, he was nothing less than an Orthodox rabbi who preached about and supported traditional teachings and ideas to which he personally no longer subscribed. He prayed that his parents would release him—as it were—from his vows. But they did not appear to understand the pain he experienced.
Preserv[ing] in America the knowledge and practice of historical Judaism as ordained in the Law of Moses and expounded by the prophets and sages of Israel in Biblical and Talmudical writings,” their pursuit of that goal did not preclude them from associating with Jewish scholars who did not share their fidelity to Orthodoxy. By contrast, East European yeshivas never countenanced religiously heterogeneous faculties. The presence of “nontraditional” men like Rabbis Marcus Jastrow, David Davidson, Joshua Joffee, and Alexander Kohut in seminary teaching or advisory positions made it suspect to this segment of Orthodox downtowners.
A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community by Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter