By Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter
Mordecai Kaplan, the founding father of the Reconstructionist circulate, was once the main influential and arguable radical Jewish philosopher within the 20th century. This publication examines the highbrow impacts that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the combo of non-public, strategic, and profession purposes that saved Kaplan with regards to Orthodox Jews, posing a query the most important to the knowledge of any faith: Can a longtime spiritual crew study from a heretic who has rejected its so much basic ideals?
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Extra info for A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community
Some fifty years after he preached in the Henry Street Synagogue “at a mincha service . . conducted by the Jewish Endeavor League [sic],” Kaplan would recall that the father of one of his youthful congregants was highly distressed “when [he] learned where [his son] was that Sabbath afternoon. He said to him: ‘You are a shaigetz [lit. ”49 Kaplan would meet up with this type of American Orthodox opinion, too, when he graduated from the seminary and, in , was called to the pulpit at Yorkville’s Kehilath Jeshurun, in the first decade of the twentieth century one of Orthodoxy’s most prominent congregations.
Solomon, and Phineas Israeli were to be Kaplan’s schoolmates throughout his educational career. These four boys, like Kaplan, were born in Lithuania and brought as children to the United Gurock CH 2 10/16/96 8:13 AM Page 25 TRAINING AT THE SEMINARY • States. They met up with Mordecai in Public School No. 30 In any event, many years later Kaplan would recall that, during the – school year, he and Solomon “moved away from our parents’ homes and lived in the seminary dormitory. ”31 Ultimately, Kaplan had the closest ongoing relationship with Israeli, who married Kaplan’s sister, Sophie.
Indeed, it was a frustrated Mordecai who complained to Israel Kaplan about his lack of growth in Talmud at . Acting totally in character, but in his own idiosyncractic way, Kaplan’s father hastened to remedy this situation. He turned once again to Rabbi Sossnitz, who not only tutored Kaplan in “Talmud [but also] read . . some of the Jewish philosophical works . . to supplement . . 41 In retrospect Kaplan also suggested that during his “miserable years” at he also learned next to nothing from, among others, Bernard Drachman, his professor of Bible, history, philosophy, and homiletics.
A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community by Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter