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By Jeffrey Gurock, Jacob Schacter

Mordecai Kaplan, the founding father of the Reconstructionist circulate, used to be the main influential and debatable radical Jewish philosopher within the 20th century. This ebook examines the highbrow affects that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the combo of non-public, strategic, and occupation purposes that saved Kaplan with reference to Orthodox Jews, posing a question the most important to the knowledge of any faith: Can a longtime spiritual crew examine from a heretic who has rejected its such a lot basic ideals?

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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. ”42 However, an early bad experience with Drachman, and subsequent confrontations with that senior rabbi in the s, may have clouded or skewered Kaplan’s account of his student days and of the rabbinic role model who provided him with practical training and on-the-job experience that he needed to become a functioning and successful American Orthodox rabbi.

Congregational singing was encouraged, Yiddish played no role in rabbinic discourse or lay discussion, and all overt signs of commercialism were eliminated. Concomitant with the start of these services, the Endeavorers instituted educational, social, and cultural programs with American values and influences in mind. 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.

There is no indication that, at this time, Kaplan and the others shared the theological perspectives of that congregation’s rabbi, the Rev. Dr. 35 Although Kaplan understood what his parents and their segment of the downtown community wanted him to learn in order to become a successful American Orthodox rabbi, it is not certain what the young teenager himself wanted most out of his education at . Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that, for all the modern ideas and talk about Mordecai’s career that swirled around the Kaplan home, traditional subjects, the bedrock of Talmud that his father taught him, long intrigued and impressed the youngster.

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