By Mordecai M. Kaplan

Judaism as a Civilization continues to be the most unique and thought-provoking contributions towards making a finished application for artistic Jewish lifestyles. during this seminal paintings, Kaplan bargains his now well-known inspiration of Judaism as an evolving spiritual civilization. For Judaism to outlive and develop, Jews needs to proceed to reconstruct their history based on adjustments in social, political, and cultural stipulations, generating new literature and liturgy, including and getting rid of customs and traditions. All Jews - conventional and liberal, spiritual and secular - can play a component in that reconstruction.

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Judaism As a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life

Judaism as a Civilization continues to be the most unique and thought-provoking contributions towards making a entire software for inventive Jewish existence. during this seminal paintings, Kaplan bargains his now recognized notion of Judaism as an evolving spiritual civilization. For Judaism to outlive and develop, Jews needs to proceed to reconstruct their history in line with adjustments in social, political, and cultural stipulations, generating new literature and liturgy, including and doing away with customs and traditions.

Extra info for Judaism As a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life

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3 Not even the Jewries of eastern Europe which until re­ cently seemed strongly intrenched in their traditions have been spared. In Russia, whatever Jewish historical continuity and iden­ tity with the rest of world-Jewr y the Communist regime might have tolerated the Jewish Communists have fanatically sought to destroy, and in a large measure have succeeded. In the west European coun­ tries, it is only anti-Semitism, which refuses to recognize even inter­ marriage and baptism as suf ficiently dejudaizing, that prevents Judaism from disappearing completely.

For them the semi­ nar y was a place in which they became Americanized rather than a << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index This Library PDF version is for the use on an institutional computer only. com INTRODUCTION TO THE 1981 EDITION xli source of new theology. Students after the mid-1940s increasingly represented the third generation, grandchildren of the immigrants of 1881, whose Jewish orientations were quite dif ferent from those of their predecessors. They came to the seminar y not to wrestle with the Judaism of their parents but to discover an unknown territor y.

A whole literature arose to harmonize Greek and Jewish wisdom and to re­ interpret the Bible to “prove” that it was the source of all human wisdom, including Greek philosophy. The culminating figure was Philo, a source of both Jewish and Christian philosophical theology. In the second centur y in the court of Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi, the decisive figure among the progeny of Hillel and the editor of the Mishnah, there were reputedly five hundred young people who stud­ ied Torah and five hundred who studied Greek wisdom.

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