A Time to Speak: Of Man, Faith, and Society

A Time to Speak: Of Man, Faith, and Society

A Time to Speak: Of Man, Faith, and Society

A Time to Speak: Of Man, Faith, and Society

Excerpt

This book offers abundant testimony of Doctor Stuart E. Rosenberg's mature and realistic outlook on recent trends in the spiritual life of the United States and Canada. Rabbi Rosenberg makes many penetrating observations which touch on important facets of the life of the individual and the community. He critically assesses the astonishing growth in religious affiliation among all religious groups, a growth in which the synagogue has shared in abundant manner.

The author has seen his congregation thrive in a spectacular fashion. With a building which is considered an architectural triumph, with attendance at services, which in their size and constancy would be the answer to any rabbi's prayer and with an educational program that arrests attention for its depth and scope, this rabbi nevertheless refuses to be "at ease in Zion." He perceives a return to the synagogue and not yet a return to religion. He is disturbed about the tendency to expect the rabbi to abdicate his historical role as a teacher of Judaism and as a "rabbi in Israel," and to become the executive director and public relations manager of a particular synagogue. He envisions the entire community and the complete human being -- at home, in the market place as well as in the house of worship -- as being the concern of the rabbi and of the tradition which he represents.

Rabbi Rosenberg is not at all happy with the "crisis theology" which is endeavoring to establish a beachhead in Judaism, whereby man's faith in the perfectability of man in history is renounced and human redemption is promised for a period "beyond history." Rabbi Rosenberg, true to the teachings of biblical and rabbinic teaching calls for the revival of prophetic religion which dares to scrutinize our moral life and to stress the urgency and the possibility of improving ourselves and the world in which we live.

A number of the essays in this volume enrich our understanding of the historic forces that molded the religious life of American Jewry. Drawing on hitherto untapped source material . . .

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