This Is Judaism

This Is Judaism

This Is Judaism

This Is Judaism

Excerpt

Members of my congregation, pupils in my confirmation classes, and Christian friends have frequently asked for a book which would state the principles of Reform Judaism. This Is Judaism is an answer to such requests. In it are briefly outlined for the lay reader the fundamentals of religion as taught in hundreds of Jewish congregations in America which subscribe to Reform Judaism. Because Reform Judaism minimized ritual, it emphasized prophetic teachings and the pulpits of its congregations have become the sounding boards for prophetic idealism.

Part I of this book deals with the historic beginnings of Judaism and indicates acceptance of the tenets of biblical criticism. The views I express I learned in the classrooms of the Hebrew Union College from Julian Morgenstern, then a professor, now president of the college. Dr. Morgenstern's theories about the beginning of Israel's history were outlined in a paper on "The Foundation of Israel's History," read before the Central Conference of American Rabbis at its annual meeting in 1915. Its findings were readily accepted by some and angrily resented by others. As the years have passed the overwhelming majority of Reform rabbis have come to take its conclusions for granted.

Part II outlines the fundamental tenets of prophetic religion, its belief in God, its view of man, its concept of prayer, immortality, etc. There is also a section on Jesus, which will surprise only those not familiar with Reform Judaism.

Part III deals with the application of prophetic religion to life and presents attitudes and views on social issues . . .

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