The Future of the American Jew

By Mordecai M. Kaplan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWELVE
THE JEWISH RELIGION OF TOMORROW

Religion is articulate on two levels which normally correspond to each other: the level of doctrine about God, or the origin, nature and purpose of the universe and the fullness thereof, and the level of doctrine about salvation, or what constitutes man's ultimate good and how to attain it.


1
THE CHANGING CONCEPTION OF GOD IN JEWISH RELIGION

In the form in which Jewish religion has come down to us, to believe in God meant to believe, (1) that God appeared to the Patriarchs, to Moses and the Prophets in the manner described in the Torah, (2) that He gave proof of the authenticity of His revelation by the miracles that He performed, as recorded in the Bible, and (3) that He dictated the text of the Torah to Moses in order that this Law might be an infallible guide to Israel, to which nothing might be added and from which nothing might be subtracted. From the standpoint of that tradition, you are not a religious Jew, if you deny any of these three facts, even if you believe that there is a God who created the world, who governs human life and with whom we should commune in worship.

It must be plain that these three credos can hardly be accepted today by those who apply the same strict intellectual standards to religion that they do to other phases of human life. Even in the Middle Ages, Jewish philosophers were troubled by the fact that the Biblical accounts of God's self-revelation were inconsistent with a truly spiritual conception of God. In the Bible, God is represented as walking in the Garden of Eden,1 as appearing in human form before Abraham's tent,2 as talking to Moses "face to face,"3 or, as covering Moses' eyes but permitting Moses to see His back after He had passed by.4 Though the medieval philosophers managed to reinterpret the Biblical passages so as to reconcile them with a spiritual conception of God, to their own satisfaction, their method of reconciling these contradictions are not convincing to us today. The great masses of our people, at any rate, continued to conceive of God in crudely anthropomorphic form.

The use of miracle as a means of validating divine intervention is

-199-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Future of the American Jew
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 571

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.