Sectors of American Judaism: Reform, Orthodoxy, Conservatism, and Reconstructionism

By Jacob Neusner | Go to book overview

17
THE REFORM SYNAGOGUE: PLIGHT AND POSSIBILITY

RICHARD N. LEVY

Having paid close attention to the Reform rabbi, we now turn to the Reform synagogue. Dr. Lenn has already alerted us to the presence of a sense of crisis. Rabbi Levy states the substance of that perceived crisis. He sees the Reform synagogue as a failure by any standard of achievement. But he holds that the Reform synagogue need not fail. This too is a measure of vitality and promise of Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Levy stresses the central issues of synagogue life: worship, education, community, social action. People find prayer difficult. The schools do not seem to educate. There is little sense of community. The synagogue appears to underline the alienation, and not the integration, of its members. Clearly, what Rabbi Levy says about Reform synagogues is apt to apply to all synagogues of the same modern type, and that type surely predominates. His solution is the creation of a synagogue-community upon the basis of a shared perception of the world. When a true sense of community is discovered, then the several tasks of the Reform synagogue can successfully be carried out.

Some may find this solution formal, not substantive. For prior and necessary to the formation of community is the presence of the raw material, of the constitutive elements, of community. These are commonalities of belief, practice, perception. How can people work together who have nothing in common but a desire to work together? What will be their shared agenda? If individually they do not believe in prayer, will they collectively find prayer expressive of their human circumstance? What indeed will prayer express? Rabbi Levy, like Dr. Fein in the following paper, will answer that the yearning for community and the affirmation of "some kind of Jewishness" together do form foundations for the building of community. Perhaps so. Yet communities rarely are more than the sum of their parts, the individuals who come together. Yearning without fulfillment, like "Jewishness" without Judaism, in this writer's opinion is apt to yield an empty exercise in collective confusion. The primary issue of Reform Judaism, for rabbis and lay activists alike, is to recover the Judaism which is to be reformed, to regain access to

-63-

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

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
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, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 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.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sectors of American Judaism: Reform, Orthodoxy, Conservatism, and Reconstructionism
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
/ 328

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, 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."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.

    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.