Communings of the Spirit: The Journals of Mordecai M. Kaplan, Volume 1: 1913-1934 (American Jewish Civilization Series)

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9780814331163: Communings of the Spirit: The Journals of Mordecai M. Kaplan, Volume 1: 1913-1934 (American Jewish Civilization Series)

Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983), founder of Reconstructionism, is the preeminent American Jewish thinker and rabbi of our times. His life embodies the American Jewish experience of the first half of the twentieth century. With passionate intensity and uncommon candor, Kaplan compulsively recorded his experience in his journal (some 10,000 pages).

This first volume of Communings of the Spirit covers Kaplan's early years as a rabbi, teacher of rabbis, and community leader. Kaplan, who trained rabbis for half a century, gives us an inside picture of life at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the center of Conservative Judaism in America. He records his masterful weekly sermons, which were attended regularly by his students. With unflinching candor, he reveals his successes and failures, uncertainties and self-doubts. Undeterred by attacks on his radical beliefs, he never wavered in the pursuit of a more dynamic Judaism.

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Book Description:

Selections from the diary of the founder of Reconstructionism in America, covering Kaplan's early years as a rabbi, teacher of rabbis, and community leader.

From the Publisher:

Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983), founder of Reconstructionism, is the preeminent American Jewish thinker and rabbi of our times. His life embodies the American Jewish experience of the first half of the twentieth century. With passionate intensity and uncommon candor, Kaplan compulsively recorded his experience in his journal (some 10,000 pages). "Communings of the Spirit" contains key entries from twenty-seven volumes of Kaplan's diaries and covers his early years as a rabbi, teacher of rabbis, and community leader. This very human document will be of interest to all who wrestle with religious and philosophical questions. Kaplan's topics range from struggling to find a contemporary conception of God to his views on assisted suicide; from Jewish survival in America's democratic society to questions of whether or not prayer should be for children; from detailed personal descriptions of such prominent Jewish leaders as Chaim Weizmann, Solomon Schechter and Louis Brandeis to explaining to his daughter Judith how to meet men.

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