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July 2019 Article

Ten years ago we listened to a series of lectures by our Scholar in Residence, Rabbi Neil Gillman, who opened a new world to us in appreciating Judaism. In addition to his didactic presentations, he encouraged us to take advantage of the wonderful literature that was available to us.

A year ago, in honor of his death, our “Verein Discussion Group” initiated a review of his book “Sacred Fragments”. The book concluded with the suggestion that most Jews develop their own beliefs about the nature of God, the Torah, afterlife, etc. and that there is a value in sharing their beliefs. In order to test the hypothesis we approached the members of our group. Eight individuals agreed to share. That process will be completed in June.

Is one’s personal theology a private matter not to be shared, or is there a value to know that your beliefs are shared by others?

In chapter 4 of his classical book Judaism as a Civilization, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan proposes that the impact of modernism has altered the Jew’s attitude toward traditional beliefs. He describes the factors responsible for forming one’s theology.

On July 13th Dr. Martin Israel will present chapter 4 of Kaplan’s book at a lunch and learn. We hope you will attend and help us answer the question “Do individuals wish to share their personal theology?

Ralph Graff, Richard Gavatin

Thu, April 18 2024 10 Nisan 5784