THE ART OF BEING A JEW by Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer


Email this review


These are lectures originally delivered by Rabbi Kertzer to his congregation at Larchmont Temple in Westchester. A Reformed Jew, the Rabbi defines the ""Art of Being a Jew"" as ""the ability to perceive in this universe an inherent force that makes for righteousness, an acute awareness that within the very fabric of our being is a moral force which breathes truth and goodness and beauty into man's experience"". Modern Reformed Judaism, Rabbi Kertzer insists, does not leave out God, but no longer envisions Him ""a policeman with a stick""...""a doorkeeper at the gates"". ""Liberalism and Judaism"" investigates the political penchant of many Jewish Americans. There is a very funny examination of other people's stereotypes vis-a-vis Jewishness and bridge: ""They usually bid no trump -- but they always make it."" On the subject of Zionism, one feels that Rabbi Kertzer begs the tion. And Norman Cousins -- ""How is it that Mr. Cousins fails to acknowledge, even to himself, that his Jewish heritage is in back of such shining idealism?"" is very likely to use the pages of the Saturday Review for a depth analysis of humanism in the absence of God. Rabbi Kertzer is at his unequivocal and eloquent best as he plummets ""Israel and Eichmann"" in two parts, one before and one after the sentence of death was pronounced: ""Israel, being human, felt prey to its own humanity and missed an important occasion to bear witness to the moral grandeur which was responsible for the nation's birth..."" The congregant is a fortunate one.

Publisher: World