Communings of the Spirit: 1913-1934
Wayne State University Press and the Reconstructionist Press, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 558 pages
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.