Kaplan, Mordecai Menahem

(1881–1983)
   US rabbi and founder of Reconstructionist movement. Kaplan became associated with Conservative Judaism after an Orthodox upbringing. His radical philosophy of Judaism, Reconstructionism, was presented in his book Judaism as a Civilization (1934). Kaplan saw God as an impersonal power, which did not reveal itself to man. There was no salvation after death, but (and here faith came into Kaplan’s outlook) salvation was possible in this world through improvement of men and the social order. There was an impersonal power in nature - God - aiding man in fulfilling this legitimate aspiration. Judaism was an ‘evolving religious civilization’. The word ‘civilization’ expressed Kaplan’s belief that it was the Jewish people and its needs that were central, and not any revealed message; the Jewish religion existed for the Jewish people, not the other way round. Kaplan’s philosophy took away the comfort provided by the belief in salvation after death, and the certainty inherent in a belief that God had given a clear message to the world. Kaplan had influence in US Reform circles but most of his followers were within the Conservative movement.
   The Reconstructionist movement published a Sabbath Prayer Book in 1945 which made no mention of a chosen people, revelation of the Torah to Moses, or a personal Messiah. A cherem (‘ban’, excommunication order) was issued against it by the Orthodox authorities and an adverse opinion by the Conservative leaders Louis GINZBERG and Alexander Marx. Kaplan supported the Zionist Movement but wanted Diaspora communities to go on existing side by side with the Jewish state.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • KAPLAN, MORDECAI MENAHEM — (1881–1983), rabbi, philosopher, educator, activist, and founder of the reconstructionist school of thought. Kaplan was born in Svencian, Lithuania. His father, Israel Kaplan, was a talmudic scholar who immigrated to the United States in 1888,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Kaplan, Mordecai Menahem — born June 11, 1881, Švenc̣ionys, Lithu. died Nov. 8, 1983, New York, N.Y., U.S. Lithuanian born U.S. theologian. He came to the U.S. with his family in 1889. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, he later taught there for 50 years. In 1916 …   Universalium

  • Kaplan, Mordecai Menahem — (1881 1983)    American rabbi and founder of the Reconstructionist movement. He was born in Lithuania and at the age of nine emigrated with his family to the US. After his ordination he became rabbi of Kehillath Jeshurun synagogue in New York. In …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Kaplan, Mordecai Menahem — (11 jun. 1881, Švenc̣ionys, Lituania–8 nov. 1983, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Teólogo estadounidense de origen lituano. Llegó a EE.UU. con su familia en 1889. Ordenado en el Jewish Theological Seminary (Seminario teológico judío), luego enseñó… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mordecai Kaplan — Mordecai Menahem Kaplan (11 juin 1881–8 novembre 1983) était rabbin et philosophe. Ses idées furent à la base du judaïsme reconstructionniste. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Évolution de sa théologie 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mordecai (disambiguation) — Mordecai is one of the main personalities in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. Mordecai may also refer to: The Mordechai or Mordecai ben Hillel, major Talmudist and posek Kevin Fertig, an American professional wrestler who used the ring… …   Wikipedia

  • Mordecai Kaplan — Rabbi Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan Organisation Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Society for the Advancement of Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Per …   Wikipedia

  • Kaplan — Vikar * * * Ka|plan [ka pla:n], der; s, Kapläne [ka plɛ:nə]: katholischer Geistlicher, der einem Pfarrer als Hilfe zugeteilt oder mit besonderen Aufgaben betraut ist. Syn.: geistlicher Herr (landsch.), geistlicher Würdenträger (geh.), ↑ Pfaffe… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Kaplan — /kap leuhn/, n. Mordecai Menahem /mawr di kuy may neuh hem , meuh nah hem/, 1881 1983, U.S. religious leader and educator, born in Lithuania: founder of the Reconstructionist movement in Judaism. * * * Kaplan [Kaplan] ; » ↑Stanley Kaplan …   Useful english dictionary

  • Kaplan — /kap leuhn/, n. Mordecai Menahem /mawr di kuy may neuh hem , meuh nah hem/, 1881 1983, U.S. religious leader and educator, born in Lithuania: founder of the Reconstructionist movement in Judaism. * * * …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.