vyer at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Jul 6 14:00:55 UTC 2002
James Landau wrote, among other things:
'Solomon Schechter, who headed the Jewish Theological Seminary at the
beginning of the 20th Century, liked to refer to "Catholic Israel", which I
think is a misleading translation of a Hebrew phrase meaning "the community
Here's what Neil Gillman's book, Conservative Judaism, has to say about this
on page 54:
"Catholic Israel! What a strange term, and how often it has been
misunderstood. It is quite clear what Schechter did not mean. He clearly
did not mean that if we want to know what Judaism stands for, we should
simply look at how most Jews act and what they believe. By that criterion,
Judaism would have been declared long dead. Nor did he feel that rabbis and
scholars should have no influence on the community's understanding of
Judaism. He was far too much of an intellectual elitist to believe that.
The adjective _catholic_ - with a lower-case _c_ - simply means 'universal,'
'broad,' or 'comprehensive,' the opposite of narrow, denominational,
sectarian, or partial.'"
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