Sunday, April 08, 2012

Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan's 13 Wants

I found this on-line and wanted to share it with you. I wrote my MA thesis on the work of Rabbi Kaplan, and learned from him privately in Jerusalem in 1976. I had not seen this text before. It only enhances my appreciation of this great sage.

A prayer composed by Mordecai Kaplan in 1926 for the dedication of the new headquarters of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ).

1. We want Judaism to help us overcome temptation, doubt and discouragement.
2. We want Judaism to imbue us with a sense of responsibility for the righteous use of the blessings wherewith God endows us.
3. We want the Jew so to be trusted that his yea will be taken as yea, and his nay as nay.
4. We want to learn how to utilize our leisure to best advantage, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.
5. We want the Jewish home to live up to its traditional standards of virtue and piety.
6. We want the Jewish upbringing of our children to further their moral and spiritual growth, and to enable them to accept with joy their heritage as Jews.
7. We want the synagogue to enable us to worship God in sincerity and in truth.
8. We want our religious traditions to be interpreted in terms of understandable experience and to be made relevant to our present-day needs.
9. We want to participate in the upbuilding of Eretz Yisrael as a means to the renaissance of the Jewish spirit.
10.           We want Judaism to find rich, manifold and ever new expression in philosophy, letters and the arts.
11.           We want all forms of Jewish organization to make for spiritual purpose and ethical endeavor.
12.           We want the unity of Israel throughout the world to be fostered through mutual help in time of need, and through cooperation in the furtherance of Judaism at all time.
13.           We want Judaism to function as a potent influence for justice, freedom and peace in the life of men and nations.


The author of this blog is said...

Wow this is beautiful and so speaks to me and my community as if it had articulated some of our deepest wants right now. Thanks for sharing

Raksha said...

This is just beautiful...definitely a keeper! It seems so contemporary and relevant, it's hard to believe it was written in 1926. Thank you for posting this wonderful find.