SCHECTER[1]

SCHECTER[1] - n 1 #31 Meeting of the Minds Apr. 1 2003 8A n...

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n 1 #31 Meeting of the Minds Apr. 1 2003 8A
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n Both Solomon Schecter and Martin Luther were religious reformers. Superficially their goals and aspirations seem very similar, but in truth they were not. An examination of their lives and goals will demonstrate that throughout their careers they changed and sculpted their religions, but in very different ways. Solomon Schecter was born in Rumania in 1847 to a family of ritual slaughters, or Schechters in German. As a teenager he learned with Rabbi Joseph Saul Nathson in Lunenburg. After that he went to Vienna where he continued his Judaic studies. While in Vienna he developed an interest in making Judaism accessible to everyone, and an idea that he would later call "Catholic Israel". “Catholic Israel” is the idea that the standard OF WHAT in Judaism changes, with what ever is popular thing to do is. This interest turned into a life long goal, which Schecter would strive to reach. At the age of twenty-nine Schecter went to Berlin, where he studied at the University, and in 1892 his friend asked him if he would come to London and train him to become a rabbi. While Schecter was in England he quickly became a Jewish leader and representative. He rose to the position of Lecturer in Talmud and Reader of Rabbinics in Cambridge University. While he was at Cambridge University he wrote his first book, a commentated version of the Jewish book Avot-de-Rabbi Nathan. Soon after he wrote this first book he became involved with a project that would become his most famed one of all. In the Mediterranean area there was a discovery made of fragments of old manuscripts in a place named the Cairo 2
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n Geniza. A geniza is a place where sacred texts that have been distorted, or are in need of disposing out for any other reasons, are disposed of. These fragments were given to Cambridge University, and then passed on to Solomon Schecter. With the help of Charles Taylor, a minister at St. Johns College, they were able to put the fragments together and publish the original version of the ancient book Ben Sira . This discovery caused a large stir in Jewish and Mediterranean history, by showing how life and holy writings have changed over the past thousand or more years. In 1901 Schecter was offered a job as the president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. He came to America and served there from 1902 until he died in 1915 While he was at the Seminary he put together a faculty of well known people, such as Louis Ginzberg, Alexander Marx, Israel Friedlander, Israel Davidson, and Mordecai Kaplan. Over time the Jewish Theological Seminary began to grow in popularity and esteem; it was fast becoming the center for Judaism in America. Schecter made sure to keep the seminary on a path that was in between the Reform and Orthodox movements. He felt that change was good, but it should just happen naturally, as it becomes necessary. Schecter, in 1905, accepted Zionism in the Seminary; he felt that Zionism
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SCHECTER[1] - n 1 #31 Meeting of the Minds Apr. 1 2003 8A n...

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