Sadly millions of Jews have left the faith. Others venture forth only hesitantly into a synagogue, now a bastion of fossilized ritual and conspicuous consumption. These millions needed more from the orthodoxy, and this book attempts to show them the way back by giving renewed life to the heritages of Judaism, and, consequently, to its meaning for the modern world. Judaism’s Promise argues for a return to the synagogue’s originating Hellenistic commitment «to come together» in intellectual and moral study. As Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan argued, Judaism must once more become in the 20–21st century the civilization that it once represented to the wider world, and not a fossilized ceremonialism.
Chapter 1: The Future of the Jews?
The Future of the Jews?
The role of the Jews in the modern world relates to a pungent and relevant statistic. In a review of the demography of the religions of the world, the 2007 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica gives us the following “membership” numbers as of 2006: Bahai, 7,800,000; Buddhist, 382,542,000; Christian, 2,173,184,000; Hindu, 871,982,000; Judaism, 15,118,000; Muslim, 1,335,964,000; Zoroastrian, 180,300.
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