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Read e-book online A voice that spoke for justice: the life and times of PDF

By Melvin I. Urofsky

ISBN-10: 0873955382

ISBN-13: 9780873955386

Within the first 1/2 this century, a skilled and charismatic management restructured the yankee Jewish neighborhood to satisfy the calls for and possibilities of a pluralistic, secular society. The paintings of this new release of titans nonetheless courses the present modes of yankee Jewish lifestyles. The final of those giants used to be the influential reformer Stephen S. Wise--a progenitor of yank Zionism, writer of the yank and international Jewish Congresses, and founding father of the Jewish Institute of faith. As rabbi of the unfastened Synagogue, clever led the struggle for a residing Judaism attentive to social problems.

This engrossing learn is greater than a chronicle of an ethnic community's adjustment to a bunch society. because of Melvin Urofsky's painstaking examine, it succeeds in revealing the real tale in the back of a mythical and arguable determine in American Jewish heritage.

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Extra resources for A voice that spoke for justice: the life and times of Stephen S. Wise

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Wise's life, however, is more than a chronicle of an ethnic community's adjustment to the host society. He had a singular vision in which the ethical teachings of the ancient Hebrew prophets merged with the Jeffersonian ideals of an egalitarian society. Jewish communal life could prosper in this land only if it adopted democratic practices, while the promise of America demanded that it adhere to the high standards of social justice elaborated so eloquently in Isaiah and Micah. For Wise, therefore, the battles for democracy in Jewish affairs and against antisemitism were part and parcel of his struggles in progressive and liberal reforms.

Despite the image of cloistered, aenemic yeshiva scholars, Wise was a vigorous lad with more than average strength, which he indulged in wrestling, running, and climbing, as well as dodging carriages and delivery wagons on the crowded asphalt streets. He and his friends walked for miles exploring the bustling city, often winding up at one of the many docks on the East River, where they watched in fascination as longshoremen unloaded cargoes from all over the world. He also learned about a less attractive aspect of the city, the corrupt ward politics of Tammany Hall, with its stuffed ballot boxes and purchased votes.

On the one hand, of course, lay Judaism and the Jewish people, the rich heritage he received from his father. Every night over the dinner table Aaron Wise would talk with his family about the glories and sufferings of Jews, of the stories of distress he heard from new immigrants arriving each day. From the age of seven, Stephen Wise claimed, he knew what he wanted to be: a rabbi, the seventh generation in a line stretching back more than two centuries. 6 But the life of the secular world, especially politices, also fascinated him.

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A voice that spoke for justice: the life and times of Stephen S. Wise by Melvin I. Urofsky

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