Los Angeles, Cal. (Oct. 2)
Rabbi Herman Lissauer has resigned the pulpit of Temple Emanu-El, Reform, whose spiritual leader he has been for the past two years. He will be succeeded by Rabbi Tratner.
The resignation of Rabbi Lissauer, which has aroused considerable comment in the Jewish community, is an outgrowth of a printed statement of his views which were submitted to the membership of Temple Emanu-El about six months ago, and which created, at the time, a great deal of widespread discussion on the part of the foremost religious leaders of all faiths throughout the country.
Following his resignation a group of prominent men of the city sympathetic with his views and with the reform advocated by Rabbi Lissauer, have formed a Committee who are sponsoring a High-Holyday service to be held at the First Unitarian Church, which was obtained for the occasion.
Isaac Pacht is chairman of this committee and Sid Weisman is secretary.
An overflow audience gathered to pay their respects to Rabbi Lissauer at his farewell sermon Friday evening, September 13, at which time he restated his views on Judaism and the place of the synagogue in the Jewish community. One of the high lights of the sermon was his remark that “It seems nowadays that a Rabbi may speak of the truth insofar as the mortgage on the Temple permits.” Elaborating on the theme, Rabbi Lissauer said that as for himself, he would prefer to preach the truth in a modest synagogue, than be forced to compromise with his spirit in an imposing, but financially overburdened structure. Summing up, he said, “The synagogue of the future will rest upon the young. It will be built by and for the generation of young people who have been reared against a scientific background, else it will not be built at all. It must revise its conceptions, grow with the growth of knowledge, and cause its ritual to reflect the highest thought of mankind in the most convincing way. As has been said, I would rather fall under my burden in the dust at the foot of the ladder leaning against the unfinished Temple of the future, than to rule, the proudest of monarchs, in a kingdom that is to pass away.”