Central Conference of American Rabbis Criticizes “exgommunication” of Prof. Kaplan

The “excommunication” of Prof. Mordecai M. Kaplan by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of America, and the public burning of the prayer book he edited, was characterized as “a shocking demonstration of intolerance” by the Central Conference of American Rabbis at a meeting of its executive board held following the adjournment of its 56th annual conference here. The following resolution was adopted:

“The Central Conference of American Rabbis through its Executive Board expresses its strongest condemnation of the act of a group of rabbis who recently excommunicated Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan for publishing a modernized prayer-book and who publicly burned the book which they condemned.

“This shocking action violates the very spirit of freedom of thought and the tolerance which we cherish in our country. It is an expression of bigotry which has saddened the pages of human history. Without taking sides in the theologic issues involved, we nevertheless must condemn unreservedly the revival of medieval acts of excommunication and book burning.

“When some rabbis who are out of touch with the modern spirit indulge themselves in such outgrown practices they make themselves ridiculous and impair the good name of the entire rabbinate. We hope that those responsible for this action will, in the future, bethink themselves and exercise self-discipline whenever the impulse to ban and burn tempts them to such shocking demonstrations.”

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