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Rabbis Urged to Turn More Attention to Campus Than to Synagogue

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An Orthodox rabbi who is associate professor of philosophy at Yeshiva University today told the Rabbinical Council of America, at its annual convention here, that “if Judaism is to win the hearts and minds of educated Jews, we must turn our attention more to the campus than to the synagogue.”

The speaker was Dr. Norman Lamm who, in addition to teaching Jewish philosophy, is also associate rabbi of The Jewish Center, of New York. He noted that, among the 365, 000 Jews now in American universities, secularism and doubt are rampant, and “irritating” questioning is frequent.

To combat those trends, he said, “we must turn more to the lecture than to the sermon, more to the podium than to the pulpit. In our encounter with the young intellectuals, we must understand their questions before we offer our answers. Modern Orthodoxy can no longer ignore the facts of life and act as if instruction in religious observance and education in Talmudic law will, by themselves, keep the secularist wolf from the door.” The convention is being attended by 600 Orthodox rabbis.

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