Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Rabbi Rackman Hits Dr. Goldmann for Criticizing Role of Synagogue

January 15, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, asserted today Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, had made “an egregious error” in warning against the growing role of the synagogue in American Jewish life.

The Orthodox rabbinical leader, speaking at the 50th Jubilee convention of the Religious Zionists of America, Mitrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi, said that “by becoming more synagogue-minded, Jews are giving expression to those precepts which constitute the very essence of Israel’s reason for existence.

“Dr. Goldmann seems to make an egregious error when he falls to evaluate the historic role which the synagogue in the United States is playing in providing the overall guidance and support for the sustaining of the viability of the State of Israel, ” Rabbi Rackman told the 800 delegates. He said that while it was the duty of Jews everywhere to uphold “the tremendous importance of Israel as a democratic nation, we should not allow it to degenerate into another sovereign idol usually associated with pagan nationalism.”

He also accused Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath, president of the Reform Union of American Hebrew Congregations, of making a “major blunder” in his recent denunciation of “Orthodoxy’s so-called domination and control of the religious affairs of the State of Israel. In fact, Rabbi Eisendrath should recommend to the Government of Israel a long-needed return to and restoration of the fundamental beliefs, values and practices of traditional Judaism,” he said, particularly since Reform Judaism in the United States “is currently recognizing the inherent dangers and fallacies of permitting radical departures from the historical and accepted patterns of strict Jewish observance. “

He told the delegates that the World Bank should cancel its recent lean of $56,500,000 to the United Arab Republic for widening the Suet Canal if UAR President Nasser “continues to carry on in his dictatorial fashion” in barring the Canal to Israel cargoes.

Recommended from JTA