Authority with Autonomy- R. Emanuel Rackman

“…Moses prayed that the entire congregation might consist of prophets. In periods of overwhelming Jewish illiteracy -as when the Hasidic movement emerged and today- there was and is an undue amount of unquestioning reliance upon “Rebbes” or so called Gedolim (great men). I regard this phenomenon as unfortunate. When Jews become more knowledgeable in their Jewishness, I hope they will recapture in their personal lives a great amount of autonomy, interpreting and applying cherished source materials even as they continue to rely on centralized authority in most matters affecting persons other than themselves.”- Rabbi Emanuel Rackman in his One Man’s Judaism page 19-20 (Philosophical Library, NY 1970)

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1 Comment

by | August 18, 2013 · 5:09 pm

One response to “Authority with Autonomy- R. Emanuel Rackman

  1. Madel

    Throughout my years of Torah study, I’ve wondered what might be the genesis of the 2000 year Tochaicha the Jewish people have experienced in the Common Era despite Rabbinic Orthodox Judaism being the sole denomination for most of that time. As we read Parashat Ki Tavo in light of Devarim’s stated exclusive Torah teaching responsibilities of the Leviim as their inheritance along with their tithe, perhaps we should conclude that Rabbinic Judaism itself is the culprit, coming into existence when it did and appropriating the Levitical inheritance in violation of Bemidbar 36:9. A brilliant exposition of this can be found in the novel HAAZINU (LISTEN UP) published by Gefen Publishing House of Jerusalem.

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