Feb 04, 2016 - Sale 2404

Sale 2404 - Lot 162

Price Realized: $ 1,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 700 - $ 1,000
(JUDAICA.) Jastrow, Morris, Jr. Jews and Judaism: An Address . . . before the Congregation Rodef Shalom. 23 pages. 8vo, orginal printed wrappers with short closed tear in lower margin; faint vertical fold, otherwise minimal wear; inscribed on half-title "With regards, Phila, Jan 18 '87." Philadelphia, 1886

Additional Details

In 1885, Jastrow was appointed as a lecturer in his father's Philadelphia congregation, but resigned after one year. In this, his farewell lecture, he offers a measured critique of American Judaism. He argues that "what Judaism is, is one thing, what modern Jews believe or do not believe is another" (page 10), and that "the life and death of Judaism. . . does not depend on our adherence to it" (page 20). He concludes that "man needs religion. I care not what religion it is, but all of us need a religion" (page 22). His complex argument expresses a deep reverence for Judaism, but deep frustration with its inconsistencies. The New York Times reported that Jastrow "caused a sensation . . . by announcing from the pulpit that he had renounced Judaism" (7 December 1886). Jastrow went on to a long career as a scholar, often writing on Jewish subjects. Singerman 3449. Only 6 copies of this important pamphlet appear in OCLC, and none are known at auction.