Religion: The Old & the New

"How can anyone who edits a prayer book be an atheist?" To stocky, white-haired Dr. Mordecai M. (for Menahem) Kaplan, 64, dean of the Teachers Institute of Manhattan's Jewish Theological Seminary, the question was rhetorical. But the Union of Orthodox Rabbis had a flat answer. For years the Union had regarded Dr. Kaplan with suspicion. Last week it came right out and called him an '"atheist."

Mordecai Kaplan, always an unorthodox thinker, began outraging Jewish fundamentalists a decade ago by launching the "reconstructionist" movement to liberalize Hebrew doctrine. The issue last week was a newly published Sabbath

Prayer Book, for which Dr. Kaplan...

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