Religion: Hearts, Hats & Ham

Judaism was once defined, by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, as "a religion without mysteries or miracles, rational and self-evident ... in perfect harmony with modern science, criticism and philosophy, and in full sympathy with universal liberty, equality, justice, and charity."

Bohemia-born Rabbi Wise arrived in the U.S. in 1846 to find the country's Jews scattered and unorganized, and falling away from their ancient faith. For half a century he traveled up & down the land preaching and organizing a new, liberalized Judaism; it laid less stress on traditional forms and observances than on cutting the vital principles of the Old Testament to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!