web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Sabato Morais: Forgotten Advocate For Orthodoxy (Part One)


Sabato Morais

Sabato Morais

 

Dr. Morais was active in virtually every civic and charitable cause in Philadelphia. However, his interests were not limited to the city in which he resided. He “carefully followed the political issues of his day both throughout the United States and around the world.” His outspoken support of President Lincoln and the North during the Civil War resulted in his receiving honorary membership in the Philadelphia Union League. He maintained his public opposition to slavery and his support of the Union in the face of extreme pressure, some of it from his own congregants.

 

Morais identified true power and authority with God, not with worldly accomplishments, political muscle, entering the public sphere or gaining public recognition. As Morais once put it, “to exercise social and domestic virtues is to serve the Lord and Redeemer.” For Morais, communal and charitable work functioned as a form of worship, a sacrificial service of the heart (Avodah). Morais followed the biblical writings he read so carefully, such as Jeremiah and Ecclesiastes, in pronouncing earthly achievements “vanities.”

…. In principle Morais objected to…political Zionism because he judged the essentially secular call for a Jewish return to the Land of Israel to be in conflict with the traditional religious doctrine that only God, not Jews, should initiate a messianic restoration. But Morais’ opposition also reflected a religious sensibility rooted in the idea that true piety involved humble submission to God’s will. Three months later, in August 1897, political Zionism was born at Basle, and three months after that Morais died.[iv]

 

“Notable among Morais’ other controversial stances as minister of Mikveh Israel was his support of the right of women to vote on all congregational issues, a policy which was adopted by vote in 1882.”

When, in 1881, thousands of Jews began immigrating to America due to pogroms taking place in Eastern Europe, it was Reverend Morais who was in the forefront of efforts to re-settle them in the United States.


[i] The New York Times, Saturday, November 13, 1897, 7.

[ii]  Ibid.

 [iii] “Dust and Ashes”: The Funeral and Forgetting of Sabato Morais, Arthur Kiron American Jewish History 84.3 (1996) 155-188.  

 [iv] Ibid.

About the Author: Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He now teaches as an adjunct at Stevens. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at llevine@stevens.edu.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

12 Responses to “Sabato Morais: Forgotten Advocate For Orthodoxy (Part One)”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Rabbi Morais' outspoken opposition to chattel slavery may have been unique among Orthodox rabbis in the United States at the time. Two other Orthodox rabbis in America as of 1860, Rabbi Morris Raphall in New York, and Rabbi Bernard Illowy in Baltimore (who shortly moved to New Orleans), were outspoken supporters of slavery.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Rabbi Morais' outspoken opposition to chattel slavery may have been unique among Orthodox rabbis in the United States at the time. Two other Orthodox rabbis in America as of 1860, Rabbi Morris Raphall in New York, and Rabbi Bernard Illowy in Baltimore (who shortly moved to New Orleans), were outspoken supporters of slavery.

  3. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    That's hardly the worst revisionism here. Sabato Morais was the founder of the Jewish Theological Seminary! (and it was absolutely taking positions even in his day that the Charedim at least would consider heretical regarding biblical analysis

  4. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    Not to mention that by today's standards, Mikveh Israel in those days wouldn't be considered Orthodox; all evidence suggests they still had a mixed choir in those days.

  5. Charlie Hall says:

    JTS was orthodox back then; its first graduate became Chief Rabbi of the UK.

    And what is wrong with mixed choirs?

  6. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    Technically nothing since any kol isha concerns should be nullified by the group singing, but I can't imagine an Orthodox synagogue having a choir today, period, much less a mixed one.

  7. Charlie Hall says:

    " I can't imagine an Orthodox synagogue having a choir today"

    http://www.jerusalemgreatsynagogue.com/EN_CantorChoir.aspx

  8. Charlie Hall says:

    "a professional choir participates in services each Friday evening and Shabbat morning, as well as on holidays"

    http://www.shearith-israel.org/folder/learning_history_new.html

  9. Charlie Hall says:

    Choirs are indeed rare in Orthodox synagogues today, but they exist in some rather important large congregations. The HIR choir doesn't sing in services as an organized group — everyone in the congregation sings in services there ;).

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
The United Nations Security Council
UN Security Council Demands Gaza Cease Fire
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Schonfeld-logo1

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

More Articles from Dr. Yitzchok Levine

These letters give us the privilege of knowing him in his old age when he is mellow, tempered in his judgments, and sagacious from long experience of dealing with people.

Gershom Mendes Seixas

The British evacuated New York on November 25, 1783, and Congress demobilized the American army shortly thereafter.

“Simple, modest, altogether unassuming, Gershom spent his happiest hours with his ever-growing family who were never far from his thoughts.

“Attuned to the ideal of establishing a new Zion in free America, they named their new colony Palestine.

Last month’s column outlined some efforts during the first half of the nineteenth century to establish Jewish agricultural colonies in America. In only one case was a colony actually established.

There were very few Jewish farmers in Europe during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Indeed, in many parts of Europe Jews were forbidden to own land. Despite this there were some Jews who always felt they should return to the agrarian way of life their forefathers had pursued in ancient times, and that America was an ideal place to establish Jewish agricultural colonies.

The President having signed the Treaty of the Geneva Conference and the Senate having, on the 16th instant, ratified the President’s actions, the American Association of the Red Cross, organized under provisions of said treaty, purposes to send its agents at once among the sufferers by the recent floods, with a view to the ameliorating of their condition so far as can be done by human aid and the means at hand will permit. Contributions are urgently solicited.

Last month’s column sketched the myriad of social programs in which the Orthodox American communal worker and leader Adolphus S. Solomons (1826-1910) was involved. Adolphus married Rachel Seixas Phillips (1828-1881), a descendant of colonial patriot families and together they had eight daughters and a son.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/glimpses-ajh/sabato-morais-forgotten-advocate-for-orthodoxy-part-one/2013/02/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: