Page 150 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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of Torah on all age levels, and sharing in communal respon­
sibilities. The latter implies identification with the State of Israel
to a maximum degree. Hopefully, revived interest will eventually
lead to decisive commitment. The above are briefly the outlines of
an agenda for modern Jews conveyed with pathos and passion by
a leading spokesman for Conservative Judaism.
With regard to Jewish-Christian relationships in a pluralistic
society, Gordis suggests that dialog between the two faiths is
possible, even desirable, providing the following criteria are ac­
cepted as basic rules: 1. abandon slanderous contrasts between
the God of stern justice in the Old Testament vs. the God of love
in the New Testament; 2. discontinue the practice of emphasizing
the tribalism of the O.T. vs. the universalism of the N .T .; 3.
refrain from the practice of citing lofty pronouncements from the
Hebrew Bible as if their origin were in the N.T.: 4. recognize the
premise that Judaism in the 20th century, though rooted in the
Bible, represents a religio-cultural pattern of long development.
What may ultimately result from such dialog is an honest recogni­
tion of fundamental differences in theology. This should not
exclude mutual respect and cooperation in banishing hatred and
advancing progress in local endeavor.
Gordis’ selected works are listed in two groups: Bible studies
and philosophic writings. Annotations have been added where a
title of a given work does not fully define its scope and intended
purpose. As a rule, coverage of a given subject is comprehensive.
This is what students say about Gordis’ teaching in the classroom.
This is also the conviction with which an audience leaves at the
conclusion of his lectures and with which a reader finishes read­
ing any of his works. One more observation: Gordis’ mastery in
writing matches his oral delivery in style and lucidity.
The biblical text in the making: a study o f the Kethib-Qeri.
Phila., Dropsie,
1937; rev. ed., New York, Ktav, 1972.
This study concludes that the masoretic text dates from a much earlier
period, ca. 2 0 0 -1 0 0 B.C.E.
Kadmutah shel ha-Masoret le-or sifrut hazal u-Megillot Yam ha-Melah.
Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 1958.