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Creating American Reform JudaismLife and Times of Isaac Mayer Wise$
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Sefton D. Temkin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774457

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774457.001.0001

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Formulating His Beliefs

Formulating His Beliefs

8. Formulating His Beliefs
Creating American Reform Judaism

Sefton D. Temkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter shows how Isaac Mayer Wise made his first attempt at anything like a systematic exposition of the basic ideas of Judaism. In the first place, he expounds a Maimonidean viewpoint as regards the Bible. Wise also expounds the basic doctrines of Judaism. ‘Judaism’, he declares, ‘is based upon four leading ideas and has, therefore, four principles’. The chapter explores these four principles. Doctrines and observances which did not correspond to these ideas had to be rejected as ‘anti-Jewish and foreign to our system’. Furthermore, Wise’s concern with the resurrection of the dead must also be ascribed to controversies in which he had been engaged immediately before.

Keywords:   Judaism, Maimonides, Bible, doctrines, resurrection, controversies, Talmudic Judaism, heresy

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