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Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan's 13 Wants

by Rabbi Rami ShapiroApril 08, 2012
Grow

I found this online and wanted to share it with you. I wrote my MA thesis on the work of Rabbi Kaplan, and learned from him privately in Jerusalem in 1976. I had not seen this text before. It only enhances my appreciation of this great sage.

THE THIRTEEN WANTS
A prayer composed by Mordecai Kaplan in 1926 for the dedication of the new headquarters of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ).

1. We want Judaism to help us overcome temptation, doubt and discouragement.
2. We want Judaism to imbue us with a sense of responsibility for the righteous use of the blessings wherewith God endows us.
3. We want the Jew so to be trusted that his yea will be taken as yea, and his nay as nay.
4. We want to learn how to utilize our leisure to best advantage, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.
5. We want the Jewish home to live up to its traditional standards of virtue and piety.
6. We want the Jewish upbringing of our children to further their moral and spiritual growth, and to enable them to accept with joy their heritage as Jews.
7. We want the synagogue to enable us to worship God in sincerity and in truth.
8. We want our religious traditions to be interpreted in terms of understandable experience and to be made relevant to our present-day needs.
9. We want to participate in the upbuilding of Eretz Yisrael as a means to the renaissance of the Jewish spirit.
10. We want Judaism to find rich, manifold and ever new expression in philosophy, letters and the arts.
11. We want all forms of Jewish organization to make for spiritual purpose and ethical endeavor.
12. We want the unity of Israel throughout the world to be fostered through mutual help in time of need, and through cooperation in the furtherance of Judaism at all time.
13. We want Judaism to function as a potent influence for justice, freedom and peace in the life of men and nations.
 


Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Author and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro will lead “Walking Without, Journeying Within”—a trip to the Holy Land with S&H in fall 2018.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.

His newest book is The World Wisdom Bible.

He has this to say about religion: "To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence."

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