Philadelphia: Edward Stern & Co. 1886. Original printed wrappers with wrapper title and imprint, as issued. 23, [1 blank] pp. Stitched, Near Fine. Inscribed, "With regards, Phila. Jan. 18- '87."
Young Jastrow was "Lecturer" at Philadelphia's Rodef Shalom Congregation, founded in 1795 as the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in the United States. His term of office nearing expiration, he explains here why he had declined re-election. "I stand here for the last time in my official capacity." Morris Jastrow Jr. was the son of the chief Rabbi of Rodef Shalom, Marcus Jastrow. Morris's Address is a significant, scarce explication of the growing debate among Jews about the place of Judaism in their American, increasingly assimilated lives.
The Address, the New York Times reported three days later, "caused a sensation among the congregation" when Jastrow announced "that he had renounced Judaism and resigned his position." Although Rodef Shalom, under Marcus Jastrow's direction, had moved toward Reform Judaism, many remained impatient with "old-fashioned" rituals and beliefs that had been transplanted from Europe. Jastrow Jr. was one of those: here he explores the "divergent religious convictions" among Jews. In particular Jews differ about "the Divine Authority of the Bible" and the divine source of the Ten Commandments. Jastrow decides that he cannot continue his connection with a synagogue that does not permit conscientious objection to those fundamental premises. In doing so, he illuminates the emerging split among Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Congregations in the United States.
Singerman 3449. OCLC 123249533 [2- Stanford, Hebrew Union], 25906154 [Yeshiva, Emory], 457506902 [Biblioteche Nationale], 899240847 [SCD Paris 1] as of February 2016. Item #32754