2014 sees the fiftieth anniversary of the New London Synagogue in the midst of the Jacobs affair, an event that continues to resonate in Anglo Jewry. Friends of LouisJacobs.org are issuing a modest publication to mark the occasion. Entitled “Pursuing the Quest’ the publication includes representative selections from each of the principal areas on which Rabbi Louis Jacobs wrote; Theology, Talmud, Halacha, Mysticism, Prayer and Hasidism.
The selections are taken from articles that he wrote and extracts from his books. The publication runs to approximately 40,000 words.
The publication will be more than just a tribute to Rabbi Jacobs. We see it as a valuable way of bringing his teachings to a new generation, and of reigniting debate on some of the key areas of Jewish thought to which Rabbi Jacobs devoted his life.
We believe that there is an appetite for such a debate, particularly amongst younger Modern Orthodox Jews. In part the evidence for this is the six month seminar programme on the work of Rabbi Jacobs, conducted earlier this year at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Yarnton Manor. Entitled Arguments For Heaven’s Sake, the seminar brought together scholars from across the world. Several public meetings were held, in Oxford and London which were well attended. A follow up meeting held by Friends of LouisJacobs.org with a small number of Modern Orthodox influencers reinforced our view that many young, religiously committed British Jews are hungry for theological debate to help reconcile their faith with their secular, western education.
We intend this book, together with events we plan to organise during the year to be a catalyst for this debate. As such we intend to distribute it widely at communal venues including Limmud and through synagogues.