Rabbi Dr Baeck's Legacy to Progressive Judaism

in European Judaism
View More View Less
  • 1 Hebrew Union College
Restricted access

On the hundredth anniversary of Rabbi Leo Baeck's birth, in the year 1973, Rabbi Joachim Prinz of Livingston, New Jersey, who had been his colleague in Berlin, gave a two-part radio interview devoted to his fellow rabbi. Always provocative, Prinz began by trying to deflate what we might call the myth of Leo Baeck's sainthood. According to Prinz, Baeck was not beyond reproach: he could say rather harsh things about people; he could be evasive in conversation – and he was a terrible preacher. But Prinz also recognised that although Baeck was not above human failings there was something extraordinary about the man: he seemed to derive all of his strength from his faith; it was his piety, for example, that made him courageous enough to tell the Gestapo he would not appear before them on Shabbat. And when he did appear on weekdays, the authorities found it impossible to degrade him. There was an inner dignity in Baeck that was inviolable. Sitting with him, Prinz, testified, was 'being in the presence of spirituality' - more so than sitting together with Martin Buber.

European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 82 8 3
Full Text Views 4 2 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0