In your issue of March 16 a rabbi prefaces his criticism of...


In your issue of March 16 a rabbi prefaces his criticism of Christian Science with the remark, "We have no desire to disparage the creed of others." Nevertheless, his statements and inferences both disparage and misrepresent this religion. His opposition to Christian Science seems based upon the fact that a considerable number of Jews have embraced its teaching. To those Jews who have turned to or who are considering Christian Science, the critic offers Jewish Science, including a type of spiritual healing which he states has the indorsement of eminent physicians. However, he hastens to explain that "Jewish Science is not the copy but the correction of Christian Science." Judged by the critic's description of Jewish Science, it is too fundamentally different from Christian Science to be regarded as a copy or a correction of the latter. Christian Science, in accord with the First Commandment, teaches and stresses the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God, Spirit. Therefore, following the precepts and practice of Christ Jesus, it permits no divided allegiance, but requires absolute reliance upon spiritual means. On the other hand, Jewish Science, reposing faith in both Spirit and matter, according to the critic's own admission, requires that the rabbi shall be instructed by the psychiatrist as well as by the theologian, and even with this special training it is inferred that the rabbi shall regard his part of the healing work only as supplemental to that of the doctor. The foregoing facts are pointed out not as a criticism of Jewish Science, but to show that it bears no relation or resemblance to Christian Science.

In his discussion of spiritual healing, the critic attempts to show a connection between religion and medicine by pointing to the "medicine man" of savages, to the alleged cures in the Temple of Isis, to the sporadic cures attributed to various shrines and waters in different times and lands. It must be clear to all that Christian Science healing, being based upon a demonstrable Principle which can be understood, and which, in fact, is being utilized by persons all over the world who are willing to conform to its rules, is wholly unlike the reputed cures enumerated by the critic.

The critic (a rabbi), while admitting all his traditional objections to the Christian religion, claims, and apparently with some satisfaction, that "the orthodox Christian would reject many of the Christian Science interpretations of . . . Christian doctrines." In fairness, he should have added that there are also many doctrinal differences which have not been reconciled between the orthodox Christian sects themselves. After all, it seems probable that the average man is more concerned with the contribution which the various religious sects are making to the health, happiness, and moral progress of the community than with their doctrinal and theological differences and disputes, which merely serve to engender strife among these sects, and abate their usefulness.

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