Publication date:27 April 2001
Length of book:384 pages
Harold I. Saperstein served as rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of Lynbrook, N.Y., from 1933 until his retirement in 1980. The specific contours of his career reflect a sustained effort to use the pulpit of this suburban temple to communicate a Jewish perspective based on personal encounters with great issues of the day-including the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust, the civil rights era, the McCarthy era, and other turning points in American history. The fifty-two sermons in this book have been selected, introduced, and annotated by Marc Saperstein, whose award-winning books on the history of Jewish preaching have established him as a leading expert on this subject. No other book illustrates as effectively the value of the sermon as a resource for understanding the challenges faced by American Jews at some of the most dramatic moments in the turbulent history of this century.
This selection from a lifetime of sermons is a treasure. We see a half-century of American Jewish history though the eyes of a learned rabbi who fought for justice and decency all his life. Rabbi Saperstein evoked for me the actions and the passions of all those days, and my admiration for him rose sermon by sermon.