Commentary Magazine


Returned Chaplain: Pro and Con

To The Editor:

In the March COMMENTARY, I have read carefully, and with great interest, the article on “Why I Gave Up My Congregation” by a returned Jewish chaplain.

I was a Navy chaplain, of the Protestant faith, in the recent war and I did not return to my parish. It was only natural, therefore, that I read this article first as the magazine came to the office.

The communal spirit of Christian people is not the same as that of Jewish people. However, in my opinion, the spiritual conditions which the rabbi describes as existing in the synagogues and temples are equally applicable to the churches. In different terms, and perhaps from different angles, I discussed some of these same things in my little book, entitled What’s Wrong With Religion? published by Duell, Sloan and Pearce. . . .

Thanks again for a good article.

Karl B. Justus
The National Conference
of Christians and Jews
San Francisco, California

To The Editor:

If God does cry, he is weeping now about the chaplain who “gave up his congregation.” If it were not so sad, I could be amused at the idea that a rabbi can give up his congregation. Amos and Hosea, they did not give up their congregations. They went through the byways and the highways and on every soap box cried out what the Lord doth require of thee . . .

A rabbi who has promised to serve God dare not “give up” his congregation. But perhaps it is for the best. Let all the weaklings quit in good time. Some layman will arise to serve. The rabbis are dedicated to what? This exrabbi admits that meat sandwiches drew in the boys. Well, let the rabbis give spiritual meat. Not pap that disgusts thinking people.

Rose L. Brown
St. Louis, Missouri

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