Originally published in A.J.A. Quarterly, 3:2 (1957), pp. 39-40. FAITH We have Reason to Believe. By Rabbi Louis Jacobs. Vallentine Mitchell. 15s. Rabbi Louis Jacobs has both the courage and the knowledge to answer the most perplexing problems which a persistent, rationalist questioner would find to be the chief contemporary barriers towards realising that most precious of all life’s treasures—a firm religious faith. He is a young man and ... Continue Reading ➨
We Have Reason to Believe
This book examines the basic beliefs of Judaism in light of modern thought. Its shape is traditional but not fundamentalist. This book, the main cause of the 'Jacobs Affair' in which the author's appointment to an Orthodox Rabbinic position was vetoed, suggests that the doctrine Torah Min Ha-Shamayyin (The Torah is from Heaven) needs to be reinterpreted so as not to be in conflict with modern knowledge. The controversy erupted again in the 1990s when Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks declared that those who hold views similar to the author's have severed links with the faith of their ancestors.
Originally published in the Jewish Chronicle. A critique of Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs’s philosophy, as expressed in his book, We Have Reason to Believe, is made in a four-page article in the June issue of Prism, an Anglican monthly. The writer, Mr. David Edwards, who is a member of the editorial board, states: “We Have Reason to Believe may itself seem heretical to the Chief Rabbi, but as one who has read a good deal of contemporary Christian ... Continue Reading ➨
Originally published in Masorti Matters, Summer 1998. 40 years ago William Frankel published Rabbi Louis Jacobs’ most controversial work. It led to The Jacobs Affair and gave birth to the Masorti movement in Britain. In 1954 Rabbi Louis Jacobs left Manchester for London to become the Minister of the prestigious New West End Synagogue of which I was then a member. The following year I became General Manager of the Jewish Chronicle which also ... Continue Reading ➨
Originally published in Jewish Qarterly 53:3 (2006). From an Orthodox perspective, the most controversial aspect of the theology of Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs is his denial of the traditional view of the divine authorship of the whole of the Pentateuch. In We Have Reason to Believe, first published in 1957 and recently reissued in a fifth edition (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2004), Jacobs argues that the traditional doctrine is no longer tenable ... Continue Reading ➨