RABBI MORRIS LICHTENSTEIN
Founder Society of Jewish Science
Morris Lichtenstein was born in a town near Memel, Lithuania in
1889. He left his home at the early age of 13 to carry-on advanced
study (in Lithuana) at the Yeshiva of Bialystock, where he received his
Rabbinical Diploma at the age of 18. In 1907 he had planned to go
to Germany for further study. At the last minute he changed his
mind in favor of coming to America.
Following his emigration he studied at Hebrew Union College in
Cincinnati where he received ordination in 1916. Lichtenstein was
one of the first Eastern European born and raised students ever to study
at HUC. While at HUC, he also studied at the University of
Cincinnati, and was graduated from both institutions simultaneously.
Lichtenstein was a Rabbi in Amsterdam, Troy and Flushing, New York and
at Athens, Georgia. While holding posts in New York, he received
his Masters Degree in Psychology from Columbia University in 1919.
In 1921, he left his post in Athens, Georgia and returned to New York to
found the Society of Jewish Science.
Morris Lichtenstein was clearly a pioneer in the area of
self-help. His literary style is clear, explicit and
non-technical. His works viewed life from a spiritual perspective, and
observe and adhere to Jewish tradition. His emphasis on joy,
spirituality, and love of God reflect of the Hasidic Masters, and yet
call to all who lead a modern life.
Morris Lichtenstein died at the age of 48 in New York. His wife
Tehilla, daughter of a Rabbi Chaim Hirchensohn of Hoboken, New Jersey,
assumed leadership of Jewish Science upon his death. Rabbi
Lichtenstein was also the brother-in-law of Rabbi David De Sola Poole of
Shearith Israel Synagogue and his wife Tamar Poole.
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Jewish Science has formulated ten
fundamentals. These are not speculative creeds which every
adherent of Jewish Science must accept, but are beliefs which Jewish
Scientists attain through conviction and experience. They are not
imposed, but are the outgrowth of a search for spiritual truth.
The following is the declaration of the ideals by which we guide our
lives day by day:
1. The Jewish Faith is the only
faith we acknowledge. Jewish Science is the application of the
Jewish Faith to the practices of life.
2. We believe wholeheartedly in the
efficacy of prayer. We believe that no prayer, when properly
offered, goes unanswered.
3. We shall endeavor every day of our
lives to keep serene; to check all tendencies to violence and anger; to
keep calm even in the face of unpleasant and discouraging circumstances.
4. We shall strive to be cheerful every
day of our lives. The Talmud says that the Divine Presence departs
from one who is in gloom.
5. We shall seek to cultivate an attitude
of love and good-will towards everyone. We shall make no room in
our heart for hatred or bitterness. The world was created on a
plan of divine love, and to admit thoughts of hatred or malice is to
violate the plan of God.
6. We shall cultivate a disposition to
contentment, envying no one, and praising God for the good He has
already bestowed upon us. Contentment is the greatest friend of
happiness; envy, its greatest enemy.
7. We shall make conscious effort to
banish worry and fear from our lives. We regard these two as the
greatest enemies of mankind and give them no place in our consciousness.
8. We shall trust in God's goodness in
every circumstance of our life.
9. We believe that death is an elevation
to eternal life, and not a cessation of existence.
10. We believe that God is the Source of Health
and the Restorer of Health.
In these fundamentals, we, in Jewish Science, profess our wholehearted
belief in the efficacy of prayer; we acknowledge the duty of keeping
serene and cheerful, of cherishing good-will and contentment, of
banishing worry and fear; we declare our trust in God's goodness and
love; we profess our assurance of immortality because we have faith in
God's loving-kindness and the everlastingness of His creations.