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.