Rabbi Clifton Harby Levy was one of the three rabbis (along with Alfred Geiger Moses and Morris Lichtenstein) who were central to the founding of the “Jewish Science” movement initiated within Reform Judaism in the early years of the 20th century.  Their inspirational writings are no longer easily available, but in their way, address many of the spiritual concerns that are on people’s minds and hearts today. The following is a brief sample of Rabbi Levy’s writing and teaching.  

     The physiologists tell us that internal joy is the best possible stimulant for health. The child rejoices, runs, skips and laughs, and in that way remains healthy in body and eager of soul. If men and women would preserve their youth it can be done by continuing the joyous outlook upon life, and not taking it so solemnly and seriously as to kill all pleasure of existence. In the course of their explanations of the way in which our internal organs work, the physicians tell us that they are spurred on to do their best by a cheerful attitude of mind. They advise cheerful conversation at meals, that we may digest our food without inconvenience. They warn us that anger distils a poison in the blood, and that the person who yields to passionate outbursts harms himself far more than he does the person whom he hates. Hatred is not only wrong ethically but harmful physiologically, so the sensible person finds that he cannot afford the luxury of hatred, if it be a luxury. We ought to wish harm to no one, morally speaking. How can I defend myself against the person who has cheated or wronged me? Certainly not by harming myself still more with hatred and anger. If I am wise, I know that he or she is acting according to his or her nature; that perhaps they know no better, or are foolish enough not to want to do better. Who of us has not been cheated or wronged? What can I do to defend myself from this person of ill-will? I may at least be upon my guard, and if I have any further dealings with him, should such prove necessary, be very careful that no advantage is taken of me. The first time I am wronged by any one it is his fault; the second time it is mine. No two of us are alike in our view of what is precisely right. We must take other persons as they are, with their limitations of character, and guide ourselves accordingly, for we cannot make another person over to suit ourselves. We need not descend to guile, to meet guile, but we can refuse to deal except on a fair basis. [1]


[1] Levy, Rabbi Clifton Harby; The Jewish Life: Discourses on Judaism Applied to Living; Jewish Science Advance Pub. Co. (1925); p. 13-14