Branches of Judaism

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First found May 22, 2018

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within Judaism, divisions exist based on
variations in religious observance
Some Jews have held to traditional practices
and other branches have developed out of
the conviction that Judaism will continue to
exist only if it reinterprets its traditions
Four branches have emerged:
Orthodox
Conservative
Reform
Reconstructionist
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Traditional Judaism is often called
Orthodox
A branch of Judaism committed to
retaining traditional practice and
belief
Orthodox Jews are hesitant to
discard any traditional practices
• Even those not demanded by
the Torah but simply revered as
reasonable later developments
that are said to “guard” the
Torah from being lost or
misinterpreted
Must conform to Torah because it
is unchangeable
Often live in own communities to
preserve tradition
Includes 1/10 of the US Jewish
population
Hasidism is a branch of Orthodoxy
 Orthodox
synagogues
separate males and females
 For service, there must be a
quorum of ten Jewish men
 Services are conduced in
Hebrew and led by male
rabbis
 Only males celebrate the
coming of age – bar mitzvah
 Men at prayer use the talit
and at weekday morning
prayer use the tefillin
 Males must keep their heads
covered as a reminder that
God is above all
• Skullcap, prayer shawl, or hat
 Social roles are strictly separate
• Men are the breadwinners of the family
• Women are responsible for running the
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household
the hair of the beard and in front of the
ears is sometimes left uncut by males
• In response to a command in the Torah
Males wear a black hat and black coat
(dress)
Married women cover their heads with a
kerchief when outside the home
• The hair is covered as an expression of
modesty because a woman’s hair is
considered to be seductive to men
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Jews who desire moderate
change but protection of
traditions as well
Sees change in religious
understanding as necessary
to keep up with modernity
but adheres to traditional
Jewish practices as much as
possible
Liturgy is in Hebrew & dietary
rules strictly followed
Agrees with Zionism
Includes ½ of the Jews in the
US
 They
follow the traditional dress code mentioned
for orthodox Judaism but they are less strict
 Many girls in the Conservative movement
celebrate the Bat mitzvah
 Women are allowed to become rabbis
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Believe that Judaism changes
with society
The goal is to modernize
Judaism hoping that it will
survive in the contemporary
world
In reform synagogue worship,
women and men sit together
Liturgy is spoken in English
Choirs and music are common
The use of the talit or tefillin has
either been dropped or made
optional
Traditional ways of dressing has
disappeared
Women may become rabbis
Girls have coming of age
ceremonies
• Bat mitzvah
Includes 1/3 of the Jews in the US
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Newest and smallest branch of
Judaism
It grows out of the thought of
Mordecai Kaplan
• The founder
• Came to the US as a child
• Was influenced by American
ideals of democracy and
practicality
• He promoted the vision that
encourages Jews to become
familiar with as many elements
of traditional Judaism as
possible but allows them the
freedom of individual
interpretation
Reconstructionism sees Judaism
as a changing cultural force, with
many elements and manifestations
 Albert
Einstein
 Sigmund Freud
 Abraham Maslow
 Elie Wiesel
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