Reform Judiasm and It’s Community


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It seems I learn something new every day.  I was always under the impression that there were Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews, but today, I learned that there are also another group referred to as Conservative Jews that are a mixture of both.  This week, I am going to attend a Reform Jewish Synagogue.  I'll briefly explain what I know about the differences between Orthodox and Reform.

Orthodox Jews take the Torah (The first 5 books of the Bible, otherwise known as the Pentateuch) pretty much as the literal word of God.  They are strict in their religious rituals and are more like the Jews of old. They believe the Torah is not subject to any change or interpretation.

Reform Judiasm is more modern.  Reform Jews believe in the teachings of the Torah, but they have adapted it for today's day and age.  They believe the Torah is more of a metaphor instead of the literal instruction of God word for word.  So imagine this group of men/women living by the old principles but making them fit in with modern day society. 

Some other interesting facts.

Reform Judaism is the largest sect of American Jews today.

40% of Reform Jewish Rabbis will conduct interfaith marriages between a Jew and non-Jew while 60% will not.

Reform Judaism will accept a child as a Jew if one parent is a non-Jew but they are brought up in a Jewish home.

Reform Jews are committed to inclusion of others, in this, Reform Judiasm accepts gays and lesbians as part of their congregation and puts great emphasis on the equality of men and women, allowing women to become Rabbis.

A Reform Jewish synagogue also encourages Gentiles to become Reform Jews while in most Orthodox Jewish synagogues the conversion concept is non-exist.

Reform Judaism believes in a Messianic Age, but no Messiah.

Most Reform Jews believe Satan was symbolic and there is no such thing as originial sin.  Therefore, the main emphasis is living a life like God commands so if there is an afterlife, you will surely be rewarded.

Reform Judaism permits men and women to sit together in a synagogue.

Reform Judaism allows choir and organ music in the synagogue.

Reform Judaism does not observe daily public worship, or restriction of daily activities on the Sabbath, or strict dietary laws.

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