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Are there any branches in Judaism?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes there is and below is a short list with details.

    Orthodox Judaism

    Orthodox Judaism is the most traditional expression of modern Judaism. Orthodox Jews believe the entire Torah - including "Written," the the Pentateuch, and "Oral," the Talmud) was given to Moses by God at Sinai and remains authoritative for modern life in its entirety. According to a 1990 nationwide survey, 7 percent of American Jews are Orthodox. American and Canadian Orthodox Jews are organized under the Orthodox Union, which serves 1,000 synagogues in North America.

    Reform Judaism

    Reform Judaism is the most liberal expression of Judaism. In America, Reform Judaism is organized under the Union for Reform Judaism (known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations until 2003), whose mission is "to create and sustain vibrant Jewish congregations wherever Reform Jews live." About 1.5 million Jews in 900 synagogues are members of the Union for Reform Judaism. According to 1990 survey, 42 percent of American Jews regard themselves as Reform.

    Conservative Judaism

    Conservative Judaism may be said to be a moderate position between Orthodox and Reform Judaism. It seeks to conserve the traditional elements of Judaism, while allowing for modernization to a less radical extent than Reform Judaism. The teachings of Zacharias Frankel (1801-75) form the foundation of Conservative Judaism.

    Hasidic Judaism

    Hasidic (or Chasidic) Judaism arose in 12th-century Germany as a mystical movement emphasizing asceticism and experience born out of love and humility before God. The austere religious life of these early Hasids ("pious ones") is documented in the Sefer Hasidim ("Book of the Pious"). The modern Hasidic movement was founded in Poland in the 18th century by Israel ben Eliezer, more commonly known as the Baal Shem Tov ("Master of the Good Name") or "the Besht" (an acronym for Baal Shem Tov).

    Kabbalah: Jewish Mysticism

    The mystical form of Judaism is Kabbalah. Broadly speaking, Kabbalah refers to Jewish mysticism dating back to the time of the second Temple. For many years a carefully guarded oral tradition, it became systematized and dispersed in the Middle Ages. The kabbalistic viewpoint was expressed most importantly in the Yalkut Re'uveni by Reuben Hoeshke in 1660, but also made its way into prayer books, popular customs and ethics. The focus of the Kabbalah is the simultaneous transcendence and immanence of God, with the latter described in terms of the sefirot, or attributes of God.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are many.

    There's Reform Judaism, which is a liberal, modern form of Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, which is more traditional and fundamental, Hassidic Judaism, which is based on Kaballah and was supposed to be liberationist but has become ultra-Orthodox, Kaballism itself (not the Madonna version but the ancient tradition of Jewish Mysticism), there's the almost extinct Bratslaver sect (again, Kaballistically based) and many others. These are all essentially Ashkenazy ie Western forms of Judaism. There are also all the Sephardi ie Middle Eastern, north African and Spanish/Portuguese forms.

    So you pays your money and you makes your choice...

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, there are several branches.

    The primary ones are:

    1. Orthodox (which are very conservative, much like today's evangelicals);

    2. Conservative (which is relatively new and blends parts of Orthodox and Reform);

    3. Reform (which grew out of the Orthodox community in 19th Century Germany).

    Contrary to popular belief, the so-called "Jews for Jesus" is NOT a legitimate branch of Judaism.

  • 1 decade ago

    How many ways do you want to divide them? Rigor and ethnicity are the most common divisions.

    The Chassidim are the most literally observant, followed in order by the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews. East European Jews are called Ashkenazi, known for the language Yiddish, a combination of German and Hebrew. Spanish-African Jews are Sephardim, who speak Ladino, a mix of Hebrew and Spanish. There are also Chaldean Jews living in Iraq. They all have different customs, styles, degrees of observance, and even some doctrinal differences.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, and they can get quite complicated. Let's start with Orthodox.

    Under Orthodox, there are ultra-Orthodox (Haredi and Chassidic) and Modern Orthodox. ultra-Orthodox Haredi are organizations like the Neturei Karta (the ones that hugged the president of Iran). Under Chassidic there are groups like Chabad Lubavitch. ultra-Orthodox is most traditional. (please note that I give the united states interpretation, in Israel it is different because in the US Orthodox generally refers to Modern Orthodox who are not so extreme whilst in Israel Orthodox refers to ultra-Orthodox.)

    Under that is Conservative, then Reform, then Reconstructionist. Kaballah is Jewish mysticism and not necessarily a sect of the Jewish religion.

    Those are the observance branches. Outside those, Jews are separated into different cultural groups: Sephardi, Ashkenazi, and Mizrahi. Sephardim are Jews from Spain and Latin America, Ashkenazim are from Europe, and Mizrahim are from Middle Eastern countries. (Some lump Mizrahim and Sephardim together).

    Messianic "Jews" and "Jews" for J*sus are NOT recognized as Jews by ANY Jewish authority.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. There are the conservative to liberal Jews. I'll find the list. All I could remember was Orthodox and Bnai Brith and that is only because I remodeled a Bnai Brith nursing home once.

    Fireball why do you answer everything when you know nothing!

    Here is a list with definitions

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Chassidic, and a few others.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Like every religion, there are several "sects", Orthodox, Yeshiva, B'Nai Brith, Hassidic, etc.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


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