Briefly, what is the difference between orthodox, conservative and reform judaism?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer


    What links these three is the common belief that the Torah is not a divinely inspired document and thus merely a good guideline on achieveing spirituality. They are the most liberal of the Jewish branches and people converted by them are NOT recognised as Jews by the other streams of Judaism. Also, they accept both patrilibeal and matrilineal descent making soe of those born as Jews in this branch not to be accepted as Jews by orthodox Jews who only accept matrilineal descent.

    Conservative/Masorti: Both of thse share the similarity that they believe the Torah to be divinely inspired but they see the oral law to merely be human interpretations by wise mean and subject to reinterpretation by modern Rabbis. As such they do not observe many of the laws and customs that orthodox Jews do. As such, while there conversions are accepted by refrom, they are NOT accepted by Orthodox Jews. Like Reform, they accept both matrilineal and patrilineal descent with the same issues arising as with Reform and Orthodox.

    Modern Orthodox/Chareidi/Chassidic: These are the three branches that follow the full Torah and Talmud. The differences between the three comes from varying customs within the branches related to which Rabbis opinions they feel are primary and thus shape their observance (outsiders tend to see one group as more religious than the others- but within Orthodox Judaism everybody accepts everybody else along with their varying customs, without making judgement calls as to calling specific people holier or less holy based on affiliation).

    The similarity between all of them is recognising a single, indivisible God as the creator of the world. Also, all recognise the Torah as central to Judasim (though to different degrees as explained above). Aside from that- the only similarity is their total rejection of Messianic Judaism as being Judaism in any form!

  • 4 years ago

    answer: I will return to this question in a few hours - the differences can be a bit long. Short version: Orthodox is the most strict Conservative - slightly less. They keep kashrut and wear men and some women wear the kippah at synagogue and prayers Reform - less than Conservative - the mitzvot (commandments) are left to the individual to determine who they fit into one's life (some, of course are firm - worship of G-d and G-d alone). They drive to synagogue on the sabbath and men and some women wear the kippah at synagogue and prayer but it's optional (most of the Jewish males I know where the kippah) # # # Priest - without Judaism, you'd be a priest for Zeus.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In a nutshell: Orthodox Judaism holds that both the Written and Oral Torah were divinely revealed to Moses, and that the laws within it are binding and unchanging. The Oral Torah is an unwritten body of interpretation of the Written Torah which was, in fact, finally codified and written down about 200 C.E. (that's A.D. to non-Jews).

    Conservative Judaism is characterized by a comittment to following traditional Jewish laws and customs, including observance of Shabbat and kashrut, a deliberately non-fundamentalist teaching of Jewish principles of faith, a positive attitude toward modern culture, and an acceptance of both traditional rabbinic modes of study along with modern scholarship and critical text study when considering Jewish religious texts. Conservative Judaism teaches that Jewish law is not static, but has always developed in response to changing conditions. It holds that the Torah is a divine document written by prophets inspired by God, but rejects the Orthodox position that it was dictated by God to Moses.[citation needed] Similarly, Conservative Judaism holds that Judaism's Oral Law is divine and normative, but rejects some Orthodox interpretations of the Oral Law. Accordingly, Conservative Judaism holds that both the Written and Oral Law may be interpreted by the rabbis to reflect modern sensibilities and suit modern conditions, although great caution should be exercised in doing so.

    Reform Judaism, rejects the binding nature of Jewish ceremonial law as such and believes instead that individual Jews should exercise an informed autonomy about what to observe. Reform Judaism initially rejected most of the ritual ceremonial laws of the Torah while observing moral laws, and emphasized the ethical call of the Prophets. Reform Judaism developed an egalitarian prayer service in the vernacular (along with Hebrew in many cases) and emphasized personal connection to Jewish tradition over specific forms of observance. Today, many Reform congregations encourage the study of Hebrew and traditional observances, while a smaller number continue to espouse the liberal ethos of the classical reformers of the nineteenth century.

  • these people are not less religious, but only less observant. there is a difference.

    I can't answer this, as I don't feel I can identify with any of these groups, yet I am well versed in Jewish tradition and consider myself a Jew..not a reform, conservative, orthodox, ne-hasidic, renewal..just a Jew.

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