How does the Torah affect a reform Jew?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The question is rather vague. "Affect"? How does it change or influence a Reform Jew?

    For the practicing Reform Jew, it contains the essence of our faith and the definition of who we are as a people, a part of Klal Yisrael, the community of Israel. It has a profound affect to our lives as it is the guide to lead us to "Tikkun Olam" (Repair of the World) and our connection to God. The closest thing to a creed in Judaism is within the Torah, the Shema, shared by all believing Jews. Hear O'Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

    Rather than give you additional personal view here I'll give you a concensus view adopted by the Central Conference of American Rabbis for Reform Judaism in the last Platform regarding Torah:

    We affirm that Torah is the foundation of Jewish life.

    We cherish the truths revealed in Torah, God's ongoing revelation to our people and the record of our people's ongoing relationship with God.

    We affirm that Torah is a manifestation of (ahavat olam), God's eternal love for the Jewish people and for all humanity.

    We affirm the importance of studying Hebrew, the language of Torah and Jewish liturgy, that we may draw closer to our people's sacred texts.

    We are called by Torah to lifelong study in the home, in the synagogue and in every place where Jews gather to learn and teach. Through Torah study we are called to (mitzvot), the means by which we make our lives holy.

    We are committed to the ongoing study of the whole array of (mitzvot) and to the fulfillment of those that address us as individuals and as a community. Some of these (mitzvot), sacred obligations, have long been observed by Reform Jews; others, both ancient and modern, demand renewed attention as the result of the unique context of our own times.

    We bring Torah into the world when we seek to sanctify the times and places of our lives through regular home and congregational observance. Shabbat calls us to bring the highest moral values to our daily labor and to culminate the workweek with (kedushah), holiness, (menuchah), rest and (oneg), joy. The High Holy Days call us to account for our deeds. The Festivals enable us to celebrate with joy our people's religious journey in the context of the changing seasons. The days of remembrance remind us of the tragedies and the triumphs that have shaped our people's historical experience both in ancient and modern times. And we mark the milestones of our personal journeys with traditional and creative rites that reveal the holiness in each stage of life.

    We bring Torah into the world when we strive to fulfill the highest ethical mandates in our relationships with others and with all of God's creation. Partners with God in ( tikkun olam), repairing the world, we are called to help bring nearer the messianic age. We seek dialogue and joint action with people of other faiths in the hope that together we can bring peace, freedom and justice to our world. We are obligated to pursue (tzedek), justice and righteousness, and to narrow the gap between the affluent and the poor, to act against discrimination and oppression, to pursue peace, to welcome the stranger, to protect the earth's biodiversity and natural resources, and to redeem those in physical, economic and spiritual bondage. In so doing, we reaffirm social action and social justice as a central prophetic focus of traditional Reform Jewish belief and practice. We affirm the (mitzvah) of (tzedakah), setting aside portions of our earnings and our time to provide for those in need. These acts bring us closer to fulfilling the prophetic call to translate the words of Torah into the works of our hands.

    In all these ways and more, Torah gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

    edit: Josh, you can spend DECADES in a Reform synagogue without hearing the word Jesus..the docrrine of other religions doesn't come up in Torah study or discussion of Judaism and the notion of God as man or woman doesn't either since God does not become human,..but we WILL discuss the masculine and feminine qualities/attributes..such as the Shekinah's nurturing aspects. I realize your comment was not a real answer but a flippant insult, however I will use it to help with additional education here :)

    Source(s): http://ccarnet.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=44&pge_pr... < the Platform portion copied from here
  • Josh G
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Before or after they are done reading about what Jesus thinks and debating the gender of God?

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