Anonymous asked in Society & CultureHolidaysHanukkah · 8 years ago

What do reformed Jews believe?

are use the Christian bible or they changed the Torah

9 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The movement of Judaism you are likely trying to ask about is called Reform Judaism. It is not reformed. Someone who is reformed of something was formerly something a reformed gambler, no longer gambles.

    Please dismiss the answers that Jews can believe anything or that Reform believe nothing. While Reform Judaism focuses more upon deed than creed, there are still standards of beliefs.

    I'm going to link to past answers that also speak of other movements of Judaism for you to compare/contrast and see that the differences between the movements in Judaism is more about how we live/honor and practice our faith rather than what we believe/understand of our Torah. < this is the Statement of Principles of Reform Judaism in the United States. Reform Judaism in Israel (Progressive Judaism) and elsewhere in the world ( including the UK ) is a bit different, and a little closer to what we know in the U.S. as Conservative Judaism. This past answer will help you very much if you follow the links/references there

    a very small excerpt from the CCAR's Statements of Principles of Reform Preamble :" The great contribution of Reform Judaism is that it has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition, to embrace diversity while asserting commonality, to affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt, and to bring faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship."

    The closest thing to an official statement of beliefs of the Reform movement of Judaism is the most recent CCAR Platform voted upon by the largest Rabbinical Council in the United States. No movement of Judaism has a central governing "authority", other than the Torah from God.

    Position statements from each movement are based upon Rabbinical decisions that help to guide the adherents in the living of Jewish values, ethics, beliefs and Torah precepts (mitzvot)

    Torah remains the eternal covenant between God and all Klal Yisrael.

    NO, Reform Jews do NOT use the Christian Bible, we use the same Tanakh (Torah,Nevim, Ketuvim) that all the world's Jews use and the Torah remains unaltered.

    Shalom y'all

    EDIT: Thank you for your edits to clarify that CLEARLY not everything is acceptable within Reform Judaism, as only Judaism is acceptable within Reform but your edit also added at least one major misconception as you've written it.

    While in ALL movements of Judaism it does not remove one BORN a Jew from membership in the Jewish people if they are agnostic or become atheist, while they are technically sinning and even Reform recognizes this, they have not left the Jewish people to become apostate/estranged since they are not worshipping foreign gods or imposing idolatry into Judaism......**An atheist cannot convert to become a Jew*** , because a convert must AFFIRM FAITH IN GOD to join the Jewish people. This is NO different in Reform Judaism. Reform Rabbis do not convert atheists to become Jews.

    You can make no affirmation of faith in God (Shema) if you do not believe that our Creator exists.

    See the CCAR's position statement about this. I know of no Rabbi that would undergo conversion to someone who has declared they do not believe God exists, this would be a dishonest conversion attempt if an atheist declared they had faith in God and affirmed it in the conversion process as required. I don't understand why any atheist would do such a thing, either.

    No Bet Din ( Rabbinical Court) of Orthodox or Conservative would enact conversion to an atheist, because they cannot affirm faith in God.

    And the CCAR ..the Reform Rabbinical council states:

    "To become a Jew, Reform Judaism demands that the convert affirm belief in God and the unique bond between God and the Jewish people.(11) "

    "It must be emphasized that the declaration of faith does not demand that the ger /gitoret adhere to a particular God concept, but simply that he/she be able to affirm the reality of God in our religious experience. "

    "We do not convert people to "secular" Judaism."

    "Some contend that since we find among the members of Reform congregations certain Jews who are avowed atheists or agnostics, we should not hesitate to accept a convert who falls into either category. It is true that some Jews experience crises of faith. We acknowledge the reality of the spiritual journey and struggle our brothers and sisters endure, and they remain part of us as long as they do not abandon our people or join another religion. However, that flexibility is reserved for those who are already "citizens," who already belong.." < all quotes excerpted from the Central Conference of American Rabbis official position on conversion

    Source(s): edit: Only in Reform in the US is the child of a non Jewish mother/Jewish father considered a Jew IF the child was raised *actively* and *EXCLUSIVELY* IN Judaism. and even then we know that no other movement, even Reform everywhere else in the world..agrees. ( Not all Reform Jews in the US agree with this, too and only agree w/ torah's designation. but that's the official stand and what is practiced) Romans had no effect on Jewish determination of self-identity. period.
  • zaheer
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Reform Judaism is a more beneficial 'comfortable' type of Judaism. some Reform Jews have self belief that the Torah develop into not created by technique of G-d, yet by technique of guy; probable Moses. Reform Jews are a lot less non secular, certainly, than Orthodox Jews, yet regardless of this, the midsection tenets are an same: worship of one G-d and in trouble-free terms one G-d, as an example. In Reform synagogues, adult women folk and men human beings can sit down mutually, so as which ability households can relish amenities mutually, which i in my opinion imagine is a robust project. i'm not mad on adult women folk and men human beings having to be separated. Reform Judaism is likewise major because it helps very secular Jews to proceed to be appropriate to the Jewish community, if case in aspect they marry outdoors the religion. KISMET - i have observed contained in the previous that you're very intense of Reform Judaism. supply it a relax. This placed up develop into not even directed at you so purely step again and allow Reform Jews to respond to. Are YOU the desirable man or woman or desirable Jew? No? Then how about you stop judging your fellow Jews? and how did you recognize that 'maximum' Reform Jews 'don't have self belief in G-d'??? have you ever requested each and every Reform Jew on earth? No? I relax my case.

  • 8 years ago

    Reform Jews use the same Hebrew scriptures and Hebrew legal documents as the other movements through and including the "ultra-Orthodox"

    including the same Torah that Moses got from God about 3500 years ago -- unaltered in any manner.

    The difference is that the Reform Jews tend to focus on the generic human rights and justice part

    and be unobservant of the distinctive Jewish everyday life laws (Kosher and the like)

  • 8 years ago

    we are still Jews

    and belive in pretty much teh same stuff other Jews do

    the only mian differnece is we are less strict about many of God's rules, and tend to be a bit more flexible

    and interpret some things slightly differently

    we do not use the Chrstia Bible or have changed the Torah

    Source(s): ..
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  • Feivel
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    "Reformed Jews". Sorry. That just cracks me up. Reformed from what? LOL. It is not like they are the graduates of a Jewish 12 step program like a "reformed alcoholic" or something. I am Orthodox and others who are Reform have answered so their answers will be much better and more accurate than any I could give but seriously, it is not "Reformed". It is "Reform Judaism".

    Reformed LOL

  • JP
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Reform (not Reformed) Jews can believe anything. Judaism is a tradition of scriptures, which can be interpreted in a number of ways.

    Reform Jews (or any other Jews) are incapable of changing the Torah, and they haven't tried to, either.

    EDIT: Mama Pajama has a point. You have freedom to believe what you want in Reform Judaism...within certain hermeneutical bounds. No one is policing your beliefs - actions always matter over beliefs in Judaism - but beliefs from other dogmatic religions, such as Christianity and Islam, are not acceptable. Acceptable doubts or ranges of belief include:

    - if Torah was given to Israel by G-d or created by men inspired by G-d

    - whether G-d exists

    - whether halakha (Jewish law derived from Torah, but not the equivalent of Torah) is binding on all Jews

    - whether the mitzvot (commandments) are all compulsory

    - whether scripture is metaphor, historical, or a combination of both

    These are the sorts of questions Reform Jews discuss and grapple with, and they are by all means acceptable. Maybe because, outside of Yahoo Answers, I have never seen Jews discuss Christian or Muslim beliefs, that I forgot to mention that those sorts of beliefs are out of Jewish theological bounds.

    As has also been said, we don't use the Christian Bible. And we don't call our scripture the Old Testament, either; the Christian OT is an adaptation of the Hebrew Bible, with a lot of changes (in order, books, translations, doctrinal interpretations) to it. We call our bible the Tanakh, which is an acronym of the three main sections (Torah, Nevi'im/Prophets, and Ketuvim/Writings).

    2nd EDIT: OK, MP, fine. That's probably true, but I wouldn't know from my personal experience (I'm not an atheist, but I'm a convert. I would say I have always been and continue to be agnostic - we can not know something that is unknowable. Have an issue with that? Take it up with my beit din).

    I suppose you can choose to quibble with any answer I give, and I suppose you generally do. At any rate, thank you for your very, very, very thorough and expansive answer, as always.

  • 8 years ago

    They don't use the Christian bible, they read the Torah and Tanach, Talmud etc...just like any other synagogue. The difference is that Reform Judaism is less strict and traditional than say Orthodox or Conservative Judaism, think of it as more "Modern Judaism". It's also easier for a non-Jew to convert to Judaism through a reform synagogue.

    For example they tend to be ok with intermarriage and consider a child born of a Jewish father to be a Jew too and not just the mother (which originally it was paternal descent, it got changed to the mother in Roman times and many Jews are misinterpeting the text).

    However keep in mind that each individual synagogue and rabbi are different, they won't all believe the same things necessarily. This is just in general. If you want to learn more about Reform Judaism try to find a local one in your area and attend it for Shabbat or enroll in their Hebrew School. Non-Jews are always 100% welcome, so don't worry.


    Source(s): I'm Jewish
  • Melkha
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    The movement is called Reform Judaism, they use the same Tanakh all other branches of Judaism use. Torah is unchangeable. It is the xtian bible that has changed.

    Satan is NOT a fallen angel, spirit being or rival god. Satan IS one's own evil inclination that humans are challenged to master because survival alone was not enough of a challenge for humankind.

    Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 14

    12. How have you fallen from heaven, the morning star? You have been cut down to earth, You who cast lots on nations.

    Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    The original Hebrew text has No Lucifer !

    xtians changed it to promote their own agenda

    Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 139

    8. If I ascend to the heavens, there You are, and if I make my bed in the grave, behold, You are there.

    KJV - Psalms 139:

    8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there .

    xtians changed it to promote their own agenda

    Most people who have read the Bible only in English think they know what it says.

    But do they?

    Translations from the original Hebrew have often changed the text’s intended meaning in significant ways. Take, for example:

    * “The Lord is my shepherd”—the modern concept of shepherd is not what the biblical authors intended

    * “Thou shalt not covet”—coveting is not what’s forbidden in this commandment

    Where did things go wrong?

    The problem began with the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). Commissioned in 1604 by King James of England and published in 1611, this literary classic still forms the basis of most biblical translations in English, including that of the Jewish Publication Society (JPS). This is problematical, first because English usage has changed so much in the past 400 years, rendering some of the original translations inaccurate; and second, because the KJV translators made serious translation mistakes that have been retained in contemporary English translations.

    In short, the biblical shepherd was a “hero.”

    By substituting “hero” for “shepherd,” we can make sense of the rest of the Psalm. “The Lord is my hero; I shall not want.” In other words, since God—like a ro’eh —is powerful enough to provide protection, guidance, and security, I’ll have nothing to worry about.

    xtians changed it to promote their own agenda

    The Story of ET - the xtian delusion of complete translation

    Bereshit Bara Eloheim Et - IN A BEGINNING G-D CREATED ET. These are the first words of Torah, Genesis 1:1, ET was not translated by christian translators, they had no understanding of its meaning, so they just left it out. (So much for the thought voiced in Deuteronomy 8:3 that man lives by every word of G*D - for the translators stole G*D's words from you - no big deal to them !) ET is spelled Aleph Tav. Aleph Tav is an abbreviation for the ALPHA-BET. Aleph is the first letter of the ALPHABET and Tav the last. So in a beginning G-d created the ALPHA-BET. And G-d did this before creating the heavens and the earth. G-d used the letters, the building blocks, to create the world. Also the original Hebrew was written without vowels, an alternate reading of Bereshit Bara Eloheim Et - is For the sake of Torah and Israel. Which would make the first line a dedication to those whom it was written.

  • 8 years ago

    They believe nothing. They do whatever they feel like. Not religious at all. Make it up as they go along.

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