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Differences Between the Three Main Branches of Judaism

Studies of Religion II

2 Pages Essays / Projects Year: Pre-2018

The Jewish religion has three main branches with each have differing characteristics, however they all share the same core ethical teachings outlined in the Torah. These branches are Orthodox, Progressive and Conservative Judaism. Followers of the Orthodox denomination must adhere to and follow strict guidelines, and individual discretion in relation to the mitzot is not tolerated. Whereas the Progressive and Conservative denominations have integrated their ways of practice to provide followers with a contemporary way to practice and view of the religion. These denominations have differing views because each branch has their own interpretation of the Torah. Progressive Judaism embrace traditional beliefs and traditions but integrate them to suit the needs of contemporary life. The Progressive variant of Judaism put a specific emphasis on the Tikkun Olam, which is the belief that, “through social or environmental action we are partners with God in creating the world as it should be.” The Progressive branch was formed in Germany when fundamental features of traditional Judaism were changed. These changes included, mixed gender seating, a shortened service, single day observance of holidays and the introduction of musical instruments and choir into the Synagogue services. In 1880, Progressive Judaism became the most commonly practiced variant, with over 90 per cent of American’s identifying as Progressive Jews.

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