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Conservative Judaism: Inception, History and Way Of Life

Uploaded by tyson_626 on Feb 28, 2005

Conservative Judaism: Inception, History and Way Of Life

"The term "Conservative" had been attached to the moderates by the Reformers because the moderates had branded them as radicals. This name hardly describes the movement aptly. Conservative Judaism, is the American version of the principles of positive historical Judaism. The conservatives accept the findings of modern scholarship that Judaism is the product of a long period of growth and evolution. However, this process did not result in broken or inconsistent lines of development; quite the contrary, the major currents of Judaism run consistently through the extensive literature of the Jewish people, created in successive ages." (Rudavsky 338)

Conservative Judaism is one of the largest of the various sects of Judaism. Conservative Jews make up about 40-45% of those Jews who affiliate. Conservative Judaism accepts the idea that Jewish law is binding upon Jews. Conservative Jews have an obligation to obey all the teachings and commandments of Judaism., For example, Conservative Jews emphasize the laws of keeping the Sabbath and keeping kosher. Conservative Jews believe that Jewish law is capable of evolution as humans learn more about interpreting the Torah. Therefore, Conservative Jews have changed some of the earlier interpretations. Men and women worship together in Conservative synagogues, people may ride in a car on the Sabbath to attend services, and women can be ordained as rabbis.

"Issac Leeser is generally regarded as the principal forerunner of Conservative Judaism in the United States. A native of Westphalia, Lesser acquired his religious and secular education before coming to American in 1824. He settled in Richmond, Virginia, where he was employed for several years in his uncle's business. At the same time, he assisted the hazzan in the religious school of the local Sephardic congregation. During this period, he gained prominence by publishing numerous articles in defense of Jews and Judaism in American and foreign journals."(Dimont 231)

Some Jews who affiliate with the Conservative sect claim that their main reason for belonging is the fact that they don't want to be Orthodox nor Reformed. "While some individuals describe themselves as Conservative because of their alienation from Orthodox practices, others define themselves from the opposite direction - they point out that they are not reform." (Sklare 206) For the most part, Conservative Jews feel that if one were to be reformed they would not really be Jewish. The Reformed sect, unlike the conservative do not obey most of...

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Uploaded by:   tyson_626

Date:   02/28/2005

Category:   Religion

Length:   7 pages (1,585 words)

Views:   8296

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