RELI 448N Judaism

RELI 448N Judaism

RELI 448N Judaism

Orthodox Judaism refers to traditional Judaism. This is the most interesting to me. This type of Judaism originated in Europe and is how Judaism was initially intended to be. However, because Jews were persecuted for their religious. beliefs under the reign of Hitler, much of the Judaism community was destroyed. There are two separate categories in Orthodox Judaism, one is called integrationists. These particular types of people are those who want to exist and contribute to a role in civil society. Then there are separatists. These are people who want to live their lifestyle away from society (Molloy, M. (2012). In orthodox judaism, men seem to be more privileged than females, at least coming from a 2020 perspective. The religious services are conducted only by male rabbi’s. Only males are given bar mitzvah’s to celebrate their coming of age. The men are considered the workers and providers while the women maintain the homestead and tend to the children. On the day of the sabbath, no manual labor is allowed. This means no cooking, no cleaning, no talking on the phone, no electricity, etc. (Molloy, M. (2012).

Conservative Judaism- is for those who believe that the beliefs of orthodox judaism, are just far too radical. These people want to branch out and live their lives still practicing much of the religion, just with some changes. For example, some of them still want the religious ceremonies performed in Hebrew. This type of practice originated in Germany but has a more dense population here in the US.

A similarity between the two of these is that both of them still hold the importance of their religion closely. They both still honor and practice Judaism. However, one of them wants to follow it to a T, and one does not. One may want to practice observing the sabbath and one may not choose to participate in that.

A contemporary issue that I think could arise from Conservative Judaism, is sticking to it (The Challenge of Assimilation. (n.d.). There is a large risk that the more relaxed people become within their religion, the less they will actually practice that religion and may potentially become more secularly involved. Judaism may not have a large acceptance rate in the US, and people may feel pressured to conform less to their own beliefs and more to the beliefs of everyone around them.


The Challenge of Assimilation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2020, from

Molloy, M. (2012). Experiencing the World’s Religions. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from

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Another key difference between these three main branches of modern Judaism is in their view of life after death. Dean C. Halverson writes that the Orthodox Jew believes “there will be a physical resurrection. The righteous will exist forever with God in the world to come.” (Halverson, 1996.) This view, as you may be aware, is very much in line with what Christians hold. However, when it comes to the views of life after death among the other two branches, things change significantly.

Conservative and Reform Jews tend to share the same view, and that view is that there is no personal life after death. This belief obviously has a big impact on what happens to the individual after they die, but it also has a major impact on what the goal in life is for these Jews. Halverson adds that for the Conservative and Reform Jew “a person lives on in the accomplishments or in the minds of others.” (Halverson, 1996). Therefore, what is most important for these Jews is the legacy they leave behind.

Halverson, D. (1996). The Compact Guide To World Religions. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House.

I have to say that it not only happens to Conservative Judaism. I am a non practicing Catholic. I do pray at home,

RELI 448N Judaism
RELI 448N Judaism

and try to follow lent and the fact that we are suppose to fast as well as no meat. Unfortunately once I moved away from my family it just did not seem as important to continue with all of the practices. In Judaism it appears to be even harder because of all of their restrictions and strict rules. As for the not cooking on the Sabbath, I for one would be all over that because it means a whole day of relaxation for me. I appreciate the Orthodox Judaism because of their being so traditional and wanting to exist and contribute to a role in civil society but I’m leaning more towards the Conservative Judaism because I am for less radicalism. I loved your discussion. Thank you.

I chose Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism. Both forms of religion are quite similar actually. Reform Judaism started in Germany for a need to survive. It is very different from orthodox Judaism and many reforms came very quickly once a family adopted this new culture. Reform Judaism believes that change is necessary for the culture to survive for the current times. It is okay to question and challenge beliefs and women are treated as equally as men. In the synagogue, both Hebrew and the original language can be spoken, and women can become rabbis as well as celebrate their own bat mitzvah (Molloy, 2020). “Reform Judaism 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” (“What is Reform Judaism, n.d.).

Conservative Judaism also stemmed from Germany, but reform Judaism was too progressive for these families to take on. This stem of Judaism became very popular in the U.S.  They too believed Orthodox Judaism is too unchanging and change should be accepted but not as quickly as Reform Judaism. “Thus this branch of Judaism accepts change, but it uses study and discussion to guide change carefully. In the United States, almost half of all practicing Jews belong to this branch” (Molloy, 2020).

Both of these branches accept change and believe the culture can be guided for the new times. However, Conservative Judaism came a little before Reform Judaism in the early 1800’s they both began and coexisted quite close to each other in time. The main difference being, Conservative Judaism takes a little more of a stronghold in original Jewish traditions and customs whereas Reform Judaism does as well, they are more willing to change and accept the new comings of the times and change with it. This is because they believe the Torah is always living and able to change.

A contemporary issue for Reform Judaism is that it is a radical movement and there are many different branches of Judaism. Many Jews live in the U.S. and Israel, and they don’t want the different branches to not accept each other and grow farther apart. “History will judge our generation. Did we learn lessons of the past? Did we overcome our differences? It requires everybody to be in this dialogue, and it requires respecting everyone around the table equally.” (Herzog, 2019). This comes from the Jewish leader of the Agency of Israel. This is his number one worry about contemporary issues.

A current issue for Conservative Judaism is kind of similar to the above. People believe Conservative Judaism is too conservative now. They do not allow intermarriages and believe that there is too much polarization between the cultures already. It is a belief that there are and/or will be culture wars between the branches.


Herzog, I. (2019). These are the main challenges of global judaism today. Retrieved from to an external site.

Molloy, M. (2020). Experiencing the world’s religions – tradition, challenge, and change (8th ed.). 2 Penn Plaza, New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

What is reform judaism? Retrieved from to an external site.