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- A belief in one True God who is an all-powerful being; with whom
each individual person has a direct personal experience and to whom
prayers are addressed.
- A belief that Life is Holy.
- A belief that the Torah (Jewish Holy Scripture) is the guide to
correct living. Studying the Torah is a form of worship.
- That Community is very important. Group worship and prayer are
essential elements of right living and they have a sense of collective
purpose and shared responsibility for one another.
- A belief in the Covenant (God’s agreement with the chosen
people of Israel).
- A belief in the Ten Commandments
Within Judaism there are three main movements, they are:
- The Orthodox movement: Orthodox Jews believe that
complete uncompromising conformity to the dictates of God is what
is required. They are bound to preserve ritual, tradition and doctrine
as it was received in the past (back to its’ very beginnings).
Conforming to new social conventions is not important to the Orthodox
view, it is vital to live as God’s will was revealed in the
Holy Scriptures. For the Orthodox view, Judaism is the world and obedience
to the will of God is the primary objective.
- The Conservative Jew. For the Conservative Jew,
the idea of absolute adherence to past traditions is not the guiding
principle. It is important to preserve the “old ways”
as much as possible, but not to the degree of importance for an Orthodox
Jew. They affirm the primacy of tradition within their religious experience,
but do acknowledge the importance of carefully chosen adjustments
to accommodate the world in which they live.
- Reform Judaism. For the Reform Jew it is important
to retain the essential elements of Judaism which make the most sense
in a contemporary setting. They Torah is accepted, but it is seen
to be more open to study and interpretation by the individual than
the previous movements mentioned. This movement sprang arose in the
mid-nineteenth century and experienced remarkable growth, particularly
in the United States.