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What are the different forms of Judaism?

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Quick Answer

Different branches of Judaism that are active in the modern world include Othodox, Reform, Conservative, Hasidic, Humanistic and Reconstructionist Judiasm. Messianic Judiasm is another form of the religion that, according to North Central University, some people argue is not a true part of the Jewish faith.

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Much like other Abrahamic religions, Judiasm is not a monolithic religion but a large faith that includes many subgroups. These subgroups are all related by common cultural and theological traditions, including adherence to the Old Testament, or Torah, as a holy book. However, the practices and lifestyles of individuals in different branches of Judaism differ dramatically. For example, Reform Jewish people may attend synagogue only on important holidays and may not keep kosher, while Hasidic Jewish people tend to stick very closely to strict, traditional religious practice, including dressing in a certain manner and performing religious duties every single day. Messianic Judiasm breaks off from other parts of the Jewish faith by accepting the New Testament and the concept of Jesus Christ as a Messiah, which some people argue makes this a Christian, not Jewish, religion.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are characteristics of Judaism?

    A:

    Judaism is a monotheistic faith, which means members believe in only one god. Judaism teaches that all humans were created in the image of God and that God intends to send a person to remedy the ills of the world. The Torah is the reference text of Judaism.

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  • Q:

    Who was the founder of Judaism?

    A:

    Judaism does not have a specific founder, but rather it has major prophets that are considered the fathers of Judaism. Some of these prophets are Moses, Abraham and Noah.

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    Who is the leader of Judaism?

    A:

    As a whole, Judaism does not have a single leader, but instead, each congregation is led by a rabbi and each branch of Judaism has a leadership council. Some countries have chief rabbis that oversee other rabbis.

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  • Q:

    When did Judaism begin?

    A:

    The traditions of Judaism arose around 2000 B.C., but it was not until 1 A.D. that the rabbinic religion was established. The faith was historically centered around Canaan (modern day Israel and Palestine).

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