Presentation on theme: "Conservative Judaism is a branch of Judaism that moderates between the traditional Orthodox and the progressive Reform branches. Conservative Judaism."— Presentation transcript:
Conservative Judaism is a branch of Judaism that moderates between the traditional Orthodox and the progressive Reform branches. Conservative Judaism is a branch of Judaism that moderates between the traditional Orthodox and the progressive Reform branches. Formed in the mid 19 th century, under the initiative of Zecharias Frankel, who sought to adapt Judaism to modern days of thought. Frankel based his changes on traditional halakhic processes of rabbinic decision- making. He conceived of Judaism as a historically developing religion that promoted the conservation of Jewish law within the context of contemporary realities and ongoing encounters with God in every generation. Conservative Jews claim it is possible to maintain traditional Jewish elements while continuing in moderated modernization. In this, Conservative Judaism claims that both the Orthodox and Reform are too extreme
Like Orthodox Jews, Conservatives still maintain many traditional Jewish religious observances such as the dietary laws and the adherence to the Sabbath, but they have also moved beyond traditional practices by ordaining women as rabbis. Like Orthodox Jews, Conservatives still maintain many traditional Jewish religious observances such as the dietary laws and the adherence to the Sabbath, but they have also moved beyond traditional practices by ordaining women as rabbis.
The Conservative movement practices traditional Judaism, but interprets Jewish teaching in the light of contemporary knowledge and scholarship. Conservative Judaism allows gradual change in law and practice, but only if the change is in harmony with Jewish tradition. The wish to embrace both tradition and change may seem admirable, but it is a very difficult one to live out since it's hard to develop a clear theology that can provide a consistent path between the two standpoints. The tendency has been to tackle each issue individually, rather than to embark on a global rethink.
Conservative Jews regard Israel as not only the birthplace of the Jewish people, but also its final destiny. Their behavior reflects the wish of Conservative Judaism not to denationalize Judaism. Hebrew - the irreplaceable language of Jewish expression: Hebrew literacy is the key to Judaism, to joining the conversation between sacred texts, between Jews of different ages, between God and Israel. The Jewish commu nity is united worldwide and that every single Jew has ultimate significance.
The Torah is no less sacred, if less central, than it was for their pre-modern ancestors. The Torah is Judaism's most sacred text. It is the record of God's revelation to the Jewish people and the root and base of their understanding of how God wants them to live as Jews. Halakhah is central and authoritative in determining the way of life and conduct of the Jewish people.
a movement of traditional Jewish faith and practice led by the dynamic understanding of Torah and Halakhah a movement of traditional Judaism receptive to truth from every quarter, responsive to the dilemmas of the modern world; a movement that, without prejudging, seeks the participation of every Jew on the journey to greater knowledge, observance, ethical sensitivity and spiritual depth a movement that includes all men and women in every sphere of Jewish life a movement that says 'You can!' to every aspiration to learn and practice a movement with facilities to meet all the needs of Jewish life a movement that plays its full part in creating a thriving Judaism in Israel and the Diaspora and good relationships with other faiths.
The founders of Conservative Judaism had no intention of starting a new wing or denomination or party in Judaism. They did not even pretend to be modern Judaism. Their purpose and their philosophy were clearly expressed in the name they applied to themselves. They were conservative and their object was to conserve the Jewish traditions. Mordecai Waxman, The Ideology of the Conservative Movement, quoted in Neusner, Sectors of American Judaism, 1975The principle founders of Conservative Judaism were Zecharia Frankel (1801-75) who founded the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau in 1854 and Solomon Schechter (1849 -1915) in the USA. In recent times the movement has been rethinking its place in American Judaism and asking what it needs to do or be.
Local communities and rabbis work together to decide on the practice to be followed in particular synagogues. Conservative services are quite traditional, and mostly in Hebrew. Women and men can play an equal part in Conservative worship. Some Conservative synagogues let men and women sit together, others segregate the genders. However, women count as part of the minyan and can say the Mourner's Kaddish in their own right.
The flexibility of Conservative halakhic thinking was demonstrated at the end of 2006, when the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards ruled on Jewish law and homosexuality. The panel approved three contradictory rulings: one of which approved gay rabbis and same-sex commitment ceremonies (although it found physical sex between men was not in line with Jewish law), and two of which did not. This left individual congregations and institutions free to choose which ruling to follow.