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Divisions within contemporary Judaism. Cultural divisions within Judaism  The ethnic diversity among Jews has resulted in a number of cultural divisions.

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Presentation on theme: "Divisions within contemporary Judaism. Cultural divisions within Judaism  The ethnic diversity among Jews has resulted in a number of cultural divisions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Divisions within contemporary Judaism

2 Cultural divisions within Judaism  The ethnic diversity among Jews has resulted in a number of cultural divisions within Judaism  It is important to understand these divisions as well as the challenges that face Israel Where members of these groups have come to live together 1. Sephardic Jews 2. Ashkenazic Jews 3. Mizrahim Jews

3 Sephardic Jews  The name Sephardic comes from a mythic land of Sephar once thought to exist in the distant west of Israel and often identified with Spain  Sepharadim – “Spanish” Originally from Andalucía, Spain, after 1492 expulsion, moved to north Africa, other areas of Europe Most spoke Ladino – Hebrew + Spanish Music is Andalucian, in Ladino and Arabic Food is north African, Mediterranean

4  The name Ashkenazic comes from Ashkenaz A descendant of Noah  Ashkenazim refers to those Jews who at one time lived in or came from central Europe  Ashkenazim Northern European Jews Most spoke Yiddish – Hebrew + German Food is German, polish – blintzes, bagels, pickled meats and vegetables  Ashkenazic culture ended in Europe with the Holocaust Ashkenazim Jews

5 Mizrahim Jews  Mizrahim – “Eastern” Lived in countries “east” of Jerusalem – Middle East: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Jordan Spoke Arabic or Persian Music in the style of the Middle East Food is “middle eastern”

6 Observance-Based Divisions  within Judaism, divisions exist based on variations in religious observance  Some Jews have held to traditional practices and other branches have developed out of the conviction that Judaism will continue to exist only if it reinterprets its traditions  Four branches have emerged: 1. Orthodox 2. Conservative 3. Reform 4. Reconstructionist

7  Traditional Judaism is often called Orthodox  A branch of Judaism committed to retaining traditional practice and belief  Orthodox Jews are hesitant to discard any traditional practices Even those not demanded by the Torah but simply revered as reasonable later developments that are said to “guard” the Torah from being lost or misinterpreted  Must conform to Torah because it is unchangeable  Often live in own communities to preserve tradition  Includes 1/10 of the US Jewish population  Hasidism is a branch of Orthodoxy Orthodox

8 Orthodox practices  Orthodox synagogues separate males and females  For service, there must be a quorum of ten Jewish men  Services are conduced in Hebrew and led by male rabbis  Only males celebrate the coming of age – bar mitzvah  Men at prayer use the talit and at weekday morning prayer use the tefillin  Males must keep their heads covered as a reminder that God is above all Skullcap, prayer shawl, or hat

9 Orthodox practices cont.  Social roles are strictly separate Men are the breadwinners of the family Women are responsible for running the household  the hair of the beard and in front of the ears is sometimes left uncut by males In response to a command in the Torah  Males wear a black hat and black coat (dress)  Married women cover their heads with a kerchief when outside the home The hair is covered as an expression of modesty because a woman’s hair is considered to be seductive to men

10 Conservative Judaism  Jews who desire moderate change but protection of traditions as well  Sees change in religious understanding as necessary to keep up with modernity but adheres to traditional Jewish practices as much as possible  Liturgy is in Hebrew & dietary rules strictly followed  Women are allowed to become rabbis  Agrees with Zionism  Includes ½ of the Jews in the US

11  Believe that Judaism changes with society  The goal is to modernize Judaism hoping that it will survive in the contemporary world  In reform synagogue worship, women and men sit together  Liturgy is spoken in English  Choirs and music are common  The use of the talit or tefillin has either been dropped or made optional  Traditional ways of dressing has disappeared  Women may become rabbis  Girls have coming of age ceremonies Bat mitzvah  Includes 1/3 of the Jews in the US Reform

12 Reconstructionist Judaism  Newest and smallest branch of Judaism  It grows out of the thought of Mordecai Kaplan The founder Came to the US as a child Was influenced by American ideals of democracy and practicality He promoted the vision that encourages Jews to become familiar with as many elements of traditional Judaism as possible but allows them the freedom of individual interpretation  Reconstructionism sees Judaism as a changing cultural force, with many elements and manifestations

13 Did you know?  Albert Einstein  Sigmund Freud  Abraham Maslow  Elie Wiesel


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