• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What are the causes and effects of a religion splitting up into divisions or sects?

Extracts from this document...


Ai) What are the causes and effects of a religion splitting up into divisions or sects? Hasidism The word Hasidism means `the pious` and best known for their spiritual devotion are the Hasidism Jews. Before the holocaust occurred the Hasidic Jews were in Eastern Europe and in the 17th century, when the Hassidic movement began many of the Hassidic Jews were forced into poverty. The huge loss of life in Poland and the economic burden of those who survived were due to the Russian and Swedish invasions. From then on Jewish life was changed in Eastern Europe. Before the trouble started there were plenty of opportunities for talented young men and woman to come to the study of the Torah and Yeshivot. The Jews worked very long hours conscientiously for very little pay. By the 18th century only the larger communities of Jews could actually afford to maintain Yeshivot. This severely controlled a fixed number of children to study. The majority of the children could not have an education. Many Jews grew up feeling like rejected Jews and felt that they weren't valued by God. Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, thought to be the messiah brought about the religious revival of the Jews in Poland. Rabbi Israel showed the ignorant people how to improve their standards of Jewish observance. He also showed them the Kabbalah and simplified it foe the mass and taught them the purpose of `serving` God was attachment to him. He told them that carrying out the commandments of God could do this and tries to for fill every single possible one with enthusiasm and praying with sincerity and also through the study of the Torah. He also said to them that an ignorant Jew was as much a part as a Jewish scholar and the poor had an advantage over these scholars as they could admit humility whilst the scholars let their pride get in their way. ...read more.


Women are also not allowed to pray as much as men and so don't attend as much as men. In Reform synagogues men and women are encouraged to attend as much as each other. Hasidic Jews believe, they all should live in a close community or return to the Holy Land. This can affect their lives in a big way. They would have to live close to a synagogue so they could walk there on a Saturday. The keeping of a kosher home is also very important. Hasidism Jews have to keep their houses kosher, as it is part of the Mitzvot. They would not be able to consume food, which was not kosher. Their cutlery would have to be different for different food products. Their kitchens would be laid out differently. The cupboards would be different for cutlery, meats and dairy products. In the Leviticus it says, these are the animals, which you may eat... anything, which has a completely slit hoof and chews the cud. This can affect Jews' lives in a big way. They could only eat at kosher restaurants. Reform leaders once abandoned the dietary laws, but now the laws are looked upon synagogue premises. They would have to go to a school, which serves school meals, which were kosher. Reform Jews believe that not all the 613 Mitzvot can't be kept. They think it's better to keep the important ones, e.g. traditionally it was taught that the 39 Melachot are forbidden on Shabbat. Members of the Reform communities don't consider it wrong to drive their cars or turn on lights on this day. For them "work" means literally going to there shop, factory, or working for a profit. They don't need to locate nearer synagogues, as they'd drive to a synagogue whilst the Hasidic will not. In Hasidism they will make sure that they bring their child up in a way that would please God and keep the Mitzvot. ...read more.


If a Reform Jew would change to an Orthodox Jew, his/her life would be seriously affected. They would have to change the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and attend synagogues regularly. They would also have to obey the 613 Mitzvot to the best of his/her ability. They would have to move house if they lived far away from a synagogue or would have to get a different job if it meant they had to work on Saturdays. This would be a huge change in their lives. They would have to learn to speak Yiddish, which would involve a lot of effort, which they previously would not have put in. The Orthodox would say, "They are the right beliefs and do not need to change". The main obstacle, they would have to "jump" is their belief about the Torah. The orthodox believe that God gave the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai, whilst the non-Orthodox Jews believe that it is from man. As the Orthodox believe that the Torah is from God they believe that everything in it should be kept, respected and not changed in any way. If the religion has changed so much since it first started, then it would be impossible, to change every single person to the same divisions as people are more reluctant than that. All the divisions of Jews should NOT unite, as the different traditions and the cultures would be almost impossible to clarify and if they tried to its almost as if they were bound to fail. People should be allowed to follow their personal beliefs, though Orthodox Jews would not accept this. I can come to the conclusion that it would be good, for Jews to all unite into one big religion, but it would be difficult to accept the differences in all divisions. While the differences that seem so minor look small, the actual differences in the religion are important fundamental, differences in beliefs about the nature of the Torah. Nixon Dhushantha 4A Religious Coursework ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Judaism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Judaism essays

  1. What is the Torah and Why is it Important To Jews?

    them, they would be able to work round the dilemmas, putting their religion first. 3) 'The Torah Commandments Should Be Adapted to Fit in With Modern Life. Give Reasons For & Against. Some people would agree with the above statement, such as a teenage Jew who only practices his religion

  2. Festivals are the best way to learn about your faith." Do you agree?

    they must be initiated into their faith by a row of festivals such as Brit Milah (circumcision), Simchat Habat (The naming ceremony for girls), Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah.

  1. Importance of Holocaust Today

    The trauma faced by victims of the Nazis' discrimination relates, on a smaller scale, to problems young people encounter now. That of racism and bullying. Youngsters are unaware of the dangers that being a bystander or even enforcer of racism and bullying can have.

  2. A Summary Of Jewish Food Laws and Their Origins.

    An egg supporting a blood-spot is not permitted. If a blood stained egg is put into a heated pan, this then becomes a non-kosher pan. The torah states 3 times that to "boil a kid in its mothers milk" is forbidden. The oral torah explains this to mean prohibiting eating the two together and the rabbis took this even further and prohibited eating dairy and poultry together.

  1. The Holocaust

    Despite the fact he is a survivor he does not feel lucky for this but questions why? On the other hand for some Jews their faith has been strengthened by the event of the Holocaust. They see now that God could not intervene in the matter and feel they have gained answers as a result of the Holocaust.

  2. Covenantal Monotheism: A dissection of Jewish movements currently practiced in the United States.

    Reconstructionist define Judaism as the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people. The practices of seeking to understand historical contexts in which Jewish beliefs and practices emerged and changed as well as adapting and reinvigorating those ideas and practices in the lives of contemporary Jews are at the center of this movement.

  1. Describe in detail the way in which a fully observant Orthodox Jewish family would ...

    Each member of the family has a bath before sunset and wears their best clothes, for the meal. All members of the family will try to wear some white to symbolise purity and hope. It is important to the whole family to abstain from these activities, and many more, during Shabbat.

  2. How easy is it for Jews to keep their covenant with God in the ...

    This means that certain laws govern the buying, preparation and eating of food. They cannot eat milk and meat products together.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work