Different Types of Jews

Although there are only approximately 10 million Jews in the world, today the
religion is split up considerably. All Jews come under the strands of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) and Sephardi (Spanish) referring to their origin, however these only change customs and traditions. There are two divisions within Judaism that significantly differ: Orthodoxy and Reform Judaism, from which has stemmed Liberal, Conservative and other different types. There is also a division under the Orthodox label with ultra-orthodox and Hasidic Jews. I am only going to explore Orthodox, Reform, Liberal, and Conservative Judaism because they are the most substantial divisions and most widely followed in Britain. This divide between different types of Judaism has caused a lot of tension and is possibly one of the reasons for Judaism's rapid decline and assimilation into the Diaspora. I think that is a topic of great interest and in this essay; I have outlined the different characteristics of the four types of Judaism.
Orthodox Judaism

This is the religion of those Jews who adhere most strictly to traditional
beliefs and practices. Orthodox Jews refuse to accept the position of Reform
Judaism that the Tenakh and other writings do contain valid moral principles
but also Laws, which are only in place due to the time of writing and so, may
be legitimately discarded in modern times. In Orthodox Judaism, therefore,
both the Torah and the Oral Law are adhered to completely.
Orthodox Jews keep all the laws which other Jews see as unnecessary today such
as practices like daily worship, abiding by dietary laws, traditional prayers
and ceremonies, regular study of the Torah, and separation of men and women in
the synagogue. It also follows strict observance of Shabbat and
religious festivals.
Many Orthodox people feel that other types of Jews aren't essentially Jews and
some don't believe reform marriages for example, are legitimate.
There are divisions within Orthodoxy, with Ultra-Orthodox Jews who
can be seen as responsible for some of the conflict within Israel at the
moment and Hasidic Jews who strongly believe in Kabbalah, the mystic side
of Judaism.
Orthodox Judaism is the same religion that was practised by Jews in
times after the second temple and before. There have been no changes to the
laws, apart from more Rabbinical decrees as 'fences around the law' and
Orthodox Jews see themselves as the only people who practice Judaism as it was
intended to be, as a fundamentalist religion.
Before the introduction of Reform Judaism there was only 'Judaism', however
the religion then called 'Judaism' was changed to become Orthodox Judaism -
the original faith.

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Reform Judaism

This is a denomination of Judaism that has modified or abandoned many
traditional Jewish beliefs, laws, and practices to adapt Judaism to the modern
world, which has undoubtedly changed a lot since biblical times. Reform
Judaism sets itself against Orthodox Judaism by challenging the practice and
use of ritual, laws, and customs set down in the Tenakh and in other sets of
The movement began early in the 19th century, in Germany, when Jews were
liberated from their ghettos. Many Jews began to question their allegiance to
such laws as kosher, prayers in Hebrew, and the wearing of special outfits
that set them apart as Jews. ...

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