What is the difference between Orthodox Jews, Progressive Jews, and Conservative Jews?

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        What is the difference between Orthodox Jews, Progressive Jews, and Conservative Jews? This question can be answered by first looking at Judaism as a whole, then moving into the different types. Judaism is a monotheistic religion. It can also be classified as an ethical religion. It is taught that the Hebrew people accepted the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai and that the Land of Israel was apart of that covenant. Jewish people also believe that the Messiah will be a person from the family of King David, not God, and will lead the world onto unity and peace. They do not believe that Jesus is “The Messiah.” Along with the Ten Commandments, Jews believe in Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of Faith which are: 1.) God Exists, 2.) God is one and unique, 3.) God is incorporeal, 4.) God is eternal, 5.) Prayer is directed to God alone, 6.) Words of the Prophets are true, 7.) Moses was the greatest Prophet, 8.) the Torah was given to Moses, 9.) there is no other Torah, 10.) God knows the thoughts and deeds of all mankind, 11.) God rewards the good and punishes the wicked, 12.) The Messiah will come, 13.) The dead will be resurrected. The main source of Jewish teachings comes from the Torah in both its forms. Torah means “teachings,” and is God’s instructions for them. It teaches how to act, think, and even hoe to view life. The Torah contains 613 commandments. The Written Torah contains the Five Books of Moses, writings of the Prophets, and other writings. The Oral Torah was passed down from generation to generation until the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, when it was written down. The book of the Oral Torah is called the Mishnah. All forms of Judaism believe in these basic facts.

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        To begin with, Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah is of divine origin and contains the exact words of God. The Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of Faith are the core beliefs of the Orthodox followers. Orthodox Jews strictly follow the teachings of the Torah. They believe that they are the true continuation of the faith that was accepted at Mt. Sinai. This is not a unified movement with a single governing body. It is a collaboration of many different movements that strictly follow Judaism. Orthodox Judaism is said to be the only movement to preserve the foundations of Jewish theology.


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