Beliefs that distinguished Orthodox Judaism
At the beginning, all Jews were traditional and hence automatically classified as Orthodox. In and around the beginning of the twentieth century, the reform movement in Judaism gained impetus led by the Jews in Germany, which slowly spread throughout most of Europe. It was this reform movement that distinguised the beliefs of Orthodox Jews from the Non Orthodox Jews. The Orthodox Jews were less open to change in their beliefs and practices compared to the Non Orthodox Jews. Presented below are the five main practices that distinguish Orthodox Judaism.
Belief 1: Prayer services to be conducted only in Hebrew by male rabbis. Those Jews who may not know Hebrew or may be from other regions are consequently excluded.
Belief 2: Strict division between men and women from a social perspective is another important point in Orthodox Judaism. Men would be expected to go out for work while women would be the homemakers.
Belief 3: In conjunction with the belief above, men and women are always separated in Orthodox Jewish Synagogues during prayer services.
Belief 4: Orthodox Jews are expected to eat foods that are prepared and selected according to the rules of the ‘kashrut’ (Jewish Dietary Laws). Such foods are commonly called ‘kosher’ by the Jews.
Belief 5: Stringent observation of the rules of Sabbath by all Orthodox Jews. On this day Orthdox Jews perform no work that is listed in the 39 creative activities and this has continued even to the present day. (Jacobs, 1999)
These are the five main beliefs/practices that distinguishes Orthodox Judaism from Non Orthodox Judaism.
Woodhead L, Fletcher P, Kawanami H, Smith D (2002)., Religions in the Modern World - Traditions and Transformations. London, UK: Routledge
Jacobs, L. (1999). A concise companion to the Jewish religion. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.