The term ‘orthodoxy’ refers to the belief within Judaism that the Jewish people escaped slavery in Egypt, received the Torah from God at Mount Sinai, and that the Torah is something that all Jews are obliged to live by.
‘Orthodox’ can be used to describe people on any part of the scale of Judaism – from those who are fully observant to the Torah, to those who do not follow it closely. Overall, it refers to someone who accepts that the teachings and practices within Judaism are important.
For an Orthodox Jew, one of the most important things is the continuation of ancient Jewish traditions in an increasingly secular world.
A movement to reform Judaism began in Germany in 1819. It emerged independently in Britain in 1842 with the establishment of the West London Synagogue. Reform Judaism is now a major Jewish denomination, followers believe Jewish traditions should be modernised and made compatible with the surrounding culture.
There are some differences between Orthodox and Reform Judaism. Below is a summary of some of the main issues relating to prayer and worship:
There are also differences in terms of Shabbat. In summary: