Jewish Studies Essay

2240 words - 9 pages

“Certainly, the world without the Jews would have been a radically different place. Humanity might have eventually stumbled upon all the Jewish insights. But we cannot be sure. All the great conceptual discoveries of the human intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they had been revealed, but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift. To them we owe the idea of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of human person; of the individual conscience and so a personal redemption; of collective conscience and so of social responsibility; of peace as an abstract ideal and love as the foundation of justice, and many other items which constitute the basic moral furniture of the human mind. Without Jews it might have been a much emptier place” (Paul Johnson).
The Jewish people have proved themselves to be able to make a tremendous difference in the world. Even though this divine difference has come from people of each movement of Judaism, the Modern Orthodox movement has taken it to the next level. Orthodox Judaism began back when G-d revealed the Torah on Mount Sinai (The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2011). Orthodox sages believe that both the Oral and Witten Torahs were given to the Jewish nation in 1312 B.C.E. This is when they consider that ‘Orthodox’ Judaism as we know started (Rabbi Lawrence Keleman, 2010). While there are many Modern Orthodox Jews around the world, the 10 main communities are in Israel, New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Paris, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and London (World Jewish Population, 2001). In a recent study, all sects of Orthodox Judaism were found to have between 33% - 45% of the Jews in the world today (JCPA). Even though it is not the biggest movement of Judaism, there are many people who follow the traditions of it. Orthodox Judaism’s main goal is to continue the beliefs and practices received at Mount Sinai. Mrs. Kumer a female Torah scholar describes the movement of Judaism “as a movement that tries to adhere to authentic Judaism whilst also incorporating certain aspects of modern secular education and lifestyle” (Kumer, Interview, 2011). It is common that when people think of Judaism, they think of a religion of traditions. In Judaism, traditions are referred to as Messorah. Messorah in movements including Reform and Conservative are generally changed over time and do not possess the same intensity as the original traditions and commandments (Rabbi Lawrence Keleman, 2010). Even though they can help teach Judaism to the members a part of it, the Modern Orthodox movement has a great deal of power within it. As a result to keeping the Torah and believing the laws within it, when Judaism gets passed down from generation to generation, the authenticity remains (Kumer, Interview, 2011). Even though Modern Orthodox Judaism is changed also, the Torah and practices remain...

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