Modern Jewish History

Case Study
Pages 8 (2008 words)
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11) Throughout history, the Jewish people have been faced with potential problems that could wipe the faith out completely. While many of these problems come from external sources, there have also been internal problems that have threatened the tradition that the faith holds.


This led to changing attitudes among Rabbis, as the faith began to become less strict. While it could be argued that this modernization became necessary in order for the faith to survive, it can also be argued that it takes away from the Jewish experience as a whole. The modernization of Jews in the Ottoman and Northern Africa differed greatly from the modernization of Jews in Europe because they were surrounded by different cultural elements in each place.
The leaders of the European Jews viewed modernization as a destructive force that had the potential to ruin Judaism as a whole. Modernism was compared to a whirlwind by these leaders, which would become a destructive force against tradition and, therefore, the religion as a whole. What occurred because of these new modern ideas was a split between Jews in Europe. Traditionalists believed that everything new was forbidden by the Torah and this caused for those who wished to change the structure of Judaism to leave the religion and form their new branches. All of this was based on fear for the Rabbis of Europe and this fear overtook the religion and caused it to split. By not allowing for changes to be made in order to accommodate the new modern world, Rabbis created even more problems for European Jews. One such change that occurred involved how Jews were to dress. ...
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