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Viewpoints of Judaism by Abraham Geiger and Samuel Raphael Hirsch - Essay Example

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Viewpoints of Judaism by Abraham Geiger and Samuel Raphael Hirsch

Abraham was terrified by tremendous loss of European Jewry embarrassing secular nationalism. He saw the solution to this was to modernize Judaism. He looked at Judaism as more of a religion than a culture. Samson Raphael Hirsch was born on June 20, 1808 in Hamburg, Germany. He schooled in public schools and was influenced strongly by Schiller and Hegel. He acquired his Jewish education at home. He grew up in a strong Jew foundation, his father who was Staunch Jew and his grandfather founded Talmud Torah in Hamburg. He grew to become a Rabbi in Oldenburg, Emden who had an enormous influence on Orthodox Judaism. In his studies, he went to Bonn University, and coincidentally Abraham was one of his classmates. He was an author of several prominent books and published Jeschurun, a monthly journal. He viewed Judaism as a teaching or lore and not as a law. A teaching expressed in ceremonies that are symbolic and change with development in history Orthodox Judaism is extremely strict in it belief in torahs, bible, and concept of messiah (coming of a savior). They believe the torah is verbal communication between Moses and God on Mount Sinai, in 1312 BC. Orthodox Judaism was then formed on this basis, communication (Falcon & Blatner, 3). Orthodox customs and traditions are founded on torahs. These traditions have been passed down successive generations as God’s own sacred word. However, Reform Judaism does not believe in Torah divinity. They view the “oral law” as a Judaism historic development reflection, and God’s encounter with each successive generation. They believe in God working through agents (human). In addition, that each successive generation has brought up a competent and religiously motivated teachers. In addition, that some individuals of a certain generation may succeed those in the past. Reformists do not believe sacred texts to be revered and devalued them. In addition, Mesorah is rejected in Reform Judaism. It views Torah divinity as infallible (Neusner, 5) Function and status of women differs in both branches of Judaism. In Orthodox Judaism, Both women and men are separated in worship. Women segregation in worship differs in two ways. Men and women during Reformed service are not separated. However, instead of isolating women who are currently experiencing their menstrual period, they segregate all women from men. In the orthodox sitting is strongly interlinked with the belief that women are ritually impure/ unclean during menstruation. Another reason for segregation is that women can be a disruption to men in time of worship. Reform Judaism does not acknowledge this kind of belief. They view them as shallow reasons for separation during worship. For them, they all worship together despite neither gender nor female biological condition (Berlin& Grossman, 527). Another difference in both branches involves status functions of women and their functions in the community. Reformists have been open-minded to having women as cantors, rabbis and as educators for a long time. They treasury and value highly existence of these women in their congregation. They also see it as enrichment of their worship experience by having these women play these central functions. In orthodox tradition, having women in this position is seen as an act of disrespect/ insult to ...Show more


Name Instructor Task Date Viewpoints of JUDAISM by Abraham Geiger and Samuel Raphael Hirsch Introduction Abraham Geiger was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1810. He grew up to become a transformation rabbi and scholar, and was the founder of Reform Judaism. At a tender age, he was skeptical of the traditional comprehension on Judaism when his classical history studies seemed to challenge divine authority claims of the bible…
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