October 23, 2018

Is There an “Authentic Judaism”

“I read in the Israeli press another Orthodox attack on liberal Judaism (including the Reform and Conservative movements). Their theology was succinctly stated a decade ago by the then Chief Sephardic Rabbi: “We learn that it is forbidden to attempt to change Judaism.”

Let me review the history of the evolution of our religion by isolating seven notable points along the journey.

The Beginning: Our founder, Abraham, lived approximately 1850 BCE (before the Common or Christian era); however, except for the fact that we attribute the belief in monotheism to him, he left us bereft of theology. He founded a people, not a theology.

The Torah: Our religion evolved slowly. The operative word is evolved. The Torah was not written until 600 years after Abraham, if you believe the traditional concept that God dictated it to Moses on Mt. Sinai, circa 1250 BCE. Biblical scholars believe that the whole bible was written over a period from 1000 to 150 BCE. Whatever you believe, it was an evolving process.”

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