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Ruth Ann O’Ski March 26, 2011 Religion in America Midterm Essay #2 A comparison of segregationist and integrationist Judaism offers

both similarities and dissimilarities. Similarities include a monotheistic belief structure and congregational leadership in the form of a Rabbi whereas differences include the belief that the Jewish people should live apart from other people and wearing of different attire. Jewish people make choices between their devotional practices for a variety of reasons including their fundamental belief structures and their desire to become Americans. I was raised in the Jewish faith however, I must admit this is my first encounter with the terms segregationist and integrationist Judaism but I can see where they can be useful to distinguish different sects that comprise Judaism. Comparatively speaking segregationist and integrationist Judaism offers a variety of parallels and contrasts. Firstly, parallels include the fact they are both Judaic in nature so they are both monotheistic. This is exhibited in the central prayer in Judaism titled the “Shema” which starts with “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our G_d. The Lord is One.” In addition, they both believe a Rabbi or Rebbe is the congregational leader. However, they are contrasted in both fundamental belief structures and gender equality. Fundamentally, the Torah is a critical component of all Judaic history and worship. However, the Orthodox, which includes all of the segregationists and a small portion of the integrationists, believe everything that is stated in the Torah is true, happened exactly as it is stated, and all commandments must be followed as written. Whereas, Conservative and Reform believers, which comprise the majority of segregationist Judaism, believe the laws and traditions expounded in the Torah can be blended with those of modern society. Therefore, segregationists follow the rules of the Torah so they live apart, eat strictly Kosher foods, dress differently, and speak their own language.

They do help to exemplify the main outward difference in the two branches of the choice to live apart from other cultures. In addition. . I believe one would choose one path over the other because of the desire to be both American. Furthermore.Furthermore. Having been raised in Judaism I find the terms segregationist and integrationist in relation to Judaism new however. or any other nationality. they and all those who follow the orthodox traditions separate the men and women with women being subordinate to men and not being allowed to attain Rabbinical positions. they spell out one of the main reasons why a Jewish person would choose one path instead of the other as either their fundamental belief that the Torah is either to be strictly followed or their belief that it is to be used as guide to practicing Judaism. and Jewish. they can be useful.