Relationships between Jewish religious movements

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The relationships between the various denominations of American Judaism can be conciliatory, welcoming, or even antagonistic.


Orthodox Judaism

Orthodox Judaism holds that both Conservative and Reform Judaism have made major and unjustifiable breaks with historic Judaism, both by their skepticism of the verbal revelation of Written and Oral Torah, and by their rejection of halakhic (Jewish legal) precedent as binding (though to varying degrees). It views Pluralism as a construct of the liberal movements and does not see their ideology as rooted in historic Jewish norms. While not recognizing Reform and Conservative as valid expressions of Judaism, it recognizes Jews affiliated with these movements as full-fledged Jews, aside from those whose Judaism is of patrilineal descent and/or were converted under Conservative or Reform auspices.

Haredi views

When dealing with others of their own faith who have different philosophies, Haredi Jews attempt to differentiate between the individual practitioners and the movement/philosophy.[1]

When dealing with the individual, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein is famously quoted as characterizing all current-day non-Orthodox Jews as Tinokot Shenishbu, literally "captured children," in a category analogous to Jewish children captured by non-Jews who were never taught Judaism, meaning that they do not act out of wrong intent or motives, but out of ignorance and poor upbringing (Iggeroth Moshe)[citation needed].

However, when dealing with the movement/philosophy, they perceive the generation of other denominations to have historically been engendered by heretical intent and the 1800s widespread denigration of religion. They view Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism and Conservative Judaism as heretical non-Jewish movements. Some Haredi leaders[who?] have stated that Reform is philosophically further from authentic Judaism than Christianity and Islam. As such, Haredi authorities have strongly fought attempts by the Reform and Conservative movements to gain official recognition and denominational legitimacy in Israel. Haredi groups and authorities will not work with non-Orthodox religious movements in any way, as they view this as lending legitimacy to those movements. The members of those movements who have been born of a Jewish mother are, however, still regarded as Jews.[1]

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