Difference Between Orthodox and Unorthodox Jews (With Table)

The Jewish religion is a venerable and monotheist religion. According to the research, Judaism was founded nearly four thousand years back. Jewish people believe that God communicated his teachings to the world through his messengers also, called prophets.

The Jews believe that Abraham is the founder of Judaism. And also that God chooses Abraham and his descendants for the creation of the great nation. The holy book of Jewish people is the Tanakh or also, called as Hebrew Bible, which is a collection of Hebrew scriptures including the Nevi’im, the Ketuvim, and the Torah.

Orthodox vs Unorthodox Jews

The difference between Orthodox and Unorthodox Jews is that Orthodox Jewish believe that Torah came from God himself and cannot be modified. On the other hand, Unorthodox Jewish people believe that some flexibility must be allowed in the interpretation of the Torah.

Orthodox Jews, as the name described, are stricter in their believes and customs. They strictly follow the teachings and the laws given in their holy texts. The critical practices followed by Orthodox Jews include the Sabbath, the Torah study, and eating kosher. They also believe in a future messiah who will be sent by God to restore Judaism by building a temple in Jerusalem.

Unorthodox Jews people do not believe in the concept that the holy book was sent by God himself. They think that the holy texts were written by divinely inspired people. Therefore the Unorthodox Jews follow the holy texts but allow some flexibility according to their convenience.

Comparison Table Between Orthodox and Unorthodox Jews

Parameters of ComparisonOrthodox JewsUnorthodox Jews
Beliefs Orthodox strictly believe that the holy texts are God’s direct words or teachings and cannot be changed according to convenience.Unorthodox Believe that the holy book or texts are written by human beings and can be evolved with time.
Customs and TraditionsOrthodox strictly follow the old traditions and cultures like the daily prayer, daily Torah study, and ablutions, etc.Unorthodox follow some of the rituals while the rest of the traditions are restricted.
Worshiping styleThey worship in a place called ‘synagogue’ by saying prayers also called services-led, by a rabbi, as described in Torah in the Hebrew language.Unorthodox also worship in the same place, but the women and men sit together and, a female rabbi can lead the services either in Hebrew or any language.
Role of WomanThe role of a woman is confined to taking care of the household and children that is their duties are separate but are given equal value. Unorthodox women are free and can interact with men publicly without any need to wear a headscarf.
FoundationHistorians believe that the Hamburg temple dispute in 1818-1821 marked the originations of Orthodox Jewish people. In the 19th century, the rabbi Abraham Geiger and his followers put together the principles of Unorthodox Judaism.

What are Orthodox Jews?

Orthodox Jews are more conservative towards their religious rituals and customs. They adhere to their holy texts or books, believing that these are the absolute words of God. Orthodox Jews live their life according to the rules and laws that are given in the Torah.

The customs of Orthodox Jews include the Shabbat, a ritual that includes the daily study of the book Torah, gender segregation in a synagogue, and circumcision of men, etc. While worshipping or praying, they wore a white shawl called the ‘tallits’ and a skull cap called the ‘kippah’.

According to Orthodox Judaism, a person must adhere to the laws of God to achieve salvation or redemption after their death. And for them, the life after death is the original life.

What are Unorthodox Jews?

Unorthodox Jews have a more liberal approach towards their religion and thus allow customization in their rules and laws given in their holy book. They believe that religion must evolve with society to achieve development. Therefore they are not restricted to the teachings.

The Unorthodox does not follow the customs strictly and even abundant some of the ancient religious practices of their culture like circumcision and gender segregation in a synagogue. During the time of prayer, they can recite their holy book verses in any language they want.

The main belief that separates Unorthodox from Orthodox is their thinking that Holy texts are not the absolute words of God and, they even believe that the verses have evolved from generation to generation.

Main Differences Between Orthodox and Unorthodox Jews

  1. Orthodox Jews people are very harsh when it comes to following the teachings and rituals given in their holy book. While the Unorthodox Jews believe that the holy book or texts are written by human beings and can be evolved with time.
  2. Unorthodox follow some of the rituals while the rest of the traditions are restricted. Whereas Orthodox strictly follow the old traditions and cultures like the daily prayer, daily Torah study, and ablutions, etc.
  3. Unorthodox Jews culture was founded In the 19th century by the rabbi Abraham Geiger and his followers who put together the principles of Unorthodox Judaism. While researchers believe that the Hamburg temple dispute in 1818-1821 marked the originations of Orthodox Jewish culture.
  4. Woman’s role in Orthodox Jewish culture is confined to taking care of the household and children. That is, their duties are separate but are given equal value. Whereas Unorthodox women are free and can interact with men publicly without any need to wear a headscarf.
  5. Orthodox Jews worship in a place called ‘synagogue’ by saying prayers, also called services-led, by a rabbi, as described in Torah in the Hebrew language. While in Unorthodox Jews culture, the women and men sit together and, a female rabbi can lead the services either in Hebrew or any language.

Conclusion

Both the Orthodox and Unorthodox believe in One God and the Holy texts like other religions, which include Islam and Christianity etc. Every religion has different sects and, these sects arise due to some small difference in the basic ideas of their religion. Although, all these different sects of the religion follow the same basic beliefs.

According to the latest data, there are around four thousand two hundred religions in the world. But apart from these differences and divisions, there is harmony between all the religions and their followers. Because no religion teaches to lead riots and to destroy humanity.

References

  1. https://www.amjmedsci.com/article/S0002-9629(20)30229-9/pdf
  2. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/informit.231402888682038
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