The dominant branch of Judaism in the United States. Originated in Germany in the 1700s, Reform Judaism is a more liberal form of Judaism than the Orthodox and Conservative branches. It is rooted in the belief that an individual’s personal autonomy overrides traditional Jewish law and custom. The individual decides which Jewish practices, if any, to adopt. It also believes that both traditional rabbinic modes of study and less traditional ones are valid ways to learn about and from the Hebrew Bible. Reform Judaism also is more accommodating to modern lifestyles and ideas.
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