Chasdium & Orthodox Today are not the Barometers of what of what is acceptable in Judaism today. For that matter either is the Conservative movement,Reform,Re-constructionist or Karaite. No Stream of Judaism is the final word on Jewish practice today.“Having said that I will disqualify Messianic Judaism (Jews for Jesus) from any form of acceptance in the Jewish community which I don’t consider it any Stream of Judaism but a cleverly packaged way of converting Jews to Christianity”.When I was growing up in the 1950’s the term ”Orthodox ” was a relatively new term in Jewish culture in the U.S..To this day when I hear the word Orthodox I think of Greek Orthodox not anything Jewish.. It wasn’t basically until he suburbs were built in the 1950’s that it came about.Cars are forbidden to be driven on Sabbath.This stems from the fact that a horse or a beast of burden must have a day off when ever a Sabbath or Holiday occurs as well. Well I say a car is not a horse but the so called Rabbinical authorities will stand firm on that restriction. Be that as it may the newly suburban Synagogue congregation needed some sort dispensation or permission to use their cars to get to Synagogue as it was far to far to walk..The Rabbis wouldn’t go for it and so a new approach was put forth and the conservative movement of sorts which already enjoyed some success in England although under a different name was adopted.
Cars were now permitted to drive to drive to and from The Synagogue on Sabbath.However a name for this new approach was needed..In the begging the old movements Rabbis wanted to now call their original Jewish Synagogues “Traditional” but the new group insisted that they also are Traditional so a mutual agreement was reached that the original will call themselves “Orthodox” and the new way ”Conservative” as to conserve Judaism. For the most part the Conservative movement employees the same amount of relgiousasity.It’s main differences lies mostly in the change of protocol concerning the Synagogue services and girls are given the opportunity to become confirmed with a Bas Mitzvah something not available in Orthodox shuls & purpose of speeding up this post I shall omit the other differences.
The reform movement had its beginnings in Germany in 1840. Intermarriage was frequent and to try stop that certain changes were made.The organ was brought in the Shul like a church , no more head coverings , an abbreviated service and it was done in German. When the German Jews immigrated to America they brough with them their Concept of their Reform Synagogue however services were now conducted in English.
In N.Y.C in 1950’s you would be hard pressed to find a conservative Synagogue thou I’m sure some may have existed at that time although Reform temples there were a few . I lived in Flushing there was a very impressive large Temple named the Flushing Free Synagogue.My father informed me that wasn’t for us & said basically its for German Jews Not East European Jews. Though that is no longer the case today .You did have Sephardic and Ashkenazic Synagogues at that time but only “Orthodox”.Today their are no Sephardic conservative Synagogues. However all conservative Synagogues use the Sephardic pronunciation. In my parents time in the 1940’s a religious Jewish woman would marry a not so inclined man who was not religious and they made a family it made no difference..that’s not the case today the religious Jews only marry among the selves only.
In my time every mainstream Jew would practice what I would characterize as not reformed Judaism but if I may term it as a relaxed form of Judaism…you married and had a bris ,pidy haben(redemtion of the first born) A scholarship in Hebrew including Bar Mitzvah ,Observed Jewish Burial traditions including Shiva, said Kaddish for 11 months …may not have light Shabbus Candles but always lit Yarhzite candles had Holiday dinners Such as Rosh Hashanah & Seders. Although my mother started her marriage with a kosher home eventually abandon kosher but always strictly observed Pasach having a formal Seder. We all left work early on High Holy days & Stayed home on high holidays.Growing up in N.Y.C.every Jewish kid always took off on each and every Jewish Holiday.We may not have attended services but had a mini vacation just the same. Today the Orthodox are very strict & not too tolerant or respectful of any other streams of Judaism’s practices or beliefs. It”s my opinion that the New so called ” Orthodox “of today have”Hijacked” the Jewish Religion from the old mainstream Jews like me.With excluding the Messianic Judaism or the so called Jews for Jesus ..I feel that every other stream of Judasim should have an equal say in Jewish matters.
What bothers me is that every Synagogue now uses the Sephardic Pronunciation not the Ashkenazic as I was schooled in. I don’t know about you but it irks me when I hear the Sabbath Braided Egg Bread being pronouced “Challah “it should be pronounced “Challey…I was having a discussion on Facebook with someone and also I took issue with the way they pronounce Rush Hashanah & Yom Kipper … Today people say Rowsh Hashanah and Yom Kipoor ( spelling incorrect in order to demonstrate propnounciation) .She then went on to say that its not exactly the Sephardic Pronunciation but Haredi one(term used outside of the U.S. to describe observant instead of Orthodox). She went on to say that the Haredi version sounds better and sounds more like the original Hebrew Spoken in Ancient Judea, I said it sounds phoney & putting on airs and then asked her what tape recording do you possess from 2,000 years ago that you can make that statement./end *Pictured Above..”Don Moses Lerman” at pulpit giving his sermon.