Judaism is essentially the religion that goes back to Jews that lived well before Jesus’ time in the Judea area. There are actually four types of Judaism today: Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism, and Constructionist Judaism. All of them, share a common core of ideas, beliefs, and values, although each one treats this core in a different way. Judaism is a monotheistic religion which asserts that God, being one and unique, is also ethereal and eternal. His commands are believed to have been handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai, and these commands clearly define the proper way of life. Judaism asserts that the day the Messiah comes, will be the judgment day where all people (both living and dead) will be either rewarded for their good deeds, or punished for their wicked actions.
Among the four types of Judaism Orthodox Judaism has the most believers. They accept the Divine Commands in an absolute way, and interpret God’s teachings in a very strict and literal sense. For those who believe in Orthodox Judaism, their religion dictates almost all aspects of their life: the way they should dress, and the foods that their diet must consist of; the way they talk and communicate, their working professions, and of course the way they are allowed to connect with other people and who they should allow to be close to them.
Conservatism Judaism and Reform Judaism, on the other hand, are two types of Judaism that are were founded around the 19th century. Although they both deviate from Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism stand on opposite ends. Reform Judaism believes that the traditional core of the religion and the Jewish traditions and customs should be modernized so that it is absorbed by today’s existing cultures. Even Jewish law in this case should go through a re-evaluation process. Instead of treating traditional law and teachings as a strict set of ‘DO’ and ‘DO NOT’ commands, they should instead be used as a general set of guidelines After all, Reformists do not accept the Divine origin of the law and believe that many people contributed for its formation. The reactions caused by Reform Judaism was enough to spur the formation of Conservative Judaism, in an effort to tackle the liberal ideas just described. The term ‘conservative’ signified precisely this: that Jews should find a way to conserve their traditional core of values, beliefs, and customs, and not give them up for the sake of modernization (although Conservatists do wish to find the golden section so that they are ‘in’ the society and not ‘out’ of it).
The last of the four most common types of Judaism is Reconstructionist Judaism. It was originally a branch of Conservative Judaism, but it soon took its own course. Reconstructionists view Judaism as ‘an evolving religious civilization’. They do accept traditional law and values not because they were handed down by God (in fact they might even doubt that), but because tradition is a valuable cultural tool that has been tested through the course of time. Recunstructions Judaism aims for a successful blend of tradition and modernity, of the old and the new.Less common types of Judaism include but are not limited to: Humanistic Judaism, Rabbinism, and Messianism.