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MazorGuide Home > Living Jewish > Denominations> Conservative

Jewish Denominations: Conservative
The Conservative Platform

Conservative Judaism: Statement of Beliefs and Principles
In 1988, the leadership council of Conservative Judaism issued an official statement of belief, "Emet Ve-Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism" (64 pages).

Emet Ve-Emunah "affirms belief in God and the legitimacy of the multiple interpretations which Jews have given that belief historically. It also avows belief in revelation, 'the uncovering of an external source of truth emanating from God.' It describes three varying theories of revelation within the Movement, ruling out, however, relativism, on the one hand, and fundamentalism and literalism, on the other. It supplies a number of reasons why Jewish law is 'indispensable' within Judaism as the Conservative movement understands it, and it describes its conception of the development of Jewish law and its methods for making decisions within Jewish law.

While the Commission members rejoice in the existence and flourishing of the State of Israel and 'encourage and cherish aliyah to Israel as a value, goal, and mitzvah,' they also affirm that there are various centers to Jewish life, not Israel alone, and that Israel and the Diaspora must contribute to each other's growth.

Emet Ve-Emunah acknowledges that there is a wide spectrum of opinion within the Conservative movement with regard to the role of women in Jewish ritual, but it expresses the conviction that 'justice and dignity for each human being can be achieved within the framework of Halachah.' The document's chapters on prayer, evil, and eschatology, together with those on God and revelation, make clear that Conservative Judaism is not just a specific approach to Jewish law and Jewish study, but a form of Judaism with deeply grounded theological beliefs-and, indeed, these theological sections have been the occasion for much adult education on the substance of Jewish belief." ["Conservative Judaism: Developments 1970-1990", Encyclopedia Judaica]
 

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