The sects of Judaism!

This may surprise many readers here, but Judaism is not a cookie-cutter, one size fits all religion. Not only is each Jew responsible for finding their own interpretation of who/what G-d is (ask 3 Jews and get 4 answers), but there are also various rabbinical interpretations of Torah and Talmudic law, and there are also various sects of Judaism. The style of dress indicates the rabbinical teachings orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews wear in fact, notice subtle differences in the hats and shirts. The orthodoxy and ultra-orthodox style of dress is what most think of when they hear of Judaism. 

Sure, every Jew will read the various rabbinical scholars, Maimonides, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, The Rebbe Lubaviture, etc… are but a few figures, but there are differences nonetheless. When it comes to sects of Judaism, there is even more of a stark difference between the varieties. Orthodox, Hasidic, Karaites, Reform, Conservative, Reconstruction, Universal, there are more sects, but those are the most common ones you’d encounter. 

I am a Reform Jew but have definite leanings towards both Karaite and Orthodox teachings, I just like to have the willful autonomy to make the choice myself and not be told it has to be that way. To me, a Jew is a Jew, regardless of what sect they’re from, but to some, if you aren’t orthodox or ultra-orthodox, you’re not a Jew. The last time I checked, Hitler didn’t care what sect of practice a Jew came from…

…but I digress.

As I’ve stated several times here, I found out I’m ethnically an Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jew but knew nothing about being Jewish or Judaism in the beginning. I found a Conservative synagogue and started my journey there, but later found out about the various sects of Judaism, and fell in love with Reform Judaism. If you’re thinking of converting, first I would suggest you look into the various sects and their beliefs/practices first, then contact a synagogue associated with said sect. Don’t listen to anyone trying to sway you from your decision or draw you to their sect of Judaism, make an informed choice for yourself. 

There is literally a branch of the Jewish tree of life for everyone, it’s just a matter of doing a bit of research and asking questions when you’re concerned. One of the beautiful things about Judaism is that questions are always welcomed by rabbis and lay folk alike.