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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q18.1.2 TOC Q18.1.4 >

Question 18.1.3:
Is a Jew affiliated with Reform Judaism less "religious" than one affiliated with another movement?


Religion is a personal matter of belief, and just as there is a wide spectrum of underlying belief (regardless of outward practice) in other movements, there is in Reform Judaism.

Practice is a different question. Although Reform permits a wide variety of practice--indeed, fully traditional practice could be accomodated in Reform if it was the result of honest study--the normative practice of American Reform Jewish is less ritualistic than, for example, Orthodox practice. This is a logical consequence of Reform's emphasis upon kevanah or devotion as an essential part of Jewish ritual and practice. The notion is that rituals and practices mean more if one is committed to their reason and significance, emotional, rational, and spiritual.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>