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History and Philosophy

What is known worldwide today as Masorti and in the United States (US) as "Conservative Judaism", started in 1854 in Germany with the foundation of the "Jewish Theological Seminary" in Breslau by Rabbi Zacharias Frankel.

As Rabbi Louis Jacob describes it in his article, the graduates of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Germany were working in many different congregations, whereas in the US a clearly defined ideological movement started developing.

There are different texts that give an insight in the Philosophy of Masorti, including "Darkenu - The Masorti Vision" by Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, London, and "The Sacred Cluster" by Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor emeritus of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

The text "Conservative Judaism - Covenant and Commitment" by Rabbi Bradley Artson refers to the importance of the Halakhah within the Masorti movement:

"You shall be My People and I shall be Your God." (Lev 26:12)

God and the Jewish People share a bond of love and sacred responsibility, which expresses itself in our biblical b'rit (covenant). This b'rit remains a central pillar of Judaism and has come to symbolize the mission of the Jewish People: to be partners in creation with God, to pursue the sacred task of bringing the knowledge of God to the world, to be a "nation of priests, a holy people" (Exodus 19:6). According to the Torah, our purpose is to make the world more just, sacred and compassionate - in other words, more closely reflecting the image of God. Judaism guides us in this sacred task by inspiring us to work to repair the world.

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"Conservative Judaism - Covenant and Commitment", Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, published by: The Rabbinical Assembly, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.