- A belief in one True God who is an all-powerful being; with whom each individual person has a direct personal experience and to whom prayers are addressed.
- A belief that Life is Holy.
- A belief that the Torah (Jewish Holy Scripture) is the guide to correct living. Studying the Torah is a form of worship.
- That Community is very important. Group worship and prayer are essential elements of right living and they have a sense of collective purpose and shared responsibility for one another.
- A belief in the Covenant (God’s agreement with the chosen people of Israel).
- A belief in the Ten Commandments
Within Judaism there are three main movements, they are:
- The Orthodox movement: Orthodox Jews believe that complete uncompromising conformity to the dictates of God is what is required. They are bound to preserve ritual, tradition and doctrine as it was received in the past (back to its’ very beginnings). Conforming to new social conventions is not important to the Orthodox view, it is vital to live as God’s will was revealed in the Holy Scriptures. For the Orthodox view, Judaism is the world and obedience to the will of God is the primary objective.
- The Conservative Jew. For the Conservative Jew, the idea of absolute adherence to past traditions is not the guiding principle. It is important to preserve the “old ways” as much as possible, but not to the degree of importance for an Orthodox Jew. They affirm the primacy of tradition within their religious experience, but do acknowledge the importance of carefully chosen adjustments to accommodate the world in which they live.
- Reform Judaism. For the Reform Jew it is important to retain the essential elements of Judaism which make the most sense in a contemporary setting. They Torah is accepted, but it is seen to be more open to study and interpretation by the individual than the previous movements mentioned. This movement sprang arose in the mid-nineteenth century and experienced remarkable growth, particularly in the United States.