- The idea of a synod to provide authoritative guidance and meet the current needs of Jews in the era of emancipation led to the holding of rabbinical conferences in Germany in the mid-19th century. A convention was called by abraham geiger in Wiesbaden in 1837 to discuss his proposals for reform , but had no practical results. Subsequently a conference initiated by Ludwig philippson met in Brunswick in 1844, and was attended by 25 Reform rabbis, including Geiger and samuel holdheim . However, no substantial resolutions were passed, and the conference was attacked by all sectors: the Orthodox protested against the rejection of Jewish tradition, Philippson regretted the theorizing instead of practical solutions, and zacharias frankel criticized the discussions and results. Following the conference 116 Orthodox rabbis declared that nobody could "abrogate the least of the religious laws." In 1845, 31 rabbis, this time including Frankel, met at Frankfurt on the Main. As laid down in a memorandum delivered to the Frankfurt conference by three representatives of the Reform Association of Berlin, their stated purpose was to strengthen Judaism by rescuing it from legalistic stagnation and adapting it to modern needs, thus making it attractive to the new generation. When Frankel was overruled on the retention of Hebrew prayers, he withdrew. heinrich graetz expressed a similar view. Other proposed reforms referred to the messianic portions of the prayers, the supplication for the restoration of sacrifices, the triennial cycle of Torah readings, and the use of the organ in the synagogue. A third conference took place in 1846 at Breslau, attended by 25 rabbis only. While Holdheim suggested that the Sabbath should be transferred to the civil day of rest, the majority was satisfied with minor reform in Sabbath observance, and the abolition of the second day of holidays and many mourning customs. Several resolutions dealt with the supervision of circumcision from the hygienic aspect. A number of radical reformers, dissatisfied with the conservative line taken by the conference, demanded that laymen should participate in future meetings. In 1868 24 rabbis met in Kassel to prepare such a "synod" and to decide on a number of liturgical reforms. The "synod" assembling at Leipzig in 1869 consisted of 49 lay and 34 rabbinical delegates from 60 communities. Presided over by moritz lazarus , it dealt with Jewish education, liturgical reforms, and other questions. The Orthodox and Frankel's sympathizers were not represented. Two years later, the "synod" of Augsburg was attended by representatives from only 30 communities. Its resolutions dealt with marriage, ḥaliẓah, and other subjects, but the stand taken on the Sabbath was more conservative than before. Again, 133 Orthodox rabbis published a strong protest, asserting that the participants were unfit to hold religious office. Neither "synod" came up to the expectations of its own promoters, and no further meeting of this kind was convened in Germany. (Ze'ev Wilhelm Falk) Nevertheless, agitation for synods continued especially in America, by isaac mayer wise in 1881, and at three sessions of the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1904–06. solomon schechter , leader of U.S. conservative Jewry, opposed synods as encouraging sacerdotalism and creating the danger of a schism within Orthodoxy. The Reform movement in the United States, nevertheless, adopted in 1887 its pittsburgh platform , laying down the principles of classic Reform. It reversed its stance in 1937 in Columbus, when it reaffirmed its adherence to Hebrew, Zionism, and other traditional values. In 1961 the Federation of reconstructionist Congregations and Fellowships, at a conference of lay and rabbinic delegates, adopted a guide for Jewish ritual in line with their humanist philosophy of Judaism. Among certain Orthodox circles there has been agitation for a Sanhedrin to legislate for world Jewry, but the difficulties involved appeared insuperable. (Isaac Levitats) See also bet din ; chief rabbi ; synods . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: D. Philipson, Reform Movement in Judaism (19312, repr. 1967), 140–224; W.G. Plaut, Rise of Reform Judaism (1963).
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
Look at other dictionaries:
CONFERENCES — Intercommunal consultation started early in the history of Diaspora Jewry. The dispersion on the one hand and an intense feeling of solidarity on the other combined to make the holding of conferences of Jewish leaders and representatives an… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Rabbinical Assembly — The Rabbinical Assembly (RA) is the international association of Conservative rabbis. The RA was founded in 1901 to shape the ideology, programs, and practices of the Conservative movement. It publishes prayerbooks and books of Jewish interest,… … Wikipedia
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College — The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC), is located in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, about 10 miles (16 km) north of central Philadelphia. RRC is the only seminary affiliated with Reconstructionist Judaism [ See “Reconstructionism: The Fourth… … Wikipedia
Judaism — /jooh dee iz euhm, day , deuh /, n. 1. the monotheistic religion of the Jews, having its ethical, ceremonial, and legal foundation in the precepts of the Old Testament and in the teachings and commentaries of the rabbis as found chiefly in the… … Universalium
TAKKANOT — (Heb. תַּקָּנוֹת pl.; sing. תַּקָּנָה). This article is arranged according to the following outline: definition and substance legislation in the halakhah nature of halakhic legislation rules of legislation role of the public annulment of takkanot … Encyclopedia of Judaism
REFORM JUDAISM — REFORM JUDAISM, first of the modern interpretations of Judaism to emerge in response to the changed political and cultural conditions brought about by the emancipation . The Reform movement was a bold historical response to the dramatic events of … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Samuel Holdheim — (1806 ndash; 22 August 1860) was a German rabbi and author, and one of the more extreme leaders of the early Reform Judaism movement. Although Holdheim was a pioneer in modern Jewish homiletics, he was often at odds with the Orthodoxy. [(History… … Wikipedia
Jewish beliefs and practices in the reform movement — Jewish beliefs and practices have undergone dynamic changes and innovations in the reform movement of Judaism, known also as Progressive, Reform or Liberal Judaism. Due to its origins in Enlightenment era Germany, the reform movement has eyed… … Wikipedia
RELIGIOUS LIFE AND COMMUNITIES — Jews UNDER OTTOMAN RULE The Jews of the pre Zionist old yishuv, both sephardim (from the Orient) and ashkenazim (of European origin), dedicated their lives to the fulfillment of religious precepts: the study of the torah and the meticulous… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
RABBI, RABBINATE — The title rabbi is derived from the noun rav, which in biblical Hebrew means great and does not occur in the Bible; in its later sense in mishnaic Hebrew, however, the word rav means a master as opposed to a slave (e.g., does a slave rebel… … Encyclopedia of Judaism