Reform synagogues are increasingly growing in cities today. They are synagogues of Jews who are dealing away with some of the old practices that they deem unnecessary or backward. The world is changing, and changes that come with it need for rapid transformation in all institutions. An Orange County reform synagogue believes that some of the old teachings do not apply in the modern world. Reform synagogues are open to change and look to uphold their values based on the changes that are taking place.
Several changes have gone through in the world. Reform synagogues have tried as much as possible to incorporate them in the world today. In all the changes that have occurred, what makes reform synagogues unique from other synagogues is the roles of the women in the temple. In olden times, women weren’t given much equality in synagogues. Synagogues without reform still follow those practices. Here are some of the significant changes in reform synagogues.
Ordination of Women
Rabbis are widely respected in the Jewish faith. However, since time memorial, Rabbis could only be men. In an Orange County reform synagogue, the case is not the same. Here one can find a female rabbi. Women can be ordained in reform synagogues as Rabbis. This is due to the acceptance that women can handle roles of leadership as well as men can. Women can also lead to a more balanced approach as the genders can now compare notes and look to wise ways in which the temple can be improved for the better of all. The ordination of women in reform synagogues came as a significant milestone to the faith. However, there are still things that women cannot do, such as being counted in the minyan.
Equal Sitting of Men and Women
In the older Orthodox Synagogues, men and women were not allowed to sit together in the synagogue. The case is still the same today. This was meant to curb distraction and ensure there is a full focus on the service. The temple would be separated into different sections. Some sections were for women and others for men.
However, in reform synagogues, a lighter approach is taken. Men and women can now sit together during service. People who have gone together, such as families, can sit as they please in the church.
Differences to Orthodox Synagogues
Apart from the accepted role of women and sitting positions, there are other things that reform synagogues do differently from orthodox synagogues. Firstly, there is no need for a head wearing in a reform synagogue. This is something that is very particular in traditional temples. Secondly, men have been given a choice on whether or not they can wear a kippah. The kippah has been an integral part of Jews, and now it has become a choice.
Whether a person decides to be part of a reform synagogue or an orthodox synagogue is based on their faith. Some people are ok with the change, especially women who would like to become Rabbis. However, some people value tradition and do not believe such aspects should be changed.