What do we stand for?
Our services are easy to understand. Liberal Jews pray and speak many texts in the language of their country – in our case in German. We read the Torah in the original as well as in translation. We pay attention not to just read through the texts but to try and understand them and where there may be areas for discussion.
Equality in services
It does not matter to liberal Jews about gender, everyone is equal. Women count to the minjan, a group of ten Jewish adults who are needed to say particular prayers and read from the Torah. In orthodox Judaism only men count towards the minjan. Women are prayer leaders and or course men can light the candles. Liberal communities, such as ourselves, welcome the LGBTQI community.
Divine origins and historical context
The Jewish texts are very important for us: particularly the Torah, the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch. Liberal Judaism represents the historical-critical research into these texts. Jewish literature is very important for us and that is why we regard it in its historical context. We live with the intrigue of what was historically possible and what our sages tell us. For example, Jewish literature explains that Moses received the Torah at Mount Sinai. Historians presume that the Israelites did not have any texts at the time of Moses and that the five books of Torah were written later. For liberal Jews, the sentence “Moses received the Torah at Mount Sinai” is an expression of appreciation. The Torah can definitely be seen as divine and still be regarded in a historical context.