The Reform and Conservative trends of Judaism come out of the Englighenment when all the religious traditions were put into question. Up to that time, the established Churches were based on the concept of a Revealed Relgion. To this day, believeing Roman Catholics will tell you that . . . was born of the union of God and Mary, that at the Mass they ingest the . . . --sounds crazy, to us Jews, but it's in the catechism. No mention of history, or how the various gnostic and mystic religiions infuenced their system. It's the Sacred Truth. Halachically Observant Jews hold that the Torah was Revealed to Moses, who passed it on ot Joshua, that brought it over to the . . . It's all in the Ethics of the Fathers for you to read. There were some Jews that wre infulenced by this general trend in Western European thinking, and looked for the "history" of the traditions. The rabbis did what was appropriate for their generation, and the each century had its set of interpretations. Revelation was what the rabbis gave to explain the changes, as it . . . maybe it was just an "excuse", or somethng that less modern minds could understand. Enlightened Jews, of course, didn't need to be told such things. Just as each generation of rabbis re-interpreted the Traditions fo the Sacred Texts,, each coming set of rabbis and religous leaders were obliged to . . . Hence Judaism "reformed", or "conserved". It's clear to the Halachically Observant Jews that the above approach "lacks something", Needless to say, every Jew has the right ot observe, or not, as he or she pleases, but to dispute Revelation, and replace it with history, well . . . that's where the lines are drawn.
California governor signs bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide (Reuters)
from the article: In defense of Jewish pluralism