Masorti is traditional Judaism practised in a spirit of open minded enquiry and tolerance. Masorti Judaism accepts the binding force of Jewish law, and understands that it has developed throughout history.
Masorti synagogues are traditional. We follow the standard prayer book (usually Singer’s or similar) and we read the Torah according to the annual cycle. In general you will notice very little difference between a service in a Masorti synagogue and that in any other traditional synagogue.
Some Masorti synagogues have a rabbi, chazzan and choir, in others the service is taken by members of the congregation.
Masorti recognises that Jewish Law permits a number of practices which are not carried out in many orthodox synagogues, and in some synagogues women are called to the reading of the Torah, there is no mehitza and there is mixed seating. We also recognise that many of our congregants, whilst accepting that these practices are in accordance with Talmudic and later rulings, nevertheless feel more comfortable in more traditional services. For this reason, the question of seating and women’s active participation in services varies from one synagogue to another, depending upon the custom of the local community.
Masorti Judaism teaches about the relevancy of a traditional Jewish lifestyle for modern people. It affirms the value of our tradition, but also the fact that choices in the sphere of religion are something which mature educated people make themselves.
The movement is a place where traditional Jewish practice is encouraged, but not forced down your throat. You will be accepted as you are – and allowed to grow at your own pace. You will have opportunities to learn. You will be allowed to question. You will have every opportunity to live a full traditional lifestyle if that is what you seek. You will also be allowed to just sit back and enjoy a traditional service, or the friendship and the warmth of a welcoming community if that is where you are now.
If any of this is what you’re looking for – welcome home!
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