Must a Jew Believe in God?

The centrality of God in Judaism may not be as straightforward as you think.

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So, Must a Jew Believe?

Nevertheless, on an official level, most Jews are uncomfortable with the idea of a Judaism without God. This is true for the liberal movements as much as it is for more traditional Jews. In 1994, the UAHC (the synagogue council of the Reform movement) rejected an application for membership from a synagogue that practiced "Judaism with a humanistic perspective" because the synagogue's principles deviated from "the historic God-orientation of Reform Judaism."

So, must a Jew believe in God? In a sense, it depends how you define four words: "must," "Jew," "believe," and, of course, "God."

In short: probably. And probably not.

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Daniel Septimus

Daniel Septimus is Executive Director of The Sefaria Project. Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of MyJewishLearning, Inc.