All Judaisms have certain beliefs in common:
- The existence of a creator
- A continuing connection between the creator and the creation
- The belief there is a purpose to life/a way to live
All Judaisms share a body of literature and teachings deemed sacred/holy.
All Judaisms share a relationship with the historic and modern land of Israel.
The Orthodox understands is that Judaism is a revealed body of belief and practice that is and has remained unchanging throughout its history and must remain unchanged.
The liberal understanding is that Judaism is a sacred body of belief and practice that is always evolving and has responded to the changing circumstances of Jewish history.
In Orthodoxy, the way to live is shaped by the demands of Halachah, understood to be an articulation of the will of the creator as interpreted by a recognized authority.
In liberal Judaism, the way to live is shaped by the ethical demands and the ritual practices of the tradition informed by the contextual demands of life and the exercise of human reason.
Halachah sets the boundaries of Jewish living, and Orthodox identity is affirmed through participation in communities of obligation.
Jewish tradition establishes the boundaries of Jewish living and reform identity is affirmed through participation in communities of meaning.