At the beginning of the 19th century in the USA and Western Europe, there was a desire in some quarters to modernise Jewish tradition to make it more in keeping with contemporary life. By then, “Reform”, “Liberal”, “Conservative”, and “Orthodox” are the important forms of Judaism. In recent years Reformists have ordained women as rabbis. The first woman rabbi ordained was in Great Britain. The Orthodox completely rejects the movement.
The State of Israel officially took to Orthodoxy, which affirms that the Torah, the Talmud and the Mishnah are categorically unalterable.
The One Supreme God of Judaism is the God worshipped by the Children of Israel, thus differentiating themselves from polytheism and also the Trinity of Christian belief. God created the universe and should He relinquish His hold upon it, the universe would cease to exist in that instant. Judaism links both the creation and the continued existence of the world to the activities of God.
Jews believe, not in predestination, but in the idea that everything that happens is what God has planned with a definite purpose in mind. Judaism believes, as does Islam, that all good and all evil come from God. The Christian belief that evil comes from Satan has no place in Jewish doctrine. The Jewish concept of Satan arose in the 6th century BCE, when the Jews were exiled and in captivity in Babylonia, but is not held with much conviction. God is omnipotent and omnipresent. He is supernatural, far above mankind, but close enough to be concerned with every individual. God is omniscient and knows man’s most secret thoughts. The living God has no beginning and no end; Islam also describes God as living, self-creating and self-perpetuating. God is just, and if He punishes a person or a nation, it is as fair retribution for committed sins. The Torah quotes many instances where man cannot be forgiven either for turning away from Yahveh or for violating His laws. Also, when misfortune afflicted the good, it was considered as God’s way of testing them. This subject is dealt with in the Old Testament’s Book of Job, and is one of the world’s greatest pieces of literature, thought to have been written in the 6th century BCE. In the three Abrahamic religions, of Jewry, Christianity and Islam, Job is an example of patience and uncomplaining submission in the face of all the calamities God sent to try him.