Pittsburgh Platform

Pittsburgh Platform

Manifesto of Reform Judaism, drawn up in 1885 by a conference of rabbis chaired by Isaac Mayer Wise in Pittsburgh, Pa. It declared that Judaism taught the highest conception of God, but it recognized the efforts of other religions to grasp the truth. The Bible was understood as the primary instrument of moral and religious instruction even though it reflected the primitive ideas of the time of its composition. It rejected the Mosaic and rabbinic laws regulating diet and dress, accepting only those laws that elevate the spirit. The Pittsburgh Platform looked forward to the messianic kingdom and accepted the immortality of the soul but not resurrection of the body. It advocated social justice and universal moral reform and maintained that Judaism was an evolving religion. It remained the official philosophy of the U.S. Reform movement until 1937, when the Columbus Platform moved Reform Judaism back to a more traditional position.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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