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Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler came up with the idea to hold a conference to formulate a statement on the meaning and purpose of Judaism in the modern world Together with Issac Mayer Wise and Samuel Hirsh they invited nineteen other rabbis to the conference During the conference the rabbis passed a platform known as The Pittsburg Platform The Pittsburg Platform of 1885 defined Reform Judaism as a rational and modern form of religion in contrast with traditional Judaism One major message that is stressed in the platform is shown through this statement We recognize in every religion an attempt to grasp the infinite and in every mode source or book of revelation held sacred in any religious system the consciousness of the indwelling men Meaning that a person does not need to be a Jew in order to achieve salvation as well that God is present in other religions and not only in Judaism The platform also stressed that only moral laws remain binding This means that the laws that governed areas of daily life and diet were no longer necessary to follow The document also stresses that Jews will not return to land of Israel nor will the temple sacrificial worship be reinstituted for the Jews are no longer a nationhood but only a religious community A little over fifty years after The Pittsburg Platform came The Columbus Platform of 1937 For some years rumblings had been heard at the conventions of the Central Conference of American rabbis to the effect that American Reform had gone too far in its radicalism that it had to be flexible enough to reconsider its doctrines and practices The Columbus Platform tried to strengthen the movement by continuing with the earlier Reform emphasis of peoplehood Judaism was s till defined as the historical religious experience of the Jewish people The rejection of Zionism was replaced by the affirmation of the obligation of all Jewry to aid in the
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