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Historically, this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period; the Karaites and Sabbateans during the early and later medieval period; Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism (Haredi Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism), Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism.Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to Jewish law, the authority of the Rabbinic tradition, and the significance of the State of Israel.
Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism generally promoting a more "traditional" interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism.
Unlike the film or comic book industries, pop music has never been particularly Jewish.
There have been Jewish managers and behind-the-scenes men like Brian Epstein or Leonard and Marshall Chess, but, on the whole, pop music since the dawn of the rock-and-roll era (roughly 1955 or so) has not exactly been inundated by Jewish talent.
So taken was Dylan with both the Rabbi and the Yeshiva that he came very close to actually buying a place near the Yeshiva and was quoted as saying, when visiting Rabbi Friefeld on a particularly cold New York's winter night, “It may be dark and snowy outside, but inside that house, it's so light.” Alas, he never quite went that far and his Judaism has remained but one (very big) part of an unquestionably complex spiritual identity.
But when you consider just how much in-flux the very concept of Jewish identity is in our modern world, there's something profoundly fitting about one of our foremost cultural icons being so “complicatedly Jewish” himself.
Dylan being Dylan, though, his Jewishness may be present and accounted for, but has also been as complex and as contradictory as everything else about the man.
Born Robert Allen Zimmerman (or to give him his Hebrew name: Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham) to, by all accounts, a fairly observant Jewish family, Dylan had a decidedly Jewish upbringing as part of the tight-knit, small Jewish communities of Duluth and Hibbing, Minnesota, growing up in a kosher home and even attending the religious-Zionist summer camp, Camp Herzl. It's always been very hard to tell the difference between reality and mythology when it comes to the ever-mercurial Bob Dylan.In particular, he has been greatly influenced by a number of rabbis, whose openness, warmth, and great emphasis on the spiritual and mystical sides of Judaism, have clearly struck home with the former Mr Zimmerman.In particular, he formed a deep connection with Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld z”l, Rosh Ha Yeshivah of Yeshivas Shor Yoshuv, when Dylan, along with fellow Jewish bohemian poet Alan Ginsberg, attended a sheva brochas for an old friend at Rabbi Friefeld's yeshiva in New York.As for his ties to Chabad, they have remained strong throughout the past few decades, despite Dylan's insistence that he has no time for organised religion.He has been spotted at a number of Yom Kippur services in Chabad shuls, has laid tefillin at the Kotel, and has taken part in a number of Chabad telethons.Most Jewish of all though is yet another untouchable classic, Forever Young, that adds Jewish prayer to some very on-point Biblical imagery.