I’ve seen an opinion going around that, since its formation as a community, Sephardic (including, for the purposes of this post, Mizrachi and Yemenite) Jewry never split into “denominations” the way Ashkenazim did, especially regarding movements like Conservative and Reform.
In my view, this is an oversimplification. Some of us (most Sephardim) accepted the authenticity of the Zohar HaKadosh while others (Western Sephardim and some Teimanim) did not. Some of us (the Ben Ish Hai and some Teimanim) never interpreted the concept of Eser Sefirot literally while others (many mekubalim) did. Although Jewish “denominational splits” are a European creation, there has always been variance in Sephardic levels of observance and chumrot.
What are your thoughts? Is the concept of splitting into factions based on chumrot unique to Ashkenazim or does it apply to all Jews?