Orthodox Judaism

Orthodox Judaism

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Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 as legislated in the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

ic texts by the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

 ("Oral Torah
Oral Torah
The Oral Torah comprises the legal and interpretative traditions that, according to tradition, were transmitted orally from Mount Sinai, and were not written in the Torah...

") and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim
Rishonim
"Rishon" redirects here. For the preon model in particle physics, see Harari Rishon Model. For the Israeli town, see Rishon LeZion.Rishonim were the leading Rabbis and Poskim who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the Shulkhan Arukh and...

, and Acharonim
Acharonim
Acharonim is a term used in Jewish law and history, to signify the leading rabbis and poskim living from roughly the 16th century to the present....

. Orthodox Jews are also called "observant Jews"; Orthodoxy is known also as "Torah Judaism" or "traditional Judaism". Generally, Orthodox Judaism consists of two different streams, the Modern Orthodox
Modern Orthodox Judaism
Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world....

 and the Haredi
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

 but actually there is a wide spectrum of beliefs.

Approximately 13 percent of American Jews and 25 percent of Israeli Jews are Orthodox. Among American synagogue members, 27 percent attend Orthodox synagogues.

History


Orthodoxy is not a single movement or school of thought. There is no single rabbinic body to which all rabbis are expected to belong, or any one organization representing member congregations. In the United States, there are numerous Orthodox congregational organizations, such as Agudath Israel
Agudath Israel of America
Agudath Israel of America , is a Haredi Jewish communal organization in the United States loosely affiliated with the international World Agudath Israel.-Functions:...

, the Orthodox Union
Orthodox Union
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America , more popularly known as the Orthodox Union , is one of the oldest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the United States. It is best known for its kosher food preparation supervision service...

, and the National Council of Young Israel; none of which can claim to represent a majority of all Orthodox congregations.

The exact forms of Judaism during the times of Moses or during the eras of the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

and Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 cannot be known today, but Orthodox Jews believe that contemporary Orthodox Judaism maintains the same basic philosophy and legal framework that existed throughout Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...

, whereas the other denominations depart from it. Orthodox Judaism, as it exists today, is an outgrowth that claims to extend from the time of Moses, to the time of the Mishnah and Talmud, through the development of oral law and rabbinic literature
Rabbinic literature
Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term...

, until the present time.

In response to The Age of Enlightenment, Jewish Emancipation
Jewish Emancipation
Jewish emancipation was the external and internal process of freeing the Jewish people of Europe, including recognition of their rights as equal citizens, and the formal granting of citizenship as individuals; it occurred gradually between the late 18th century and the early 20th century...

, and Haskalah
Haskalah
Haskalah , the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history...

, elements within German Jewry sought to reform Jewish belief and practice in the early 19th century. They sought to modernize education in light of contemporary scholarship, they denied absolute divine authorship of the Torah, declaring that only those biblical laws concerning ethics to be binding, and stated that the rest of halakha (Jewish law) need no longer be viewed as normative for Jews in wider society. (see Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

).


In reaction to the emergence of Reform Judaism, a group of traditionalist German Jews emerged who supported some of the values of the Haskalah
Haskalah
Haskalah , the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history...

 but who wanted to defend a conservative, traditional interpretation of Jewish law and tradition. This group was led by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch
Samson Raphael Hirsch
Samson Raphael Hirsch was a German rabbi best known as the intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism...

. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch commented in 1854 that
It was not the 'Orthodox' Jews who introduced the word 'orthodoxy' into Jewish discussion. It was the modern 'progressive' Jews who first applied this name to 'old', 'backward' Jews as a derogatory term. This name was at first resented by 'old' Jews. And rightly so. 'Orthodox' Judaism does not know any varieties of Judaism. It conceives Judaism as one and indivisible. It does not know a Mosaic, prophetic and rabbinic Judaism, nor Orthodox and Liberal Judaism. It only knows Judaism and non-Judaism. It does not know Orthodox and Liberal Jews. It does indeed know conscientious and indifferent Jews, good Jews, bad Jews or baptised Jews; all, nevertheless, Jews with a mission which they cannot cast off. They are only distinguished accordingly as they fulfil or reject their mission. (Samson Raphael Hirsch, Religion Allied to Progress, in JMW. p. 198)
Hirsch held that Judaism demands an application of Torah thought to the entire realm of human experience—including the secular disciplines. His approach was termed the Torah im Derech Eretz
Torah im Derech Eretz
Torah im Derech Eretz is a philosophy of Orthodox Judaism articulated by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch , which formalizes a relationship between traditionally observant Judaism and the modern world...

approach, or "neo-Orthodoxy
Neo-orthodoxy
Neo-orthodoxy, in Europe also known as theology of crisis and dialectical theology,is an approach to theology in Protestantism that was developed in the aftermath of the First World War...

." While insisting on strict adherence to Jewish beliefs and practices, he held that Jews should attempt to engage and influence the modern world, and encouraged those secular studies compatible with Torah thought. This pattern of religious and secular involvement has been evident at many times in Jewish history. Scholars believe it was characteristic of the Jews in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 during the Amoraic and Geonic
Geonim
Geonim were the presidents of the two great Babylonian, Talmudic Academies of Sura and Pumbedita, in the Abbasid Caliphate, and were the generally accepted spiritual leaders of the Jewish community world wide in the early medieval era, in contrast to the Resh Galuta who wielded secular authority...

 periods, and likewise in early medieval Spain, shown by their engagement with both Muslim and Christian society. It appeared as the traditional response to cultural and scientific innovation.

Some scholars believe that Modern Orthodoxy arose from the religious and social realities of Western European Jewry. While most Jews consider Modern Orthodoxy traditional today, some within the Orthodox community groups to its right consider it of questionable validity. The neo-Orthodox movement holds that Hirsch's views are not accurately followed by Modern Orthodoxy. [See Torah im Derech Eretz
Torah im Derech Eretz
Torah im Derech Eretz is a philosophy of Orthodox Judaism articulated by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch , which formalizes a relationship between traditionally observant Judaism and the modern world...

 and Torah Umadda
Torah Umadda
Torah Umadda is a philosophy of Modern Orthodox Judaism, concerning the interrelationship between the secular world and Judaism, and in particular between secular knowledge and Jewish knowledge...

 "Relationship with Torah im Derech Eretz" for a more extensive listing.]

In the 20th century, a segment of the Orthodox population (notably as represented by the World Agudath Israel
World Agudath Israel
World Agudath Israel , usually known as the Aguda, was established in the early twentieth century as the political arm of Ashkenazi Torah Judaism, in succession to Agudas Shlumei Emunei Yisroel...

 movement formally established in 1912) disagreed with Modern Orthodoxy and took a stricter approach. For some, the motto "recent is forbidden by Torah" was appealing, but they followed various routes of observance and practice. Such rabbis viewed innovations and modifications within Jewish law and customs with extreme care and caution. Some observers and scholars refer to this form of Judaism as "Haredi Judaism", or "Ultra-Orthodox Judaism"
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

. The latter term is controversial, and some consider the label "ultra-Orthodox" pejorative.

Several media entities refrain from using the term “ultra Orthodox”, including the Religion Newswriters Association; JTA, the global Jewish news service; and the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper, according the New Jersey Press Association. New Jersey attorney Stephen E. Schwartz, Esq., convinced the Star-Ledger to become the first mainstream newspaper to drop the term. Several local Jewish papers, including Jewish Week in New York and Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia have also dropped use of the term. According to Rabbi Shammai Engelmayer, spiritual leader of Temple Israel Community Center in Cliffside Park and former executive editor of Jewish Week, this leaves “Orthodox” as “an umbrella term that designates a very widely disparate group of people very loosely tied together by some core beliefs.”

The various approaches have proved resilient. Some scholars estimate more Jewish men are studying in yeshivot (Talmudical schools) and Kollelim (post-graduate Talmudical colleges for married (male) students) than at any other time in history. In 1915 Yeshiva College (later Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University is a private university in New York City, with six campuses in New York and one in Israel. Founded in 1886, it is a research university ranked as 45th in the US among national universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2012...

) and its Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary , or Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan, is the rabbinical seminary of Yeshiva University, located in Washington Heights, New York. It is named after Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor, who died the year it was founded, 1896...

 was established in New York, New York for training in an Orthodox milieu. A school branch was established in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, California. A number of other influential Orthodox seminaries, mostly Haredi, were established throughout the country, most notably in New York, Baltimore, Maryland; and Chicago, Illinois. Beth Medrash Govoha
Beth Medrash Govoha
Beth Medrash Govoha is a Haredi yeshiva located in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. It is commonly known as BMG, or Lakewood Yeshiva....

, the Haredi yeshiva in Lakewood, New Jersey is the largest Talmudic academy in the United States, with a student body of over 5,000 students.

Diversity within Orthodox Judaism


Orthodox Judaism's central belief is that Torah, including the Oral Law, was given directly from God
Names of God in Judaism
In Judaism, the name of God is more than a distinguishing title; it represents the Jewish conception of the divine nature, and of the relationship of God to the Jewish people and to the world. To demonstrate the sacredness of the names of God, and as a means of showing respect and reverence for...

 to Moses and applies in all times and places. Haredi Judaism asserts that it may no longer be changed in any fashion. As a result, all Jews are required to live in accordance with the Commandments
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 and Jewish law
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

.

Since there is no one Orthodox body, there is no one canonical statement of principles of faith
Jewish principles of faith
The concept of an explicit, paramount definition of faith does not exist in Judaism as it does in other monotheistic religions such as Christianity. Although Jews and religious leaders share a core of monotheistic principles, and there are many fundamental principles quoted in the Talmud to define...

. Rather, each Orthodox group claims to be a non-exclusive heir to the received tradition of Jewish theology, while still affirming a literal acceptance of Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

' thirteen principles.

Given this (relative) philosophic flexibility, variant viewpoints are possible, particularly in areas not explicitly demarcated by the Halakha. The result is a relatively broad range of hashqafoth (Sing. hashkafa
Hashkafa
Hashkafa is a Hebrew term often used when referring to one's personal worldview as regards Jewish philosophy and Halacha. See Diversity within Orthodox Judaism under Orthodox Judaism....

world view
World view
A comprehensive world view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and...

, Weltanschauung) within Orthodoxy. The greatest differences within strains of Orthodoxy are over:
  • the degree to which an Orthodox Jew should integrate and/or disengage from secular society
    Secularism
    Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

  • based on varying interpretations of the Three Oaths
    Three Oaths
    The Three Oaths is the popular name for a Midrash found in the Talmud, which relates that God adjured three oaths upon the world. Two of the oaths pertain to the Jewish people, and one of the oaths pertains to the other nations of the world...

    , whether Zionism
    Zionism
    Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

     is part of Judaism or opposed to it, and defining the role of the modern State of Israel in Judaism
  • their spiritual approach to Torah such as the relative roles of mainstream Talmud
    Talmud
    The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

    ic study and mysticism
    Hasidic philosophy
    Hasidic philosophy or Hasidus , alternatively transliterated as Hassidism, Chassidism, Chassidut etc. is the teachings, interpretations of Judaism, and mysticism articulated by the modern Hasidic movement...

     or ethics
    Mussar movement
    The Musar movement is a Jewish ethical, educational and cultural movement that developed in 19th century Eastern Europe, particularly among Orthodox Lithuanian Jews. The Hebrew term Musar , is from the book of Proverbs 1:2 meaning instruction, discipline, or conduct...

  • the validity of secular knowledge including critical Jewish scholarship of Rabbinic literature
    Rabbinic literature
    Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term...

     and modern philosophical
    Jewish philosophy
    Jewish philosophy , includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or, in relation to the religion of Judaism. Jewish philosophy, until modern Enlightenment and Emancipation, was pre-occupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism; thus organizing...

     ideas
  • whether the Talmudic obligation to learn and practice a trade/profession applies in our times
  • the centrality of yeshiva
    Yeshiva
    Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

    s as the place for personal Torah study
  • the validity of authoritative spiritual guidance in areas outside of Halakhic decision (Da'as Torah)
  • the importance of maintaining non-Halakhic customs
    Minhag
    Minhag is an accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism. A related concept, Nusach , refers to the traditional order and form of the prayers...

    , such as dress, language and music
  • the role of women in (religious) society
  • the nature of the relationship with non-Jews

Streams of Orthodoxy


The above differences are realised in the various subgroups of Orthodoxy, which maintain significant social differences, and slight differences in understanding Halakha. These groups, broadly, comprise Modern Orthodox Judaism
Modern Orthodox Judaism
Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world....

 and Haredi Judaism
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

, with most Hasidic Jewish
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

 groups falling into the latter category.
  • Modern Orthodoxy comprises a fairly broad spectrum of movements, each drawing on several distinct, though related, philosophies, which in some combination provide the basis for all variations of the movement today. In general, Modern Orthodoxy holds that Jewish law is normative
    Norm (sociology)
    Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

     and binding, while simultaneously attaching a positive value to interaction with contemporary society. In this view, Orthodox Judaism can “be enriched” by its intersection with modernity; further, “modern society creates opportunities to be productive citizens engaged in the Divine work of transforming the world to benefit humanity
    Tikkun olam
    Tikkun olam is a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world." In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam originated in the early rabbinic period...

    ”. At the same time, in order to preserve the integrity of halakha, any area of “powerful inconsistency and conflict” between Torah and modern culture must be avoided. Modern Orthodoxy, additionally, assigns a central role to the "People of Israel". Modern Orthodoxy, in general, places a high national
    Nationalism
    Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

    , as well as religious, significance on the State of Israel, and Modern Orthodox institutions and individuals are, typically, Zionist in orientation. It also practices involvement with non-orthodox Jews that extends beyond "outreach (Kiruv)" to continued institutional relations and cooperation; see further under Torah Umadda.

  • Haredi Judaism advocates segregation from non-Jewish culture, although not from non-Jewish society entirely. It is characterised by its focus on community-wide Torah study. Haredi Orthodoxy's differences with Modern Orthodoxy usually lie in interpretation of the nature of traditional halakhic concepts and in acceptable application of these concepts. Thus, engaging in the commercial world is a legitimate means to achieving a livelihood, but individuals should participate in modern society as little as possible. The same outlook is applied with regard to obtaining degrees necessary to enter one's intended profession: where tolerated in the Haredi society, attending secular institutions of higher education is viewed as a necessary but inferior activity. Academic interest is instead to be directed toward the religious education found in the yeshiva. Both boys and girls attend school and may proceed to higher Torah study, starting anywhere between the ages of 13 and 18. A significant proportion of students, especially boys, remain in yeshiva until marriage (which is often arranged through facilitated dating – see shiduch), and many study in a kollel
    Kollel
    A kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature. Like a yeshiva, a kollel features shiurim and learning sedarim ; unlike a yeshiva, the student body of a kollel are all married men...

    (Torah study institute for married men) for many years after marriage. Most Orthodox men (including many Modern Orthodox), even those not in Kollel, will study Torah
    Torah
    Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

     daily.

  • Hasidic Judaism
    Hasidic Judaism
    Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

     overlaps significantly with Haredi Judaism in its engagement with the secular and commercial world, and as regards social issues. It differs, however, in its origins and, relatedly, in its focus. The movement originated in Eastern Europe
    Eastern Europe
    Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

     (what is now Belarus
    Belarus
    Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

     and Ukraine
    Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

    ) in the 18th century. Founded by Israel ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov (1698–1760), it originated in an age of persecution of the Jewish people, when a schism existed between scholarly and common European Jews. In addition to bridging this class gap, Hasidic teachings sought to reintroduce joy in the performance of the commandments and in prayer through the popularisation of Jewish mysticism (this joy had been suppressed in the intense intellectual study of the Talmud). The Ba'al Shem Tov sought to combine rigorous scholarship with more emotional mitzvah observance.

In practice



For guidance in practical application of Jewish law, the majority of Orthodox Jews appeal to the Shulchan Aruch
Shulchan Aruch
The Shulchan Aruch also known as the Code of Jewish Law, is the most authoritative legal code of Judaism. It was authored in Safed, Israel, by Yosef Karo in 1563 and published in Venice two years later...

 ("Code of Jewish Law" composed in the 16th century by Rabbi Joseph Caro) together with its surrounding commentaries. Thus, at a general level, there is a large degree of uniformity amongst all Orthodox Jews. Concerning the details, however, there is often variance: decisions
Posek
Posek is the term in Jewish law for "decider"—a legal scholar who decides the Halakha in cases of law where previous authorities are inconclusive or in those situations where no halakhic precedent exists....

 may be based on various of the standardized codes of Jewish Law that have been developed over the centuries, as well as on the various responsa
Responsa
Responsa comprise a body of written decisions and rulings given by legal scholars in response to questions addressed to them.-In the Roman Empire:Roman law recognised responsa prudentium, i.e...

. These codes and responsa may differ from each other as regards detail (and reflecting the above differences, on the weight assigned to various issues). By and large, however, the differences result from the historic dispersal of the Jews
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 and the consequent development of differences among regions in their practices (see minhag
Minhag
Minhag is an accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism. A related concept, Nusach , refers to the traditional order and form of the prayers...

).
  • Mizrahi and Sephardic Orthodox Jews base their practice on the Shulchan Aruch. The recent works of Halakha, Kaf HaChaim
    Kaf hachaim
    Kaf Hachayim is the title of two widely cited codes of Jewish law. It may refer to:*a work by Rabbi Yaakov Chaim Sofer*a work by Rabbi Hayim Palaggi...

    , Ben Ish Chai
    Ben Ish Chai
    Yosef Chaim or in Iraqi Hebrew Yoseph Ḥayyim was a leading hakham , authority on Jewish law and Master Kabbalist...

    and Yalkut Yosef
    Yalkut Yosef
    Yalkut Yosef is an authoritative, contemporary work of Halakha, providing a detailed explanation of the Shulchan Aruch as based on the halachic rulings of the former Rishon LeTzion Rav Ovadia Yosef...

    are considered authoritative in many Sephardic communities. Thus Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews may choose to follow the opinion of the Ben Ish Chai
    Ben Ish Chai
    Yosef Chaim or in Iraqi Hebrew Yoseph Ḥayyim was a leading hakham , authority on Jewish law and Master Kabbalist...

    when it conflicts with the Shulchan Aruch. Some of these practices are derived from the Kabbalistic
    Kabbalah
    Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

     school of Isaac Luria
    Isaac Luria
    Isaac Luria , also called Yitzhak Ben Shlomo Ashkenazi acronym "The Ari" "Ari-Hakadosh", or "Arizal", meaning "The Lion", was a foremost rabbi and Jewish mystic in the community of Safed in the Galilee region of Ottoman Palestine...

    .
  • Ashkenazic Orthodox Jews have traditionally based most of their practices on the Rema, the gloss
    Gloss
    A gloss is a brief notation of the meaning of a word or wording in a text. It may be in the language of the text, or in the reader's language if that is different....

     on the Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Moses Isserles
    Moses Isserles
    Moses Isserles, also spelled Moshe Isserlis, , was an eminent Ashkenazic rabbi, talmudist, and posek, renowned for his fundamental work of Halakha , entitled ha-Mapah , an inline commentary on the Shulkhan Aruch...

    , reflecting differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi custom. In the post-World War II period, the Mishnah Berurah
    Mishnah Berurah
    The Mishnah Berurah is a work of halakha by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan , also colloquially known by the name of another of his books, Chofetz Chaim "Desirer of Life."...

    has become authoritative. Ashkenazi Jews may choose to follow the Mishna Brurah instead of a particular detail of Jewish law as presented in the Shulchan Aruch.
  • Chabad
    Chabad
    Chabad or Chabad-Lubavitch is a major branch of Hasidic Judaism.Chabad may also refer to:*Chabad-Strashelye, a defunct branch of the Chabad school of Hasidic Judaism*Chabad-Kapust or Kapust, a defunct branch of the Chabad school of Hasidic Judaism...

     Lubavitch Hasidim
    Hasidic Judaism
    Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

     and many other Hasidic sects generally follow the rulings of Shneur Zalman of Liadi
    Shneur Zalman of Liadi
    Shneur Zalman of Liadi , also known as the Baal HaTanya, , was an Orthodox Rabbi, and the founder and first Rebbe of Chabad, a branch of Hasidic Judaism, then based in Liadi, Imperial Russia...

     in the Shulchan Aruch HaRav
    Shulchan Aruch HaRav
    The Shulchan Aruch HaRav is a codification of halakha by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, known during his lifetime as HaRav...

    .
  • Traditional Baladi and Dor Daim
    Dor Daim
    The Dardaim or Dor daim , are adherents of the Dor Deah movement in Judaism. That movement was founded in 19th century Yemen by Rabbi Yiḥyah Qafiḥ, and had its own network of synagogues and schools.Its objects were:...

     (Yemenite Jews
    Yemenite Jews
    Yemenite Jews are those Jews who live, or whose recent ancestors lived, in Yemen . Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet...

    ) base most of their practices on the Mishneh Torah
    Mishneh Torah
    The Mishneh Torah subtitled Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka is a code of Jewish religious law authored by Maimonides , one of history's foremost rabbis...

    , the compendium by Maimonides
    Maimonides
    Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

     of halakha, written several centuries before the Shulchan Aruch. The Talmidei haRambam also keep Jewish law as codified in the Mishneh Torah.
  • A smaller number, such as the Romaniote
    Romaniotes
    The Romaniotes or Romaniots are a Jewish population who have lived in the territory of today's Greece and neighboring areas with large Greek populations for more than 2,000 years. Their languages were Yevanic, a Greek dialect, and Greek. They derived their name from the old name for the people...

     Jews, traditionally rule according to the Jerusalem Talmud
    Jerusalem Talmud
    The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

    over the Babylonian Talmud.
  • Spanish and Portuguese Jews
    Spanish and Portuguese Jews
    Spanish and Portuguese Jews are a distinctive sub-group of Sephardim who have their main ethnic origins within the Jewish communities of the Iberian peninsula and who shaped communities mainly in Western Europe and the Americas from the late 16th century on...

     consider the Shulchan Aruch as authoritative, but differ from other Sephardim by making less allowance for more recent authorities, in particular customs based on the Kabbalah
    Kabbalah
    Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

    . Some customs are based on Maimonides or the Arba'ah Turim
    Arba'ah Turim
    Arba'ah Turim , often called simply the Tur, is an important Halakhic code, composed by Yaakov ben Asher...

    .


Orthodox Judaism emphasizes practicing rules of Kashrut
Kashrut
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

, Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

, Family Purity, and Tefilah (Prayer).

Externally, Orthodox Jews can often be identified by their manner of dress and family lifestyle. Orthodox women will traditionally dress modestly by keeping most of their skin covered. Additionally, most married women will cover their hair, most commonly in the form of a scarf, also in the form of hats, bandannas, or, sometimes, wigs. Orthodox men traditionally wear a skullcap known as a kipa
Kipa
Tesco Kipa is a supermarket chain in Turkey, owned by Tesco since 2003. It uses the standard Tesco retailing model, including a range of store sizes from hypermarkets to Express outlets. At February 2011, it had 121 stores, with plans for continued strong growth.- External links :* *...

and often fringes called "tzitzit
Tzitzit
The Hebrew noun tzitzit is the name for specially knotted ritual fringes worn by observant Jews. Tzitzit are attached to the four corners of the tallit and tallit katan.-Etymology:The word may derive from the semitic root N-TZ-H...

". Ashkenazi Haredi men often grow beards, wear black hats and suits, indoors and outdoors.

Beliefs





Orthodox Judaism is composed of different groups with intertwining beliefs, practices and theologies, although in their core beliefs, all Orthodox movements share the same principles.

Orthodoxy collectively considers itself the only true heir to the Jewish tradition. The Orthodox Jewish movements generally consider all non-Orthodox Jewish movements to be unacceptable deviations from authentic Judaism; both because of other denominations' doubt concerning the verbal revelation of Written and Oral Torah, and because of their rejection of Halakhic precedent as binding. As such, most Orthodox groups characterise non-Orthodox forms of Judaism as heretical; see the article on Relationships between Jewish religious movements
Relationships between Jewish religious movements
The relationships between the various denominations of American Judaism can be conciliatory, welcoming, or even antagonistic.-Orthodox Judaism:Orthodox Judaism holds that both Conservative and Reform Judaism have made major and unjustifiable breaks with historic Judaism, both by their skepticism of...

.

Orthodox Judaism affirms monotheism
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, or the belief in one God. Among the in-depth explanations of that belief are Maimonidean
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

 rationalism, Kabbalistic mysticism
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

, and Chassidic Philosophy (Chassidut). A few affirm self-limited omniscience (the theology elucidated by Gersonides
Gersonides
Levi ben Gershon, better known by his Latinised name as Gersonides or the abbreviation of first letters as RaLBaG , philosopher, Talmudist, mathematician, astronomer/astrologer. He was born at Bagnols in Languedoc, France...

 in "The Wars of the Lord".)

Orthodox Judaism maintains the historical understanding of Jewish identity. A Jew is someone who was born to a Jewish mother, or who converts to Judaism in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. Orthodoxy thus rejects patrilineal descent as a means of establishing Jewish national identity. Similarly, Orthodoxy strongly condemns intermarriage
Interreligious marriage
Interfaith marriage, traditionally called mixed marriage, is marriage between partners professing different religions. Some religious doctrines prohibit interfaith marriage, and while others do allow it, most restrict it...

. Intermarriage is seen as a deliberate rejection of Judaism, and an intermarried person is effectively cut off from most of the Orthodox community. However, some Orthodox Jewish organizations do reach out to intermarried Jews.

Orthodox Judaism holds that the words of the Torah, including both the Written Law (Pentateuch) and those parts of the Oral Law which are halacha leMoshe m'Sinai, were dictated by God to Moses essentially as they exist today. The laws contained in the Written Torah were given along with detailed explanations as how to apply and interpret them, the Oral Law. Although Orthodox Jews believe that many elements of current religious law were decreed or added as "fences" around the law by the rabbis, all Orthodox Jews believe that there is an underlying core of Sinaitic law and that this core of the religious laws Orthodox Jews know today is thus directly derived from Sinai and directly reflects the Divine will. As such, Orthodox Jews believe that one must be extremely careful in changing or adapting Jewish law. Orthodox Judaism holds that, given Jewish law's Divine origin, no underlying principle may be compromised in accounting for changing political, social or economic conditions; in this sense, "creativity" and development in Jewish law is limited.

However, there is significant disagreement within Orthodox Judaism, particularly between Haredi Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism, about the extent and circumstances under which the proper application of Halakha should be re-examined as a result of changing realities. As a general rule, Haredi Jews believe that when at all possible the law should be maintained as it was understood by their authorities at the haskalah
Haskalah
Haskalah , the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history...

, believing that it had never changed. Modern Orthodox authorities are more willing to assume that under scrupulous examination, identical principles may lead to different applications in the context of modern life. To the Orthodox Jew, halakha is a guide, God's Law, governing the structure of daily life from the moment he or she wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep. It includes codes of behaviour applicable to a broad range of circumstances (and many hypothetical ones). There are though a number of meta-principles that guide the halakhic process and in an instance of opposition between a specific halakha and a meta-principle, the meta-principle often wins out. Examples of Halachic Meta-Principles are: Deracheha Darchei Noam-the ways of Torah are pleasant, Kavod Habriyot-basic respect for human beings, Pikuach Nefesh-the sanctity of human life.

Orthodox Judaism holds that on Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai , also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa , Jabal Musa meaning "Moses' Mountain", is a mountain near Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. A mountain called Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Quran...

 the Written Law was transmitted along with an Oral Law. The words of the Torah (Pentateuch) were spoken to Moses by God
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

; the laws contained in this Written Torah, the Mitzvot
613 mitzvot
The 613 commandments is a numbering of the statements and principles of law, ethics, and spiritual practice contained in the Torah or Five Books of Moses...

, were given along with detailed explanations in the oral tradition as to how to apply and interpret them. Furthermore, the Oral law includes principles designed to create new rules. The Oral law is held to be transmitted with an extremely high degree of accuracy. Jewish theologians, who choose to emphasize the more evolutionary nature of the Halacha point to a famous story in the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

, where Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 is magically transported to the House of Study of Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Akiva
Akiva ben Joseph simply known as Rabbi Akiva , was a tanna of the latter part of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century . He was a great authority in the matter of Jewish tradition, and one of the most central and essential contributors to the Mishnah and Midrash Halakha...

 and is clearly unable to follow the ensuing discussion.

According to Orthodox Judaism, Jewish law today is based on the commandments in the Torah, as viewed through the discussions and debates contained in classical rabbinic literature, especially the Mishnah and the Talmud. Orthodox Judaism thus holds that the halakha represents the "will of God", either directly, or as closely to directly as possible. The laws are from the word of God in the Torah, using a set of rules also revealed by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, and have been derived with the utmost accuracy and care, and thus the Oral Law is considered to be no less the word of God. If some of the details of Jewish law may have been lost over the millennia, they were reconstructed in accordance with internally consistent rules; see The 13 rules by which Jewish law was derived.

In this world view, the Mishnaic and Talmudic rabbis are closer to the Divine revelation; by corollary, one must be extremely conservative in changing or adapting Jewish law. Furthermore, Orthodox Judaism holds that, given Jewish law's Divine origin, no underlying principle may be compromised in accounting for changing political, social or economic conditions; in this sense, "creativity" and development in Jewish law is held to have been limited. Orthodox Jews will also study the Talmud for its own sake; this is considered to be the greatest mitzvah
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 of all; see Torah study.

Haredi and Modern Orthodox Judaism vary somewhat in their view of the validity of Halakhic reconsideration. It is held virtually as a principle of belief among many Haredi Jews that halakhah never changes. Haredi Judaism thus views higher criticism of the Talmud as inappropriate, and almost certainly heretical. At the same time, many within Modern Orthodox Judaism do not have a problem with historical scholarship in this area. See the entry on historical analysis of the Talmud.

Modern Orthodox Judaism is also somewhat more willing to consider revisiting questions of Jewish law through Talmudic arguments. Although in practice such instances are rare, they do exist. Notable examples include acceptance of rules permitting farming during the Shmita year and permitting the advanced religious education of women.

Orthodox movements, organizations and groups


  • Agudath Israel of America
    Agudath Israel of America
    Agudath Israel of America , is a Haredi Jewish communal organization in the United States loosely affiliated with the international World Agudath Israel.-Functions:...

     is the largest and most influential Haredi organization in America. Its roots go back to the establishment of the original founding of the Agudath Israel movement in 1912 in Katowitz, Prussia
    Prussia
    Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

     (now Katowice, Poland
    Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

    ). The American Agudath Israel was founded in 1939. There is an Agudat Israel
    Agudat Israel
    Agudat Yisrael began as the original political party representing the ultra-Orthodox population of Israel. It was the umbrella party for almost all ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, and before that in the British Mandate of Palestine...

     (Hasidic) in Israel, and also Degel HaTorah
    Degel HaTorah
    Degel HaTorah is an Ashkenazi Haredi political party in Israel. For much of its existence it has been allied to Agudat Yisrael under the name United Torah Judaism.-Ideology:...

     (non-Hasidic "Lithuanian
    Lithuanian Jews
    Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

    "), as well as an Agudath Israel of Europe. These groups are loosely affiliated through the World Agudath Israel
    World Agudath Israel
    World Agudath Israel , usually known as the Aguda, was established in the early twentieth century as the political arm of Ashkenazi Torah Judaism, in succession to Agudas Shlumei Emunei Yisroel...

    , which from time to time holds a major gathering in Israel called a knessia. Agudah unites many rabbinic leaders from the Hasidic Judaism wing with those of the non-Hasidic "yeshiva" world. It is generally non-nationalistic and ambivalent towards the modern State of Israel.

  • The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, known as the Orthodox Union
    Orthodox Union
    The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America , more popularly known as the Orthodox Union , is one of the oldest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the United States. It is best known for its kosher food preparation supervision service...

    , or "OU", and the Rabbinical Council of America
    Rabbinical Council of America
    The Rabbinical Council of America is one of the world's largest organizations of Orthodox rabbis; it is affiliated with The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, more commonly known as the Orthodox Union, or OU...

    , "RCA" are organizations that represent Modern Orthodox Judaism, a large segment of Orthodoxy in the United States and Canada. These groups should not be confused with the similarly named Union of Orthodox Rabbis
    Union of Orthodox Rabbis
    The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada also known as the Agudath Harabonim , and sometimes as the UOR, was established in 1901 in the United States and is among the oldest organizations of Orthodox rabbis which could be described as having a Haredi worldview...

     (described below).

  • The National Council of Young Israel, and the Council of Young Israel Rabbis are smaller groups that were founded as Modern Orthodox organizations, are Zionistic, and are in the right wing of Modern Orthodox Judaism. Young Israel strongly supports and allies itself with the settlement movement in Israel. While the lay membership of synagogues affiliated with the NCYI are almost exclusively Modern Orthodox in orientation, the rabbinical leadership of the synagogues ranges from Modern Orthodox to Haredi.

  • The Chief Rabbinate of Israel
    Chief Rabbinate of Israel
    The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is recognized by law as the supreme halakhic and spiritual authority for the Jewish people in Israel. The Chief Rabbinate Council assists the two chief rabbis, who alternate in its presidency. It has legal and administrative authority to organize religious...

      was founded with the intention of representing all of Judaism within the State of Israel, and has two chief rabbis: One is Ashkenazic (of the East European and Russian Jewish tradition) and one is Sephardic (of the Mediterranean, North African, Central Asian, Middle-Eastern and of Caucasus
    Caucasus
    The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

     Jewish tradition.) The rabbinate has never been accepted by most Israeli Haredi groups. Since the 1960s the Chief rabbinate of Israel has moved somewhat closer to the positions of Haredi Judaism.

  • Mizrachi
    Mizrachi (Religious Zionism)
    The Mizrachi is the name of the religious Zionist organization founded in 1902 in Vilnius at a world conference of religious Zionists called by Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines. Bnei Akiva, which was founded in 1929, is the youth movement associated with Mizrachi...

    , and political parties such as Mafdal and National Union (Israel)
    National Union (Israel)
    The National Union is an alliance of nationalist political parties in Israel. In the 2009 elections the National Union consisted of four parties: Moledet, Hatikva, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, and Tkuma.-Background:...

     all represent certain sectors within the Religious Zionist movement, both in diaspora and Israel. The defunct Gush Emunim
    Gush Emunim
    Gush Emunim was an Israeli messianic and political movement committed to establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank. While not formally established as an organization until 1974 in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, Gush Emunim sprang out of the conquests of the Six-Day War in 1967, encouraging...

    , Meimad
    Meimad
    Meimad is a left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel. Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and until the 2006 elections, received 10th spot on the...

    , Tzohar
    Tzohar
    Tzohar is a communal settlement and regional center in southern Israel. Located in Hevel Eshkol, it falls under the jurisdiction of Eshkol Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 487....

    , Hazit and other movements represent over competing divisions within the sector. They firmly believe in the 'Land Of Israel for the People of Israel according to the principles Torah of Israel.', although Meimad
    Meimad
    Meimad is a left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel. Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and until the 2006 elections, received 10th spot on the...

     are pragmatic about such programme. Gush Emunim
    Gush Emunim
    Gush Emunim was an Israeli messianic and political movement committed to establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank. While not formally established as an organization until 1974 in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, Gush Emunim sprang out of the conquests of the Six-Day War in 1967, encouraging...

     are the settlement wing of National Union (Israel)
    National Union (Israel)
    The National Union is an alliance of nationalist political parties in Israel. In the 2009 elections the National Union consisted of four parties: Moledet, Hatikva, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, and Tkuma.-Background:...

     and support widespread kiruv as well, through such institutions as Machon Meir
    Machon Meir
    Machon Meir' is a religious Zionist outreach organization and yeshiva situated in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe, close to Givat Shaul...

    , Merkaz HaRav and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner
    Shlomo Aviner
    Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Ha-Cohain Aviner is the rosh yeshiva of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva in Jerusalem and the rabbi of Bet El. He is considered one of the spiritual leaders of the Religious Zionist movement.-Background:Ha-Rav Shlomo Chaim Ha-Cohain Aviner was born in 5703 in German-occupied...

    . Another sector includes the Hardal
    Hardal
    Chardal ; Hebrew: חרד"ל, acronym for חרדי לאומי, Charedi Le-umi, lit. "Nationalist Charedi", Plural: Chardalim refers to the Ultra-Orthodox Jews who support the ideology of Religious Zionism...

     faction, which tends to be unallied to the Government and quite centristic.

  • Chabad Lubavitch is a branch of Hasidic Judaism widely known for its emphasis on outreach and education. The organization has been in existence for 200 years, and especially after the Second World War, it began sending out emissaries (shluchim
    Shaliach (Chabad)
    A Chabad shliach is a Chabad member sent out to promulgate Judaism and Chasidut around the world.Chabad shluchim as of 2010 number about 4,500 worldwide, and can be found in many of even the most remote worldly locales.-Origins:...

    ) who have as a mission the bringing back of disaffected Jews to a level of observance consistent with authentic and proper norms (i.e., Orthodox Judaism). They are major players in what is known as the Baal Teshuva
    Baal teshuva
    Baal teshuva or ba'al teshuvah , sometimes abbreviated to BT, is a term referring to a Jew who turns to embrace Orthodox Judaism. Baal teshuva literally means, "repentant", i.e., one who has repented or "returned" to God...

    movement. Their mandate is to make nonobservant Jews more observant. Certain beliefs regarding the status of their past leader, and several of their outreach tactics and theology make them controversial in other orthodox groups.

  • In Israel although it shares a similar agenda with the Sephardic Shas
    Shas
    Shas is an ultra-orthodox religious political party in Israel, primarily representing Sephardic and Mizrahi Haredi Judaism.Shas was founded in 1984 by dissident members of the Ashkenazi dominated Agudat Israel, to represent the interests of religiously observant Sephardic and Mizrahi ...

     political party, Shas is more bipartisan when it comes to its own issues and non-nationalistic-based with a huge emphasis on Sephardi
    Sephardi Jews
    Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

     and Mizrahi
    Mizrahi Jews
    Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahiyim, , also referred to as Adot HaMizrach are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus...

     Judaism. Shas has its own positions and plays a more prominent role in the government of the State, usually having something to say about almost every Jewish issue. It is usually in fierce contention with Agudat Yisrael in Israel.

  • The Agudath HaRabbonim, also known as the Union of Orthodox Rabbis
    Union of Orthodox Rabbis
    The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada also known as the Agudath Harabonim , and sometimes as the UOR, was established in 1901 in the United States and is among the oldest organizations of Orthodox rabbis which could be described as having a Haredi worldview...

     of the United States and Canada, is a small Haredi-leaning organization founded in 1902. It should not be confused with "The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America" (see above) which is a separate organization. While at one time influential within Orthodox Judaism, the Agudath HaRabbonim in the last several decades has progressively moved further to the right; its membership has been dropping and it has been relatively inactive. Some of its members are rabbis from Chabad Lubavitch; some are also members of the RCA (see above). It is currently most famous for its 1997 declaration (citing Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog
    Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog
    Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog , also known as Isaac Herzog, was the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland, his term lasting from 1921 to 1936...

     and Orthodox Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik
    Joseph Soloveitchik
    Joseph Ber Soloveitchik was an American Orthodox rabbi, Talmudist and modern Jewish philosopher. He was a descendant of the Lithuanian Jewish Soloveitchik rabbinic dynasty....

    ) that the Conservative
    Conservative Judaism
    Conservative Judaism is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism,...

     and Reform
    Reform Judaism
    Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

     movements are "not Judaism at all."

  • The Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada (CRC) was established in 1952. It is an anti-Zionist
    Anti-Zionism
    Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

    , Haredi organization, closely aligned with the Satmar
    Satmar (Hasidic dynasty)
    Satmar is a Hasidic movement comprising mostly Hungarian and Romanian Hasidic Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants. It was founded and led by the late Hungarian-born Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum , who was the rabbi of Szatmárnémeti, Hungary...

     Hasidic group, which has about 100,000 adherents (an unknown number of which are rabbis), and like-minded Haredi groups.

  • The Halachic Organ Donor Society
    Halachic Organ Donor Society
    The Halachic Organ Donor Society, also known as the HOD Society, was started in December 2001 by Robert Berman. Its mission is to save lives by increasing organ donation from Jews to the general public...

     was formed in 2001 with mission of trying to increase organ donation from Jew to the general public (including to non-Jew). To date (2011), it has so far saved more than 200 lives, it has enlisted more than 200 Orthodox rabbis to get organ donor cards, it has educated via its lecture series more than 25,000 Jews around the world.

  • The left-wing Modern Orthodox advocacy group, Edah
    Edah
    Edah was a Modern Orthodox Jewish organization, generally associated with the liberal wing of Orthodox Judaism in the United States and with the Religious Zionism movement of Israel. Its headquarters are located in Manhattan, New York City....

    , formed from United States Modern Orthodox rabbis. Most of its membership came from synagogues affiliated with the Union of Orthodox Congregations and RCA (above). Their motto was, "The courage to be Modern and Orthodox". Edah ceased operations in 2007 and merged some of its programs into the left-wing Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
    Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
    Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School is a "Modern Open Orthodox" yeshiva founded in 1999 by Rabbi Avi Weiss.Currently located in Riverdale, New York, it seeks to "recruit, professionally train, and place rabbis" who will promote its founder's philosophy...

    .

  • The Beis Yaakov educational movement, begun in 1917, introduced the concept of formal Judaic schooling for Orthodox women.

See also



Orthodox Diversity:
  • Jewish denominations
    Jewish denominations
    Jewish religious movements , sometimes called "denominations" or "branches", include different groups which have developed among Jews from ancient times and especially in the modern era among Ashkenazi Jews living in anglophone countries...

  • Torah Judaism
    Torah Judaism
    Torah Judaism is an English term applied to a number of Orthodox Jewish groups to describe their Judaism as being based on an adherence to the laws of the Torah's mitzvot as expounded in Orthodox Halakha...

  • Haredi Judaism
    Haredi Judaism
    Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

  • Lithuanian Judaism
  • Hasidic Judaism
    Hasidic Judaism
    Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

  • Sephardi Judaism
  • Modern Orthodox Judaism
    Modern Orthodox Judaism
    Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world....

  • Religious Zionism
    Religious Zionism
    Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Jewish religious faith...

  • Baal teshuva movement
    Baal teshuva movement
    The Baal Teshuva movement is description of the return of secular Jews to religious Judaism. The term "baal teshuva" is a term from the Talmud literally meaning "master of repentance". The term is used to refer to a worldwide phenomenon among the Jewish people...



Topics:
  • Rabbinic Judaism
    Rabbinic Judaism
    Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Talmud...

  • Rabbinic literature
    Rabbinic literature
    Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term...

  • Jewish principles of faith
    Jewish principles of faith
    The concept of an explicit, paramount definition of faith does not exist in Judaism as it does in other monotheistic religions such as Christianity. Although Jews and religious leaders share a core of monotheistic principles, and there are many fundamental principles quoted in the Talmud to define...

  • Jewish philosophy
    Jewish philosophy
    Jewish philosophy , includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or, in relation to the religion of Judaism. Jewish philosophy, until modern Enlightenment and Emancipation, was pre-occupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism; thus organizing...

  • Kabbalah
    Kabbalah
    Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

  • Divine Providence in Orthodox thought
    Divine providence (Judaism)
    In Judaism, Divine Providence is discussed throughout Rabbinic literature, by the classical Jewish philosophers, and by the tradition of Jewish mysticism.The discussion brings into consideration the Jewish understanding of Nature, and its reciprocal, the Miraculous...

  • List of Orthodox rabbis
  • List of Baalei teshuva


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