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MazorGuide Home > Living Jewish > Denominations> Orthodox

Jewish Denominations: Orthodox
Orthodox Judaism: One Torah, Many Paths

There is not one spokesman or one organization that is commissioned to speak for Orthodox Jewry. Rather Orthodox Judaism consists of a myriad of movements from the extreme radical right to the liberal left.

"The term Orthodoxy is applied to Jewish traditionalist movements that have consciously resisted the influences of modernization that arose in response to the European Emancipation and Enlightenment movements. It is not usually employed to designate Jewish traditionalism prior to the modern era, nor does the phenomenon appear in communities that were unaffected by the Reform movement; e.g., in North Africa, or in Eastern Europe before the mid-nineteenth-century." [Prof. Eliezer Segal]

Orthodox Judaism today is composed of many different groups with beliefs, practices and theologies that interlace. In general terms, the Orthodox movements are very similar as all follow the basic and fundamental commandments of Shabbat observance, kosher dietary laws, family purity, etc. However, there are significant social and halachic (Jewish law) differences in their varying attitudes concerning religious, social, and political issues. Issues that divide the orthodox movements include the role of women in Judaism, the relations with non-Orthodox Jews, attitudes toward modern culture, and the relation to the modern State of Israel.

The main groups within orthodoxy are the Chassidic movements, the Yeshivish or Charedi crowd (generally dressed in suits, white shirts, and black hats), centrist orthodox, and modern orthodox.

 

Read more about the different denominations by clicking below.

 

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