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.
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
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denominations by clicking below.