History UsefulNotes / Judaism

13th Aug '17 5:07:14 PM LittleGoat
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Jews don't really have a central authority of any sort (being in diaspora for 2000 years will do that for you). After the loss of the Temple in AD 70—when diaspora began—the closest thing to a central authority Jews had was made up of senior rabbis arguing until they could reach a consensus, or at least a compromise, which would eventually propagate to most Jewish communities by word-of-mouth. And those rabbis ''loved'' to argue. (As the saying goes, "Two Jews, three opinions!") So this entry will try to hit the highlights, especially the common portrayals of Jews in media, but it is by '''no means''' comprehensive, complete, or guaranteed to be accurate for any given Jew.

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Jews don't really have a central authority of any sort (being in diaspora for 2000 years will do that for you). After the loss of the Temple in AD 70—when 70--when diaspora began—the began--the closest thing to a central authority Jews had was made up of senior rabbis arguing until they could reach a consensus, or at least a compromise, which would eventually propagate to most Jewish communities by word-of-mouth. And those rabbis ''loved'' to argue. (As the saying goes, "Two Jews, three opinions!") So this entry will try to hit the highlights, especially the common portrayals of Jews in media, but it is by '''no means''' comprehensive, complete, or guaranteed to be accurate for any given Jew.



90% of Jews in the United States are Ashkenazic Jews (Jews who lived in Eastern Europe during diaspora). The other major Jewish groups are Sephardic (from Spain) and Mizrahi (Arab), but Mizrahi and Sephardic traditions have merged. There are other, smaller groups, most famously the Cochin and Bene-Israel Jews of India, the Beta Israel of Ethiopia, and the vanishing Kaifeng Jewish community of Eastern China. ‘’Only Ashkenazic Jews have the “categories” of denominations most Americans are familiar with (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc.)’’

The variable of the Ashkenazic movements isn’t religiosity but how each movement views the binding nature of the various laws spread out in the Torah and elaborated on in the Talmud. In broad terms, Orthodox Jews are like Scalia and take an originalist perspective—the Torah and Talmud are normative and binding—while Conservative Jews are like Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—the Torah and Talmud are normative, but is “living”—and Reform Jews argue that the rules in the Torah and Talmud are guidelines. Reconstructionist Jews also take the guideline viewpoint, but believe that for the sake of Jewish culture, certain rituals should be preserved.

to:

90% of Jews in the United States are Ashkenazic Jews (Jews who lived in Eastern Europe during diaspora). The other major Jewish groups are Sephardic (from Spain) and Mizrahi (Arab), but Mizrahi and Sephardic traditions have merged. There are other, smaller groups, most famously the Cochin and Bene-Israel Jews of India, the Beta Israel of Ethiopia, and the vanishing Kaifeng Jewish community of Eastern China. ‘’Only ''Only Ashkenazic Jews have the “categories” "categories" of denominations most Americans are familiar with (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc.)’’

)''

The variable of the Ashkenazic movements isn’t isn't religiosity but how each movement views the binding nature of the various laws spread out in the Torah and elaborated on in the Talmud. In broad terms, Orthodox Jews are like Scalia and take an originalist perspective—the perspective--the Torah and Talmud are normative and binding—while binding--while Conservative Jews are like Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—the Ginsburg--the Torah and Talmud are normative, but is “living”—and "living"--and Reform Jews argue that the rules in the Torah and Talmud are guidelines. Reconstructionist Jews also take the guideline viewpoint, but believe that for the sake of Jewish culture, certain rituals should be preserved.



** ''Haredim'': Literally "(God) fearing", Haredim are the most theologically conservative practitioners. If you see a Jewish man wearing a black suit with a black hat, a beard, side curls (payot), and fringes hanging from his shirt (a tallit worn under the clothing), he's probably (but not necessarily) Haredi. The term is generally used in Israel, but can apply to elsewhere as well. Haredim tend to be much more insular than others; they generally keep very tight-knit communities, refuse to consume non-Jewish media of any sort, and will usually work for each other as well. If you’ve wandered around Borough Park in Brooklyn, many of these Jews are Haredim.
** ''Hasidim'': Literally "pious", the term is used to describe a set of Orthodoxy which puts higher value on emotion, joy, and mysticism. There are dozens of Hasidic sects (such as Chabad Lubavitch, Ger, Satmar, etc.), most based out of Eastern Europe and named after the city they originated in. Most Hasidim fall under the Haredi banner, though some (especially Lubavitch) attract more modern adherents, and have large outreach organizations (“Chabad” is one such organization). Hasidim usually have one "Rebbe" which they hold in the highest regard, almost like an angel, and some sects (such as Breslev) become so attached to their Rebbe they refuse to appoint a successor after his death. They're the closest thing Judaism has to born-again Christianity, which might be why Music/BobDylan gravitated to Chabad Lubavitch after he became disenchanted with born-again Christianity.
** ''"Yeshivish"” Orthodox can be seen as the midpoint between Haredim and Modern Orthodox Jews (see below). Although somewhat insular, they are not as "cultish" as Haredim. Often, Yeshivish men will devote themselves to full-time Torah study for several years or even their entire life. Yeshivish also refers to the type of English many of the men speak, a mix of Biblical Hebrew and English.

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** ''Haredim'': Literally "(God) fearing", Haredim are the most theologically conservative practitioners. If you see a Jewish man wearing a black suit with a black hat, a beard, side curls (payot), and fringes hanging from his shirt (a tallit worn under the clothing), he's probably (but not necessarily) Haredi. The term is generally used in Israel, but can apply to elsewhere as well. Haredim tend to be much more insular than others; they generally keep very tight-knit communities, refuse to consume non-Jewish media of any sort, and will usually work for each other as well. If you’ve you've wandered around Borough Park in Brooklyn, many of these Jews are Haredim.
** ''Hasidim'': Literally "pious", the term is used to describe a set of Orthodoxy which puts higher value on emotion, joy, and mysticism. There are dozens of Hasidic sects (such as Chabad Lubavitch, Ger, Satmar, etc.), most based out of Eastern Europe and named after the city they originated in. Most Hasidim fall under the Haredi banner, though some (especially Lubavitch) attract more modern adherents, and have large outreach organizations (“Chabad” ("Chabad" is one such organization). Hasidim usually have one "Rebbe" which they hold in the highest regard, almost like an angel, and some sects (such as Breslev) become so attached to their Rebbe they refuse to appoint a successor after his death. They're the closest thing Judaism has to born-again Christianity, which might be why Music/BobDylan gravitated to Chabad Lubavitch after he became disenchanted with born-again Christianity.
** ''"Yeshivish"” ''"Yeshivish"" Orthodox can be seen as the midpoint between Haredim and Modern Orthodox Jews (see below). Although somewhat insular, they are not as "cultish" as Haredim. Often, Yeshivish men will devote themselves to full-time Torah study for several years or even their entire life. Yeshivish also refers to the type of English many of the men speak, a mix of Biblical Hebrew and English.



** ””Sephardic”” Judaism is predominately Orthodox. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews do not fit into these neat boundaries; they prefer to use terms such as "masorti" (which is, confusingly, also a term for Conservative Judaism in many areas), “observant,” or “traditionalist.”
** ””Open Orthodox”” is a mostly New York and Chicago phenomenon. Modern Orthodox Jews are still Orthodox, and for reasons too complicated to detail here, Modern Orthodox Jews do not ordain women or allow women to lead prayers; Open Orthodoxy does. It is a relatively recent phenomenon started by an Orthodox rabbi who, among many things, [[http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.666064 supports (though does not perform) same-sex marriage]]. It differentiates itself from Conservative Judaism because it (1) believes, like all Orthodox Jews, that the Torah and Oral Laws were given from God to the Jews at Mt. Sinai and (2) requires strict adherence to Jewish law (conservative Judaism technically does, but not all conservative Jews—or even many—follow this). An Open Orthodox rabbinical school ordains women, which the Modern Orthodox school strongly condemned.
* ''Conservative'': Considers itself a happy medium between the very conservative Orthodoxy and the more liberal sects. Conservative Judaism believes that Jewish law is binding, but takes a more “living constitution” approach to adapt to modernity. For example, Conservative Jewish rabbis have held that driving on Shabbat—an activity all Orthodox rabbis prohibit—is permissible if that is the only way someone can attend synagogue. Conservative Jews also ordain women and have non-gender-segregated services. Probably the broadest in terms of how closely its members follow Mitzvot (commandments): on the “right,” Conservative Jews will resemble Modern Orthodox Jews though they may be looser in keeping kosher; on the “left,” they may be indistinguishable from Reform. Open Orthodoxy, because it ordains women, has been frequently accused of being truly Conservative (whether this is true is up for debate; it is included as Orthodox because that is what it identifies as). In recent years, Conservatism has been trending very leftward, especially on social issues.

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** ””Sephardic”” ""Sephardic"" Judaism is predominately Orthodox. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews do not fit into these neat boundaries; they prefer to use terms such as "masorti" (which is, confusingly, also a term for Conservative Judaism in many areas), “observant,” "observant," or “traditionalist.”
"traditionalist."
** ””Open Orthodox”” ""Open Orthodox"" is a mostly New York and Chicago phenomenon. Modern Orthodox Jews are still Orthodox, and for reasons too complicated to detail here, Modern Orthodox Jews do not ordain women or allow women to lead prayers; Open Orthodoxy does. It is a relatively recent phenomenon started by an Orthodox rabbi who, among many things, [[http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.666064 supports (though does not perform) same-sex marriage]]. It differentiates itself from Conservative Judaism because it (1) believes, like all Orthodox Jews, that the Torah and Oral Laws were given from God to the Jews at Mt. Sinai and (2) requires strict adherence to Jewish law (conservative Judaism technically does, but not all conservative Jews—or Jews--or even many—follow many--follow this). An Open Orthodox rabbinical school ordains women, which the Modern Orthodox school strongly condemned.
* ''Conservative'': Considers itself a happy medium between the very conservative Orthodoxy and the more liberal sects. Conservative Judaism believes that Jewish law is binding, but takes a more “living constitution” "living constitution" approach to adapt to modernity. For example, Conservative Jewish rabbis have held that driving on Shabbat—an Shabbat--an activity all Orthodox rabbis prohibit—is prohibit--is permissible if that is the only way someone can attend synagogue. Conservative Jews also ordain women and have non-gender-segregated services. Probably the broadest in terms of how closely its members follow Mitzvot (commandments): on the “right,” "right," Conservative Jews will resemble Modern Orthodox Jews though they may be looser in keeping kosher; on the “left,” "left," they may be indistinguishable from Reform. Open Orthodoxy, because it ordains women, has been frequently accused of being truly Conservative (whether this is true is up for debate; it is included as Orthodox because that is what it identifies as). In recent years, Conservatism has been trending very leftward, especially on social issues.



* ''Reform'': One of the most liberal of the Jewish denominations, tending to stress moral teachings and downplay rituals. Classical Reform Judaism argued that Jewish laws were subjective and nonbinding and did as much as possible to rid Judaism of its “weirdness,” eschewing Hebrew, bar mitzvahs, kashrut, and the laws of family purity, but by the 1940s, Reform Judaism (along with all forms of Judaism) swung right. Your average educated Reform Jew will know how to read Hebrew (if merely poorly), had a bar or bat mitzvah, regularly attends a Seder, and at least grew up attending synagogue on major holidays. Most, but not all, Reform Jews do not keep kosher or observe Shabbat prohibitions. Using “Reform” to mean “secular” is incorrect.

to:

* ''Reform'': One of the most liberal of the Jewish denominations, tending to stress moral teachings and downplay rituals. Classical Reform Judaism argued that Jewish laws were subjective and nonbinding and did as much as possible to rid Judaism of its “weirdness,” "weirdness," eschewing Hebrew, bar mitzvahs, kashrut, and the laws of family purity, but by the 1940s, Reform Judaism (along with all forms of Judaism) swung right. Your average educated Reform Jew will know how to read Hebrew (if merely poorly), had a bar or bat mitzvah, regularly attends a Seder, and at least grew up attending synagogue on major holidays. Most, but not all, Reform Jews do not keep kosher or observe Shabbat prohibitions. Using “Reform” "Reform" to mean “secular” "secular" is incorrect.



* “Karaite”: this very, very small sect of Judaism does not follow Rabbinic Law (they follow the rules as outlined in the Torah, not as interpreted and expanded on in the Talmud). For some reason, when atheists criticize Judaism, they seem to assume that Jews are Karaite Jews.

The movements in Israel are similar. After the large population of Haredi Jews, there are two Orthodox groups (Mesorati, “traditional,” or Mizrahi/Sephardic) and Dati-Leumi (“national religious” or “religious Zionists,” basically the equivalent of the more religious portion of Modern Orthodox). The non-Orthodox movements are stifled in their ability to succeed in Israel because the Israeli Rabbinate—the counsel of Rabbis that sets Israel’s Jewish laws—is exclusively Orthodox.

to:

* “Karaite”: "Karaite": this very, very small sect of Judaism does not follow Rabbinic Law (they follow the rules as outlined in the Torah, not as interpreted and expanded on in the Talmud). For some reason, when atheists criticize Judaism, they seem to assume that Jews are Karaite Jews.

The movements in Israel are similar. After the large population of Haredi Jews, there are two Orthodox groups (Mesorati, “traditional,” "traditional," or Mizrahi/Sephardic) and Dati-Leumi (“national religious” ("national religious" or “religious Zionists,” "religious Zionists," basically the equivalent of the more religious portion of Modern Orthodox). The non-Orthodox movements are stifled in their ability to succeed in Israel because the Israeli Rabbinate—the Rabbinate--the counsel of Rabbis that sets Israel’s Israel's Jewish laws—is laws--is exclusively Orthodox.



* ''Kashrut'', a set of dietary restrictions. The most famous part of this is the banning of pork and shellfish and not mixing meat and dairy. Even once an animal is kosher, it must be killed in a kosher manner (a method used to reduce pain as much as possible) and “koshered,” or have the blood removed (blood isn’t kosher). The separation of milk and meat goes far beyond not having pepperoni pizza: kosher households have two sets of dishes and two sets of silverware (one for dairy and one for meat) and may have two ovens and two sinks (if they don’t, they will follow specific rules for cleaning between use). In certain extremes, a kitchen may go so far to have two countertops, two microwaves, and separate placemats and napkins.
** Let us not forget Passover (''Pesach''), when the entire house is cleaned of any leaven (''chometz'') and a separate set of dishes is brought up from a locked closet. There's a reason that switching the kitchen to Pesach mode is called "turning over.”

* Keeping Shabbat (“the Sabbath” in English; “Shabbos” in Yiddish), which lasts from Friday sunset to Saturday about an hour after sunset ("when you can see three stars"). Jews are prohibited from doing “melacha” (commonly mistranslated as “work”). Melacha is a set of thirty-nine categories of behavior that include anything to do with business as well as such mundane things as dragging tables through grass (as it's similar to ploughing) all the way up to practically anything to do with electricity, such as flicking light switches or operating cars. By most definitions, soldiers and emergency service personnel on duty are exempt from these strictures. Enterprising modern Jews have found [[http://www.kosherimage.com/ ingenious ways around some of these strictures]], though. Most major holidays have most of the same restrictions. Note that if someone's life is in danger, all Jewish laws of any sort are waived as much as necessary.

* Laws of Family Purity: Orthodox Judaism (and very observant Conservative Judaism) prohibits touching between opposite genders unless married or closely related. This is why that Orthodox man didn’t shake your hand last week and instead did a jaunty little wave. In addition to this rule (“negiah”), married Jews are supposed to observe rules of marital purity: from the first day of a woman’s menstrual period until seven days after it ends (in Conservative Judaism, it is seven days after the first day of her period, unless her period lasts longer), the woman is “niddah.” The couple will not touch, sleep in the same bed, or even hand things directly to each other until the period ends and she goes to a mikvah, a ritual pool. According to the Chabad rabbis attempting to make Jews more observant, marital purity laws are what keep the spice in a Jewish relationship.
** With regards to sex and relationships overall—Judaism is a very liberal religion. In the context of marriage sex is encouraged, and prohibitions on birth control focus more on the method (i.e. whether a condom or birth control) than the result. A fetus is a potential life, not an actual life, and abortion is not only allowed but required when the life of the mother is in danger. The vast, vast majority of rabbis allow abortion for the health (mental or physical) of the mother as well. Furthermore, Judaism has strict rules regarding consent within a marriage and has always allowed for divorce by reason of incompatibility.

to:

* ''Kashrut'', a set of dietary restrictions. The most famous part of this is the banning of pork and shellfish and not mixing meat and dairy. Even once an animal is kosher, it must be killed in a kosher manner (a method used to reduce pain as much as possible) and “koshered,” "koshered," or have the blood removed (blood isn’t isn't kosher). The separation of milk and meat goes far beyond not having pepperoni pizza: kosher households have two sets of dishes and two sets of silverware (one for dairy and one for meat) and may have two ovens and two sinks (if they don’t, don't, they will follow specific rules for cleaning between use). In certain extremes, a kitchen may go so far to have two countertops, two microwaves, and separate placemats and napkins.
** Let us not forget Passover (''Pesach''), when the entire house is cleaned of any leaven (''chometz'') and a separate set of dishes is brought up from a locked closet. There's a reason that switching the kitchen to Pesach mode is called "turning over.

"

* Keeping Shabbat (“the Sabbath” ("the Sabbath" in English; “Shabbos” "Shabbos" in Yiddish), which lasts from Friday sunset to Saturday about an hour after sunset ("when you can see three stars"). Jews are prohibited from doing “melacha” "melacha" (commonly mistranslated as “work”)."work"). Melacha is a set of thirty-nine categories of behavior that include anything to do with business as well as such mundane things as dragging tables through grass (as it's similar to ploughing) all the way up to practically anything to do with electricity, such as flicking light switches or operating cars. By most definitions, soldiers and emergency service personnel on duty are exempt from these strictures. Enterprising modern Jews have found [[http://www.kosherimage.com/ ingenious ways around some of these strictures]], though. Most major holidays have most of the same restrictions. Note that if someone's life is in danger, all Jewish laws of any sort are waived as much as necessary.

* Laws of Family Purity: Orthodox Judaism (and very observant Conservative Judaism) prohibits touching between opposite genders unless married or closely related. This is why that Orthodox man didn’t didn't shake your hand last week and instead did a jaunty little wave. In addition to this rule (“negiah”), ("negiah"), married Jews are supposed to observe rules of marital purity: from the first day of a woman’s woman's menstrual period until seven days after it ends (in Conservative Judaism, it is seven days after the first day of her period, unless her period lasts longer), the woman is “niddah.” "niddah." The couple will not touch, sleep in the same bed, or even hand things directly to each other until the period ends and she goes to a mikvah, a ritual pool. According to the Chabad rabbis attempting to make Jews more observant, marital purity laws are what keep the spice in a Jewish relationship.
** With regards to sex and relationships overall—Judaism overall--Judaism is a very liberal religion. In the context of marriage sex is encouraged, and prohibitions on birth control focus more on the method (i.e. whether a condom or birth control) than the result. A fetus is a potential life, not an actual life, and abortion is not only allowed but required when the life of the mother is in danger. The vast, vast majority of rabbis allow abortion for the health (mental or physical) of the mother as well. Furthermore, Judaism has strict rules regarding consent within a marriage and has always allowed for divorce by reason of incompatibility.



* Praying three times a day, though this was instituted in the early centuries CE after the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of animal sacrifices. Men are traditionally supposed to pray with a group of at least ten men (a ''minyan''). Men wear ''tefillin'' (black boxes with leather straps) on their heads and arms, and wrap themselves in a white ''tallit'' (prayer shawl) for morning prayers only. In Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, women wear tefillin and tallit as well; Reform Jews generally don’t use tefillin.

to:

* Praying three times a day, though this was instituted in the early centuries CE after the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of animal sacrifices. Men are traditionally supposed to pray with a group of at least ten men (a ''minyan''). Men wear ''tefillin'' (black boxes with leather straps) on their heads and arms, and wrap themselves in a white ''tallit'' (prayer shawl) for morning prayers only. In Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, women wear tefillin and tallit as well; Reform Jews generally don’t don't use tefillin.



** The reason women don’t wear tefillin is because women are exempt from all time-bound (and only time-bound) commandments, the argument being that women traditionally ended up stuck as the primary caregiver, and while men can re-arrange their work schedule for prayer, women can’t re-arrange when their screaming child wants dinner. In Orthodox Judaism, the fact that women aren’t required to do certain commandments was interpreted as meaning that they do not count as completing these commandments; for this reason, in Orthodox Judaism, women do not count towards the minimum number of attendees for prayer. Conservative and Reform Judaism do not interpret Jewish law this way.

to:

** The reason women don’t don't wear tefillin is because women are exempt from all time-bound (and only time-bound) commandments, the argument being that women traditionally ended up stuck as the primary caregiver, and while men can re-arrange their work schedule for prayer, women can’t can't re-arrange when their screaming child wants dinner. In Orthodox Judaism, the fact that women aren’t aren't required to do certain commandments was interpreted as meaning that they do not count as completing these commandments; for this reason, in Orthodox Judaism, women do not count towards the minimum number of attendees for prayer. Conservative and Reform Judaism do not interpret Jewish law this way.



* The kingdoms were eventually destroyed, respectively, by the Assyrians and Babylonians (with some lull in between). The Babylonian exile from the Kingdom of Judah, whose members came to be called ''Jews'' for short, eventually returned to Israel to restore their sovereignty as the Kigdom of Judea.
* After some very complicated fighting, the Kingdom of Judea first became a vassal of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire, and then (after the death of Herod caused a SuccessionCrisis and civil unrest) the Roman ''Province of Judea''. After the Jews revolted in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish–Roman_War 70]] CE the Romans began making life difficult in the province, inducing many to leave; after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kokhba_Revolt another revolt]] in 132 CE, the Romans began the brutal suppression of the Jewish people, killing half a million, selling more into slavery, and forcing most of the rest into exile. Judaea Province was merged with Syria and specifically given the name of the Israelites' ancient enemies: Syria ''Palaestina''. The ''Diaspora'' is widely regarded to begin at this juncture.

to:

* The kingdoms were eventually destroyed, respectively, by the Assyrians and Babylonians (with some lull in between). The Babylonian exile from the Kingdom of Judah, whose members came to be called ''Jews'' for short, eventually returned to Israel to restore their sovereignty as the Kigdom Kingdom of Judea.
* After some very complicated fighting, the Kingdom of Judea first became a vassal of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire, and then (after the death of Herod caused a SuccessionCrisis and civil unrest) the Roman ''Province of Judea''. After the Jews revolted in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish–Roman_War org/wiki/First_Jewish-Roman_War 70]] CE the Romans began making life difficult in the province, inducing many to leave; after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kokhba_Revolt another revolt]] in 132 CE, the Romans began the brutal suppression of the Jewish people, killing half a million, selling more into slavery, and forcing most of the rest into exile. Judaea Province was merged with Syria and specifically given the name of the Israelites' ancient enemies: Syria ''Palaestina''. The ''Diaspora'' is widely regarded to begin at this juncture.
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** ””Sephardic”” Judaism is predominately Orthodox. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews do not fit into these neat boundaries; they prefer to use terms such as "mazorati" (which is, confusingly, also a term for Conservative Judaism in many areas), “observant,” or “traditionalist.”
** ””Open Orthodox”” is a mostly New York and Chicago phenomenon. Modern Orthodox Jews are still Orthodox, and for reasons too complicated to detail here, Modern Orthodox Jews do not ordain women or count women towards prayer; Open Orthodoxy does. It is a relatively recent phenomenon started by an Orthodox rabbi who, among many things, [[http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.666064 supports (though does not perform) same-sex marriage]]. It differentiates itself from Conservative Judaism because it (1) believes, like all Orthodox Jews, that the Torah and Oral Laws were given from God to the Jews at Mt. Sinai and (2) requires strict adherence to Jewish law (conservative Judaism technically does, but not all conservative Jews—or even many—follow this). The Open Orthodox rabbinical school ordains women, which the Modern Orthodox school strongly condemned and has held that synagogues accepting rabbis educated at the Open Orthodox school will be removed from the Union for Orthodox Judaism.

to:

** ””Sephardic”” Judaism is predominately Orthodox. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews do not fit into these neat boundaries; they prefer to use terms such as "mazorati" "masorti" (which is, confusingly, also a term for Conservative Judaism in many areas), “observant,” or “traditionalist.”
** ””Open Orthodox”” is a mostly New York and Chicago phenomenon. Modern Orthodox Jews are still Orthodox, and for reasons too complicated to detail here, Modern Orthodox Jews do not ordain women or count allow women towards prayer; to lead prayers; Open Orthodoxy does. It is a relatively recent phenomenon started by an Orthodox rabbi who, among many things, [[http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.666064 supports (though does not perform) same-sex marriage]]. It differentiates itself from Conservative Judaism because it (1) believes, like all Orthodox Jews, that the Torah and Oral Laws were given from God to the Jews at Mt. Sinai and (2) requires strict adherence to Jewish law (conservative Judaism technically does, but not all conservative Jews—or even many—follow this). The An Open Orthodox rabbinical school ordains women, which the Modern Orthodox school strongly condemned and has held that synagogues accepting rabbis educated at the Open Orthodox school will be removed from the Union for Orthodox Judaism.condemned.



The movements in Israel are similar. After the large population of Haredi Jews, there are two Orthodox movements (Mesorati, “traditional,” or Mizrahi/Sephardic) and Dati-Leumi (“national religious” or “religious Zionists,” basically the equivalent of the more religious portion of Modern Orthodox). The non-Orthodox movements are stifled in their ability to succeed in Israel because the Israeli Rabbinate—the counsel of Rabbis that sets Israel’s Jewish laws—is extremely Orthodox.

to:

The movements in Israel are similar. After the large population of Haredi Jews, there are two Orthodox movements groups (Mesorati, “traditional,” or Mizrahi/Sephardic) and Dati-Leumi (“national religious” or “religious Zionists,” basically the equivalent of the more religious portion of Modern Orthodox). The non-Orthodox movements are stifled in their ability to succeed in Israel because the Israeli Rabbinate—the counsel of Rabbis that sets Israel’s Jewish laws—is extremely exclusively Orthodox.



* Laws of Family Purity: while Christianity prohibits premarital sex and places virginity on a pedestal, Orthodox Judaism (and very observant Conservative Judaism) prohibits even touching between opposite genders unless married or closely related. This is why that Orthodox man didn’t shake your hand last week and instead did a jaunty little wave. In addition to this rule (“negia”), married Jews are supposed to observe rules of marital purity: from the first day of a woman’s menstrual period until seven days after it ends (in Conservative Judaism, it is seven days after the first day of her period, unless her period lasts longer), the woman is “niddah.” The couple will not touch, sleep in the same bed, or even hand things directly to each other until the period ends and she goes to a mikvah, a ritual pool. According to the Chabad rabbis attempting to make Jews more observant, marital purity laws are what keep the spice in a Jewish relationship.
** With regards to sex and relationships overall—Judaism is a very liberal religion. Sex without reproduction is encouraged, and prohibitions on birth control focus more on the method (i.e. whether a condom or birth control) than the result. A fetus is a potential life, not an actual life, and abortion is not only allowed but required when the life of the mother is in danger. The vast, vast majority of rabbis allow abortion for the health (mental or physical) of the mother as well. Furthermore, Judaism has strict rules regarding consent within a marriage and has always allowed for divorce by reason of incompatibility.

to:

* Laws of Family Purity: while Christianity prohibits premarital sex and places virginity on a pedestal, Orthodox Judaism (and very observant Conservative Judaism) prohibits even touching between opposite genders unless married or closely related. This is why that Orthodox man didn’t shake your hand last week and instead did a jaunty little wave. In addition to this rule (“negia”), (“negiah”), married Jews are supposed to observe rules of marital purity: from the first day of a woman’s menstrual period until seven days after it ends (in Conservative Judaism, it is seven days after the first day of her period, unless her period lasts longer), the woman is “niddah.” The couple will not touch, sleep in the same bed, or even hand things directly to each other until the period ends and she goes to a mikvah, a ritual pool. According to the Chabad rabbis attempting to make Jews more observant, marital purity laws are what keep the spice in a Jewish relationship.
** With regards to sex and relationships overall—Judaism is a very liberal religion. Sex without reproduction In the context of marriage sex is encouraged, and prohibitions on birth control focus more on the method (i.e. whether a condom or birth control) than the result. A fetus is a potential life, not an actual life, and abortion is not only allowed but required when the life of the mother is in danger. The vast, vast majority of rabbis allow abortion for the health (mental or physical) of the mother as well. Furthermore, Judaism has strict rules regarding consent within a marriage and has always allowed for divorce by reason of incompatibility.



* Praying three times a day, though this was instituted in the early centuries CE after the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of animal sacrifices. Men are traditionally supposed to pray with a group of at least ten men (a ''minyan''). Men wear ''tefillin'' (black boxes with leather straps) on their heads and arms, and wrap themselves in a white ''tallit'' (prayer shawl) for morning prayers only. In Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, women wear tefillin and tallit as well; Reform Judaism generally doesn’t use tefillin.
** Orthodox ''shuls'' are practical affairs; there are prayer leaders, but most prayers are silent, especially during the week. Prayers are all in Hebrew, except for the rare Aramaic segment. All positions of importance are given to men, except the President of the synagogue and a few members of the executive board may occasionally be women. Non-Orthodox congregations mix things up somewhat, with more church-like performances, choirs, audio equipment, etc., and allow female cantors (also called hazzanim) and rabbis, which the Orthodox do not allow.

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* Praying three times a day, though this was instituted in the early centuries CE after the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of animal sacrifices. Men are traditionally supposed to pray with a group of at least ten men (a ''minyan''). Men wear ''tefillin'' (black boxes with leather straps) on their heads and arms, and wrap themselves in a white ''tallit'' (prayer shawl) for morning prayers only. In Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, women wear tefillin and tallit as well; Reform Judaism Jews generally doesn’t don’t use tefillin.
** Orthodox ''shuls'' are practical affairs; there are prayer leaders, but most prayers are silent, silent or mumbled, especially during the week. Prayers are all in Hebrew, except for the rare Aramaic segment. All Most positions of importance are given to men, except the President of the synagogue and a few members of the executive board may occasionally be women. Non-Orthodox congregations mix things up somewhat, with more church-like performances, choirs, audio equipment, etc., and allow female cantors (also called hazzanim) hazanim) and rabbis, which the Orthodox do not allow.



* Judaism does not encourage non-Jews to convert to it, unlike many other religions (in particular Christianity), although any sincere convert will be accepted. Traditionally any convert will be refused three times before being allowed to proceed. Conversion usually happens after a long period of study, generally at least a year, so that the convert has the opportunity to experience every holiday and as many life cycle events as possible.
* There is also something called ''kiruv'' which is essentially an Orthodox Jewish attempt to get Jews to "convert" to Orthodox Judaism, which the Chabad Lubavitch movement in particular is passionate about.

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* Judaism does not encourage non-Jews to convert to it, unlike many other religions (in particular Christianity), although any sincere convert will be accepted. Traditionally any convert will be refused three times before being allowed to proceed. Conversion usually happens after a long period of study, generally at least a year, so that the convert has the opportunity to experience every holiday and as many life cycle events as possible.
* There is also something called ''kiruv'' which is essentially an Orthodox Jewish attempt to get Jews to "convert" to practice Orthodox Judaism, which the Chabad Lubavitch movement in particular is passionate about.
21st Mar '17 9:38:38 PM LaptopGuy
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** ''Haredim'': Literally "(God) fearing", Haredim are the most theologically conservative practitioners. If you see a Jewish man wearing a black suit with a black hat, a beard, side curls (payot), and fringes hanging from his shirt (a tallit worn under the clothing), he's probably (but not necessarily) Haredi. The term is generally used in Israel, but can apply to elsewhere as well. Haredim tend to be much more insular than others; they generally keep very tight-knit communities, refuse to consume non-Jewish media of any sort, and will usually work for each other as well. If you’ve wandered around Borough Park, many of these Jews are Haredim.

to:

** ''Haredim'': Literally "(God) fearing", Haredim are the most theologically conservative practitioners. If you see a Jewish man wearing a black suit with a black hat, a beard, side curls (payot), and fringes hanging from his shirt (a tallit worn under the clothing), he's probably (but not necessarily) Haredi. The term is generally used in Israel, but can apply to elsewhere as well. Haredim tend to be much more insular than others; they generally keep very tight-knit communities, refuse to consume non-Jewish media of any sort, and will usually work for each other as well. If you’ve wandered around Borough Park, Park in Brooklyn, many of these Jews are Haredim.



* ''Conservative'': Considers itself a happy medium between the very conservative Orthodoxy and the more liberal sects. Conservative Judaism believes that Jewish law is binding, but takes a more “living constitution” approach to adapt to modernity. For example, Conservative Jewish rabbis have held that driving on Shabbat—an activity all Orthodox rabbis prohibit—is permissible if that is the only way someone can attend synagogue. Conservative Jews also ordain women and have non-gender-segregated services. Probably the broadest in terms of how closely its members follow Mitzvot (commandments): on the “right,” Conservative Jews will resemble Modern Orthodox Jews though they may be looser in keeping kosher; on the “left,” they may be indistinguishable from Reform. Open Orthodoxy, because it ordains women, has been frequently accused of being truly Conservative (whether this is true is up for debate; it is included as Orthodox because that is what it identifies as).

to:

* ''Conservative'': Considers itself a happy medium between the very conservative Orthodoxy and the more liberal sects. Conservative Judaism believes that Jewish law is binding, but takes a more “living constitution” approach to adapt to modernity. For example, Conservative Jewish rabbis have held that driving on Shabbat—an activity all Orthodox rabbis prohibit—is permissible if that is the only way someone can attend synagogue. Conservative Jews also ordain women and have non-gender-segregated services. Probably the broadest in terms of how closely its members follow Mitzvot (commandments): on the “right,” Conservative Jews will resemble Modern Orthodox Jews though they may be looser in keeping kosher; on the “left,” they may be indistinguishable from Reform. Open Orthodoxy, because it ordains women, has been frequently accused of being truly Conservative (whether this is true is up for debate; it is included as Orthodox because that is what it identifies as). In recent years, Conservatism has been trending very leftward, especially on social issues.
5th Mar '17 10:59:51 AM Morgenthaler
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'''The ArabIsraeliConflict''': It's confusing, filled with ancient history and old grudges on both sides, with absolutely no black or white ''anything'' and a distinct lack of clear answers.

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'''The ArabIsraeliConflict''': UsefulNotes/ArabIsraeliConflict''': It's confusing, filled with ancient history and old grudges on both sides, with absolutely no black or white ''anything'' and a distinct lack of clear answers.
25th Feb '17 11:18:14 PM Jcatgrl
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* Judaism does not encourage non-Jews to convert to it, unlike many other religions (in particular Christianity), although any sincere convert will be accepted. Traditionally any convert will be refused three times before being allowed to proceed. Conversion usually happens after a long period of study.

to:

* Judaism does not encourage non-Jews to convert to it, unlike many other religions (in particular Christianity), although any sincere convert will be accepted. Traditionally any convert will be refused three times before being allowed to proceed. Conversion usually happens after a long period of study.study, generally at least a year, so that the convert has the opportunity to experience every holiday and as many life cycle events as possible.
21st Feb '17 1:47:19 PM Scalfin
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** ””Sephardic”” Judaism is predominately Orthodox. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews do not fit into these neat boundaries; they prefer to use terms such as “observant” or “traditionalist.”

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** ””Sephardic”” Judaism is predominately Orthodox. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews do not fit into these neat boundaries; they prefer to use terms such as “observant” "mazorati" (which is, confusingly, also a term for Conservative Judaism in many areas), “observant,” or “traditionalist.”
5th Jan '17 7:01:02 AM bedrockperson
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Traditionally, Jewish thought on the afterlife has typically ranged from, "We don't know," to intimations that there's nothing at all (as it says in Ecclesiastes, "The dead know nothing, neither have they any more reward,"). With the notable exceptions of Maimonides and Nachmanides, we leave any mention of the afterlife at naming it "Ha'Olam Ha'Ba" (the Next World), because it's unknowable to the living.

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Traditionally, Tanakh calls the afterlife "sheol", meaning "underworld". It was considered to be the destination for all men and woman, good and bad. However, Jewish scholars didn't know whether to take these mentions of Sheol as a metaphor to explain what people did not know came after death, or an actual form of afterlife. Regardless, there are today two forms of afterlife commonly accepted: Gan Eden and Gehenna. Gan Eden is your typical heaven model, the reward for the righteous, but Gehenna is a bit different. Gehenna is a place of fiery torment, however it is extremely lax. Your torture does not occur on the Sabbath, and you can only spend up to a year in Gehenna before you are sent to Gan Eden. Souls become closer to this by repenting whilst in Gehenna or by having their living relatives bless them through traditional prayers of mourning. Ultimately, we all go to Gan Eden, though some think if you are a truly horrible person, your soul is destroyed once you leave Gehenna.

Still, traditional
Jewish thought on the afterlife has typically ranged from, "We don't know," to intimations that there's nothing at all (as it says in Ecclesiastes, "The dead know nothing, neither have they any more reward,"). With the notable exceptions of Maimonides and Nachmanides, we leave any mention of the afterlife at naming it "Ha'Olam Ha'Ba" (the Next World), because it's unknowable to the living.
living. Interestingly, Olam HaBa is the name used to describe the future messianic age, leading some to believe that truly is the afterlife.



'''The Messiah''': The ''Mashiach'' (literally "Anointed One" as in the anointment of a king) is believed to be a descendant of King David, who will appear at the End of Days, heralded by Elijah the Prophet, to redeem the Jewish people, bring them all back to the Land of Israel, and build the Third Temple. What happens afterwards is the subject of extreme argument, even amongst classic Jewish sources, ranging from "more or less the same, but happier" to "the physical world will cease to be, everything will be spiritual". As for Jesus, most Jews see him as, at best, a great teacher like others before and after him; at worst, nothing more than a fraud. Christianity is considered an idolatrous religion due to the statues of Jesus in churches, and the idea of a physical manifestation or son of God. (Islam is not seen as such, since it does not consider Mohammed as a deity, nor do they worship images of him.) Note that this is not a universal opinion; many medieval scholars did not consider Christianity idolatry, although that may have had something to do with the political climate.

to:

'''The Messiah''': The ''Mashiach'' (literally "Anointed One" as in the anointment of a king) is believed to be a descendant of King David, who will appear at the End of Days, heralded by Elijah the Prophet, to redeem the Jewish people, bring them all back to the Land of Israel, and build the Third Temple. What happens afterwards is the subject of extreme argument, even amongst classic Jewish sources, ranging from "more or less the same, but happier" to "the physical world will cease to be, everything will be spiritual". As for Jesus, most Jews see him as, at best, a great teacher like others before and after him; at worst, nothing more than a fraud. Christianity is considered an idolatrous religion due to the statues of Jesus in churches, and the idea of a physical manifestation or son of God. (Islam is not seen as such, since it does not consider Mohammed as a deity, nor do they worship images of him.) Note that this is not a universal opinion; many medieval scholars did not consider Christianity idolatry, although that may have had something to do with the political climate.
climate. The Mashiach is seen as completely human and not divine.
30th Dec '16 11:20:25 PM justanotherecho
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First, though, an introduction:

->'''Mordcha''': Why should I break my head about the outside world? Let them break their own heads.
->'''Tevye''': He's right. As the Good Book says, "If you spit in the air, it lands in your face."
->'''Perchik''': That's nonsense. You can't close your eyes to what's happening in the world.
->'''Tevye''': He's right.
->'''Avram''': He's right and he's right? How can they both be right?
->'''Tevye''': You know, you're also right.
-->--''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof''

Jews don't really have a central authority of any sort. Even in ancient times they practiced an impressive separation of powers: the king was responsible for the running of the secular side of things; rabbis and judges were in charge of religious decisions that often overruled the king; and priests were in charge of performing rituals in the temple but had no authority over religious doctrine. After the loss of the monarchy, the destruction of the temple, and the dissolution of the Sanhedrin [[note]]A Sanhedrin can refer to any assembly or gathering of rabbis to discuss theological issues; ''the'' Sanhedrin, in the definitive article, more or less fills the same role as the Vatican does in the Catholic Church in that it assembled the greatest and wisest Jewish scholars to discuss and agree upon Orthodoxy for the Jewish religion with near-universally recognized authority. It was disbanded in 358 AD by edict of the Eastern Roman Emperor after continued persecution. Several attempts have been made to reestablish the Sanhedrin with little success until 2004, when dozens of prominent Israeli rabbis formed what could best be described as a "placeholder" Sanhedrin, functioning at this point solely as a religious advisory council and not attempting to assume its traditional judicial or governmental powers until it acquires greater acceptance by the public.[[/note]], the closest thing to a central authority Jews had once the Diaspora took full force was made up of senior rabbis arguing until they could reach a consensus, or at least a compromise, which would eventually propagate to most Jewish communities by word-of-mouth. And those rabbis ''loved'' to argue. (As the saying goes, "Two Jews, three opinions!") So this entry will try to hit the highlights, especially the common portrayals of Jews in media, but it is by '''no means''' comprehensive, complete, or guaranteed to be accurate for any given Jew.


There are people who identify as ethnically Jewish (i.e. a descendant of the original Israelites, widely plausible due to the many massive diasporas Jews historically suffered) but do not practice Judaism as a religion, and may be agnostic or atheistic. This makes them no less Jewish, though; see the section on "who is Jewish" below. This is true for all branches of Judaism. Some Jewish atheists may continue to take part in religious customs due to a sense of community and tradition.

to:

First, though, an introduction:

->'''Mordcha''': Why should I break my head about the outside world? Let them break their own heads.
->'''Tevye''': He's right. As the Good Book says, "If you spit in the air, it lands in your face."
->'''Perchik''': That's nonsense. You can't close your eyes to what's happening in the world.
->'''Tevye''': He's right.
->'''Avram''': He's right and he's right? How can they both be right?
->'''Tevye''': You know, you're also right.
-->--''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof''

Jews don't really have a central authority of any sort. Even sort (being in ancient times they practiced an impressive separation of powers: the king was responsible diaspora for the running of the secular side of things; rabbis and judges were in charge of religious decisions 2000 years will do that often overruled the king; and priests were in charge of performing rituals in the temple but had no authority over religious doctrine. for you). After the loss of the monarchy, the destruction of the temple, and the dissolution of the Sanhedrin [[note]]A Sanhedrin can refer to any assembly or gathering of rabbis to discuss theological issues; ''the'' Sanhedrin, Temple in the definitive article, more or less fills the same role as the Vatican does in the Catholic Church in that it assembled the greatest and wisest Jewish scholars to discuss and agree upon Orthodoxy for the Jewish religion with near-universally recognized authority. It was disbanded in 358 AD by edict of the Eastern Roman Emperor after continued persecution. Several attempts have been made to reestablish the Sanhedrin with little success until 2004, when dozens of prominent Israeli rabbis formed what could best be described as a "placeholder" Sanhedrin, functioning at this point solely as a religious advisory council and not attempting to assume its traditional judicial or governmental powers until it acquires greater acceptance by the public.[[/note]], the 70—when diaspora began—the closest thing to a central authority Jews had once the Diaspora took full force was made up of senior rabbis arguing until they could reach a consensus, or at least a compromise, which would eventually propagate to most Jewish communities by word-of-mouth. And those rabbis ''loved'' to argue. (As the saying goes, "Two Jews, three opinions!") So this entry will try to hit the highlights, especially the common portrayals of Jews in media, but it is by '''no means''' comprehensive, complete, or guaranteed to be accurate for any given Jew.


There
Jew.

Making things more complicated, there
are people who identify as ethnically Jewish (i.e. a descendant of the original Israelites, widely plausible due to the many massive diasporas Jews historically suffered) but do not practice Judaism as a religion, and may be agnostic or atheistic. This makes them no less Jewish, though; see the section on "who is Jewish" below. This is true for all branches of Judaism. Some Jewish atheists may continue to take part in religious customs due to a sense of community and tradition.



90% of Jews in the United States are Ashkenazic Jews (Jews who lived in Eastern Europe during diaspora). The other major Jewish groups are Sephardic (from Spain) and Mizrahi (Arab), but Mizrahi and Sephardic traditions have merged. There are other, smaller groups, most famously the Cochin and Bene-Israel Jews of India, the Beta Israel of Ethiopia, and the vanishing Kaifeng Jewish community of Eastern China. ‘’Only Ashkenazic Jews have the “categories” of denominations most Americans are familiar with (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc.)’’

The variable of the Ashkenazic movements isn’t religiosity but how each movement views the binding nature of the various laws spread out in the Torah and elaborated on in the Talmud. In broad terms, Orthodox Jews are like Scalia and take an originalist perspective—the Torah and Talmud are normative and binding—while Conservative Jews are like Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—the Torah and Talmud are normative, but is “living”—and Reform Jews argue that the rules in the Torah and Talmud are guidelines. Reconstructionist Jews also take the guideline viewpoint, but believe that for the sake of Jewish culture, certain rituals should be preserved.



* ''Orthodox'': Orthodox (''"frum"'') Judaism is somewhat of an umbrella term. In general, Orthodoxy strictly interprets Jewish religious texts such as the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament for all you goyim out there), the Literature/{{Talmud}}, the Mishnah (sort of like commentary on the Torah), etc. This means that Orthodox families keep kosher, dress conservatively, and observe the Sabbath in accordance with some of the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments) that a Jew is supposed to follow. Despite its breadth of coverage on this page, the Orthodox are actually the smallest, if most dedicated, of the Jewish denominations. (Interestingly, in Israel all but a tiny handful of practicing Jews are Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) so the proportions are reversed from worldwide Judaism. Israel doesn't even recognize non-Orthodox religious rites, marriages, or conversions. The largest group of the Jews in Israel are Masorti'im, or Shomrei Masoret ("following tradition"). About a quarter are secular, although even they are known to follow certain mitzvas and celebrate certain holidays even if only for cultural reasons. Got that straight?) Orthodoxy has several sub-denominations, many of which are ill-defined, but which include:
** ''Haredim'': Literally "(God) fearing", Haredim are the most theologically conservative practitioners. If you see a Jewish man wearing a black suit with a black hat, a beard, side curls (payot), and fringes hanging from his shirt (a tallit worn under the clothing), he's probably (but not necessarily) Haredi. The term is generally used in Israel, but can apply to elsewhere as well. Haredim tend to be much more insular than others; they generally keep very tight-knit communities, refuse to consume non-Jewish media of any sort, and will usually work for each other as well.
** ''Hasidim'': Literally "pious", the term is used to describe a set of Orthodoxy which puts higher value on emotion, joy, and mysticism. There are dozens of Hasidic sects (such as Chabad Lubavitch, Ger, Satmar, etc.), most based out of Eastern Europe and named after the city they originated in. Most Hasidim fall under the Haredi banner, though some (especially Lubavitch) attract more modern adherents, and have large outreach organizations. Hasidim usually have one "Rebbe" which they hold in the highest regard, almost like an angel, and some sects (such as Breslev) become so attached to their Rebbe they refuse to appoint a successor after his death. They're the closest thing Judaism has to born-again Christianity, which might be why Music/BobDylan gravitated to Chabad Lubavitch after he became disenchanted with born-again Christianity.
** ''"Yeshivish" or "Litvish"'' Orthodox put a high value on Torah study and intellectualism. Although somewhat insular, they are not as "cultish" as Haredim. Often, Yeshivish men will devote themselves to full-time Torah study for several years or even their entire life. A ''yeshiva'' is a secondary or postsecondary institution for Torah study, and "Litvish" means "Lithuanian".

to:

* ''Orthodox'': Orthodox (''"frum"'') Judaism is somewhat of an umbrella term. In general, Orthodoxy strictly interprets Jewish religious texts such as the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament for all you goyim out there), Testament), the Literature/{{Talmud}}, the Mishnah (sort of like commentary (commentary on the Torah), etc. This means that Orthodox Jews believe these rules are binding: Orthodox families keep kosher, dress conservatively, keep the family purity laws, and observe the Sabbath in accordance with some of the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments) that a Jew is supposed to follow. Shabbat. Despite its breadth of coverage on this page, the Orthodox are actually the smallest, if most dedicated, smallest (though growing due to high birth rates) of the Jewish denominations. (Interestingly, in Israel all but a tiny handful of practicing Jews are movements. All Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) so the proportions are reversed from worldwide Judaism. Israel doesn't even recognize non-Orthodox religious rites, marriages, or conversions. The largest group of the Jews in Israel are Masorti'im, or Shomrei Masoret ("following tradition"). About a quarter are secular, although even they are known to follow certain mitzvas synagogues separate men and celebrate certain holidays even if only for cultural reasons. Got that straight?) women during prayers. Orthodoxy has several sub-denominations, many of which are ill-defined, but which include:
such as:
** ''Haredim'': Literally "(God) fearing", Haredim are the most theologically conservative practitioners. If you see a Jewish man wearing a black suit with a black hat, a beard, side curls (payot), and fringes hanging from his shirt (a tallit worn under the clothing), he's probably (but not necessarily) Haredi. The term is generally used in Israel, but can apply to elsewhere as well. Haredim tend to be much more insular than others; they generally keep very tight-knit communities, refuse to consume non-Jewish media of any sort, and will usually work for each other as well.
well. If you’ve wandered around Borough Park, many of these Jews are Haredim.
** ''Hasidim'': Literally "pious", the term is used to describe a set of Orthodoxy which puts higher value on emotion, joy, and mysticism. There are dozens of Hasidic sects (such as Chabad Lubavitch, Ger, Satmar, etc.), most based out of Eastern Europe and named after the city they originated in. Most Hasidim fall under the Haredi banner, though some (especially Lubavitch) attract more modern adherents, and have large outreach organizations.organizations (“Chabad” is one such organization). Hasidim usually have one "Rebbe" which they hold in the highest regard, almost like an angel, and some sects (such as Breslev) become so attached to their Rebbe they refuse to appoint a successor after his death. They're the closest thing Judaism has to born-again Christianity, which might be why Music/BobDylan gravitated to Chabad Lubavitch after he became disenchanted with born-again Christianity.
** ''"Yeshivish" or "Litvish"'' ''"Yeshivish"” Orthodox put a high value on Torah study can be seen as the midpoint between Haredim and intellectualism.Modern Orthodox Jews (see below). Although somewhat insular, they are not as "cultish" as Haredim. Often, Yeshivish men will devote themselves to full-time Torah study for several years or even their entire life. A ''yeshiva'' is Yeshivish also refers to the type of English many of the men speak, a secondary or postsecondary institution for Torah study, mix of Biblical Hebrew and "Litvish" means "Lithuanian".English.



* ''Conservative'': Considers itself a happy medium between the very conservative Orthodoxy and the more liberal sects. The name originates from having split off from Reform Judaism when they felt Reform was abandoning too much of the tradition - hence the paradoxical name in the eyes of the Orthodox. They hold that the rabbinical rulings based on the holy texts should be modified when their basis has changed in modern times - basically meaning whenever they feel a religious law gets totally ridiculous. This form of Judaism is more prevalent in the US. Probably the broadest in terms of how closely its members follow Mitzvot (commandments). Conservative Judaism has fuzzy boundaries with Orthodox Judaism on the "right" and Reform Judaism on the "left".
* ''Reform'': One of the most liberal of the Jewish denominations, tending to stress moral teachings and downplay rituals. Your average American Jew is likely to be of this denomination; Reform is more "loose" with restrictions and how one follows Mitzvot (although Conservative Judaism is, according the TheOtherWiki, a close second). Many Reform Jews do not keep kosher or observe the Sabbath, seeing it as more of a suggestion rather than absolute law. There are different levels of Reform, and which (if any) rabbinical restrictions one keeps is usually reliant on the temple.
* ''Reconstructionist'': A movement developed in the United States in the 1920s and 30s when a Rabbi named Mordecai Kaplan felt that Judaism must be reconciled with the modern world. Reconstructionist Judaism is ''much'' more liberal than Orthodox Judaism, and many followers of Reconstructionist Judaism are Deists or have a more Kabbalah-style view of God. However, Reconstructionists CAN be more conservative than Reform Jews: often times in Reconstructionism one is supposed to observe Jewish law and custom as much as one possibly can. Reconstructionism is also the origin of concepts like "eko kashrut," wherein traditional Jewish dietary law is modified to take into account issues of environmentalism and social justice.
* Some Jews simply call themselves "observant", without committing to a denomination, and some synagogues are unaffiliated with any movement or denomination. Others consider themselves a mix of denominations (such as "Conservadox" or "Reformadox") and pick the bits of each denomination that appeals to them. Often, when there's only one synagogue in town or in a geographic area, it ends up in a mish-mash of all of the non-Orthodox denominations
* ''Noachides'': Also called Noahides. These are gentiles who follow the universal laws (often called the 'Noachide laws') and are often connected to one of the Hasidic groups who openly teach and welcome this group (such as Chabad Lubavitch and Breslev). This group is very small with few communities outside of the internet.

to:

**””Sephardic”” Judaism is predominately Orthodox. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews do not fit into these neat boundaries; they prefer to use terms such as “observant” or “traditionalist.”
**””Open Orthodox”” is a mostly New York and Chicago phenomenon. Modern Orthodox Jews are still Orthodox, and for reasons too complicated to detail here, Modern Orthodox Jews do not ordain women or count women towards prayer; Open Orthodoxy does. It is a relatively recent phenomenon started by an Orthodox rabbi who, among many things, [[http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.666064 supports (though does not perform) same-sex marriage]]. It differentiates itself from Conservative Judaism because it (1) believes, like all Orthodox Jews, that the Torah and Oral Laws were given from God to the Jews at Mt. Sinai and (2) requires strict adherence to Jewish law (conservative Judaism technically does, but not all conservative Jews—or even many—follow this). The Open Orthodox rabbinical school ordains women, which the Modern Orthodox school strongly condemned and has held that synagogues accepting rabbis educated at the Open Orthodox school will be removed from the Union for Orthodox Judaism.
* ''Conservative'': Considers itself a happy medium between the very conservative Orthodoxy and the more liberal sects. The name originates from having split off from Reform Conservative Judaism when they felt Reform was abandoning too much of the tradition - hence the paradoxical name in the eyes of the Orthodox. They hold believes that the rabbinical rulings based on the holy texts should be modified when their basis has changed in modern times - basically meaning whenever they feel a religious Jewish law gets totally ridiculous. This form of Judaism is binding, but takes a more prevalent in “living constitution” approach to adapt to modernity. For example, Conservative Jewish rabbis have held that driving on Shabbat—an activity all Orthodox rabbis prohibit—is permissible if that is the US. only way someone can attend synagogue. Conservative Jews also ordain women and have non-gender-segregated services. Probably the broadest in terms of how closely its members follow Mitzvot (commandments). (commandments): on the “right,” Conservative Judaism has fuzzy boundaries with Jews will resemble Modern Orthodox Judaism Jews though they may be looser in keeping kosher; on the "right" and Reform Judaism on the "left".
* ''Reform'': One
“left,” they may be indistinguishable from Reform. Open Orthodoxy, because it ordains women, has been frequently accused of the most liberal of the Jewish denominations, tending to stress moral teachings and downplay rituals. Your average American Jew is likely to be of this denomination; Reform is more "loose" with restrictions and how one follows Mitzvot (although being truly Conservative Judaism is, according the TheOtherWiki, a close second). Many Reform Jews do not keep kosher or observe the Sabbath, seeing (whether this is true is up for debate; it is included as more of a suggestion rather than absolute law. There are different levels of Reform, and which (if any) rabbinical restrictions one keeps Orthodox because that is usually reliant on the temple.
*
what it identifies as).
**
''Reconstructionist'': A movement developed in the United States in the 1920s and 30s when a Rabbi named Mordecai Kaplan felt that Judaism must be reconciled with the modern world. Reconstructionist Judaism is ''much'' more liberal than Orthodox Judaism, and many followers of Reconstructionist Judaism are Deists or have a more Kabbalah-style view of God. However, Reconstructionists CAN be more conservative than Reform Jews: often times in Reconstructionism one is supposed to observe Jewish law and custom as much as one possibly can. Reconstructionism is also the origin of concepts like "eko kashrut," wherein traditional Jewish dietary law is modified to take into account issues of environmentalism and social justice.
* Some Jews simply call themselves "observant", without committing ''Reform'': One of the most liberal of the Jewish denominations, tending to a denomination, stress moral teachings and some synagogues are unaffiliated downplay rituals. Classical Reform Judaism argued that Jewish laws were subjective and nonbinding and did as much as possible to rid Judaism of its “weirdness,” eschewing Hebrew, bar mitzvahs, kashrut, and the laws of family purity, but by the 1940s, Reform Judaism (along with any movement all forms of Judaism) swung right. Your average educated Reform Jew will know how to read Hebrew (if merely poorly), had a bar or denomination. Others consider themselves bat mitzvah, regularly attends a mix of denominations (such as "Conservadox" or "Reformadox") Seder, and pick the bits of each denomination that appeals to them. Often, when there's only one at least grew up attending synagogue in town on major holidays. Most, but not all, Reform Jews do not keep kosher or in a geographic area, it ends up in a mish-mash of all of the non-Orthodox denominations
observe Shabbat prohibitions. Using “Reform” to mean “secular” is incorrect.
* ''Noachides'': Also called Noahides. These are gentiles who follow the universal laws (often called the 'Noachide laws') and are often connected to one of the Hasidic groups who openly teach and welcome this group (such as Chabad Lubavitch and Breslev).Chabad). This group is very small with few communities outside of the internet.




Israel (the other major center of Jewish population, having just overtaken the United States) has a rather different religious distribution - most people are secular, Mesorati ("traditional", literally - basically a traditional Mizrahi/Sephardi religiosity that doesn't go to the extremes of Orthodoxy), Dati-Leumi ("national religious" - basically the equivalent of the more religious portion within Modern Orthodox) or hard-line Orthodox. The Reform movement is generally regarded, even by secular Jews, as "[[NoTrueScotsman not really Jewish]]", while the Conservative movement (under the name Masorti - also meaning "traditional", just with slightly different pronunciation) is trying hard to make inroads, and having moderate success.

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\n* “Karaite”: this very, very small sect of Judaism does not follow Rabbinic Law (they follow the rules as outlined in the Torah, not as interpreted and expanded on in the Talmud). For some reason, when atheists criticize Judaism, they seem to assume that Jews are Karaite Jews.

The movements in
Israel (the other major center of Jewish population, having just overtaken are similar. After the United States) has a rather different religious distribution - most people large population of Haredi Jews, there are secular, Mesorati ("traditional", literally - basically a traditional Mizrahi/Sephardi religiosity that doesn't go to the extremes of Orthodoxy), two Orthodox movements (Mesorati, “traditional,” or Mizrahi/Sephardic) and Dati-Leumi ("national religious" - (“national religious” or “religious Zionists,” basically the equivalent of the more religious portion within of Modern Orthodox) or hard-line Orthodox. Orthodox). The Reform movement is generally regarded, even by secular Jews, as "[[NoTrueScotsman not really Jewish]]", while non-Orthodox movements are stifled in their ability to succeed in Israel because the Conservative movement (under the name Masorti - also meaning "traditional", just with slightly different pronunciation) is trying hard to make inroads, and having moderate success.
Israeli Rabbinate—the counsel of Rabbis that sets Israel’s Jewish laws—is extremely Orthodox.



In discussing the religious aspects of Judaism, it is most instructive to deal with Orthodox Judaism, which is the most conservative and traditional of the types of Judaism; more recent groups have less structured coherence in their beliefs and are still arguing about many things (such as gay marriage). In any case, one could define the other groups by which bits of Orthodoxy they ''don't'' keep.



* ''Kashrut'', a set of dietary restrictions. The most famous part of this is the banning of pork and shellfish - this is because each animal in the world is defined as 'kosher' or 'not kosher' depending on some physical characteristics: mammals need to chew their cud and have split hooves, fish need fins and scales. Nevertheless, there are myriad laws involved in it, including a very rigorous method of slaughtering animals known as ''shechitah'', and the separation of milk and meat (commonly including a wait of several hours after eating meat before eating any dairy products, and a shorter period for the reverse). This separation goes far beyond merely not eating them at the same time or in the same meal; Orthodox households generally have two sets of dishes, two sets of silverware, two ovens, and two sinks, one each for milk and meat - and this can, depending on religious observance, extend to two countertops, two tablecloths or placemats, two microwaves, two sinks, or in some very extreme and very rich households, two ''kitchens''.

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* ''Kashrut'', a set of dietary restrictions. The most famous part of this is the banning of pork and shellfish - this is because each and not mixing meat and dairy. Even once an animal is kosher, it must be killed in the world is defined as 'kosher' or 'not kosher' depending on some physical characteristics: mammals need to chew their cud and have split hooves, fish need fins and scales. Nevertheless, there are myriad laws involved in it, including a very rigorous kosher manner (a method of slaughtering animals known used to reduce pain as ''shechitah'', much as possible) and “koshered,” or have the blood removed (blood isn’t kosher). The separation of milk and meat (commonly including a wait of several hours after eating meat before eating any dairy products, and a shorter period for the reverse). This separation goes far beyond merely not eating them at the same time or in the same meal; Orthodox having pepperoni pizza: kosher households generally have two sets of dishes, dishes and two sets of silverware, silverware (one for dairy and one for meat) and may have two ovens, ovens and two sinks, one each sinks (if they don’t, they will follow specific rules for milk and meat - and this can, depending on religious observance, extend cleaning between use). In certain extremes, a kitchen may go so far to have two countertops, two tablecloths or placemats, two microwaves, two sinks, or in some very extreme and very rich households, two ''kitchens''.separate placemats and napkins.



* Keeping the Sabbath day (known as ''Shabbat'' or ''Shabbos'' depending on one's pronunciation), which always lasts from Friday sunset to Saturday about an hour after sunset ("when you can see three stars"). Although the Sabbath is a joyous and holy day, there are all sorts of things that are prohibited to Orthodox Jews on the Sabbath, all of which fall under the category of "melacha", commonly (mis)translated as "work". Melacha is a set of thirty-nine categories of behavior that include anything to do with business as well as such mundane things as dragging tables through grass (as it's similar to ploughing) all the way up to practically anything to do with electricity, such as flicking light switches or operating cars. By most definitions, soldiers and emergency service personnel on duty are exempt from these strictures. Enterprising modern Jews have found [[http://www.kosherimage.com/ ingenious ways around some of these strictures]], though. Most major holidays have most of the same restrictions. Note that if someone's life is in danger, all Jewish laws of any sort are waived as much as necessary.
** Some refrigerators includes a "Sabbath Mode" as part of its onboard features - engage it and the onboard touchscreen will not respond to any commands until you press a predetermined sequence of buttons to bring up an option to exit Sabbath Mode. Some ovens also include a "Sabbath Mode" which simply heats the oven to a particular temperature and maintains it until the mode is disengaged.
** The Shabbat Elevator is prevalent in hotels around Israel, and other multi-storied buildings that are likely to be frequented by a large number of observant Jews on a Saturday. A Shabbat Elevator runs by itself, visiting each and every floor. There have been recent attempts by several (mostly Haredi) authorities to ban the use of these elevators as sacrilegious. They didn't work.
** Although the discussion of Shabbat in the Torah refers to the seventh day of the week, Sunday is often treated as the Sabbath by Christians. This was not always the case: though early Christians did break with many Jewish traditions, they too believed in honoring the Sabbath on Saturdays. (Indeed, they changed things up in an attempt to honor the Sabbath *more*.) Sunday was thought of as the "Lord's Day"--the day Jesus had risen, and thus the most holy day. Over time, the practice of honoring two days was more or less lost, and many Sabbath traditions were moved to Sunday. So, some Christians make efforts to apply the commandment about "keeping the sabbath day holy" on Sunday by trying not to work on Sunday and spending time worshipping or relaxing with family and friends. Needless to say, few if any Christians observe all the Sabbath-related mitzvot as an Orthodox Jew would. Whether or not Christians are supposed to observe all the Jewish mitzvot is a whole other question (early Christians, incidentally, decided that Jews who became Christian still did, but Gentiles who became Christian did not).

* A lunar/solar calendar. The year is divided into 12 months. While in the earlier texts of the Bible these are just called first month, second month, etc., they were given Babylonian names when pretty much the entire Jewish population was deported there in 597-538 BCE. A year is therefore approximately 11 days shorter than the 365-day solar year (it's +/-1 because of all sorts of complications). However, because several holidays are tied into to the growing seasons and harvests, every few years (seven times every nineteen years, yes it's complicated) a "leap month" is added to the end to keep the the holidays in the same season. The Jewish year is marked from the supposed date of Creation and can be found by adding 3760 to the Gregorian year (so 2009 becomes 5769). The year begins on Rosh Hashana (see below), which falls out in September or October, so the first three or four months of 5769 were in 2008. Every 19 years the Jewish and secular calendars (approximately) meet, such that one's birthday in each calendar are usually only on the same day every 19 years.
** Judaism also believes that each day begins at sunset, rather than at midnight, based on the verse "and there was evening and there was morning" that describes each day of creation.

* Praying three times a day, though this was instituted in the early centuries CE after the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of animal sacrifices. Men are traditionally supposed to pray with a group of at least ten men (a ''minyan''). Men wear ''tefillin'' (black boxes with leather straps) on their heads and arms, and wrap themselves in a white ''tallit'' (prayer shawl) for morning prayers only. In all types of Judaism except Orthodox Judaism (and occasionally in Modern Orthodox Judaism) women wear tefillin and prayer shawls also.
** Orthodox ''shuls'' are practical affairs; there are prayer leaders, but most prayers are silent, especially during the week. Prayers are all in Hebrew, except for the rare Aramaic segment. All positions of importance are given to men, except the President of the synagogue and a few members of the executive board may occasionally be women. Non-Orthodox congregations mix things up somewhat, with more church-like performances, choirs, elaborate ''chazzanut'', audio equipment, etc., and allow female cantors (also called hazzanim) and rabbis, which the Orthodox do not allow.
* For women (and men), modesty is important; women have clothing that covers knees and elbows. Married women cover their hair, though many wear ''sheitels'' (wigs), some of which look better than the original hair did (whether this follows the rules is controversial). Men and women (excepting spouses and offspring/ancestors) are forbidden from even casual touching, like shaking hands, and women are forbidden from singing within earshot of men. This is one of the first things to go as one follows the continuum left of Orthodoxy.
** Amongst Orthodox Jews, marriage is generally done via a ''shadchan'', or matchmaker, who connects the two singles. They go on several dates and decide if they want to marry each other. Dating and engagements are very short (often going less than four months from first meeting to marriage) and amongst Hasidim, there may be only one or two dates before the decision is made. Divorce is seen as unfortunate and to be avoided, but is far from rare, and was never considered taboo.
** As one follow the continuum right into extreme/fringe Orthodoxy, modesty becomes a common justification for sexist practices that don't have a real basis in Jewish law or tradition. For instance, modesty has at some time been cited as a reason why women shouldn't drive, hold public office, supervise commercial kosher food preparation, serve in the army, or do any number of other things even Orthodox Judaism doesn't expressly forbid them from doing. These arguments are generally made by small pockets of Israeli Orthodoxy and most are condemned even by those known as "ultra-Orthodox" in the West.

to:

* Keeping the Sabbath day (known as ''Shabbat'' or ''Shabbos'' depending on one's pronunciation), Shabbat (“the Sabbath” in English; “Shabbos” in Yiddish), which always lasts from Friday sunset to Saturday about an hour after sunset ("when you can see three stars"). Although the Sabbath is a joyous and holy day, there are all sorts of things that Jews are prohibited to Orthodox Jews on the Sabbath, all of which fall under the category of "melacha", commonly (mis)translated from doing “melacha” (commonly mistranslated as "work".“work”). Melacha is a set of thirty-nine categories of behavior that include anything to do with business as well as such mundane things as dragging tables through grass (as it's similar to ploughing) all the way up to practically anything to do with electricity, such as flicking light switches or operating cars. By most definitions, soldiers and emergency service personnel on duty are exempt from these strictures. Enterprising modern Jews have found [[http://www.kosherimage.com/ ingenious ways around some of these strictures]], though. Most major holidays have most of the same restrictions. Note that if someone's life is in danger, all Jewish laws of any sort are waived as much as necessary.

* Laws of Family Purity: while Christianity prohibits premarital sex and places virginity on a pedestal, Orthodox Judaism (and very observant Conservative Judaism) prohibits even touching between opposite genders unless married or closely related. This is why that Orthodox man didn’t shake your hand last week and instead did a jaunty little wave. In addition to this rule (“negia”), married Jews are supposed to observe rules of marital purity: from the first day of a woman’s menstrual period until seven days after it ends (in Conservative Judaism, it is seven days after the first day of her period, unless her period lasts longer), the woman is “niddah.” The couple will not touch, sleep in the same bed, or even hand things directly to each other until the period ends and she goes to a mikvah, a ritual pool. According to the Chabad rabbis attempting to make Jews more observant, marital purity laws are what keep the spice in a Jewish relationship.

** Some refrigerators includes a "Sabbath Mode" as part of its onboard features - engage it **With regards to sex and relationships overall—Judaism is a very liberal religion. Sex without reproduction is encouraged, and prohibitions on birth control focus more on the onboard touchscreen will method (i.e. whether a condom or birth control) than the result. A fetus is a potential life, not respond to any commands until you press a predetermined sequence of buttons to bring up an option to exit Sabbath Mode. Some ovens also include a "Sabbath Mode" which simply heats actual life, and abortion is not only allowed but required when the oven to a particular temperature and maintains it until the mode is disengaged.
** The Shabbat Elevator is prevalent in hotels around Israel, and other multi-storied buildings that are likely to be frequented by a large number of observant Jews on a Saturday. A Shabbat Elevator runs by itself, visiting each and every floor. There have been recent attempts by several (mostly Haredi) authorities to ban the use of these elevators as sacrilegious. They didn't work.
** Although the discussion of Shabbat in the Torah refers to the seventh day
life of the week, Sunday mother is often treated as in danger. The vast, vast majority of rabbis allow abortion for the Sabbath by Christians. This was not health (mental or physical) of the mother as well. Furthermore, Judaism has strict rules regarding consent within a marriage and has always the case: though early Christians did break with many Jewish traditions, they too believed in honoring the Sabbath on Saturdays. (Indeed, they changed things up in an attempt to honor the Sabbath *more*.) Sunday was thought allowed for divorce by reason of as the "Lord's Day"--the day Jesus had risen, and thus the most holy day. Over time, the practice of honoring two days was more or less lost, and many Sabbath traditions were moved to Sunday. So, some Christians make efforts to apply the commandment about "keeping the sabbath day holy" on Sunday by trying not to work on Sunday and spending time worshipping or relaxing with family and friends. Needless to say, few if any Christians observe all the Sabbath-related mitzvot as an incompatibility.
** Amongst
Orthodox Jew would. Whether Jews, marriage is generally done via a ''shadchan'', or not Christians are supposed to observe all matchmaker, who connects the Jewish mitzvot is a whole other question (early Christians, incidentally, decided that Jews who became Christian still did, but Gentiles who became Christian did not).

* A lunar/solar calendar. The year is divided into 12 months. While in the earlier texts of the Bible these are just called first month, second month, etc., they were given Babylonian names when pretty much the entire Jewish population was deported there in 597-538 BCE. A year is therefore approximately 11 days shorter than the 365-day solar year (it's +/-1 because of all sorts of complications). However, because
two singles. They go on several holidays dates and decide if they want to marry each other. Dating and engagements are tied into to the growing seasons and harvests, every few years (seven times every nineteen years, yes it's complicated) a "leap month" is added to the end to keep the the holidays in the same season. The Jewish year is marked from the supposed date of Creation and can be found by adding 3760 to the Gregorian year (so 2009 becomes 5769). The year begins on Rosh Hashana (see below), which falls out in September or October, so the first three or very short (often going less than four months of 5769 were in 2008. Every 19 years from first meeting to marriage) and amongst Hasidim, there may be only one or two dates before the decision is made.
** As one follow the continuum right into extreme/fringe Orthodoxy, modesty becomes a common justification for sexist practices that don't have a real basis in
Jewish and secular calendars (approximately) meet, such that one's birthday in each calendar are usually only on the same day every 19 years.
** Judaism also believes that each day begins at sunset, rather than at midnight, based on the verse "and there was evening and there was morning" that describes each day of creation.

law or tradition.

* Praying three times a day, though this was instituted in the early centuries CE after the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of animal sacrifices. Men are traditionally supposed to pray with a group of at least ten men (a ''minyan''). Men wear ''tefillin'' (black boxes with leather straps) on their heads and arms, and wrap themselves in a white ''tallit'' (prayer shawl) for morning prayers only. In all types of Judaism except Orthodox Judaism (and occasionally in Modern Orthodox Judaism) Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, women wear tefillin and prayer shawls also.
tallit as well; Reform Judaism generally doesn’t use tefillin.
** Orthodox ''shuls'' are practical affairs; there are prayer leaders, but most prayers are silent, especially during the week. Prayers are all in Hebrew, except for the rare Aramaic segment. All positions of importance are given to men, except the President of the synagogue and a few members of the executive board may occasionally be women. Non-Orthodox congregations mix things up somewhat, with more church-like performances, choirs, elaborate ''chazzanut'', audio equipment, etc., and allow female cantors (also called hazzanim) and rabbis, which the Orthodox do not allow.
* For ** The reason women (and men), modesty is important; women have clothing that covers knees and elbows. Married women cover their hair, though many don’t wear ''sheitels'' (wigs), some of which look better than the original hair did (whether this follows the rules tefillin is controversial). Men and women (excepting spouses and offspring/ancestors) are forbidden from even casual touching, like shaking hands, and because women are forbidden exempt from singing within earshot of men. This is one of all time-bound (and only time-bound) commandments, the first things to go argument being that women traditionally ended up stuck as one follows the continuum left of Orthodoxy.
** Amongst
primary caregiver, and while men can re-arrange their work schedule for prayer, women can’t re-arrange when their screaming child wants dinner. In Orthodox Jews, marriage is generally done via a ''shadchan'', or matchmaker, who connects Judaism, the two singles. They go on several dates and decide if fact that women aren’t required to do certain commandments was interpreted as meaning that they want to marry each other. Dating do not count as completing these commandments; for this reason, in Orthodox Judaism, women do not count towards the minimum number of attendees for prayer. Conservative and engagements are very short (often going less than four months from first meeting to marriage) and amongst Hasidim, there may be only one or two dates before the decision is made. Divorce is seen as unfortunate and to be avoided, but is far from rare, and was never considered taboo.
** As one follow the continuum right into extreme/fringe Orthodoxy, modesty becomes a common justification for sexist practices that don't have a real basis in
Reform Judaism do not interpret Jewish law or tradition. For instance, modesty has at some time been cited as a reason why women shouldn't drive, hold public office, supervise commercial kosher food preparation, serve in the army, or do any number of other things even Orthodox Judaism doesn't expressly forbid them from doing. These arguments are generally made by small pockets of Israeli Orthodoxy and most are condemned even by those known as "ultra-Orthodox" in the West.this way.



* Judaism does not encourage non-Jews to convert to it, unlike many other religions (in particular Christianity),although any sincere convert will be accepted. Traditionally any convert will be refused three times before being allowed to proceed. Conversion usually happens after a long period of study, although the actual process depends on what branch of Judaism you are converting in to, or whether the conversion is a formality--for instance if you are the child of a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father who was raised Jewish and you want to cover all your bases, or from a religious group of possible but not certain Jewish ancestry like Ethiopian Jews. Any convert should be treated as if they were born Jewish, although this does not always happen. There is also something called ''kiruv'' which is essentially an Orthodox Jewish attempt to get secular Jews to "convert" to Orthodox Judaism, which the Chabad Lubavitch movement in particular is passionate about.

to:

* Judaism does not encourage non-Jews to convert to it, unlike many other religions (in particular Christianity),although Christianity), although any sincere convert will be accepted. Traditionally any convert will be refused three times before being allowed to proceed. Conversion usually happens after a long period of study, although the actual process depends on what branch of Judaism you are converting in to, or whether the conversion is a formality--for instance if you are the child of a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father who was raised Jewish and you want to cover all your bases, or from a religious group of possible but not certain Jewish ancestry like Ethiopian Jews. Any convert should be treated as if they were born Jewish, although this does not always happen. There is also something called ''kiruv'' which is essentially an Orthodox Jewish attempt to get secular Jews to "convert" to Orthodox Judaism, which the Chabad Lubavitch movement in particular is passionate about.study.
* There is also something called ''kiruv'' which is essentially an Orthodox Jewish attempt to get Jews to "convert" to Orthodox Judaism, which the Chabad Lubavitch movement in particular is passionate about.



'''Reward and Afterlife''': While Jewish thought certainly includes spiritual reward and punishment, an important saying in Tractate Avoth urges its adherents not to do things for the reward, but simply because it's God's will. When looking at the Bible iself, no afterlife is mentioned: the Garden of Eden is a place from which humans were eternally banned. Over the centuries, from the Mishna and the Talmund and on, the ideas of Heaven and Hell started appearing (in correlation with Christian thought). It should be remarked that over the last few decades (a century at most) Haredi rabbis began incorporating eternal hell into their threat system. There is a character called Ha'Satan (Hebrew for "the Adversary") but he is generally identical to the Evil Inclination - a tempter, not a fallen angel or leader of Hell. In the visualization of Man's Final Judgment, Satan is the prosecuting attorney. He is balanced by the Good Inclination. Note that many rabbis, such as Maimonides, see these as metaphorical for internal struggle rather than actual spiritual beings.

to:

'''Reward and Afterlife''': While Jewish thought certainly includes spiritual reward and punishment, an important saying in Tractate Avoth urges its adherents Jews are not encouraged to meet commandments for reward but instead to do things for the reward, but so simply because it's God's will. When looking at the Bible iself, no afterlife is mentioned: the Garden of Eden is a place from which humans were eternally banned. Over the centuries, from the Mishna and the Talmund and on, the some ideas of Heaven an afterlife began to emerge, and Hell started appearing (in correlation with Christian thought). It should be remarked that over very recently (within the last few decades (a century at most) century), some Haredi rabbis began incorporating eternal hell into their threat system. There is a character called Ha'Satan (Hebrew for "the Adversary") but he is generally identical to the Evil Inclination - a tempter, not a fallen angel or leader of Hell. In the visualization of Man's Final Judgment, Satan is the prosecuting attorney. He is balanced by the Good Inclination. Note that many rabbis, such as Maimonides, see these as metaphorical for internal struggle rather than actual spiritual beings.
system.



'''Racial Judaism''' is the least interesting one. There are Jews everywhere, and probably of every racial group, whatever "race" means, since scientists never really defined it; usually racial schemes with more than [[RuleOfThree three races]] include at least one with no Jews before 1492. Note that Jews of any race have DNA more like the locals than like other Jews, but there is a Y chromosome, called the Cohen Modal Haplotype, typical of Jews of particular family lines; the Ashkenazi names are Cohen, Cohn, and Kahn. Mass sampling DNA analysis has recently confirmed [[http://www.livescience.com/47755-european-jews-are-30th-cousins.html that almost if not all European Jews have common ancestors within the past 30 generations.]]

to:

'''Racial Judaism''' is the least interesting one. There are Jews everywhere, and probably of every racial group, whatever "race" means, since scientists never really defined it; usually racial schemes with more than [[RuleOfThree three races]] include at least one with no Jews before 1492. Note Genetic studies have confirmed that Ashkenazic Jews of any race have DNA more like the locals than like other Jews, but there is a Y chromosome, called the Cohen Modal Haplotype, typical of are most related to Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews of particular family lines; the Ashkenazi names are Cohen, Cohn, and Kahn.Palestinian Muslims. Mass sampling DNA analysis has recently confirmed [[http://www.livescience.com/47755-european-jews-are-30th-cousins.html that almost if not all European Jews have common ancestors within the past 30 generations.]]



As long as we're at it, let's note that the other major divisions are the Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. Originally just applied to Jews descended from those exiled from Spain, Sephardic now means Mediterranean Jews. Meanwhile the Mizrahi were those Jews that remained in the Middle East or moved to Central Asia after the diaspora. The two groups tend to practice very similar rituals, and are often grouped together under the Sephardic label despite their different origins. There are other, smaller groups, most famously the Cochin and Bene-Israel Jews of India, the Beta Israel of Ethiopia, and the vanishing Kaifeng Jewish community of Eastern China.



* The Yiddish word for "Jew" is, in fact, ''Yid'' (from the Hebrew "Yehudi"); "Yiddish" is just the Yiddish word for "Jewish". But the word "Yid" is almost always considered offensive in English--though people with a Yiddish-language background (mainly Hasidim) will often use it.

to:

* The Yiddish word for "Jew" is, in fact, ''Yid'' (from the Hebrew "Yehudi"); "Yiddish" is just the Yiddish word for "Jewish". But the word "Yid" is almost always considered offensive in English--though people with a Yiddish-language background (mainly Hasidim) will often use it.

A final quick note: asking every Jewish person you meet what their opinion is on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, or expecting every Jewish person to have an opinion, is rude at best.
26th Dec '16 6:53:38 PM bedrockperson
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Added DiffLines:

Also thrown into the mix are what are known as 'ethnic Jews'. Ethnic Jews are those who are descendants of the original Jewish population - the Israelites. As covered later in this article, at two points in history, the entire Jewish population was expelled from Israel and were forced to resettle worldwide. The major Jewish cultural centers (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Mizrahi, etc.) all began as a coalesced community of exiled Israelites that settled in a certain part of the world and had children with the area's native inhabitants, giving birth lineages that encompass most of modern Jews. Most Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Mizrahi Jews are indeed ethnic Jews, however those who converted from another religion into Judaism in these areas are also recorded in the overall count, so having family members in the cultural sphere doesn't necessarily mean you have ethnic Jewish ties.
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