Diff. between Haredi, Hasidic & Orthodox Judaism?

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Haredi, Hasidic, and Orthodox Judaism are different religious movements within the Jewish faith. Haredi is a subset of Orthodox, and Hasidic is a further subset of Haredi. All three agree on the importance of God’s word and laws, but differ in specific beliefs and degree of adherence. Orthodox Jews believe in strict interpretation and observance of the Torah, while Reform Jews focus on ethical monotheism. Haredi Jews integrate Torah teachings into modern life, while Hasidic Jews focus on spiritual and joyful elements of the Talmud.

Haredi Judaism, Hasidic Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism are all names for different religious movements within the Jewish faith. The three can be seen as a family, with Haredi Judaism existing as a subset of Orthodox Judaism and Hasidic Judaism existing as a further subset of the subset. The difference is really one of specific beliefs and a matter of degree, rather than any broad generalization. All three sects agree on the importance of God’s word and laws, but choose to adhere to those laws in slightly different ways.

Orthodox Judaism is largely defined by the firm belief that the Torah and the laws contained therein are of divine authority and therefore should be subject to strict interpretation and observance. Members believe that the Torah includes the laws that will govern God’s covenant with the Children of Israel. Orthodox Judaism is a broad branch of Judaism and, until recently, most Jews could be said to be Orthodox.

It was not until the Reform movement that large numbers of Jews turned away from the more traditional Orthodox teachings. Reform Jews, who focus on the concept of ethical monotheism, believe that only the ethical laws of the Torah are binding. Furthermore, they believe that other laws, such as those of the Talmud, were products of their time and place, and therefore need not be treated as absolute.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Orthodox movement itself underwent some changes. More recent Orthodox Jews have sought to integrate Torah teachings into modern life, making some concessions and adjustments to better integrate with contemporary technologies and practices. At the same time, other Orthodox Jews have rejected most modern movements and have looked warily at any reinterpretation of Jewish law to fit a modern context.

These “ultra-Orthodox” Jews came to be known as Haredi Jews, although both of these terms are considered negative in some circles. The term is also sometimes spelled Charedi or Chareidi in English. It is important to note that members of this group do not completely reject the modern world or technologies, but take the adaptations of Jewish law to fit that world very seriously. Most of the differences between the Haredi and Orthodox perspectives have to do with oral law decisions about how the Torah should be applied to a modern situation. In many ways, the two groups tend to agree, and it’s more specifically that things start to diverge.

Hasidic Judaism is a movement within Haredi Judaism that focuses on the study of the spiritual and joyful elements of the Talmud. It has its roots in the anti-Kabbalah movements of the 13th century. Hasidim focus on a loving and joyful observance of the laws laid down in the Torah and an unbounded love for all that God has created. Members live in separate small communities and are often noted for their distinctive dress.
This movement started in the 18th century by Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, later known as the Baal Shem Tov, the Teacher of the Good Name. Hasidic Judaism sets aside the previous emphasis on studying Torah from an academic perspective, and instead exalts the experience of it at all times. Within the movement are a number of sects, including Satmar, Belz, Ger, Sanz, Puppa, Spinka and Lubavitch.

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