Haredi Judaism

Haredi Judaism consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism characterized by a strict adherence to Jewish law and traditions; as opposed to modern values and practices. Its members are often referred to as Ultra-Orthodox in English. Haredi Jews regard themselves as the most religiously authentic group of Jews; although this claim is contested by other streams of Judaism.

Some scholars have suggested that Haredi Judaism is a reaction to societal changes, including emancipation; the Haskalah movement derived from the Enlightenment; acculturation; secularization; religious reform in all its forms from mild to extreme, the rise of the Jewish national movements, etc.

In contrast to Modern Orthodox Judaism, followers of Haredi Judaism are usually uncompromising in their adherence to Jewish Law and custom, and, as a result, they segregate themselves from other parts of society to an extent. However, many Haredi communities encourage their young people to get a professional degree or establish a business. Furthermore, some Haredi groups, like Chabad-Lubavitch, encourage outreach to less-observant and unaffiliated Jews, as well as to non-Jews. Thus, professional and social relationships often form between Haredi and non-Haredi Jews, as well as between Haredi Jews and non-Jews.

Haredi communities are found primarily in Israel (Like Mea Shearim), North America, and Western Europe. Their estimated global population numbers over 1.8 million, and, due to a virtual absence of interfaith marriage and a high birth rate; the Haredi population is growing rapidly. Their numbers have also been boosted by a substantial number of secular Jews adopting a Haredi lifestyle as part of the Baal teshuva movement since the 1960s.

Haredi Judaism: An Historical Background

Most historians of Orthodoxy consider Haredi Judaism, in its modern incarnation; to date back no earlier than the start of the 20th century. For centuries, before Jewish emancipation, European Jews were forced to live in ghettos where Jewish culture and religious observance were preserved. The change began in the wake of the Age of Enlightenment when some European liberals sought to include the Jewish population in the emerging empires and nation-states. The influence of the Haskalah movement (Jewish Enlightenment) was also evident. Supporters of the Haskalah held that Judaism must change, in keeping with the social changes around them. Other Jews insisted on strict adherence to halakha (Jewish law and custom).

Some scholars have suggested that Haredi Judaism is a reaction to societal changes, including emancipation, the Haskalah movement derived from the Enlightenment, acculturation, secularization, religious reform in all its forms from mild to extreme, the rise of the Jewish national movements, etc. In contrast to Modern Orthodox Judaism, followers of Haredi Judaism are usually uncompromising in their adherence to Jewish Law and custom, and, as a result, they segregate themselves from other parts of society to an extent.

More About Haredi Judaism

However, many Haredi communities encourage their young people to get a professional degree or establish a business. Furthermore, some Haredi groups, like Chabad-Lubavitch, encourage outreach to less-observant and unaffiliated Jews, as well as to non-Jews. Thus, professional and social relationships often form between Haredi and non-Haredi Jews, as well as between Haredi Jews and non-Jews.

Haredi communities are found primarily in Israel, North America, and Western Europe. Their estimated global population numbers over 1.8 million, and, due to a virtual absence of interfaith marriage and a high birth rate; the Haredi population is growing rapidly. Their numbers have also been boosted by a substantial number of secular Jews adopting a Haredi lifestyle as part of the Baal teshuva movement since the 1960s.

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Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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