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Orthodox Judaism is the oldest form of Judaism, although it wasn't until the early 19th century that it was adopted as a label for a movement in Judaism.

Initially, it served as an umbrella term for the various forms of traditional Judaism which were left behind when first Reform, and then Conservative Judaism set up organizations based on principles that were in some way critical of traditional Judaism, as it was generally interpreted.

Before long, the Orthodox and Conservative strands separated.

Orthodox Judaism is sometimes referred to as Torah-true Judaism, as Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah is inspired by God and complete.

Orthodox Judaism is not a consolidated Jewish movement. Contemporary Orthodox Judaism is made up of several trends, largely Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) and Modern Orthodox Judaism, and each of these includes several strands.

Hasidic Judaism is an Ultra-Orthodox group known for its religious conservatism and social seclusion.

There are several regional branches of Orthodox Judaism, as well. Ashkenazi Jews are largely found in northern Europe, while Sephardi Jews are from southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Other groups include the Mizrahi, Chabad Lubavitch Hasidim, Baladi and Dor Daim (Yemenite Jews), Romaniote Jews, and Spanish and Portuguese Jews.

Orthodox Judaism is an umbrella term for the traditionalist branches of Judaism, who believe that the Written and Oral Torah were literally revealed by God on Mount Sinai, and have been transmitted faithfully since that time. The key philosophy of Orthodoxy is that God's revelation to mankind is total and complete.

They also believe in a future resurrection of the dead, in divine reward and punishment, and that the Jews were God's chosen people. They also believe that Temple in Jerusalem will be restored under the coming Messiah. Jewish Law (Halakha) is strictly observed in Orthodox Judaism.

Although Orthodox Judaism does not subscribe to definite or conclusive creeds, Orthodox Jews are united in the affirmation of several core beliefs, and consider a disavowal of these beliefs to be blasphemy.

Orthodox Judaism affirms monotheism, the basic tenets of which are drawn from the Talmud. As mentioned earlier, Orthodox Jews also have a belief in the coming of a Messiah, arising from the lineage of King David, who will gather all Jews to the Holy Land, and restore the Davidic Monarchy.

Most Orthodox Jews appeal to the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch), composed by Rabbi Joseph Karo in the 16th century.

Differences between the various Orthodox Jewish groups may involve the degree in which an Orthodox Jew should integrate into society, the nature of relationships with non-Jews, the importance of maintaining non-Halakhic customs regarding dress, language, and music, and the role of women in religious society. Others include the spiritual approach to Torah, and the roles of mainstream Talmudic studies, mysticism, or ethics, as well as the validity of secular knowledge, including Jewish scholarship of Rabbinic literature and modern philosophy, and the centrality of yeshivas as a place for the personal study of the Torah.

While there are differences within the Orthodox groups as to their level of separation from society, modern Orthodoxy generally supposes that the Orthodox Jew should be a full member of modern society, and engaging with the people around them, while avoiding sin in their personal lives.

At the turn of the 21st century, Orthodox Jews accounted for 70% of British Jews affiliated with a synagogue, and 27% of American Jews.

In the United States, most Orthodox Jews are in the New York City metropolitan region, with additional Orthodox communities found elsewhere in New York State, New Jersey, and Maryland. Other large Orthodox centers are in southern Florida and the Los Angeles, California area. The Orthodox Jewish community is growing in the United States, while the liberal American Jewish community is been decreasing. Most American Jews are strongly liberal, while Orthodox Jews are political conservatives. As compared to non-Orthodox Jews in America, Orthodox Jews tend to have a stronger connection to Israel and are Zionistic.

The focus of this category is on Orthodox Judaism. Any of the various Orthodox Jewish sects are appropriate for this category, or its subcategories.







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