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Torah Judaism is an English term used by Orthodox Jewish groups to describe their Judaism as being based on an adherence to the laws of the Torah's mitzvot, as expounded in Orthodox Halakha.[ citation needed ] These laws include both the Biblical and rabbinic mitzvot.
Torah Judaism is also an ideological concept used by many Orthodox thinkers to describe their movement as the sole Jewish denomination faithful to traditional Jewish values.
Followers of Torah Judaism may also follow the Daat Torah , i. e., the guidelines of rabbis or hakhamim based on the Talmud. In recent time, these hakhamim may include the followers' rebbes (Hasidic rabbis), rosh yeshivas (deans of yeshivas), or a posek, often identified as an expert in the Shulkhan Arukh. (This recognition of a posek is often limited to Haredi communities, as opposed to Modern Orthodox Jews, although the latter are also Torah-observant.)
The phrase Torah Judaism implies a belief and practice of Judaism that is based on the inclusion of the entire Tanakh and Talmud, as well as later rabbinic authorities, as sources of conducting oneself in life, and on the premise that the Torah emanates directly from God, as revealed at Biblical Mount Sinai.
The term "Torah Judaism" is a conscious intent to label non-Orthodox Jewish movements as being divorced from the Torah.
Halakha is the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the written and Oral Torah. Halakha is based on biblical commandments (mitzvot), subsequent Talmudic and rabbinic law, and the customs and traditions compiled in the many books such as the Shulchan Aruch. Halakha is often translated as "Jewish Law", although a more literal translation might be "the way to behave" or "the way of walking". The word derives from the root that means "to behave". Halakha guides not only religious practices and beliefs, but also numerous aspects of day-to-day life.
Judaism is an ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.
Orthodox Judaism is a collective term for the traditionalist branches of contemporary Judaism. Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Written and Oral, as literally revealed by God on Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted ever since.
The role of women in Judaism is determined by the Hebrew Bible, the Oral Law, by custom, and by cultural factors. Although the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic literature mention various female role models, religious law treats women differently in various circumstances.
A rabbi is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi, following a course of study of Jewish texts such as the Talmud.
A yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and the Torah, and Halacha. The studying is usually done through daily shiurim as well as in study pairs called chavrutas. Chavrusa-style learning is one of the unique features of the yeshiva.
Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law with the secular, modern world.
Jewish religious movements, sometimes called "denominations" or "branches", include different groups which have developed among Jews from ancient times. Today, the main division is between the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements, with several smaller movements alongside them. This denominational structure is mainly present in the United States, while in Israel, the fault lines are between Haredi Judaism, Religious Zionism, Masortim (traditional) and Hiloni (secular) Jews.
Conversion to Judaism is the religious conversion of non-Jews to become members of the Jewish religion and Jewish ethnoreligious community. The procedure and requirements for conversion depend on the sponsoring denomination. A conversion in accordance with the process of a denomination is not a guarantee of recognition by another denomination. A formal conversion is also sometimes undertaken by individuals whose Jewish ancestry is questioned, even if they were raised Jewish, but may not actually be considered Jews according to traditional Jewish law.
Schisms among the Jews are cultural as well as religious. They have happened as a product of historical accident, geography, and theology.
Da'as Torah, is a concept in Haredi Judaism according to which Jews should seek the input of rabbinic scholars not just on matters of Jewish law, but on all important life matters, on the grounds that knowledge of the Torah aids everything in life.
Gil Ofer Student is the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union's Jewish Action magazine, and former Managing Editor of OU Press, and an Orthodox Jewish blogger who writes about the interface between different facets of Judaism, specifically Orthodox Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism. He is an ordained non-pulpit serving Orthodox rabbi who serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, a member of the Editorial Committee of the Orthodox Union's Jewish Action magazine, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America.
Jewish feminism is a movement that seeks to make the religious, legal, and social status of Jewish women equal to that of Jewish men in Judaism. Feminist movements, with varying approaches and successes, have opened up within all major branches of the Jewish religion.
Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School (YCT) is a Modern Orthodox yeshiva, founded in 1999 by Rabbi Avi Weiss.
Gadol or godol is a term used by religious Jews to refer to the most revered rabbis of the generation.
Moshe Meiselman is an American-born Orthodox rabbi and rosh yeshiva (dean) of Yeshiva Toras Moshe in Jerusalem, which he established in 1982. He also founded and served as principal of Yeshiva University of Los Angeles (YULA) from 1977 to 1982. He is a descendant of the Lithuanian Jewish Soloveitchik rabbinic dynasty.
Illui is a young Torah and Talmudic prodigy or genius.
Posek is the term in Jewish law for a "decisor" — a legal scholar who determines the position of Halakha in cases of law where previous authorities are inconclusive, or in those situations where no clear halakhic precedent exists.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Judaism: