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Orthodox Judaism facts for kids

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Visitors in the Orthodox Jewish cemetery in Budapest, circa 1920 (the word "Orthodox" is painted on the wall, second to the left). Traditionalist Jews in Hungary were the first anywhere to form an independent Orthodox organization in 1871.

Orthodox Judaism is a form of Judaism that interprets the teachings and scriptures in a stricter way than the rest of Judaism. Its followers often see the Talmud and its texts as given by God, as divine.

As of 2001, Orthodox Jews and Jews affiliated with an Orthodox synagogue, accounted for approximately 50% of Anglo Jewry (150,000), 25% of Israeli Jewry (1,500,000) and 13% of American Jewry (529,000). (Among those affiliated to a synagogue body, Orthodox Jews represent 70% of British Jewry and 27% of American Jewry).

Its followers must usually promise the following:

  • Not to commit murder, idolatry (worship of idols)
  • Observe the shabbat. Jews must not do work on a shabbat.
  • Eat only certain things. These dietary laws are known as Kashrut.
  • Circumcision for males.

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