Antwerp is a city in Belgium, is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, with 1,200,000 the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels. Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the river's Westerschelde estuary, it is about 40 kilometres north of Brussels, about 15 kilometres south of the Dutch border. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally; the city is known for its diamond industry and trade. Both economically and culturally, Antwerp is and has long been an important city in the Low Countries before and during the Spanish Fury and throughout and after the subsequent Dutch Revolt. Antwerp was the place of the world's oldest stock exchange building built in 1531 and re-built in 1872; the inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century.
The city hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. According to folklore, notably celebrated by a statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend about a giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river, he extracted a toll from passing boatmen, for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river. The giant was killed by a young hero named Silvius Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan, which has evolved to today's warp. A longstanding theory is that the name originated in the Gallo-Roman period and comes from the Latin antverpia. Antverpia would come from Ante Verpia, indicating land that forms by deposition in the inside curve of a river. Note that the river Scheldt, before a transition period between 600 and 750, followed a different track; this must have coincided with the current ringway south of the city, situating the city within a former curve of the river.
However, many historians think it unlikely that there was a large settlement which would be named'Antverpia', but more something like an outpost with a river crossing. However, John Lothrop Motley argues, so do a lot of Dutch etymologists and historians, that Antwerp's name derives from "anda" and "werpum" to give an't werf. Aan't werp is possible; this "warp" is a man-made hill or a river deposit, high enough to remain dry at high tide, whereupon a construction could be built that would remain dry. Another word for werp is pol hence polders. Alfred Michiels has suggested that derivations based on hand werpen, Antverpia, "on the wharf", or "at the warp" lack historical backing in the form of recorded past spellings of the placename, he points instead to Dado's Life of St. Eligius from the 7th century, which records the form Andoverpis, he sees in it a Celtic origin indicating "those who live on both banks". Historical Antwerp had its origins in a Gallo-Roman vicus. Excavations carried out in the oldest section near the Scheldt, 1952–1961, produced pottery shards and fragments of glass from mid-2nd century to the end of the 3rd century.
The earliest mention of Antwerp dates from the 4th century. In the 4th century, Antwerp was first named; the Merovingian Antwerp was evangelized by Saint Amand in the 7th century. At the end of the 10th century, the Scheldt became the boundary of the Holy Roman Empire. Antwerp became a margraviate in 980, by the German emperor Otto II, a border province facing the County of Flanders. In the 11th century, the best-known leader of the First Crusade, Godfrey of Bouillon, was Margrave of Antwerp, from 1076 until his death in 1100, though he was also Duke of Lower Lorraine and Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. In the 12th century, Norbert of Xanten established a community of his Premonstratensian canons at St. Michael's Abbey at Caloes. Antwerp was the headquarters of Edward III during his early negotiations with Jacob van Artevelde, his son Lionel, the Duke of Clarence, was born there in 1338. After the silting-up of the Zwin and the consequent decline of Bruges, the city of Antwerp part of the Duchy of Brabant, grew in importance.
At the end of the 15th century the foreign trading houses were transferred from Bruges to Antwerp, the building assigned to the English nation is mentioned in 1510. Antwerp became the sugar capital of Europe, importing the raw commodity from Portuguese and Spanish plantations; the city attracted Italian and German sugar refiners by 1550, shipped their refined product to Germany Cologne. Moneylenders and financiers developed a large business lending money all over Europe including the English government in 1544–1574. London bankers were too small to operate on that scale, Antwerp had a efficient bourse that itself attracted rich bankers from around Europe. After the 1570s, the city's banking business declined: England ended its borrowing in Antwerp in 1574. Fernand Braudel states that Antwerp became "the centre of the entire international economy, something Bruges had never been at its height." Antwerp was the richest city in Europe at this time. Antwerp's golden age is l
Haredi Judaism is a broad spectrum of groups within Orthodox Judaism, all characterized by a rejection of modern secular culture. Its members are referred to as Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox in English, although the term "ultra-Orthodox" is considered pejorative by many of its adherents. Haredim regard themselves as the most religiously authentic group of Jews, although this claim is contested by other streams. Haredi Judaism is a reaction to societal changes, including emancipation, the Haskalah movement derived from the Enlightenment, 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, which hastened to embrace modernity, the approach of the Haredim was to maintain a steadfast adherence both to Jewish Law and custom by segregating themselves from modern society. However, there are many Haredi communities in which getting a professional degree or establishing a business is encouraged, contact exists between Haredi and non-Haredi Jews, as well as between Haredim and non-Jews.
Haredi communities are found in Israel, North America, Western Europe. Their estimated global population numbers 1.5–1.8 million, due to a virtual absence of interfaith marriage and a high birth rate, their numbers are growing rapidly. Their numbers have been boosted by a substantial number of secular Jews adopting a Haredi lifestyle as part of the Baal teshuva movement; the term most used by outsiders, including most American news organizations, is "ultra-Orthodox" Judaism. Hillel Halkin suggests the origins of the term may date to the 1950s, a period in which Haredi survivors of the Holocaust first began arriving in America. However, Isaac Leeser was described in 1916 as "ultra-Orthodox". Haredi is a Modern Hebrew adjective derived from the Biblical verb hared which appears in the Book of Isaiah and is translated as " trembles" at the word of God; the word connotes an awe-inspired fear and anxiety to perform the will of God, is used to describe staunchly Orthodox Jews and to distinguish them from other Orthodox Jews.
The word Haredi is used in the Jewish diaspora in place of the term "ultra-Orthodox", which many view as inaccurate or offensive, it being seen as a derogatory term suggesting extremism. Others, dispute the characterization of the term as pejorative. Ari L. Goldman, a professor at Columbia University, notes that the term serves a practical purpose to distinguish a specific part of the Orthodox community, is not meant as pejorative. Others, such as Samuel Heilman, criticized terms such as "ultra-Orthodox" and "traditional Orthodox", arguing that they misidentify Haredim as more authentically Orthodox than others, as opposed to adopting customs and practises that reflect their desire to separate from the outside world; the community has sometimes been characterized as "Traditional Orthodox", in contradistinction to the Modern Orthodox, the other major branch of Orthodox Judaism. Haredi Jews use other terms to refer to themselves. Common Yiddish words include Yidn or erlekhe Yidn, Ben Torah and heimish.
In Israel, Haredi Jews are sometimes called by the derogatory slang words dos, that mimics the traditional Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation of the Hebrew word datim, meaning religious, more "blacks", a reference to the black clothes they wear. According to its adherents, the forebears of the contemporary Haredim were the traditionalists of Eastern Europe who fought against modernization. Indeed, adherents see their beliefs as part of an unbroken tradition dating from the revelation at Sinai. However, 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. 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 was evidence.
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. In Germany, the opponents of Reform rallied to Samson Raphael Hirsch, who led a secession from German Jewish communal organizations to form a Orthodox movement with its own network of synagogues and schools, his approach was to apply them in defence of Orthodoxy. In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jews true to traditional values gathered under the banner of Agudas Shlumei Emunei Yisroel. Moses Sofer was opposed to any philosophical, social, or practical change to customary Orthodox practice. Thus, he did not allow any secular studies to be added to the curriculum of his Pressburg Yeshiva. Sofer's student Moshe Schick, together with Sofer's sons Shimon and Samuel Benjamin, took an active role in arguing agai
Kraków spelled Cracow or Krakow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland's second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was being reported as a busy trading centre of Central Europe in 965. With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre; the city has a population of about 770,000, with 8 million additional people living within a 100 km radius of its main square. After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany at the start of World War II, the newly defined Distrikt Krakau became the capital of Germany's General Government.
The Jewish population of the city was forced into a walled zone known as the Kraków Ghetto, from which they were sent to German extermination camps such as the nearby Auschwitz never to return, the Nazi concentration camps like Płaszów. In 1978, Karol Wojtyła, archbishop of Kraków, was elevated to the papacy as Pope John Paul II—the first Slavic pope and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years; that year, UNESCO approved the first sites for its new World Heritage List, including the entire Old Town in inscribing Kraków's Historic Centre. Kraków is classified as a global city with the ranking of high sufficiency by GaWC, its extensive cultural heritage across the epochs of Gothic and Baroque architecture includes the Wawel Cathedral and the Royal Castle on the banks of the Vistula, the St. Mary's Basilica, Saints Peter and Paul Church and the largest medieval market square in Europe, the Rynek Główny. Kraków is home to Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in the world and traditionally Poland's most reputable institution of higher learning.
In 2000, Kraków was named European Capital of Culture. In 2013 Kraków was approved as a UNESCO City of Literature; the city hosted the World Youth Day in July 2016. The name of Kraków is traditionally derived from Krakus, the legendary founder of Kraków and a ruler of the tribe of Lechitians. In Polish, Kraków is an archaic possessive form of Krak and means "Krak's". Krakus's name may derive from "krakula", a Proto-Slavic word meaning a judge's staff, or a Proto-Slavic word "krak" meaning an oak, once a sacred tree most associated with the concept of genealogy; the first mention of Prince Krakus dates back to 1190, although the town existed as early as the 7th century, inhabited by the tribe of Vistulans. The city's full official name is Stołeczne Królewskie Miasto Kraków, which can be translated as "Royal Capital City of Kraków". In English, a person born or living in Kraków is a Cracovian. While in the 1990s the English version of the name was written Cracow, the most widespread modern English version is Krakow.
Kraków's early history begins with evidence of a Stone Age settlement on the present site of the Wawel Hill. A legend attributes Kraków's founding to the mythical ruler Krakus, who built it above a cave occupied by a dragon, Smok Wawelski; the first written record of the city's name dates back to 965, when Kraków was described as a notable commercial centre controlled first by Moravia, but captured by a Bohemian duke Boleslaus I in 955. The first acclaimed ruler of Poland, Mieszko I, took Kraków from the Bohemians and incorporated it into the holdings of the Piast dynasty towards the end of his reign. In 1038, Kraków became the seat of the Polish government. By the end of the 10th century, the city was a leading centre of trade. Brick buildings were constructed, including the Royal Wawel Castle with St. Felix and Adaukt Rotunda, Romanesque churches such as St. Adalbert's, a cathedral, a basilica; the city was sacked and burned during the Mongol invasion of 1241. It was rebuilt identical, based on new location act and incorporated in 1257 by the high duke Bolesław V the Chaste who following the example of Wrocław, introduced city rights modelled on the Magdeburg law allowing for tax benefits and new trade privileges for the citizens.
In 1259, the city was again ravaged by the Mongols. A third attack in 1287 was repelled thanks in part to the new built fortifications. In 1335, King Casimir III of Poland declared the two western suburbs to be a new city named after him, Kazimierz; the defensive walls were erected around the central section of Kazimierz in 1362, a plot was set aside for the Augustinian order next to Skałka. The city rose to prominence in 1364, when Casimir III of Poland founded the University of Kraków, the second oldest university in central Europe after the Charles University in Prague. King Casimir began work on a campus for the Academy in Kazimierz, but he died in 1370 and the campus was never completed; the city continued to grow under the joint Lithuanian-Polish Jagiellon dynasty. As the capital of the Kingdom of Poland and a member of the Hanseatic League, the city attracted many craftsmen and guilds as science and the arts began to flourish; the royal chancery and the University ensured a first flourishing of Polish literary culture in the city.
The 15th and 16th centuries were known as Poland's Złoty Golden Age. Many works of Pol
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
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 revealed by God on Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted since. Orthodox Judaism therefore advocates a strict observance of Jewish Law, or Halakha, to be interpreted and determined only according to traditional methods and in adherence to the continuum of received precedent through the ages, it regards the entire halakhic system as grounded in immutable revelation beyond external and historical influence. More than any theoretical issue, obeying the dietary, purity and other laws of Halakha is the hallmark of Orthodoxy. Other key doctrines include belief in a future resurrection of the dead, divine reward and punishment for the righteous and the sinners, the Election of Israel, an eventual restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem under the Messiah. Orthodox Judaism is not a centralized denomination. Relations between its different subgroups are sometimes strained, the exact limits of Orthodoxy are subject to intense debate.
It may be divided between Ultra-Orthodox or "Haredi", more conservative and reclusive, Modern Orthodox Judaism, open to outer society. Each of those is itself formed of independent streams, they are uniformly exclusionist, regarding Orthodoxy as the only authentic form of Judaism and rejecting all competing non-Orthodox philosophies as illegitimate. While adhering to traditional beliefs, the movement is a modern phenomenon, it arose as a result of the breakdown of the autonomous Jewish community since the 18th century, was much shaped by a conscious struggle against the pressures of secularization and rival alternatives. The observant and theologically aware Orthodox are a definite minority among all Jews, but there are numerous semi- and non-practicing persons who are affiliated or identifying with the movement. In total, Orthodox Judaism is the largest Jewish religious group, estimated to have over 2 million practicing adherents and at least an equal number of nominal members or self-identifying supporters.
The earliest known mentioning of the term "Orthodox Jews" was made in the Berlinische Monatsschrift in 1795. The word "Orthodox" was borrowed from the general German Enlightenment discourse, used not to denote a specific religious group, but rather those Jews who opposed Enlightenment. During the early and mid-19th century, with the advent of the progressive movements among German Jews and early Reform Judaism, the title "Orthodox" became the epithet of the traditionalists who espoused conservative positions on the issues raised by modernization, they themselves disliked the alien, name, preferring titles like "Torah-true", declared they used it only for the sake of convenience. The Orthodox leader Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch referred to "the conviction designated as Orthodox Judaism". By the 1920s, the term became common and accepted in Eastern Europe, remains as such. Orthodoxy perceives itself ideologically as the only authentic continuation of Judaism throughout the ages, as it was until the crisis of modernity.
Its progressive opponents shared this view, regarding it as a fossilized remnant of the past and lending credit to their own rivals' ideology. Thus, the term "Orthodox" is used generically to refer to traditional synagogues, prayer rites, so forth. However, academic research has taken a more nuanced approach, noting that the formation of Orthodox ideology and organizational frameworks was itself a product of modernity, it was brought about by the need to defend and buttress the concept of tradition, in a world where it was not self-evident anymore. When deep secularization and the dismantlement of communal structures uprooted the old order of Jewish life, traditionalist elements united to form groups which had a distinct self-understanding. This, all that it entailed, constituted a great change, for the Orthodox had to adapt to the new circumstances no less than anyone else. "Orthodoxization" was a contingent process, drawing from local circumstances and dependent on the extent of threat sensed by its proponents: a sharply-delineated Orthodox identity appeared in Central Europe, in Germany and Hungary, by the 1860s.
Among the Jews of the Muslim lands, similar processes on a large scale only occurred around the 1970s, after they immigrated to Israel. Orthodoxy is described as conservative, ossifying a once-dynamic tradition due to the fear of legitimizing change. While this was not true, its defining feature was not the forbidding of change and "freezing" Jewish heritage in its tracks, but rather the need to adapt to being but one segment of Judaism in a modern world inhospitable to traditional practice. Orthodoxy developed as a variegated "spectrum of reactions" – as termed by Benjamin Brown – involving in many cases much accommodation and leniency. Scholars nowadays since the mid-1980s, research Orthodox Judaism as a field in i
Book of Exodus
The Book of Exodus or Exodus is the second book of the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament following Genesis. Exodus tells how the Israelites leave slavery in Egypt through the strength of Yahweh, the god who has chosen Israel as his people. With the prophet Moses as their leader, they journey through the wilderness to biblical Mount Sinai, guided by divine signs for forty years provided by Yahweh, promising them the land of Canaan in return for their faithfulness. Israel enters into a covenant with Yahweh who gives them their laws and instructions to build the Tabernacle, the means by which he will come from heaven and dwell with them and lead them in a holy war to possess the land, give them peace. Traditionally ascribed to Moses himself, modern scholarship sees the book as a product of the Babylonian exile, from earlier written and oral traditions, with final revisions in the Persian post-exilic period. Carol Meyers, in her commentary on Exodus, suggests that it is arguably the most important book in the Bible, as it presents the defining features of Israel's identity: memories of a past marked by hardship and escape, a binding covenant with God, who chooses Israel, the establishment of the life of the community and the guidelines for sustaining it.
The book is not a historical narrative. Everything is presented as the work of God, who appears in person, the historical setting is only a hazy sketch, its purpose is not to record what happened, but to reflect the story of the exile community in Babylon and Jerusalem, facing foreign captivity and the need to come to terms with their understanding of God. The English name Exodus comes from the Ancient Greek: ἔξοδος, éxodos, meaning "going out". In Hebrew the book's title is שְׁמוֹת, shemot, "Names", from the beginning words of the text: "These are the names of the sons of Israel". There is no unanimous agreement among scholars on the structure of Exodus. One strong possibility is that it is a diptych, with the division between parts 1 and 2 at the crossing of the Red Sea or at the beginning of the theophany in chapter 19. On this plan, the first part tells of God's rescue of his people from Egypt and their journey under his care to Sinai and the second tells of the covenant between them. Jacob's sons and their families join Joseph, in Egypt.
Once there, the Israelites begin to grow in number. Egypt's Pharaoh, fearful that the Israelites could be a fifth column, forces the Israelites into slavery and orders the throwing of all newborn boys into the Nile. A Levite woman saves her baby by setting him adrift on the river Nile in an ark of bulrushes; the Pharaoh's daughter finds the child, names him Moses, brings him up as her own. But Moses is aware of his origins, one day, when grown, he kills an Egyptian overseer, beating a Hebrew slave and has to flee into Midian. There he marries Zipporah, the daughter of Midianite priest Jethro, encounters God in a burning bush. Moses asks God for his name: God replies: "I AM that I AM." God tells Moses to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews into Canaan, the land promised to Abraham. Moses fails to convince the Pharaoh to release the Israelites. God smites the Egyptians with 10 terrible plagues including a river of blood, many frogs, the death of first-born sons. Moses leads the Israelites out of bondage after a final chase when the Pharaoh reneges on his coerced consent.
The desert proves arduous, the Israelites complain and long for Egypt, but God provides manna and miraculous water for them. The Israelites arrive at the mountain of God. God asks, they accept. The people gather at the foot of the mountain, with thunder and lightning and clouds of smoke, the sound of trumpets, the trembling of the mountain, God appears on the peak, the people see the cloud and hear the voice of God. God tells Moses to ascend the mountain. God pronounces the Ten Commandments in the hearing of all Israel. Moses goes up the mountain into the presence of God, who pronounces the Covenant Code, promises Canaan to them if they obey. Moses comes down the mountain and writes down God's words and the people agree to keep them. God calls Moses up the mountain where he remains for 40 nights. At the conclusion of the 40 days and 40 nights, Moses returns holding the set of stone tablets. God gives Moses instructions for the construction of the tabernacle so that God could dwell permanently among his chosen people, as well as instructions for the priestly vestments, the altar and its appurtenances, the procedure for ordaining the priests, the daily sacrifice offerings.
Aaron becomes the first hereditary high priest. God gives Moses the two tablets of stone containing the words of the ten commandments, written with the "finger of God". While Moses is with God, Aaron makes a golden calf. God informs Moses of their apostasy and threatens to kill them all, but relents when Moses pleads for them. Moses comes down from the mountain, smashes the stone tablets in anger, commands the Levites to massacre the unfaithful Israelites. God commands Moses to make two new tablets on which He will write the words that were on the first tablets. Moses ascends the mountain