Nota Schiller is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem. He is an influential figure in the baal teshuva movement, having guided generations of students with little or no Jewish background to master the classical rabbinical texts and embrace an Orthodox lifestyle, he is regarded as an erudite Torah scholar in his own right. Schiller was born in 1937 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended the high school division of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin He graduated from Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore; the 1960s and 1970s were a time of searching for meaning by Western-educated, college-age men and women. In 1972, Rabbis Noah Weinberg, Mendel Weinbach, Nota Schiller, Yaakov Rosenberg founded Shma Yisrael Yeshiva to teach young Jewish men with little or no background in Jewish studies. After a few years, Weinberg left the yeshiva over a difference in philosophy and founded Aish HaTorah in 1974. Shma Yisrael subsequently changed its name to Ohr Somayach, after the commentary on the Mishneh Torah written by Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, the Ohr Somayach, in response to critics who contended that the name belonged to the entire Jewish people, not just one institution.
Schiller was the driving force behind the development of Ohr Somayach International, which has opened yeshivas and learning branches in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia. He founded the first international Ohr Somayach program in Yonkers, New York in 1977; the program relocated to Monsey. Rabbi Nota Schiller audio lectures "Multiples of Chai: One rabbi's war diary – Yom Kippur 5734/1973" by Rabbi Nota Schiller "Four More Questions: Exploring the connection between the number 4 and Pesach" by Rabbi Nota Schiller
Aish HaTorah is a Jewish Orthodox organization and yeshiva. Aish HaTorah was established in Jerusalem by Rabbi Noah Weinberg in 1974, after he left the Ohr Somayach yeshiva, which he had co-founded; the organization worked to proselytize young Jewish travelers and volunteers in favor of Orthodox Judaism. It expanded worldwide, continues promotes its extensive adult education classes. After the passing of his father, Rabbi Noah Weinberg, in February 2009, Rabbi Hillel Weinberg became dean of the Aish HaTorah yeshiva in Jerusalem. Aish HaTorah describes itself as blending the traditions of the Lithuanian yeshivas with the doctrines of Hasidism. Weinberg himself was a product of Lithuanian schools but he was a grandson of the Slonimer Rebbe, his teachings reflect influences of both schools as well as certain facets of the Kabbalah of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the Vilna Gaon and others. Aish HaTorah describes itself as pro-Israel and encourages Jewish people to visit Israel and connect to the land and its history.
The organization's stated mission is "providing opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds to discover their heritage." The organization is politically conservative and its officials have stated they oppose a full hand over of the West Bank to the Palestinians. The name Aish HaTorah "Fire the Torah", was inspired by the Talmudic story of Rabbi Akiva, the once illiterate 40-year-old shepherd who subsequently became the most famous sage of the Mishnah. Elie Wiesel said, "Aish HaTorah means to me the passion of the passion of learning; the study of Torah, the source of Jewish values, is the way to Jewish survival." Aish HaTorah operates about 35 full-time branches on five continents, providing seminars, singles events, executive learning groups and Jewish holiday programs, community building. In Jerusalem, the Aish HaTorah yeshiva offers both beginners' drop-in classes and full-time, intensive study programs for Jewish men and women of all backgrounds and levels of knowledge, it has a high-tech main campus and outreach center that features a rooftop vista overlooking the Temple Mount, the Kirk Douglas Theatre, which houses a dramatic film presentation of the Jewish contribution to humanity.
An "Explorium" of Jewish History is scheduled to open in 2013, designed to accommodate 300,000 visitors annually. Aish HaTorah runs the Discovery Seminar; the four-hour seminar reviews Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, Jewish philosophy questions. In 2005 Aish HaTorah produced a documentary film, Inspired which chronicles the lives of selected baalei teshuvah. Aish HaTorah believes that the high rate of intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews has diluted the Jewish people’s vitality. Inspired was produced to encourage more observant Jews to share their positive Jewish religious experiences of Jewish life with non-observant Jews, as a way to strengthen the baal teshuva movement and revitalize Jewish life. In 2007 Aish released a sequel, Inspired Too; these films paved the way for Project Inspire, the grassroots organization that helps inspire Orthodox Jews to reach out to non-affiliated Jews to teach them about their heritage. Once an offshoot of Aish HaTorah, Project Inspire is now an independent organization under the umbrella of Aish Global.
In 2008, the Clarion Project, an organization that shares staff, fundraising sources and an address with Aish HaTorah, has been linked in media reports with Aish HaTorah, distributed its film called "Obsession." The film had been criticized for being unfair in its portrayal of Muslims as violent. The film was sent to more than 28 million people in the United States in anticipation of the United States presidential election. Aish HaTorah denied any connection to the film; the Council on American–Islamic Relations filed a complaint about the film with the Federal Election Commission. In 2012, the Clarion Project released; the film was produced by Raphael Shore. The film was called "Islamophobic" by The Forward; when the Israeli Foreign Ministry sought to combat anti-Israel ideas on college campuses, it worked with Aish HaTorah to develop the Hasbara Fellowships. This program has flown hundreds of student leaders to Israel for intensive training in pro-Israel activism training. In North America, Hasbara Fellowships guides and funds pro-Israel activities on over 100 college campuses.
In August 2016, the Israeli government announced an Israel-Diaspora outreach program called The Israel-Diaspora Initiative. The program partners were announced as Chabad and Olami Worldwide, an organization that works with Aish. Aish Gesher is an English speaking Yeshiva for young men with a solid basis in Halacha, it is integrated with Aish Discovery and Essentials classes. Aish HaTorah has websites in English, Spanish and Hebrew, they get over 1.2 million monthly visits. Aish.com AishHatorah.com Aish Gesher Aish Essentials
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Meir Simcha of Dvinsk
Meir Simcha of Dvinsk was a rabbi and prominent leader of Orthodox Judaism in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century. He was a kohen, is therefore referred to as Meir Simcha ha-Kohen, he is known for his writings on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, which he titled Ohr Somayach, as well as his novellae on the Torah, titled Meshech Chochma. Meir Simcha was born in Lithuania, to Samson Kalonymus, a local wealthy merchant. According to family tradition, his success in Torah study was attributed to two blessings his parents had received from local rabbis before his birth, he received his education locally, managed to evade the regular roundups of Jewish boys that were being held as a result of the Cantonist decrees, in effect since 1827. After marrying in 1860, at age 17, he settled in Białystok, where he was supported by his wife, who opened a business to support him while he continued his Talmudic studies. After 23 years there he after turning down many offers, accepted the rabbinate of the mitnagdim in the Latvian town of Dvinsk, now known as Daugavpils.
He served in that position for 39 years until his death. In Dvinsk, his counterpart was the Hasidic Rabbi Yosef Rosen, known as the Rogatchover Gaon or by his work Tzofnath Paneach; the two had a great respect for each other, despite Rosen's legendary fiery temper, on occasions referred questions in Jewish law to each other. They shared a love for the works of Maimonides. In 1906, a certain Shlomo Friedlander claimed to have discovered and published two tractates of the Jerusalem Talmud, considered to have been lost for hundreds of years. Rabbi Meir Simcha was one of the prominent rabbis who discovered that the work was a clever forgery, denounced it as such. In Dvinsk, he received visitors from the whole region, was consulted on issues affecting the community at large, including Poland and Lithuania, he reputedly turned down offers for the rabbinate in various large cities, including Jerusalem, New York City and Kovno. He died in a hotel in Riga, he had one daughter. Since Rabbi Meir Simcha had no surviving children, one of his most prominent students and a close friend, Rabbi Yisrael Avraham Abba Krieger, committed to carrying on his legacy.
Today there are descendants of Rav Yisrael Avraham Abba Krieger. Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk had one daughter; the daughter had mental issues and she never married. He has no living descendants. Ohr Somayach on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah. Ohr Somayach on Talmudic tractates'Bava Kama' and'Bava Metzia'. Ohr Somayach novellae on the Talmud. Ohr Somayach responsa addressing many practical issues of halacha. Meshech Chochma on Chumash. Various treatises on parts of the Jerusalem Talmud. Comments and insights on the Sefer haChinuch, he was in favor of Religious Zionists. After the Balfour Declaration, he was of the opinion, he was present at the founding meetings of Agudath Yisrael in the German town of Bad Homburg, but could not attend the first large conference in Katowice due to poor health. He had several clashes with some of his contemporaries, including Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan on political issues and questions of Jewish law, it is harder to determine his exact stance in philosophical matters, although much can be gleaned from his Meshech Chochma.
Rabbi Meir Simcha authored Ohr Somayach, a play on his name derived from Proverbs 13:9), a collection of novellae on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah. His approach is original, gathering material from the breadth of Jewish religious literature to approach difficult contradictions in Maimonides' main work of Jewish law, it was published during his lifetime and became popular. Other works, novellae on the Talmud and responsa, did not have the same impact but are still used for reference, his main contribution to Jewish philosophy was to be posthumous. His pupil Menachem Mendel Zaks published Meshech Chochma, which contains novellae on the Torah, but often branches off into questions of Jewish philosophy, he is quoted as having predicted the Holocaust in a statement in this work: "They think that Berlin is Jerusalem...from there will come the storm winds that will uproot them". In the late 1970s several baal teshuva yeshivas under Haredi Judaism auspices were founded and chose to honor the memory of Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk by calling themselves by his pen name for his work "Ohr Somayach".
The first was the yeshiva Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem in Israel, another was Ohr Somayach, Monsey in the United States. Other branches were established in Toronto and Montreal in Canada, in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia. Worldwide, all bearing the name Ohr Somayach, are Ohr Somayach, South Africa, London in the United Kingdom, Kiev in the Ukraine, Sydney in Australia. Rapoport, Yaakov M.. The light from Dvinsk: Rav Meir Simcha, the Ohr Somayach. Southfield, Mich.: Targum Press. ISBN 0944070566
Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity and religion are interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel; the Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE. The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as'Hebrews'. Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian captivity and exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history and memory.
Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Since the population has risen again, as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2% of the total world population. The modern State of Israel is the only country, it defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, based on the Declaration of Independence. Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both and in modern times, including philosophy, literature, business, fine arts and architecture, music and cinema, science and technology, as well as religion. Jews have played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.
The English word "Jew" continues Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea"; the Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region; the Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים Yehudim. Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Yiddish ייִד Yid; the etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g. يَهُودِيّ yahūdī, al-yahūd, in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" /"Juive" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc. but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are in use to describe a Jew, e.g. in Italian, in Persian and Russian.
The German word "Jude" is pronounced, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" is the origin of the word "Yiddish". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, It is recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility; some people, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun. Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, a culture, making the definition of, a Jew vary depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used.
In modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, halakhic conversions; these definitions of, a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral
The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews; the term "Talmud" refers to the collection of writings named the Babylonian Talmud, although there is an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud. It may traditionally be called Shas, a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, or the "six orders" of the Mishnah; the Talmud has two components. The term "Talmud" may refer to either the Gemara alone; the entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including halakha, Jewish ethics, customs, history and many other topics.
The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, is quoted in rabbinic literature. Talmud translates as "instruction, learning", from a root LMD "teach, study". Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works, though some may have made private notes, for example of court decisions; this situation changed drastically as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth and the Second Temple in the year 70 and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the rabbis were required to face a new reality—mainly Judaism without a Temple and Judea without at least partial autonomy—there was a flurry of legal discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained, it is during this period. The oldest full manuscript of the Talmud, known as the Munich Talmud, dates from 1342 and is available online; the process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were the two major centers of Jewish scholarship and Babylonia.
Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Talmud Yerushalmi, it was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500; the word "Talmud", when used without qualification refers to the Babylonian Talmud. While the editors of Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian Talmud each mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents were written independently. Here the argument from silence is convincing." The Jerusalem Talmud known as the Palestinian Talmud, or Talmuda de-Eretz Yisrael, was one of the two compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary, transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in the Land of Israel. It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of Tiberias and Caesarea, it is written in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, a Western Aramaic language that differs from its Babylonian counterpart. This Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the Mishnah, developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in Galilee Because of their location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel.
Traditionally, this Talmud was thought to have been redacted in about the year 350 by Rav Muna and Rav Yossi in the Land of Israel. It is traditionally known as the Talmud Yerushalmi, but the name is a misnomer, as it was not prepared in Jerusalem, it has more been called "The Talmud of the Land of Israel". Its final redaction belongs to the end of the 4th century, but the individual scholars who brought it to its present form cannot be fixed with assurance. By this time Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire and Jerusalem the holy city of Christendom. In 325, Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, said "let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd." This policy made a Jew an pauper. The compilers of the Jerusalem Talmud lacked the time to produce a work of the quality they had intended; the text is not easy to follow. The apparent cessation of work on the Jerusalem Talmud in the 5th century has been associated with the decision of Theodosius II in 425 to suppress the Patriarchate and put an end to the practice of semikhah, formal scholarly ordination.
Some modern scholars have questioned this connection. Despite its incomplete state, the Jerusalem Talmud remains an indispensable source of knowledge of the development of the Jewish Law in the Holy Land, it was an important resource in the study of the Babylonian Talmud by the Kairouan school of Chana
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti