Hasidism, sometimes Hasidic Judaism, is a Jewish religious group. It arose as a spiritual revival movement in contemporary Western Ukraine during the 18th century, spread throughout Eastern Europe. Today, most affiliates reside in the United States. Israel Ben Eliezer, the "Baal Shem Tov", is regarded as its founding father, his disciples developed and disseminated it. Present-day Hasidism is a sub-group within Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, is noted for its religious conservatism and social seclusion, its members adhere both to Orthodox Jewish practice – with the movement's own unique emphases – and the traditions of Eastern European Jews, so much so that many of the latter, including various special styles of dress and the use of the Yiddish language, are nowadays associated exclusively with Hasidism. Hasidic thought draws on Lurianic Kabbalah, and, to an extent, is a popularization of it. Teachings emphasize God's immanence in the universe, the need to cleave and be one with him at all times, the devotional aspect of religious practice, the spiritual dimension of corporeality and mundane acts.
Hasidim, the adherents of Hasidism, are organized in independent sects known as "courts" or dynasties, each headed by its own hereditary leader, a Rebbe. Reverence and submission to the Rebbe are key tenets, as he is considered a spiritual authority with whom the follower must bond to gain closeness to God; the various "courts" share basic convictions, but operate apart, possess unique traits and customs. Affiliation is retained in families for generations, being Hasidic is as much a sociological factor – entailing, as it does, birth into a specific community and allegiance to a dynasty of Rebbes – as it is a purely religious one. There are several "courts" with many thousands of member households each, hundreds of smaller ones; as of 2016, there were over 130,000 Hasidic households worldwide, about 5% of the global Jewish population. The terms hasid and hasidut, meaning "pietist" and "piety", have a long history in Judaism; the Talmud and other old sources refer to the "Pietists of Old" who would contemplate an entire hour in preparation for prayer.
The phrase denoted devoted individuals who not only observed the Law to its letter, but performed good deeds beyond it. Adam himself is honored with the title in tractate Eruvin 18b by Rabbi Meir: "Adam was a great hasid, having fasted for 130 years." The first to adopt the epithet collectively were the hasidim in Second Temple period Judea, known as Hasideans after the Greek rendering of their name, who served as the model for those mentioned in the Talmud. The title continued to be applied as an honorific for the exceptionally devout. In 12th-century Rhineland, or Ashkenaz in Jewish parlance, another prominent school of ascetics named themselves hasidim. In the 16th century, when Kabbalah spread, the title became associated with it. Jacob ben Hayyim Zemah wrote in his glossa on Isaac Luria's version of the Shulchan Aruch that, "One who wishes to tap the hidden wisdom, must conduct himself in the manner of the Pious." The movement founded by Israel Ben Eliezer in the 18th century adopted the term hasidim in the original connotation.
But when the sect grew and developed specific attributes, from the 1770s, the names acquired a new meaning. Its common adherents, belonging to groups each headed by a spiritual leader, were henceforth known as Hasidim; the transformation was slow: The movement was at first referred to as "New Hasidism" by outsiders to separate it from the old one, its enemies derisively mocked its members as Mithasdim, " pretend hasidim". Yet the young sect gained such a mass following that the old connotation was sidelined. In popular discourse, at least, Hasid came to denote someone who follows a religious teacher from the movement, it entered Modern Hebrew as such, meaning "adherent" or "disciple". One was not a hasid anymore, observed historian David Assaf, but a Hasid of someone or some dynasty in particular; this linguistic transformation paralleled that of the word tzaddik, "righteous", which the Hasidic leaders adopted for themselves – though they are known colloquially as Rebbes or by the honorific Admor.
Denoting an observant, moral person, in Hasidic literature tzaddik became synonymous with the hereditary master heading a sect of followers. The lengthy history of Hasidism, the numerous schools of thought therein, its use of the traditional medium of homiletic literature and sermons – comprising numerous references to earlier sources in the Pentateuch and exegesis as a means to grounding oneself in tradition – as the sole channel to convey its ideas, all made the isolation of a common doctrine challenging to researchers; as noted by Joseph Dan, "Every attempt to present such a body of ideas has failed". Motifs presented by scholars in the past as unique Hasidic contributions were revealed to have been common among both their predecessors and opponents, all the more so regarding many other traits that are extant – these play, Dan added, "a prominent role in modern non-Hasidic and anti-Hasidic writings as well"; the difficulty of separating the movement's philosophy from that of its main inspiration, Lurianic Kabbalah, determining what was novel and what a recapitulation baffled historians.
Some, like Louis Jacobs, regarded the early masters as innovators who introduced "much, new if only by emphasis".
Old City (Jerusalem)
The Old City is a 0.9 square kilometers walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem. Until 1860, when the Jewish neighborhood Mishkenot Sha'ananim was established, this area constituted the entire city of Jerusalem; the Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1981. Traditionally, the Old City has been divided into four uneven quarters, although the current designations were introduced only in the 19th century. Today, the Old City is divided into the Muslim Quarter, Christian Quarter, Armenian Quarter and Jewish Quarter; the Old City's monumental defensive walls and city gates were built in the years 1535–1542 by the Turkish sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The current population of the Old City resides in the Muslim and Christian quarters; as of 2007 the total population was 36,965.
Following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Old City was captured by Jordan and all its Jewish residents were evicted. During the Six-Day War in 1967, which saw hand-to-hand fighting on the Temple Mount, Israeli forces captured the Old City along with the rest of East Jerusalem, subsequently annexing them as Israeli territory and reuniting them with the western part of the city. Today, the Israeli government controls the entire area, which it considers part of its national capital. However, the Jerusalem Law of 1980, which annexed East Jerusalem to Israel, was declared null and void by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478. East Jerusalem is now regarded by the international community as part of occupied Palestinian territory. In 2010, Jerusalem's oldest fragment of writing was found outside the Old City's walls. According to the Hebrew Bible, before King David's conquest of Jerusalem in the 11th century BCE the city was home to the Jebusites; the Bible describes the city as fortified with a strong city wall, a fact confirmed by archaeology.
The Bible names the city ruled by King David as the City of David, in Hebrew Ir David, identified southeast of the Old City walls, outside the Dung Gate. In the Bible, David's son, King Solomon, extended the city walls to include the Temple and Temple Mount; the city was extended westwards after the Neo-Assyrian destruction of the northern Kingdom of Israel and the resulting influx of refugees. Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE, it was rebuilt on a smaller scale in about 440 BCE, during the Persian period, according to the Bible, Nehemiah led the Jews who returned from the Babylonian Exile. An additional, so-called Second Wall, was built by King Herod the Great. In 41–44 CE, king of Judea, started building the so-called "Third Wall" around the northern suburbs; the entire city was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The northern part of the city was rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian around 130, under the name Aelia Capitolina. In the Byzantine period Jerusalem was again enclosed by city walls.
Muslims occupied Byzantine Jerusalem in the 7th century under the second caliph, `Umar Ibn al-Khattab who annexed it to the Islamic Arab Empire. He granted its inhabitants an assurance treaty. After the siege of Jerusalem, Sophronius welcomed `Umar because, according to biblical prophecies known to the Church in Jerusalem, "a poor, but just and powerful man" would rise to be a protector and ally to the Christians of Jerusalem. Sophronius believed that `Umar, a great warrior who led an austere life, was a fulfillment of this prophecy. In the account by the Patriarch of Alexandria, Eutychius, it is said that `Umar paid a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and sat in its courtyard; when the time for prayer arrived, however, he left the church and prayed outside the compound, in order to avoid having future generations of Muslims use his prayer there as a pretext for converting the church into a mosque. Eutychius adds that `Umar wrote a decree which he handed to the Patriarch, in which he prohibited Muslims gathering in prayer at the site.
In 1099, Jerusalem was captured by the Western Christian army of the First Crusade and it remained in their hands until recaptured by the Arab Muslims, led by Saladin, on October 2, 1187. He permitted them to resettle in the city. In 1219, the walls of the city were razed by Mu'azzim Sultan of Damascus. In 1239 he began to rebuild the walls. In 1243, Jerusalem came again under the control of the Christians, the walls were repaired; the Kharezmian Tatars took the city in 1244 and Sultan Malik al-Muazzam razed the walls, rendering it again defenseless and dealing a heavy blow to the city's status. The current walls of the Old City were built in 1535–42 by the Ottoman Turkish sultan Suleiman the Magnificent; the walls stretch for 4.5 km, rise to a height of between 5 and 15 metres, with a thickness of 3 metres at the base of the wall. Altogethe
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
New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company is the third-largest life insurance company in the United States, the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and is ranked #69 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. NYLIC has about $570 billion in total assets under management, more than $25 billion in surplus and AVR. In 2007, NYLIC achieved the best possible ratings by the four independent rating companies. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds. New York Life Insurance Company first opened in Manhattan's Financial District as Nautilus Mutual Life in 1845, 10 years after the first life insurance charter was granted in the United States. Chartered in 1841, the company sold fire and marine insurance; the company's first president, James De Peyster Ogden, was appointed in 1845. Nautilus renamed itself New York Life Insurance Company in 1849 to concentrate on its life insurance business.
In its early years the company, along with other insurance companies of the day including Aetna and US Life, insured the lives of slaves for their owners. By 1847 these accounted for one‑third of New York Life's policies; the board of trustees voted to end the sale of insurance policies on slaves in 1848. The company sold policies to soldiers and civilians involved in combat during the American Civil War and paid claims under a flag of truce during that time. In the late 1800s, the company began employing female agents. New York Life continued to grow throughout its first 100 years as the national population and the market for life insurance increased. New York Life's growth was in part fueled by its introduction of a system by which the company used agents to find new business. In 1892, company President John A. McCall introduced the branch office system: offices that served as liaisons between New York and field agents. In 1894, the company became the first US-based insurance provider to offer life insurance to women at the same cost as men.
Anthony was one of the company's first female policyholders. In 1896, New York Life became the first company to insure people with disabilities or in hazardous occupations; the New York Life Building at 51 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, designed by American architect Cass Gilbert, opened in December 1928. The company moved into the 34-story skyscraper in 1929; that year, New York Life's assets survived the stock market crash. Following World War II, New York Life further diversified. In 1957, New York Life hired one of Cirilo McSween. In the 1970s, New York Life began selling mutual funds. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, as other mutual life insurance companies became publicly traded corporations, New York Life remained a mutual company. New York Life entered the Mexican market in 1999. New York Life, along with other insurance companies, relaxed the claims process for missing persons in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Fearful of the stability of the market during the two years prior to the financial crisis of 2007–2008, New York Life moved its cash into other investments such as treasury bonds.
In the ensuing financial crisis, New York Life Insurance Company rejected assistance from the U. S. Treasury Department. Following the 2013 acquisition of Dexia Asset Management renamed Candriam Investors Group, New York Life Investments became one of the largest asset managers worldwide, with access to markets in Europe and Australia, in addition to the United States; as of 2016, New York Life Insurance Company was the country's third-largest life insurance company. A mutual insurance company, New York Life is owned by its policyholders and has no outside shareholders; as a mutual, New York Life distributes a portion of its earnings to eligible policyholders as annual dividends. As of 2016, the company has paid a dividend every year since 1854. Through Seguros Monterrey New York Life, the company offers insurance in Mexico. New York Life's core product is whole life insurance, a type of life insurance offering lifelong protection that builds cash value over time. New York Life sells term life insurance, universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, long-term care insurance and annuities.
The company operates New York Life Direct, selling direct-to-consumer policies, is the exclusive life insurance partner of the AARP. New York Life's global asset management business serves both retail clients. New York Life Investments ranks No. 26 by total worldwide institutional assets under management, according to Pensions & Investments' Largest Money Managers Survey 2017. The group manages money through independent investment boutiques; these boutiques include: Ausbil, an Australian investment boutique specializing in equities Candriam Investors Group, which focuses on high yield, absolute return, emerging debt, sustainable investments and asset allocation strategies Credit Value Partners, which specializes in opportunistic, distressed debt and high-yield corporate credit GoldPoint Partners, a private equity firm IndexIQ, which specializes in exchange-traded funds and alternative investment strategies MacKay Shields, an asset management firm that focuses on income generation and offers capital growth through mutual and hedge funds Madison Capital Funding, which provides financing to private equity firms Private Advisors, an asset
Beth Medrash Govoha
Beth Medrash Govoha is an accredited institution of Higher Education, licensed by the State of New Jersey to offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. It is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, is affiliated with the Jewish faith. Beth Medrash Govoha is referred to by its initials, as "BMG," or as the "Lakewood Yeshiva." As of 2019 BMG had an enrollment of 6,715 students, 2,748 in its undergraduate programs, 3,967 in its postgraduate programs, making it the largest Jewish-affiliated institution of Higher Education outside of the State of Israel. The institution, founded by Rabbi Aaron Kotler in 1943, attracts students from around the world. BMG offers a broad spectrum of Talmudic Studies, with some 240 study programs on four campuses, which are led by Program heads, who guide groups of students in BMG's unique model of independent learning. Beth Medrash Govoha is a successor institution to Yeshivas Etz Chaim, located in Slutzk, in what is today Belarus; that institution was led by Rabbi Isser Zalmen Meltzer and by Rabbi Aaron Kotler, until it was forcibly closed by the Soviet Revolution of 1917, which banned all forms of Jewish studies Etz Chaim was reestablished in Kletzk, under Polish rule by Rabbi Aaron Kotler, where it thrived until World War II and the destruction of much of European Jewry.
Rabbi Kotler escaped the Nazis in 1941 and came to the United States where he opened BMG in 1943. BMG's four campuses are located on 35 acres in Lakewood, with four campuses and numerous academic facilities and residence halls; the newest building was completed on the land where Bais Eliyahu used to be. It was first used on Rosh Hashanah seating over one thousand people for the services; the building was sponsored by Meir Levine. The yeshiva is licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and accredited by the Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, it is authorized to grant bachelor's and master's degrees in Talmudics, as well as two post-master's diplomas in Talmudics. What students seek in Beth Medrash Govoha is to at first attain the skills necessary to properly understand and analyze the Talmud and to be able to do independent research on a scholarly level, use these skills to become accomplished Talmudic scholars. Beth Medrash Govoha is a post-graduate institution and the general age of entry for new students is about 22.
A high level of analytic skill and comprehension in understanding the Talmud is required, to the extent that a student is able to study a subject from the starting point all the way to the most complex areas of that subject on his own. The yeshiva does not have a remedial program for weak or unprepared students, reaching the level required to be a successful student at the yeshiva takes several years of intense, full-time study; as such, in general, only students that have studied in an undergraduate level yeshiva geared for students aged 18–22, will be accepted. The yeshiva studies are based on classical Torah study traditions using the Talmud, Shulchan Aruch and Rabbinic literature as texts and sources. Although all students study the Talmud regardless of whether they just joined the yeshiva or have been studying for well over a decade, when students first arrive they study the official mesechta of the yeshiva; this mesechta will always be one of eight. Some students will stay on learning these subjects for many years, developing great expertise in these areas, while others will study other areas of the Talmud.
Some students focus on the practical application of the talmudic laws based on the Halachic conclusions of the Shulchan Aruch. Because of the large number of students in the Yeshiva, there are groups studying every subject in the Talmud. Beth Medrash Govoah is unique among Yeshivas in that a student can study any subject in the Talmud or Halachah that he prefers; the daily schedule consists of three sedarim – a morning session, 9:30am–1:45pm, an afternoon session, 3:40pm–7:20pm, an evening session, 9pm-11pm, in which a total of 10 hours of each day is spent studying. For each session there is a limud, a chapter of the mesechta that that group is learning; the morning session is the most important of the sessions and is the subject that students will devote their after-hours time to and are most to write papers on. All learning is done within a system of chaburos in which 15 to 200 scholars are seated together to study the same subject at the same pace with their individual chavrusa; every chaburah is headed by a rosh chaburah.
The rosh chaburah is somebody, more advanced than the members of the chabura and his primary function is to assist the chabura in their studies. Additionally some roshai chaburah assist in pairing the members of their chaburah with an appropriate chavrusah. Most roshei chaburah will study the material on their own time so that they are proficient and knowledgeable on the subject; some roshai chaburah give a weekly discourse on the topic, studied that week. A small number of chaburos require members themselves to prepare and give discourses of their own on a rotating basis. Other responsibilities of the rosh chaburah include submitting the number of seats needed for the members of his chaburah, to decide the topic of study for the semester. Three zmanim exist in a year, based on the Hebrew calendar: Winter zman, from R
Histadrut or the General Organization of Workers in Israel is Israel's National trade union center, representing the majority of trade unionists in the State of Israel. Established in December 1920 in Mandatory Palestine, it soon become one of the most powerful institutions in the Yishuv; the Histadrut was founded in December 1920 in Haifa to look out for the interests of Jewish workers. Until 1920, Ahdut HaAvoda and Hapoel Hatzair had been unable to set up a unified workers organisation. In 1920, Third Aliyah immigrants founded Gdud HaAvoda and demanded a unified organization for all Jewish workers, which led to the establishment of the Histadrut. At the end of 1921 David Ben-Gurion was elected as Secretary. Membership grew from 4,400 in 1920 and to 8,394 members in 1922. By 1927, the Histadrut had 25,000 members, accounting for 75% of the Jewish workforce in Mandatory Palestine; the Histadrut became one of the most powerful institutions in the state of Israel, a mainstay of the Labour Zionist movement and, aside from being a trade union, its state-building role made it the owner of a number of businesses and factories and, for a time, the largest employer in the country.
Until Israel began moving away from a socialist economy, the Histadrut, along with the government, owned most of the economy. Through its economic arm, Hevrat HaOvdim, the Histadrut owned and operated a number of enterprises, including the country's largest industrial conglomerates as well as the country's largest bank, Bank Hapoalim; the Israeli services sector was dominated by the Histadrut and government, the Histadrut largely dominated public transport and insurance industries. In addition, it owned Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest Kupat Holim, or health insurance company. Clalit was the only health insurance company to accept people without discrimination based on age or medical situation, membership in the Histadrut was a precondition for membership with Clalit, meaning that many Israelis were dependent on Histadrut membership for their health insurance. Membership in 1983 was 1,600,000, accounting for more than one-third of the total population of Israel and about 85% of all wage earners.
About 170,000 Histadrut members were Arabs. In 1989, the Histadrut was the employer of 280,000 workers. With the increasing liberalization and deregulation of the Israeli economy since the 1980s, the role and size of Histadrut declined. A major shift in power took place in 1994, when the Labor Party lost its leadership and governing role in the Histadrut, a new party named RAM, composed of individuals who had left the Labor Party due to internal power struggles, took charge and began to sell off or eliminate its non union-related assets and activities, proclaiming that from on, it would function as a trade union; the most severe blow came in 1995, when Israel's National Health Insurance Law came into effect, creating Israel's modern universal health care system. Under the law, Israelis were given a choice in membership between Clalit and three other health insurance funds, which were now prohibited from discriminating against applicants for age and medical reasons, Clalit's tie to the Histadrut was severed.
As a result, many people no longer depended on the Histadrut for their health insurance, one of the largest declines in union membership in history occurred. Membership instantly plunged from 1.8 million to about 200,000. The loss of revenue generated from Clalit's health insurance premiums and union dues caused an enormous decline in the Histadrut's resources, it was forced to sell off valuable real estate assets to survive; the Histadrut managed to recover from its low point in membership and grow in membership. In 2005, it had about 650,000 members. To this day, the Histadrut still remains a powerful force in the economy. Following its support of the 2011 Israeli social justice protests, on February 8, 2012, Histadrut called a general strike in support of lower paid subcontracted, unorganized workers, negotiating with both the government and private employers on their behalf, demanding that the subcontracted workers be hired directly and be offered the pay and benefits granted to regular employees.
A settlement was announced on Sunday, February 12, which provided for some gains by the subcontractors, but for a 3-year moratorium on further strikes over subcontractor issues. The initial aim of the Histadrut was to take responsibility for all spheres of activity of the workers movement: settlement, trade unions, housing construction, banking, cooperative ventures and culture; the Histadrut took over economic firms operated by the parties, which operated by subcontracting, their Office of Information, expanded into a Labor Exchange. After a few months the Histadrut became the single largest employer in the Yishuv; the Histadrut succeeded in improving worker's rights as e.g. the right to strike was recognised, employers had to motivate dismissal and workers got a place to turn to with their complaints. In the first year of its existence the Histadrut lacked central leadership, many initiatives were taken at the local level; this changed. Ben-Gurion wanted to transform the Histadrut into a national instrument for the realisation of Zionism.
According to Zeev Sternhell Ben-Gurion's exclusive commitment to this goal is illustrated by a Dec
Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text, it encompasses the religion and culture 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. Judaism encompasses a wide body of texts, theological positions, forms of organization; the Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, supplemental oral tradition represented by 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. Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah; this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period.
Modern branches of Judaism such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism. Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to Jewish law, the authority of the Rabbinic tradition, the significance of the State of Israel. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin and unalterable, that they should be followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism promoting a more traditionalist interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Special courts enforced Jewish law. Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and the rabbis and scholars who interpret them.
The history of Judaism spans more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions; the Hebrews and Israelites were referred to as "Jews" in books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title "Children of Israel". Judaism's texts and values influenced Abrahamic religions, including Christianity and the Baha'i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. Hebraism was just as important a factor in the ancient era development of Western civilization as Hellenism, Judaism, as the background of Christianity, has shaped Western ideals and morality since Early Christianity. Jews are an ethnoreligious group including those born Jewish, in addition to converts to Judaism. In 2015, the world Jewish population was estimated at about 14.3 million, or 0.2% of the total world population. About 43% of all Jews reside in Israel and another 43% reside in the United States and Canada, with most of the remainder living in Europe, other minority groups spread throughout Latin America, Asia and Australia.
Unlike other ancient Near Eastern gods, the Hebrew God is portrayed as solitary. Judaism thus begins with ethical monotheism: the belief that God is one and is concerned with the actions of mankind. According to the Tanakh, God promised Abraham to make of his offspring a great nation. Many generations he commanded the nation of Israel to love and worship only one God, he commanded the Jewish people to love one another. These commandments are but two of a large corpus of commandments and laws that constitute this covenant, the substance of Judaism. Thus, although there is an esoteric tradition in Judaism, Rabbinic scholar Max Kadushin has characterized normative Judaism as "normal mysticism", because it involves everyday personal experiences of God through ways or modes that are common to all Jews; this is played out through the observance of the Halakha and given verbal expression in the Birkat Ha-Mizvot, the short blessings that are spoken every time a positive commandment is to be fulfilled.
The ordinary, everyday things and occurrences we have, constitute occasions for the experience of God. Such things as one's daily sustenance, the day itself, are felt as manifestations of God's loving-kindness, calling for the Berakhot. Kedushah, nothing else than the imitation of God, is concerned with daily conduct, with being gracious and merciful, with keeping oneself from defilement by idolatry and the shedding of blood; the Birkat Ha-Mitzwot evokes the consciousness of holiness at a rabbinic rite, but the objects employed in the majority of these rites are non-holy and of general character, while the several holy objects are non-theurgic. And not only do ordinary things and occurrences bring with them the experience of God. Everything that happens to a man evokes that exp