Early this year, one of my Bible Study Students asked me if it was okay to invite her Jew friends to our Bible Study, and I allowed her. Before the Bible Study, I allowed them to introduce themselves, and I noticed some saying they were Hasidic Jews while Others were Orthodox Jews, and I got interested. One thing that I noticed about Hasidic Jews is that their way of dressing was so unique, while those who called themselves Orthodox Jews wore clothes just like us. So I enquired more on their respective Jewish sects. I was able to get first-hand knowledge to help me compare Hasidic vs. Orthodox.
The main difference between Orthodox and Hasidic Jews is that Hasidic Jews are a sect of Orthodox Jews who are stricter about their culture, religion, and tradition. On the other hand, Orthodox Jews are the main segment which has many sects; one of them is Modern Orthodox Jews that are less strict about cultural tradition—they embrace both Torah and Secular knowledge. The main similarity is that both Hasidic and Orthodox Jews believe in Torah and attend synagogues.
Join me in this article as I write about the differences and similarities between Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. I will also write about the facts about Hasidic Jews and Orthodox Jews; read on to find out.
Hasidic Jews: Definition
Hasidic Jews are a group of Jews who pursue their traditional lifestyle and beliefs even though they live in the secular world. However, they incorporate some modern things in their way of life that are acceptable to their rules. They observe the Torah and live by the Talmud. They are also focused on leading a piety kind of life. In addition, they are just a sect that forms part of the larger group of Jews called the Orthodox Jews.
Facts to know about Hasidic Jews
They are said to be Mystic
They get their information from Rabbi Shimon Kabbalistic scripts of Rabbi Shimon Bar and others. They improve their relationship with God through in-depth studying and internalizing their Hasidic teachings.
They have groups that form their differences
Hasidic Jews conform to different Hasidic groups that have different flavors and styles. There are groups like Gur Hasidim and Breslov Hasidim who are different. Gur Hasidim is known to value simplicity and is devoted to the stark. On the other hand, a group like Breslov is known for its value of keeping joyful dispositions. Other groups are known for different things like Kindness.
They use technology, but minors are limited
Hasidic Jews are allowed to use technological advancements like cars, phones, among others. They use this technological advancement as a way to honor God by using them in a holy manner, a manner that observes Torah and Mitzvot. They use them in the best way possible to bring a Messianic state to the Universe. They are wary of the internet, and TV is off-limits. Young people or minors are given very little or no access to the internet to prevent them from developing compulsive behaviors.
Their guidance comes from Rebbes
Hasidic Jews get their guidance from Rebbes, who are their group leaders. Hasidic Jews have a very close and intimate relationship with their leaders because they believe in that manner, each person can feel so close to God. These leaders are chosen by original leaders based on their lifestyle of in-depth study, being immersed in prayer and contemplation.
They have a deep connection to wing songs/music
Hasidic Jews are known to be lovers of songs to the point that any Jewish song is referred to as Hasidic Music. According to one of their masters, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Music and the soul are connected because music is like a pen for the soul.
All Married women who are Hasidic must cover their hair
The Hasidic laws demand that married women should cover their hair with a snood or kerchief. However, in today’s life, they can use human hair wigs to cover their hair.
Hasidic Jewish Men have to keep their beards
It is in their Torah for men not to shave the hair on their faces; that is why all Hasidic men keep growing their beards. They also believe that 13 locks on their beards stand for the supernal attributes of God that are 13.
They were persecuted
The Hasidism group was started in the 18th century, and many people doubted the movement. They were perceived as fake Jews, and their leader was arrested in the 18th century. He was released on the 19th day of Kislev, which now marks the New Year of Hasidism.
Modern Orthodox Jews: Definition
These are Jews who form part of the Orthodox Jews and are keen observers of the Sabbath laws, the congregational prayer laws, and the dietary laws. Even though they strictly observe such laws, they have a more positive attitude towards the secular world and other people who are not Jews and other aspects that revolve around non-Jewish culture. Their practice is based on Torah Ummada—Torah and secular knowledge.
Facts to know about Modern Orthodox Jews
They deeply observe Jewish rules and laws
Modern Orthodox Jews observe the Jewish laws. They especially observe laws regarding Sabbath, Congregational prayers, and dietary laws.
They have a Positive attitude towards Non-Jewish culture
Modern Orthodox Jews are Jews who respect other cultures that are not Jewish. They are more positive towards all aspects of other cultures. They, in fact, have integrated values from other cultures into their way of life, including dress codes.
Many Modern Orthodox Jews are educated
Many of the Modern Orthodox Jews are well educated, holding bachelor’s degrees and postgraduate degrees. This is because more of them are open to receiving both secular education and religious education.
Modern Orthodox Jews who live in the US are more attached to Israel
Modern Orthodox Jews who do not live in Israel are said to be more emotionally attached to Israel than other Jews. It is because Israel is the ancestral land of many Jews.
Orthodox Jews are conservative about politics
When it comes to politics, Modern Orthodox Jews are a very conservative group of Jews. Most of them lean towards the side of Republicans, while a few support Democrats.
What’s the Difference between Hasidic vs. Orthodox Jews?
All Hasidic Jews are Orthodox Jews, while not all Orthodox Jews are Hasidic Jews. Orthodox Jews are a segment of the Jews, while Hasidic Jews are a group of Jews that form part of the Orthodox Jews. For Orthodox Jews, there are other groups apart from Hasidic, which include Modern Orthodox Jews. For the Hasidic group, there are smaller groups like the Gur Hasidim.
How They Relate to the Secular World
Hasidic Jews are very strict when it comes to how they relate to the secular world. On the other hand, there are sects that are part of Orthodox, like the Modern Orthodox, who are less strict in their relation to the world.
Strictness About Garments
Some groups that form part of the Orthodox Jewish are less strict when it comes to garments, like the modern Orthodox Jews who follow the modern way of dressing. On the other hand, Hasidic Jews strictly observe their special outfits; men wear long coats and fur hats. Part of their grooming includes keeping long beards. Women keep it modest, showing less skin, with their shortest outfit reaching their knees.
Secular and Religious education
Orthodox Jews have embraced secular education. They allow their children to study both secular education and religious education. On the other hand, Hasidic Jews have stuck to religious education.
Service in the Military
Orthodox Jews value Military service so much. Many Orthodox Jews serve in the Military of Israel. Hasidic Jews do not serve in the Military.
What are the similarities between Hasidic vs. Orthodox Jews?
About the Torah
Both Hasidic and Orthodox Jews believe in Torah. Torah is the law that Moses wrote for them in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
Both Hasidic and Orthodox Jews attend Synagogues. Hasidic Jews attend their Hasidic Synagogues on Shabbat. Orthodox go to their Shul, which is equal to a Synagogue. Both of them observe Shabbat rules, like walking to the Synagogue and not driving.
Both Hasidic and Orthodox Jews have leaders whom they call rabbis. These leaders are supposed to learn the Jewish law and have their religious education.
Although Hasidic Jews are so strict about attire and Orthodox are not, there is one special garment that both of them have, and they obey rules around it. It is called modest attire.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.