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'Haredi Definition

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'Haredi - (adjective and noun) (Hebrew) Literally, "Anxious." Applied to non-Zionist and anti-Zionist ultra-orthodox Jews who generally wear clothing associated with central and eastern Europe of about 1600-1700 and follow one of several very strict rabbis.

'Haredi Jewish political parties in Israel lobby for stricter enforcement of religious law according to their interpretation, separation of women and men in public transportation, orthodox religious monopoly on marriage, funerals, Jewish holy places and Kashruth laws, exemptions from military service for Yeshiva students and subsidies for Yeshivah students and Yeshivot.  Haredim often do not honor IDF dead on memorial day or Holocaust victims on Holocaust day. Haredim are not Zionist, but most Haredi political parties participate in the Israeli government in order to advance their religious political objectives and to obtain public funds for their school systems, Yeshivoth and other charities.

Extreme 'Haredi sects such as Neturei Karteh do not recognize the state of Israel  or participate in elections or in the government, and they cooperate with the PLO and enemies of the Israeli state.

'Haredi Jews are generally separate from the rest of Israeli society, but this has changed in recent years. Haredim maintain strict behavior codes that ensure that they cannot mix with or by influenced by secular society. The are not supposed to read materials that are unrelated to religious learning or their professions for example. However, the Sephardi Haredim of the Shas party are far less insular than the European Haredim, and the Habad Hassidim have encouraged a slightly more open approach  as well.   Haredi Jews, such as  politician Israel Eichler write regularly for leading Israeli newspapers and even appear on television. Two charities established by Haredi society have captured the hearts of secular Israel.  ZAKA - a voluntary rescue organization provides emergency first response medical attention at suicide bombing scenes and rescues human remains found there to provide proper burial.  Yad Sara,  provides patients and the handicapped with medical equipment (such as wheelchairs) on loan for free or for a nominal charge.  Haredim generally avoid military service, but a small group of Haredim has in recent years been joining the special Nahal Haredi units.

At the same time, Haredim have aroused the ire of secular Jews and of Orthodox Jews of the NRP party because of their demands for financial subsidies and indefinite exemptions from military service for Yeshiva students, and have angered secular Jews by insistence on religious legislation and public Sabbath observance.

Synonyms and alternate spellings: Charedi

Further Information:

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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