Help Me Out Here

What is the way to define the differences between a Chareidi Jew and a Chassidic Jew? (I am not talking mode of dress) Are there any differences? Are Chassidim just Chareidim who have a rabbi that they run to for every little thing? How would you define Misnagid vs Chassid to the uninitiated? I get a little confused sometimes with these terms, to be honest.

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22 responses to “Help Me Out Here

  1. ok, according to my understanding-chassidim & litvish/yeshivish/misnagdim are both part of the chareidi camp. i believe that the word chareidi means stringent & both camps consider themselves to be Ultra-Orthodox & very stringent. litvishe yeshivish ppl. also ask many shailos of their Rav (Rabbi) & chassidim tend to ask shailos of their Rebbes. i’m not sure who asks more shailos, chassidim or misnagdim but if i had to guess i’d assume chassidim do. anyhow, i hope this helped clarify things hadassah & perhaps someone else may have other info (or opposing info?!) to add…

  2. Lady Lock and Load

    Hadassah, I thought the term Chareidim is a terminology used in Israel. This term is inclusive of all types, chassidish and litvish and yeshivish.
    As far as the difference between misnagdim and chassidim, that’s more of a history lesson on European Jewery and how the chassidic community evolved.

    • LLL, i think of the terminology litvish, yeshivish & misnagdim to be interchangeable. do you think there are any notable differences between litvish & yeshivish groups?

      it is ironic that the chassidic lifestyle originally began as a break away from the mainstream strict misnadgdim b/c they were trying to instill more Simcha/happiness via song & dance into Judaism that they felt was previously lacking. it is interesting that although the original chassidim were trying to make judaism more “user-friendly”, in today’s day & age the chassidish lifestyle seems to be so much more stringent & challenging than the non-chassidic orthodox way of life. it is worth noting that the lubavitch/chabad chassidim are very into kiruv or outreach & of all the different groups of chassidim, many previously non-affiliated jews gravitate towards lubavitch chassidim. i feel that this is worthwhile to mention since i don’t want to lump all chassidim into one group so to speak b/c there are many many different chassidic groups.

  3. A chareidi would be known to a secular person as “ultra-orthodox”- otherwise known as yeshivish, black hat, far right-winged in terms of halacha. chassidish means you follow a rebbe, your sect at one point broke off from followers of the Baal Shem Tov, the father of the chassidic movement. Chassidim also daven a different nusach. many daven Sefard (not sefardic). Some of their minhagim are different from mainstream orthodoxy. A misnagid is the yeshivish pronunciation of mit-na-ged in hebrew, meaning an opposer, somone ideaologically against what you are saying. You can take that any way you want to. I can’t comment on it because i dont know.

    Hope this helps. everyone feel free to correct me, i’m sure you all will

    • i believe the misnagdim got their name by the chassidim who they opposed b/c they didn’t agree with the new ways of serving G-d that the Chassidim were instituting thru song/dance/joy etc..

  4. BS”D

    This is how I interpret these words. “Charedi” is a word often used in Israel describing so called “ultra-Orthodox” Jews. “Chasid” and “misnaged” is also “ultra-Orthodox” Jews but they are a part of different communities and traditions. A chasid is a part of a chasidish community and he/she has a Rebe who he/she is following, besides chasidus Breslov- and Chabad-Lubavitch who’s Rebeim have left Olam Hazeh. A misnaged is a part of a yeshivish/litvish community and they often have a Rov who they are following. In the practice (I do not know if I use the right word here) are central- and modern-Orthodox Jews also misnagdim but I do not think of them when I think of this word.

    • it may be worthwhile to note that the term litvish is from the country Lithuania where many of the Misnagdim originated & were followers of the Vilna Gaon. Vered, i would tend to agree that ppl. who consider themselves modern/centrist orthodox are generally litvish but it’s not what comes to mind when one uses the term litvish b/c usually it is used to describe a more yeshivish (ie black hat type). i will say that even for me an FFB (someone who was frum/religious from birth) it is difficult when i don’t consider myself to be part of the yeshivish camp or the modern orthodox/centrist camp, it kinda places me in a sort of no-man’s land which is annoying. it’s as though there is no such thing as mainstream orthodoxy any more. we have become so polarized as a community that one is either classified as yeshivish/chassidish or modern/centrist orthodox without any thing in the middle. personally, i like to follow the middle of the road or golden path but it seems almost elusive in today’s day & age…

      • I have Payoth but don’t wear a suit except for Yom Tovim/Shabbath/Simchoth.
        I learn from every Rabbi who follows the Sulchan Aruch.
        I have taken on a couple of chumrath and follow a few lenient Poseks. I understand the merrits of both camps but refuse to follow just one.

        “A Chassid puts on his kepa first after his underwear when getting dressed after the mikvah, a Misnagid puts on his talith katan. The first is aware of his relationship with G-d and wants to stress his place in the relationship were as the second feels he will demonstrate his desire of being close through the mitzvoth themselves.”

        • PS I put on my talith katan first because it is d’ritha AND my kepa would likely get knocked off anyway if I put it on first.

          • Kiva – there are rules about what order you get dressed in? for women too?

            • Lady Lock and Load

              Well, there are rules about SHOES (that you love so much).
              According to the Code of Jewish law (the Shulchan Aruch), when putting on shoes, the right shoe goes on first. When tying shoes. the left shoe is tied first. When shoes are taken off, the left shoe comes off first. This custom is based on the belief that the right is more important than the left. Therefore, the right foot should not remain uncovered while the left is covered. Shoes should be tied from the left since knotted teffilin is worn on the left arm.

              Since the tying of shoes is a reminder of the tying of teffilin, for those who are left handed, and who place the teffilin on their right arm, the right shoe should be tied first rather than the left, so that the tying of shoes matches the tying of teffilin.

  5. Of course, these distinctions are hard for some to understand. Frequently, I’ve heard people (my own kids included) refer to yeshivish / misnagdim / litvish as “chassidish,” since the behavior, garb and language all tends to look and sound similar. Of course, I’ve also been personally called chassidish (I look / act stereotypically modern orthodox), but the fellow may have been borderline senile. I got a kick out of it, though.

  6. Lady Lock and Load

    I have this thing that I don’t like it how people put Jews into cattegories (sp?). I lived in Israel for four years and the tension between the groups nauseated me. My feeling is this….when we are all six feet under G-d couldn’t care less if we are modern, yeshivish, reform, charaidi, conservative, chassidish, orthodox, etc. etc. We are all pretty much the same and the ground has room for all of us. (end of rant, thank you, thank you…)

  7. LLL – does your post indicate that you are as tolerant of a person following Reform Judiasm as you are of a person who follows a form of orthodoxy?

  8. Lady Lock and Load

    Of course, we should all be tolerant of every Jew. I actually have friends that are Reform Jews and we are tolerant and accepting of each other, even though we can disagree on things. Moshiach will come faster if Jews got along better.

  9. by the way, the actual term chareidi, comes i think from har sinai… the root means to shake, quiver, or quake… we were trembling before Hashem’s awesomeness… so you could actually call us “Quakers” hahaha

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