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Agudath Yisrael Definition

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Agudath Yisrael - A clericalist political party of ultra-Orthodox Jews, founded in Poland in 1912 and established in Palestine in the early 1920s. Agudath Yisrael was non-Zionist or anti-Zionist and did not recognize the Jewish state. it is affiliated with the Habad movement. In 1949 it formed part of the United Religious Front. In 1955 and 1959 it joined Poalei Agudat Israel to form the Torah Religious Front. It periodically joins the Degel Hatorah (Lithuanian ultra-orthodox party) to form the United Torah Judaism party. Originally anti- Zionist, these non-Zionist parties, together with the Council of Torah Sages, favor state enforcement of religious laws and increased state financial support for their schools and for religious institutions. Though still non-Zionist, they tend to favor perpetuation of the occupation and vote with the right against peace moves or negotiations. It is incorrect to say that they favor theocracy, because they do not take authoritative stands on issues that are not directly related to religion in some way. This differentiates them from the stand of some sectors of the NRP who want a government of religious Jews that will carry out their interpretation of religious law as it applies to all aspects of public life.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information: Political Parties, Israel

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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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

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