As Defined On Our Site
Orthodox Observance Categories
Below are guidelines to understanding the categories of observance levels on Harei At.
 
Please excuse us: It may seem that we are making judgments and encouraging categorization of people, when in reality we at Harei At embrace individuality. Each person is an entire world, and we at Harei At certainly do not lose sight of this. However, for lack of a better system we found no other method than simplifying searches by categorizing religious outlooks. We set out to do this simply because an individual's religious outlook is essential in determining compatibility.
 
Since the terms used to describe the categories, (ie: Yeshivish) maybe understood differently across the Jewish globe, we encourage you to read the description of the categories. Focusing on the descriptive paragraphs will give you a much better understanding of how we categorized the terms.
 
Liberal Orthodox 
These are individuals who observe Shabbos and keep Kosher, but are more lenient in their approach to Halacha. They are comfortable engaging in secular pastimes such as frequenting bars, clubs, and movies. These individuals may or may not pray and/or learn Torah study consistently.
 
Modern Orthodox
These are individuals who maintain a lifestyle consistent with the guidelines of Halacha. This often expresses itself in daily prayer and Torah study. These individuals do engage in secular activities such as visiting bars, clubs and movies. 
 
Yeshivish Inclined
These individuals combine a strict torah lifestyle with a professional secular career. As opposed to identifying with the "Modern Orthodox" group, they identify more with the Yeshivish community. This often is seen in the type of Torah institutions with which one is affiliated and the choice of Rabbi one follows for guidance. Additionally, this identification with "Yeshivish" outlook often expresses itself in mode of dress.
 
Yeshivish 
Prayer, Torah study, and strict adherence to fulfillment of all Mitzvos are central in the lives of these individuals. They are one hundred percent committed to spiritual growth, and strict Halacha observance is the norm. Secular pastimes tend to be shunned as barriers between the secular world and the religious world are seen as protective to spirituality. Dark suits and black hats are worn as an extension of this. 
 
Chassidish
These individuals, too carefully adhere to every facet of religious and spiritual growth. They observe Halacha strictly, are meticulous in prayer and Torah study and avoid secular pastimes. Additionally, emphasis is placed on deep understanding of the metaphysical aspects of Mitzvos. Passion and warmth is expressed by singing and celebrating together when doing Mitzvos. Quite commonly there is a distinctive mode of dress, one for weekday as well as a different one for Shabbos. That specific mode of dress varies according to the specific Chassidic sect one follows. Each sect follows their particular Rebbe.
 
Unaffiliated Chassidish
These are individuals who are no longer affiliated with the rabbi of their sect. Outwardly, they may (or may not) carry on with their distinctive mode of Chassidic dress which they were born into. However, their inner essence does not correlate with their Chassidic garb. Their level of observance may vary from one which closely resembles the liberal modern group to one which closely resembles the yeshivish inclined group. 
 
Moshavnic
These are individuals who feel that settling in Israel is central to Judaism. They adhere to halacha - praying, studying torah and keeping all the mitzvos. They see music as a medium to draw closer to Hashem by expressing love of the land and love of the Jewish people.
 
Shomer Das
These are individuals who see themselves as not conforming to any of the above groups. Their main identifying feature is that they keep mitzvos and they therefore consider themselves orthodox.
 
You may find that you are a unique blend and may not "fit" into any of these categories. That's ok! Just go with the category that you feel you lean towards more.