In Judaism, as in most religions, there are various branches of worship. People interpret the religious laws in different ways and thus also the religious practice that results from that interpretation is different.
Orthodox Judaism is a Jewish religious branch that adheres very strictly to the Halacha and regards its commandments and rules as binding or interprets them in a very tradition-bound sense.
Orthodox Judaism originated in the 19th century in contrast to Reform Judaism. In Reform Judaism, the religious laws are divided into ritual and ethical laws that may result in a different obligation. This means that ritual laws – i.e. laws that affect the practice of religion – can be changed or adapted to suit life circumstances whilst ethical laws determining behavior beyond the ritual laws should not be changed.
Even within the Orthodox and non-Orthodox Judaism, there are different interpretations and currents.
In Christianity, some denominations are also called orthodox, for example the Russian Orthodox Church. Orthodox comes from the Greek word meaning “right praising.”