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Leading up to World War 2 (1930s etc.), what percentage of European Jews practiced "Orthodox" Judaism?

  • Keep in mind that Jews lived in Africa and other parts of the world where they were attacked by someone. Are you specifically limiting your question to Europe, and if so, why? – DanF Oct 26 '15 at 16:18
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It varied tremendously across Europe. World War I actually demolished a lot of communal structure, and Orthodox observance declined from there.

Rabbi Joseph Soloveichik commented that as a young child he recalled when most Jews kept shabbos, and by the time he was a young man that had changed. As a college student passing through the great city of Vilnius, he said the synagogue was no longer that full.

(In Hassidic towns it was likely much higher.)

  • do you happen to know if that quote by "The Rav" was recorded anywhere? – jj2 Oct 26 '15 at 17:35

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