The non-Jewish press has taken a great interest in the Haredi internet sobfest held on Sunday. I guess that’s bound to happen when 40,000 black-suited men take over a baseball stadium on a hot day in May and no bats or gloves are involved.
Over at Jezebel, Katie J.M. Baker and Sam Biddle have a scathing post. Leaving aside a few of their inaccuracies (not all Haredim are Hasidim), they hit the nail on the head by identifying misogyny at the core of all of this: Continue reading
Behind the growing conflict between Haredim and the rest of the Jewish community is a primitive theology that most of us do not begin understand. These people live in a world in which God metes out punishment upon the Jewish people and the world for the tiniest of “offenses.”
In the video below, broadcast a few weeks ago on Israel’s Channel 10, you will learn about a movie intended for Haredim. You will see how these people blame their own wives, mothers and daughters who wear wigs (rather than headscarves) for the rampant poverty in their community. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Wait until you see what else they blame on this so-called immodesty. Continue reading
If you have not had the opportunity to watch the YouTube video in the previous post, now would be a good time. Tonight, in a tribute to sanity, several thousand protestors arrived – on one day’s notice – for a rally in Beit Shemesh. Secular and religious Jews, including a few moderate Haredim, joined together to express their outrage.
It’s terrific and I’m the first to applaud this demonstration of sensibility. But before we start celebrating the end of Haredi misogyny, let’s remember that negativity about women – if not the violence – is widespread in Haredi Judaism. Continue reading
It should come as no surprise that The Atheist Rabbi would have an issue or two with Haredi Jews, especially when it comes to the matter of “exclusion of women” that has come to dominate Israeli discourse. I have this in common with millions of secular Jews in Israel and around the world.
What is surprising is the large number of Orthodox Jews who are also at the end of their ropes with these people. Because they come into more frequent contact with them, traditional and moderate Orthodox Jews have witnessed their behavior up close. Continue reading