In an effort to maintain their strictly devout lifestyle, the ultra-Orthodox have separated the sexes on buses, sidewalks and other public spaces in their neighborhoods. Their interpretation of Jewish law forbids contact between men and women who are not married.
The ultra-Orthodox community’s unofficial “modesty patrols” are selling glasses with special blur-inducing stickers on their lenses. The glasses provide clear vision for up to a few meters so as not to impede movement, but anything beyond that gets blurry — including women. It’s not known how many have been sold.
There are atheist Jews (ethnic Jews only),
then there are “Reform” Jews (very, very liberal theologically),
then CONSERVATIVE Judaism (liberal to moderate, not really conservative
as most conservatives would understand Conservative to mean,
then there are ORTHODOX Jews, truly conservative Jewish rabbis and believers.
In THIS camp, the Orthodox camp, there is also diversity, ranging from totally Orthodox and conservative yet very kindly and friendly and tolerant of other Jews and even of Christians, Muslims and nonbelievers,
and then there are other factions,
and then are EXTREMELY EXTREME, very small but loud, extremely ULTRA-Orthodox groups.
It is because of THESE people, and their propensity to violence toward people NOT in their strict and very small camp, that Israel strongly discourages Christians from displaying lots of crosses (some of these extremists will spit on them, and on YOU, which is NOT common nor commonly-accepted behavior to Jews, who are appalled by such rudeness) or they may even stone you as you go into your church for services or Mass, break your church’s windows. They sometimes attack Muslims (rank and file Israeli Jews DO NOT behave like this, I reiterate). And Christians, Muslims, and other nonJewish “infidels” are not the ONLY people these extreme fanatics will attack.
Israeli Jew after Israeli Jew, can tell you stories, all true, of driving too close to one of these extremist enclaves on the sabbath (even for an emergency like an emergency trip to doctor for medical care) and having their CARS STONED by these hyper-vigilant fanatics.
The most extremist among them actually HATE their own Jewish STATE OF ISRAEL and believe it should not exist until God DIRECTLY creates it.
Israeli Jews themselves can also tell you true stories of how these people stone even other Jews walking down the sidewalk on the Sabbath. Now, most Orthodox Jews WILL only walk a certain distance, and no further, on the Sabbath, say to get to Temple, and will not, except in say a life or death emergency, take a car, bus, or bicycle to Synagogue on the Sabbath. But these extremists go even further. If THEY think that even another Orthodox Jew (but not of their particular little camp) is walking too far on the Sabbath, according to their own subjective opinion, they have been known to curse them and even STONE them, actually pelt other Jews with stones.
This very fanatical and antiSocial behavior by the extremist orthodox sects,
causes a large number, numerically I am told it’s a majority, of Israeli Jews
to DISLIKE MOST Orthodox Jews, because of the fanatical actions of a few extreme
sectarians. This is unfair. One of my dearest neighbors in my Condo was an ORTHODOX Jewish woman, and she was one of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest and most courteous human beings you would ever want to meet. An absolute delight of a person.
These sectarian fanatics are NOT NICE, not even to other Jews,
and when you meet a couple of THEM, and hear some of their shockingly nasty remarks (nasty but not with dirty words), you can begin to understand the kind of self-righteous fanatics that Jesus openly denounced in His day ----- he was NOT denouncing all his fellow Jews nor even all Pharisees indiscriminately.
Again, the vast majority of “Orthodox” Jews are very nice, kind, friendly and philanthropic people. They read their torah, their targums and talmud and pray, and truly try to live as humanitarians. Please do not confuse them with the small sectarian extremists
who actually DO attack people, insult people, and even commit acts of violence against people, non-Jews as well as their own fellow Jews.
In my condo were lots of Conservative and a few Reform Jewish families and couples.
When they would talk about the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood just two miles south of our building, they would snort, “WE do not LIKE those People.” When they were informed that our neighbor Frieda was an Orthodox Jew, they were shocked because she was so sweet, and they reevaluated their opinion of our neighbors two miles south
It’s a shame that a few violent people can cast aspersions on a much larger group of nice, kind people.
And these “blurry” glasses are news to me.
It may be an urban legend.
It was told me by Jewish co-workers ( I later learned that they were pulling my leg, but
I fell for it), that ORTHODOX Jews, when they make love,
do not lay their naked bodies against each other,
but that rather, they have a blessed, huge, thick sheet,
with a huge hole cut in it (for access to you know where), with that cut-out hole
surrounded by elaborate embroidery. I believed this story for YEARS.
My college friend Eve, when I asked her if Orthodox Jews still use that sheet
(this was after I had believed this for several years), was stunned that I believed this.
She told me, ******, that story about the sheet with the embroidered hole cut in it,
is an Urban Legend. Your friends were pulling a joke on you and you fell for it,
but it isn’t true.
The “blurry glasses” may also be an urban legend. The sheet story isn’t true.
in the time of Jesus, there were Pharisees known to be SO extreme that they would, to avoid looking at a woman, walk so close to the neighboring building, and turn their face toward it that they (and only a few of them went this far) would actually SCRAPE their flesh on the wall of the building trying so hard to avoid looking at a woman.
There are extreme fanatics in every religion.
If you are a recent convert to Catholicism,
you should HEAR some of the things some Catholic fanatics are into.
I won’t go into them, because it would take me a week of posting, but we Catholics have our extremists, our weird fanatics, our superstitious members who try to mix Voodoo and Hoodoo (such as in heavily-catholic New Orleans) with Catholicism, behave with RIOTOUS Wickedness during Mardi Gras (and I don’t mean one beer too many or too much food, but REALLY BAD sins, really bad ones) deliberately, then “piously” get their Ashes on Ash Wednesday and act all sanctimonius during Lent, sometimes not even confessing the mortal sins before receiving communion.
You also have a number of Catholics who will insist, despite the Catechism’s CLEAR statements to the contrary, that any and all people, without exception, who are not official full-blown active members of the Roman Catholic Church are, automatically, damned unto hell forever. They KNOW that the Catechism says that this is not so, they KNOW that even Pre-Vatican II popes denied this explicitly, and yet they still insist upon it, quoting out of context statements from the Council of Florence or an out of context statement by a saint or saints. Yes, we have our own Catholics who are
“far more Catholic than the pope and far more Catholic than the Magisterium” in their own minds. We all have to watch out for extremism.
I think blur stickers are a good idea - I’ve often thought that the real answer to the problems some Muslim societies have with women’s clothing/modesty is that the men should only be allowed to go outside the home when blindfolded and accompanied by their mother.
Actually, I always heard the “hole in the sheet” story as being a CATHOLIC thing – particularly among 19th century Italian and Irish. Hopefully also an urban legend.
The word Fanatic comes to mind
That is hilarious!!! :rotfl:
So, apparently, picking up a stone and throwing it does not violate the proscription against unnecessary work on the Sabbath :shrug:
Hear, hear! I was thinking similar thoughts when I read about the outrage expressed by some Saudis by having female athletes competing for their country in the Olympic Games.
I am an Orthodox Jew who lives in Israel; not ultra-Orthodox:
That having been said, these 2 articles should show show nothing is black and white- even with the ultra-Orthodox. Even more than that: Things are changing even from within:
The quiet Haredi revolution
Significant changes are taking place in Haredi society as younger members claim the right to choose how to live their lives and seek to build bridges beyond the community.
…the Haredi street is starting to wage an internal battle over its image. On one side is the traditional conservative faction, which wants to keep things as they are and opposes modernization even within permitted boundaries. On the other side is an increasing number of those who advocate involvement in all aspects of life in Israel.
The accomplishments of this group, such as the Haredi Nahal battalion, the Haredi Campus at Ono Academic College and the establishment of six yeshiva high schools, are indications of the changing tides.
Now, the young rebels seek to translate their hitherto suppressed aspirations into political power. The Haredi Tov movement, which advocates the integration of Torah study with work, education and military service, and whose members are described mockingly as “the blue-shirts,” is gathering strength.
…In closed talks, the leaders of the anti-establishment Tov movement, the foe of United Torah Judaism, say that in the upcoming municipal elections, they will run their own candidates for mayor of Jerusalem and the Elad city council. They may also run candidates in other Haredi cities. Their appetites have grown since they took the municipalities of Beit Shemesh and Beitar Illit by surprise. The old-time Haredi establishment sees these new Haredim as a real threat – not only because they fear losing votes, but mainly because Tov is so popular with young Haredim.
In a certain sense, the popularity of this movement of young Haredim draws its strength from simple human motives. In Haredi society of the 21st century, more and more calls are being made for change and for a deep examination of the community’s priorities vis-à-vis the outside world, which is changing at an extremely rapid pace.
The recognition that there is no one true way, and that there is more than one legitimate path, is slowly trickling into the Haredi world. This means that parents can enroll their sons in Haredi yeshiva high schools where pupils study for the matriculation examinations. If they want to attend yeshiva after graduation, they can. If they want to study at a Haredi college and learn an honorable trade, they can. That, too, is legitimate. If they want to join the army, they will come back as heroes, not as outcasts…
And from today’s paper:
I think it’s totally foolish, and I doubt that anyone I know would say otherwise.
Sometimes it’s necessary to ‘read between the lines’ of what people write.
I understood, but sometimes it’s also necessary to be blunt. My point was to try and make it clear that this isn’t the norm in most religious Jewish communities.
You will find that there are many opportunities for many approaches on CAF.
Welcome, by the way.
I’m pleased to see that. This is why I’m here.
I was thinking along the same lines; equipping men with ‘blurry’ glasses sounds much more comfortable than women wearing the burka.
Thank you for pointing out that these so-called ultra-Orthodox Jews are not the norm within Judaism or even within Orthodox Judaism.
Interesting, but not totally surprising since Judaism is, in several respects, an evolving religion. Are these Israeli Haredim mainly Hasidic or non-Hasidic, or are they a mix?