« Home | Papau New Guinea opens embassy in Jerusalem » | LGBT ideology is a religion » | Illegal immigrants in south Tel Aviv start riot » | New Jersey police arrest one of Chris Christie's f... » | Haredi women protest UTJ's Meir Porush for giving ... » | Arab mother in Haifa became victim of honor murder... » | Biden administration's terror funding cost an Isra... » | Danish government betrays free speech values » | Offensive signs like this minimize the Holocaust » | NYC mayor will allow mosque loudspeakers to blare » 

Wednesday, September 06, 2023 

An apologist for gender segregation in Bnei Brak, and an appeal to make Judaism into a more positive force

A woman from Bnei Brak saw fit to act as apologist for stuff that's not exactly appealing or makes much sense in wider society, following the recent demonstration against Haredi gender segregation:
Ostensibly outraged by what they perceive to be increasing gender segregation in Israel, particularly on public transportation, they widely publicized the demonstration in advance imploring secular women to join them because: “Atrocity is happening in Bnei Brak, women are being discriminated against and they need our support and help.”

This is exactly how they phrased it. The Israeli zeitgeist right now appears rife with angry protests – some justified, some not.

In a world so full of offensive and repugnant chauvinism, I’d be thrilled if those demonstrating for women’s rights would stop wasting their time and resources on Bnei Brak. Why not look for those places where women are objectified? Where they’re belittled? Where they’re constantly betrayed?
For somebody saying she'd be "thrilled" if they'd spend time protesting elsewhere, how come she doesn't recommend a stand against Islamofascism? I realize the march was mostly organized by liberals, but still, why can't a certain somebody else possibly influenced by socialism be more clearer? Oh, and just get a load of the following, as though the segment titling alleviates complaints:
Women aren't objectified in ultra-Orthodox Judaism, they are segregated

Haredi society has always sanctified the institution of marriage. From an early age, the ultimate aspiration of every haredi boy and girl is to marry and establish a home. A home that builds character, a home that empowers, but also offers a sense of serenity. A home in which the wife knows that her husband is hers only, and the husband knows likewise that his wife has chosen to build her life with him and that she doesn’t look elsewhere.

This central principle is reflected in the community’s way of life, particularly the separation between males and females in the ultra-Orthodox common space. If Halacha, Jewish law, permits relationships between men and women only for the purpose of marriage, then gender separation is clearly required in every other area. From the age of three, classrooms are separate; men and women occupy different parts of the synagogue; even family occasions are conducted in a state of gender separation.

At a haredi wedding, men sit on one side of the hall and women on the other. Usually, a partition is set up between them. This is not exclusion, and there is no element of discrimination in the practice. The conditions in girls’ schools or in the women’s sections of celebration halls are not inferior to the conditions enjoyed by the males. The principle is strictly observed and is at the core ultra-Orthodox life.

The cynical exploitation by self-interested or political parties of situations arising from the principle of separation is patronizing and pathetic.

It is my right as a woman to decide to live in a space where there is segregation between the sexes. No one forced me to be ultra-Orthodox, I do not force anyone else to be ultra-Orthodox and do not impose my worldview on anyone else. But if someone chooses, of their own free will, to enter a haredi space, I expect them to behave with a modicum of politeness and to respect the wishes of the community. Just as they would remove their shoes upon entering a mosque, without feeling coerced or discriminated against.

Haredi tradition respects the woman; Halacha enjoins the husband to love his wife “as himself,” and to honor her “more than himself.” It’s worth looking into why the divorce rate in ultra-Orthodox society is currently less than a third of the divorce rate in the broader Israeli public.
Hmm, now I'm beginning to wonder if this woman's perfectly fine with all the Religion of Peace stands for, right down to the Koran's verses stating Jews are sons of monkeys and pigs. Which could probably also explain why she's lodging complaints about "objectification", but then, if she really is so worried about that, how come she doesn't research and protest LGBT objectification of children for the evil purpose of transsexuality? And, by any chance, does she find the Islamic burka/niqab/chador demeaning to women, and stripping them of an identity? Why, is she aware there's child/sexual abuse that's taken place in Haredi society? Gender segregation doesn't amount to anything when same-sex assault occurs in such places. Only a good education in etiquette and civility does. And doesn't admitting women are all but segregated prove the point of complaints, and how it all ran the gauntlet of coming at ordinary women's expense?

It should also be reminded, as per the scandal of a rabbi named Yosef Paryzer who committed serial adultery, that being Haredi doesn't equal sainthood. See also this article telling how one of the women deceived by that scoundrel felt when she found out how much he'd kept from her. And, let's not forget the Malka Leifer case either. The Post op-ed writer seems to believe any egilatarian family event will automatically lead to infidelity, yet that's just what happened with Paryzer, so again, I'm not sure what her point is. What I do know is that she's being awfully stuffy herself, not stopping to think that no system is infinitely or inherently perfect, nor does she ask whether she herself was indoctrinated, or whether there are women in Haredi society who aren't happy going by the customs, which she ambiguously calls "halacha". All without even citing any clear Torah/Bible verses to defend her narrow beliefs. Say, does she also believe women singing is the worst thing that could happen, and that Jerusalem of Gold by Naomi Shemer was a crime that should never have been composed?

Now, here's another op-ed by an activist who argues why Judaism needs some mending, though he could be a leftist, and that's why his article needs to be taken with a grain of salt:
The creation of the State of Israel is one of the great religious redemptive events of Jewish history. Therefore, this should be an age when Judaism flourishes and the religion strengthens state-building with purpose and inspiration. Sadly, Jewish religion in Israel has become a force for anti-democracy, for anti-Arabs and racist views, for mistreatment of other religions, for inequality of women, for dodging military or national service. Religious understanding has been so distorted that Israeli society conventionally assumes that this destructive version of Judaism is the true version of Jewish religion.
Admittedly, some extreme Haredi clans do seem to view Arabs all the wrong way, yet never take issue with Islam, and the worst part is that they may consider the Religion of Peace acceptable, seeing how some of them, like Lev Tahor, borrowed more than a bit from Islam themselves.
It all started with haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Judaism. Haredim thought that to remain faithful to Jewish tradition, they would have to fight modernity completely. They went all out to block modern culture from their community, culture, and education. Fearful of being undermined, they refused to dialogue or cooperate with other viewpoints. They concentrated authority and policy decision making among a handful of gedolim (great ones/masters of Halacha-Jewish Law) and rabbis. These men – only men – made decisions in all fields and could never be wrong because they were considered endowed with ruach hakodesh (divine spirit).

Their “divine” authority was superior to human laws and policies. In accordance with the passivity of rabbinic tradition, the gedolim rejected Zionism and its call to take power and go back to the Jewish homeland. The haredi leaders prohibited any cooperation with Zionists and other sinners (in their view: non-haredim). This was a catastrophic decision. The masses of haredi Jews remained in Europe where 90% were wiped out by the Nazis.
On this note, I recall reading an article telling how the Satmar's founder, Yoel Teitelbaum, abandoned his followers and fled by himself, which just underscores what a monster he really was. This is stuff a lot of Haredi clans likely don't ever mention, if at all, which makes clear they're unrepentant, and have virtually no interest in reevaluating their MO.
Already in the 19th century, Rabbi Israel Salanter pointed out three fundamental problems in this religious worldview. Firstly, unable to handle choices and alternatives, haredim created a way of life of minutely detailed behaviors in every aspect of living. These were enforced by conformity and social control, at the expense of spiritual concerns. Note: This is the haredi way of proceeding today.

Secondly, they often focused on ritual behaviors and neglected the ethical commandments which are so central to the Torah. They were under so much pressure as a counterculture that this one-sidedness often slipped into a tacit bargain. In return for ritual and communal conformity, people would not be held accountable for ethical breaches and violations – especially toward ‘outsiders.’ Note: See Arye Deri, still head of the Shas Party, although twice convicted for bribery and corruption.

Thirdly, they convinced themselves that they exclusively were following God’s dictates. There was little self-awareness and almost no self-criticism in the community. The feeling of being under siege from the larger community and defensiveness further stifled honest disagreements or weighing policy choices. The absence of discussion or evaluation brought out the great ones’ unalloyed conviction of always being right and the tendency to dismiss any dissenting voice as heretical. Salanter was convinced that in the absence of self-analysis and group critique, the decisors/policymakers would twist Torah to fit their needs and biases instead of ruling for the benefit of the whole community. Note: Reflecting their narrow lens and lack of background, the gedolim initially refused to instruct haredim to take COVID-19 vaccines or act to prevent contagion. Today, their insistence on complete exemption from IDF or national service for haredim shows their inability to see beyond their constituency or assess realistically the feelings of the general society.
No argument there. Failure to consider the hazards of the worst modern pandemic did cause harm.
With Netanyahu’s rise to power – and especially after he grew dependent on haredim to forge majority coalitions – government support for the haredi community, educational system and yeshivot, grew by quantum leaps. The expansion of support without requiring core curriculum subjects meant that haredim could not contribute to building Israel economically. The trend pointed to serious future skilled-labor shortages and an unsustainable welfare burden on the Israeli economy. The high birth rates among haredim projected haredi electoral power dominance in a few decades.

No leading politician was willing to confront the issue because they sought haredi participation in a coalition they could lead. Yair Lapid did put the issue on the table, so the haredi parties declared him persona non grata to head any future coalition. The other Center-Right politicians got the message.
But what really nullifies the impact of Lapid's positions is that he's so far to the left, he's not willing to consider Islam a problem. It's a terrible shame that as a result, such leftist movements as Lapid's end up forcing right-wing movements to take up partnerships with the Haredi parties, considering them a lesser evil. What they have to do is convince people in Haredi society to abandon it, and certainly shouldn't feel ashamed to make the effort. It won't be easy convincing the masses in those clans, but that's what should be done, specifically, by the right.
As haredi strength grew, they took over the Chief Rabbinate and its courts system, hitherto a dati leumi (national Zionist) preserve. The rabbinic courts (with no women judges) were biased against women. They enabled the creation of a large class of agunot – women denied a gett/divorce by recalcitrant husbands. The vast bulk of Russian olim of Jewish descent, admitted under Law of Return, were denied or driven away from conversion by rabbinic court demands that they agree to live haredi-style observant lives.

The haredim were indifferent to non-haredi concerns. The Interior Ministry – controlled by Shas – mistreated Christians or denied reasonable accommodation for Christian organizations, staff, or clergy under cover of the claim that all Christians were missionaries. These approaches offended foreign populations and hurt Israel’s international standing.

THE FOUNDATION of the haredi worldview is that there are no legitimate alternative religious positions. They cannot allow any recognition of other religious views. When Netanyahu worked out a compromise to provide non-Orthodox religious services at Robinson’s Arch away from the main Western Wall, the haredi street pressured him to repudiate the agreement – even though this would offend American Jews and weaken support for Israel.
Sounds almost like the Religion of Peace, doesn't it? What's really disturbing is if the Haredi parties are okay with accommodating Islam, in sharp contrast to Christianity. As for the Reform Judaist movement, they are a bad lot, and the Conservative movement does have bad apples too, but it doesn't mean Orthodox Judaism in any form should be vulgar and abusive towards them, though they should expose how bad the Reform can be, right down to the LGBT pandering.

Anyway, the 2nd article in focus here will need to be taken with a grain of salt, to be sure, but there is a valid argument that the right-wing cannot continue to ignore how bad Haredi conduct can be when the most insular clans end up being the worst influence. Just look at Beit Shemesh, for example. Some could easily argue such clans with their deleterious approach to women put the keys in the ignition for the leftists' LGBT ideology as a result. So, the same religious movements who're allegedly opposed to LGBT influence will have to wake up and recognize their own MO backfired big time as a result of the kind of beliefs they imposed upon their flocks. Regrettably, many ultra-Orthodox clans won't do that. Which is exactly why right-wingers who really care are going to have to take the challenge of making Orthodox Judaism a more respectable, positive influence if they really don't want to alienate those whose support they could use.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile



    avigreen2002@yahoo.com See also my collection of Link in Bio pages: Realtime Website Traffic

      I also contribute to

    • The Astute Bloggers
    • Infidel Bloggers Alliance
    • Which also includes (open menu)

      My other sites

    • The Four Color Media Monitor
    • The Comic Book Discrimination Dossiers
    • Hawkfan
    • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
    • The Outer Observatory
    • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
    • Puzzle Paradise
    • The Co-Stars Primer
    • Cinema Capsule Cavalcade
    • Food Diner
    • News/Opinion sites (open menu)

      Writers and special activity groups (open menu)

      Media Watchdogs (open menu)

      Columnist bloggers (open menu)

      Research on terrorism (open menu)

      Other bloggers: Israel and Asia (open menu)

      Other bloggers: Europe (open menu)

      Other bloggers: American continent (open menu)

      Museum sites (open menu)

      Bloggeries Blog Directory blog directory Blog Directory & Search engine View My Stats
    • W3 Counter stats
    • eXTReMe Tracker
      Locations of visitors to this page  
      Flag Counter

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

Tel-Chai Nation is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.