Religion

Haredi Angst and Frustration

(Updated with minor edits.)
Ynet reports:

J’lem: Bleach war against ‘immodest’ women
Residents of haredi neighborhood claim attacks by religious fanatics battling against ‘promiscuity’ of clothing stores and shoppers; victim: This is Bitul Torah. Don’t they have anything better to do than look at women and determine whether they are modest or not?
Neta Sela
More and more women in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood have been complaining of being sprayed with a bleach mix. The attacks mark an escalation of the religious fanatics’ battle against what they refer to as the ‘promiscuity’ on the haredi streets and the infiltration of ‘fashion’ that often times does not correspond with the strict dress codes in the community.

And there we have it. These people are “religious fanatics.” The ilk of mullahs and Taliban, they are nothing to be actually dealt with, their concerns have no validity, and they must be pushed “out of the way” for the “modern, secular society” to progress. While, granted, at least some element of this has come to be expected from the mainstream Israeli press, this entire fiasco underlies a prejudice so ingrained in the “enlightened” psyche that it precludes dialogue.
A charedi Jew, ideally, grows up to learn and proscribe all of his actions by the Shulchan Aruch, the code of Jewish Law. He, again, ideally, wants to be able to serve his Creator at all times, immersing himself in the morning, preparing himself for prayer with special (usually black, sometimes stuffy) garments, learning Torah. Among the things he has learned is Orach Chaim chapter 75 and other laws of prayer, which say that one may not recite prayers — or other holy things — in the presence of immodestly clad females. From the most holy ne’ilah on Yom Kippur to the blessing after leaving the bathroom, all invoking of G-d’s Name is prohibited until said female is out of view.
He realizes, growing up Chutz la’Aretz — proper observance of these laws proves itself to be an impossibility in the subways of Manhattan or on the streets of London or LA. He learns in yeshiva how important shmirat ha’einayim — guarding one’s eyes from immodesty — is, but what can he do? He feels frustrated and guilty and resolves — when he gets married, he’s moving to Eretz Yisra’el. He’s moving to a charedi community, where he won’t have to deal with such things.
And then he gets to Jerusalem, and realizes, even here, only 30% of the population in charedi. So he moves to the charedi “black belt” of Jerusalem and realizes that his main thoroughfares are still functional on Shabbos and connects secular communities, and has bus stops with advertising similar to what he left. So he moves again to B’nei Brak or to Me’ah Shearim. He builds walls, fences, he puts up signs, he puts up posters, he screams in the streets, only wanting to have some type of halachically proscribed religious environment, some square inch he can go to as a safe haven from an increasingly secular world.
And all the while, all he hears is “religious fanatic” and how his point of view must be done away with. How he has no rights, not even after paying double, triple the price of a comparable dwelling just to live in a place where he might have a chance to live without compromising his religious observance. Where he might be able to keep that law he learned about in yeshiva, the ones his rebbe told him were so important. But no.
And so, with his value system stripped of legitimacy by the “modern world”, and now unable to shut it out, he is subjected to stimuli day in and day out. With no choice, and no options. The Shulchan Aruch told him not be around something he now can’t escape. And the only people’s rights who matter are the people who don’t have his views.
It is quite easy to marginalize someone in whose shoes one would never walk.

62 thoughts on “Haredi Angst and Frustration

  1. I have no problem calling people who settle their problems with violence religious fanatics. Sure they’re not trying to kill me, but bleach is a eye, skin and respiratory irritant, and throwing it at people just might harm more than their clothes.
    No one in the world can 100% control their environment. But most people don’t insist on it.
    I am referring those comments not to every chardei, but those who think that they can throw rocks adn bleach adn burn thigns to get their way. They’re breaking more halachot than they’re keeping and desecrating hashems name.

  2. I hardly ever disagree with you Y-Love, so I just want to suggest: spraying bleach? Don’t you have alittle problem with that? The world I live in is full of people displaying values I am repulsed by. I do my best to teach my child differently, but I don’t go around sprying people with bleach. I don’t throw paint on people wearing fur coats, either , by the way.

  3. Also, chances are that if these bleach sprayings are happening in Geulah, the targets are themselves religious women – run of the mill secular Israelis don’t tend to shop in Geulah, because it doesn’t cater to their needs. So what we most likely have here is a case of certain Charedim spraying women who in fact are modestly attired, and attacking stores that sell modest clothes, most likely in the manner prescribed by the Shulchan Arukh, but not modestly enough for certain factions who would rather that all women in a mixed religious (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrachi, Litvish and multiple Hasidic sects) neighborhood dress according to their standards. And that ain’t hardly fair.

  4. I think one is acting fanatical if he or she is spraying a bleach mix on women, he or she views as immodest. Religious or not.
    However i think the proper term for what is going on in these neighborhoods is zealotry. A zealot is, according to the Oxford dictionary:
    a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.
    Is zealotry bad? Perhaps not alaways, but when zealotry reaches a level where people are being sprayed with a bleach mixture, or otherwise physically harmed, I think it is a problem.
    Y-love, i respect your opinion regarding finding a place where Charedim can practice in peace. I just don’t see how, unless secular women are purposely agitating Charedim so that they can’t daven or otherwise function, that they should be sprayed by bleach, or otherwise physically attacked.

  5. While the general sentiment of no-tolerance by secular Jews towards the religious absolutely true and inexcusable, you seem to be marginalizing actions taken by religious Jews. Just because they are discriminated against does not mean they are faultless.
    Throwing bleach at people is suredly against halacha, and is wrong. If nothing else it is ganeiva (thievery) and a massive lack of Ahavas Yisrael.
    Yes, you can speak volumes about the greatness of hareidism and rightfully so. For G-d’s sake don’t defend an act which is clearly a violation of Halacha (not my idea of a wet T-shirt contest) is indecent, immoral and distances Jews from Judaism.
    Hypocrite.
    Y-Love, sorry dude.

  6. What the Haredi are doing is inexcusable. Sorry.
    I’m frustrated too. I’m frustrated that if my family made Aliyah, we would not all be considered Jewish. I’m frustrated that if a Reform/Progressive congregation wants a Shul, it has to bend over backwards to get the land zoned as “Other House Of Worship” so that it can build on land it bought, while Orthodox congregations get land and subsidies. I’m frustrated that to pay taxes in the State of Israel is to pay the salaries of men who call me Apikoras, who break into HUC-JIR to try to steal the Torahs and vandalize the place.
    Would it be “understandable” if a Haredi woman walking in a progressive neighborhood were to have the Sheitl ripped from her head? Would it be “understandable” if a bunch of HUC Seminarians broke into an Haredi shul and tore down the Mechitzah? These would be the moral equivalents, but of course, we would never do that.
    The pervasiveness of Secularism is the same excuse handed by the Wahhabbi for their actions to, and by Christian militia groups in the US. Doesn’t matter what your faith is, it does not excuse the violence.

  7. Let me get this straight. A woman walking down a public street dressed in non-charedi attire, in a (more or less) democratic country gets attacked and the fact that these people are just trying to follow what their rebbe told them is a justification? Give me a break. These women are not preventing charedim from observing halacha, the charedim are their own worst enemy when it comes to these things. Y-love, I see where you are coming from but I think you are way off.

  8. I have never read such nonsense. Really. Although this might count as troll-like behavior, I only have four comments:
    1. The Haredim aren’t different in many ways from “the ilk of the Taliban and the Mullahs”
    2. Israel is a secular country with a secular society. That’s how it is. Even more secular than Manhattan. It’s nobody’s fault that Mr. Haredi (Reb Haredi?) has this fantasy about the dreamland of eretz yisroel.
    3. If I read correctly (and I usually do) this piece is about haredim terrorizing other haredim. I seem to think that the shulchan oruch does not cover terrorizing, or even say anything about the treatment of the woman who may or may not be erva for the bracha.
    4. How about we stop trying to defend the evil and go back to defending the good people?

  9. I may be wrong, but I think all of the above commentators missed the point of Y-Love’s post. I get the sense that he *started* with the premise that what these Charedim did was reprehensibley and unforgivablly wrong, and going from there, sought to understand what would drive a person, specifically a person who shares the same (basic) religious beliefs as himself, to do such a terrible thing.
    I think it is an important lesson when dealing with anyone we consider as a wrong-doer or enemy. A friend of mine who recently made aliyah and is very much opposed to the disgusting behavior often demonstrated by members of the Settler community impressed me by spending a Shabbos in Hevron of all places.
    It’s very easy to sit on the 30th floor on the Upper West Side and condemn some black-hatted, payes-ed, flaming-eyed haredi in Yerushalaim, but it is much more difficult to understand what would cause him to do such a thing. And how will we ever fight this behavior if we don’t understand it?

  10. Some thoughts on this topic….
    Whether or not you agree with the Chareidim here, the perceived invasion and blanketing influence of secularism is the same rationale used by Islamists. They too portray themselves as victims of a heartless consumerism, against which they are merely asserting their traditional society.
    Y-Love probably doesn’t see himself as defending the spraying of bleach, I would like to think that he’s expressing the general views of the Chareidi public on the matter of public modesty.
    Personally, I like some of Chareidi views, like wanting a Godly society (not just personal beliefs but entire society). And whilst I respect and love some of the ideals and freedoms of secular society, I don’t think liberal democracy is necessarily the greatest peak of human civilization (surely there’s more .. something higher..). On the other hand, I’ve actually lived in Geula, and found it boring and suffocating. At the end fo the day, I’d prefer to be in secular society, where public norms are dictated by rational law and order rather than modern interpretations of the ShulchunaAruch. So I appreciate areas of a city like Jerusalem being dictated by deeply religious norms (Geula, Meah Sharim), but G-d help us if the whole country was run like this!

  11. agreed with all the above, but slight quibble with elon (3):
    even if the woman are deliberately interfering with the men’s davenning (which they are not), they still should not have bleach (or anything else )thrown at them.
    Y-love– on just what basis are you defending those who physically and financially hurt people?

  12. Israel is a secular country. Monsey and Kiryas Yoel are not. How about we relocate the bleach throwers there? Would it make a difference? not really. The same people who throw the bleach are the people who kill Palestinian children. its just a different situation and the victims are persecuted for yet another baseless cause.
    I think a retraction and apology is in order, Y-Love.

  13. Amit, the haredim in question probably don’t serve in the army. If they did, they probably didn’t rise in the ranks to become senior officers or politicians with influence on military decisions. And so…. seeing them as the same sort as those who target Palestinian babies just shows your lack of knowledge. And intolerance….
    Those who kill babies more often than not grew up in a secular home – I’m thinking of course of the pilots and kibbutznikim who for years formed the backbone of the infantry (till the national religious started to move in – still not haredi…).
    And the whole killing babies thing…. it’s so stupid. First of all, babies are not more worthy of human life than young children, adults, or senior citizens. Certainly not halachically. That’s why abortion of a viable fetus is still the right decision if it can save the life of the mother.
    Secondly, even with all the Israeli crimes, the trope of ‘baby killer’ is just extremist hysteria. Babies make poor strategic targets. They are nearly always killed incidentally by the IDF, as collatoral damage. I don’t know of any Israeli soldier who merits the charge of baby killer, which was invented to describe soldiers who actually kill babies, one at a time and personally, as in My Lai, or the Nazis. Israeli killers, murderous and horrific as they are, deserve to stand slightly to the left of ‘baby killer’ on the judgement spectrum. Moral relativism will get us nowhere.
    I don’t think Y Love was condoning violence. He was giving a viewpoint that is valuable in this context. And thanks for not using acid.

  14. rebecca,
    Wow, i obviously did not proofread that point. You are right and i fully agree, “bleaching” is not okay even under provocation 🙂

  15. I can’t believe that there’s a debate raging here over the throwing of bleach at women. Whose rights matter more? People who can’t bear the sight of a woman’s bare arm/ankle or the rights of people who’d rather hurl bleach than be exposed to such an abomination. Thanks for posing such a probing question!

  16. Y-Love, I’m hoping that you were not condoning the behavior of those who were spraying bleach on clothes and women that they found objectionable. Cause that ain’t right no matter how you look at it. It’s funny to me that you categorized this post under “co-existance” because while I think you’ve made some interesting points about men who are charedi and their frustrations in being observant in a secular society, I believe that damaging peoples property and assualting others is not doing ones part in the whole “I want to co-exist with you even though I may not agree with you”. Y’ know?

  17. Thanks for that outstanding entry! Obviously it’s NOT ok to throw bleach around or do any damage to people or property, and those perpetrating these acts are a fringe minority, and do not represent the view of the vast majority of Chareidim in Israel or abroad. Sincerely wanting a neighborhood free of secular encroachment (as if such a place exists today), can be admirable, but the acts are misguided and are contrary to Jewish Law.

  18. two points: 1. there are laws in the shulchan aruch pertaining to a kano’i (zealot) wich permit him to do things that are otherwise wrong for example in the case of a moser (informer) about whom is written “kano’im pogim bo” the zealots may destroy him i.e. even kill him. i dont know all of these laws but it may be worth looking up, to define what is permissable according to halacha, instead of making up halachot.
    2. i personaly think bleaching or any other violent attack is wrong, but here its more about the mindset. here you have the papers seizing on every opportunity to attack the chareidim and make them look bad, taking the actions of a select few mishugoyim to besmirch the entire chareidi community. never do you find them defending this community. look at the comments. thats all.
    suggestion: perhaps a little love of a fellow jew even if he/she is chareidi? this helps more than anything and breaks all boundarys. suggestion #2: never judge your fellow until you’ve walked in his shoes. you have no idea where he may be coming from. shalom

  19. in that vain, suggestion #3: before attacking/condeming somebody, try defending him (his position) first. the result may be alot different. only good tidings.

  20. y-love, stick to mixing music. this behavior is pure unadulterated criminal crap–if one of those SOB’s got me with the bleach, the SOB would be laying in the streeet bleeding and I would be in jail. And I would be screaming on TV. Fuck the Charedim. They ruined my life enough already. That’s why I left. They are scum.
    A Charedi motherfucker beat the shit of me when he decided women can’t eat meat and potatoes because it’s “man” food. It was ok for that Charedi dreck I was married to to **ck boys, but beating me was the joy of the day.
    BLEACH?!! and you’re OK with that.
    I am going to break the CD dan gave me of your work.
    I will bounce with Jeanette someplace that doesn’t include a moron like you.

  21. the views expressed by Y-Love do not reflect those of Modular Moods or Barzilai.
    set it off: you can’t live in this world and control seeing. I do see frum girls in BoroPark who do not look up. Maybe they should try that. Their whole rocks or bleach thing takes it from seeing to looking, thinking about, approaching, and finally interaction. surely this is a lot worse than SEEING, but not LOOKING. that after all, is all Hashem could ask of us. Back in the day, He scattered us yidden so that we could change the world…be a light unto the nations. – your manager, dj handler

  22. wait, kyle’s mom . I’m sorry that that stuff happened to you, but Y-Love is not condoning any harm, he was trying to illustrate that Chareidim just want a closed community while raising a question. how in this world today could you create a community like that and be succcesssful at it. I def think that they are going about it the wrong way, but I don’t think Y-Love was saying that the bleach was ok. in fact in the car ride to the Montreal show today, I know that was not what he was saying. anyway, I love that Y-Love mixtape and it took me like a few minutes to make so instead of breaking it you should bleach it. – handler

  23. I think you all are missing the point: Pluralism goes both ways. People in the secular/progressive community tend to think it goes only one way: to the left. The parellel is this: Secular/progressive folks violateding the Haredi dress code in their neighborhoods is to Haredim as Haredim going into secular/progressive neighborhoods and insisted that people dress according to THEIR dress codes is to secular/progressive people. Both actions make it impossible (or at least difficult) for people to live their lives according to their own beliefs. Liberal supposedly means broad minded, so if you are truly liberal you can respect and even accomodate views and lifestyle choices different from your own, even those who are more traditional than yours. I’m not defending throwing bleach on anyone, but what I am saying is: How about some respect people?

  24. Shake-
    A few points:
    1.The use of violence is not a liberal value, with bleach or otherwise.
    2. Liberalism to me is first and foremost about protecting people’s basic human rights. The rest of your screed is BS.
    3. I’m not saying being Charedi is WRONG, i’m not comdemning their observance, i’m condemnig the attitudes, which seem to be leading to violent behavior against their fellow Jew. I don’t see how i’m being contradictory in promoting plurlalism and condemning zealous attitudes which are contributing to violent behavior.
    4.The neighborhoods are occupied by charedim, they belong to the state and tax payers of Israel.

  25. What about putting yourself in the shoes of the women who are being sprayed with bleach? Men need to learn to control themselves without blaming women.

  26. to elon: this is addressing #4 in your comments, and is not disputing the rest; taxpayers shmaxpayers, these jews for the most part have been living in these areas long before the state of israel was even dreamt of. as far as they’re concerned, they were living just fine with out your taxpayers money prior to the creation of the state. its a cheap shot to bring that issue here anyway.

  27. couldn’t you draw up a similar ’empathy’ story for the unabomber or tim mcveigh or baruch goldstein or usama bin laden. i actually heard somebody do that for b.g. the other day. that’s not even to say the stories are wrong–people go through difficult times! but the Torah demands that we look evil in the eye and call it by its name, and as soon someone starts physically attacking other people, din becomes more relevant than hesed. perhaps the lesson for him, or for the story you created for him, is that you can run but you can’t hide, and the Torah, and kri’as shema pronounced, in the dirty streets and alleyways of new york, london, l.a., and even me’a she’arim.

  28. I just want to make sure people realize that throwing bleach on someone is like setting them on fire. It’s not just violence, it’s extreme violence.

  29. If people are coming into my neighborhood and doing things that I find offensive, I think my solution would be to find a way to prevent the people from coming into my neighborhood, not violently attacking them when they did so. If the charedi community really sees it as essential that no elbow-bearing women are found within their streets, the logical solution is to hire a dress code bouncer. Of course, this would probably mean forgoing some government funding for maintaining their public roads, which would be unfortunate. It would also mean that local businesses would loose money from american tourists who are not familiar with all their dress strictures. And, of course, a full time bouncer/body guard like that might proove to be a hefty expense for such an impoverished community.
    There are other diplomatic ways to solve this “problem” if they insist on seeing it as a problem. Instead, they have resorted to extreme violence. People can have serious vision impairments from bleach in the eyes. It burns the skin. It damages property. It is just not an acceptable way to treat human beings. No excuses should be made for it.

  30. Wo, wo, wo. Above and beyond that it is totally fucked up to spray bleach on a woman any woman, they were attacking women who prob. were dressed in accordance wtih the Shulhan Aruch. Soooo, that does make them fundamentalists.
    I am pretty sure You sing about G-d around immodestly dressesed women all the time. What’s up with that?

  31. “And so, with his value system stripped of legitimacy by the “modern world”, and now unable to shut it out, he is subjected to stimuli day in and day out. With no choice, and no options. The Shulchan Aruch told him not be around something he now can’t escape. And the only people’s rights who matter are the people who don’t have his views.”
    Yes, because he doesn’t have the right to impose HIS beliefs on OTHER PEOPLE. What part of that is so unclear?
    If my religious beliefs told me that blacks were inferior and that black-white marriages were immoral, would I then have the right to throw bleach at blacks walking down the street? Or at black-white couples holding hands? If you don’t like something, the onus is on YOU to ignore it. Grow up, get a life … and this is why the future of Judaism is Conservative and Reform, where they act like actual human beings on this planet.

  32. In all due respect to Y-Love, your attempt to have the reader enter the mindset of the violent vigilante tznius patrol is misguided and wrong.
    It is always inexcusable, wrong, to harm another in the name of God, greed, or good intentions.
    I also fiercely disagree with your depiction of the mindset of the attackers. I think that they feel they are fully justified. Far from feeling their back is up against the wall, as portrayed by this piece, they are on the offensive.
    And as far as their sticking to the shulchan aruch, Dear Y-Love, we both know that it cannot be justified in any way shape or form such activity. They have completely missed the entire meaning of guarding our eyes, they have completely perverted the meaning of the torah laws of modesty.
    They should be doing teshuva, fasting, and praying and asking God for forgiveness for the evil chillul hashem they have created. They should issue public apologies, offer compensation for the victims and counseling. The Rabbonim should be assigned to publicly apologize on the behalf of the entire kahal to those that were harmed and direct their followers in the proper path of teshuva and healing.

  33. I am actually flattered by the amount of dialogue that this piece has generated.
    First of all it is an axiom that G-d does not condone actions like this. That goes almost without saying and I apologize for leaving out precisely how strongly I feel against these actions, however:
    As was alluded to earlier, this was meant to bring out a point. Suicide bombing, for example, was examined from multiple angles by multiple people wondering “why people would react in such a way”. Reasons such as Israeli occupation, poverty, brainwashing, etc. were given by various people at various times.
    Nasrallah’s psyche was dissected on CNN. Team America: World Police was made after research into Kim Jong Il’s personality.
    Yet when it comes to charedi actions which are unconscienable, “they’re religious fanatics.” The points of view are often lamentably left unexamined. Obviously an action like this — like spraying bleach on someone, which is in clear violation of numerous laws — is the result of some type of traumatized mind.
    What is the trauma? What would lead someone to this sort of a breaking point?
    I attempted to paint one scenario.

  34. Those dudes throwing the bleach are tools…there is a reason why they are described as religious fanatics….because they are…Let people make their own observations instead of telling them how they should view the world.
    ONE

  35. Ahhh, so Y-Love explains that God doesn’t condone chemical burning as a means of compelling halachic compliance, a state of affairs so axiomatic it goes almost without saying (and, indeed, which went completely without saying in this post). But lest we misunderstand, this was certainly no justification of such behavior, but an exploration of the intricate social and psychological circumstances from which it arose. And what prompted this examination of the empirical causes of such conduct? Well,
    when it comes to charedi actions which are unconscionable, [the answer is] “they’re religious fanatics.” The points of view are often lamentably left unexamined. Obviously an action like this — like spraying bleach on someone, which is in clear violation of numerous laws — is the result of some type of traumatized mind. What is the trauma? What would lead someone to this sort of a breaking point?
    To be clear, such speculation is merely a tool of greater understanding, and certainly isn’t intended to excuse the decision to turn to such methods. Moreover, it seems only reasonable to engage in an analysis of such conduct among charedim, given the dispassionate journalistic analyses of the complex motivations behind such violence elsewhere in the world:
    Suicide bombing, for example, was examined from multiple angles by multiple people wondering “why people would react in such a way.” Reasons such as Israeli occupation, poverty, brainwashing, etc. were given by various people at various times. Nasrallah’s psyche was dissected on CNN. Team America: World Police was made after research into Kim Jong Il’s personality.
    Given that Y-Love is pointing to such examinations as models for his own analysis of charedi bleach-throwing, I guess we can assume that he expressed unqualified approval of the psychological explanations of suicide bombings; of the CNN dissection of Nasrallah’s psyche; of the research into Kim Jong-Il’s personality. After all, he could hardly dismiss such discussions as exercises in moral equivalency, or specious, politically correct rationalizations for evil and terrorism, could he?
    I don’t know; this “scenario” sounds to me like an even bigger, smellier load of shit than the initial attempt to explain the traumatized charedi mind.

  36. I have to wonder as well why it is that we can hunt down excuses for everyone’s behavior unless it is a Charedi Jew.. I, as well as Y Love, do not condone this action. All that seems to be being asked is, If we can see behaviors that Jews exibit that are bad as wrong, why does the world have to rush out to find excuses for every non-Jewish atrocity, and ONLY condone Jews? I want people to see all violence as wrong, not just Jewish violoence.

  37. Jason,
    I do not understand this assumption, that “we hunt down excuses for everyone’s behavior unless it is a Charedi Jew.”
    Who is hunting down excuses for everyone elses behavior? Outside of a very narrow band of far-Left Jews, nobody is. Moderate Leftists do not justify everyone else’s behavior, and Moderate rightists do not justify either the fundamentalists actions or the behavior of others either.
    Your “we” is based on a pathetically small sample.

  38. Y-love,
    I understand your motives for writing this piece comes from a pure place. That is evident. And on some levels, you make interesting points as you try to demonstrate a little “diversity training” of sorts. However, no one deserves to have their personal space invaded in this way. I’m sure someone has already brought the following in the comments already, but your take on the charedi situation seemingly sounds like you might also agree with a man molesting a woman who is dressed likes “she wanted it.” A tacky example to be sure, but you get my distinct message.
    The only real message your post gives off is that it is ok for someone to commit a misdemanor as long as the public understands where the perpetrator is coming from.
    And don’t be proud that so many have commented – the number of comments is an indication that this post is one that requires correction.

  39. Y-love,
    I reread your response again. If what you write is really what you feel, then you should have made that quite clear in your post. Your post is misleading.

  40. David Smith, I honestly don’t know what you were trying to show with your post.
    Let’s be honest first of all, this is not an isolated incident, unfortunately, nor is it uncommon. Charedi Judaism has no one central demagogue “riling people up” to do things like this. In addition, the eschewing of media leaves an Al-Manar TV-type scenario an impossibility. Hamodia and other charedi news outlets are known for not printing things like this.
    So, then, if my scenario is so olfactorily offensive, I then ask you: have you ever thought into why charedi violence happens in situations like this? Granted, this is not an attempt to explain all charedi violence.
    Not to mention, comment 28 is only a request for me to think precisely as everyone else would.
    No question, the bleach throwers will — G-d willing — find themselves in a Beit Din at some point attempting to justify their actions and defend themselves. And, after doing more research, I am finding that this particular case may be actually, builiding on what Rabbi Yonah said, the result of ongoing incitement — from one individual in particular — which is causing people to go on this type of offensive.
    The question remains, however: what is the root cause of charedi violence (also, as pointed out earlier, against other religious Jews) and will the root cause of it still be there left unexamined?
    What will it be in 5769? Ammonia, chas v’shalom?

  41. Y-Love,
    Charedi excesses stopping does not depend on secular Jews understanding or not understanding the charedim.
    Charedi crimes will stop only if charedi leaders stand up to the fundamentalists’ misdeeds and crimes of their constituents, and stop blaming the freiyafor their bullshit.
    Don’t hold your breath!

  42. Y-LOVE,
    Who is fomenting the violence? Would it be loshon hora to tell us? I doubt it, rather it would be a warnig for us to stay away from them and their followers.

  43. While the actions of these Haredi Jews is quite radical, and being viewed in a negative by some commenting here on this blog, what about their rights? I see no one defending their rights here, but rather it appears that as secularism grows rampant that the rights of those whom are spiritual, no matter what their spiritual path is, becomes almost non-existent. Maybe a “law” should be past stating that in such-in-such neighborhood that such dress is seen as imodest, and not allowed?
    I personally am of the mindset that if one is concerned with the way others around them are dressed when they are attempting to serve Y___ and praise Him then there is some sort of problem within them, because their mind is definitely not where it should be, because those truly giving praise unto Y___ through study and prayer are not distracted by the immodestly of others, or the lack of spirituality of others.
    But this is my own personal opinion, and not the opinion of the men spoken of above, and since this is an eye sore for them, maybe laws should be passed governing their neighborhood.
    As to those whom have made mention that Ha’arets is secular, you are absolutely correct, and this is a part of the problem – Bena’i Yisra’el should not care about world opinion, and that is the case here. The State of Yisra’el is a “Democratic” State when it ought to be a “Theocratic” State, where Sefer HaTorah is the “Constitution”, but such is not the case, because in all honesty the State of Yisra’el, and the secular population cares more the world, and what the world thinks of them, then Sefer HaTorah, and what Y___ truly wants.

  44. How tragic that in the name of pious charedi behavior the twisted minds of those bleach sprayers could actually manifest such anti-social criminal acts.
    Do they read how Moshe intervened between Dasan and Aviram at the beginning of Parshas Shemos and asked why would a Yid raise a hand to another Yid.
    Just the act of raising one’s hand against another is evil-how much more so when the hand is a catalyst to unleash substances which can cause potentially lifetime damage to sensitive areas of the body.
    How far must Yidden sink before we realize that Teshuvah is our Refuah?
    Respectfully,
    D.M.

  45. Jacob #29,
    I respectfully disagree with your opinion in regards to my 4th point. Are not Charedi neighborhoods subsidized by, Social services offered by, and Country and way of life defedended by the STATE of Israel and the jewish people including the secular jews of Israel?
    They may have been there before 1948, but things changed at that point, the state now maintains responsibility and control of the entire state of Israel and the state is supported by the taxpayers.

  46. The “frustration” of the ‘charedi’ monsters who are throwing bleach on women is most likely their own sexual ones. How obcene is it that the perversion of minds which would commit such atrocious and cowardly acts, would blame their (of course, female) victims. It’s appalling enough that skany old men — some of whom blow their noses in their filthy beards — decide on the ‘modesty’ of dress of women.
    Y’s post is tref, and while reading it, I couldn’t help but remember stories a friend who drove a limo, used to tell me about his regular ‘charedi’ customers, many of whom would rent the car so that they could watch porno flicks, without anyone seeing them.
    Misogynist men — of any ostensible religious background — have always blamed women for their violence against them, whether it’s the rape of grandmothers or nuns, little girls, or females who unfortunately happen to be born with genes for big breasts (which can never be hidden).
    The transcript from the trial of Joan of Arc, has a few soldiers as witnesses. What their testimony all had in common, was that there were times that Joan was seen nude, and though they reported her as being “beautiful,” none of them had any sexual desire for her! I guess they were busy seeing her mind and soul, and not engaging in fantasies about what kind of head she might have given them.
    Bleach is a corrosive, which kills HIV, the hepatitis viruses, and herpes, on contact. It can also blind and mutilate in other ways.
    Perhaps these bastards should soak their penises in bleach, to ward off ‘impure thoughts.’ If that doesn’t help them, they can always castrate themselves.

  47. The “frustration” of these monsters is of a sexual nature. If these guys can’t restrain their sexual fantasies, perhaps they need some chemical or physical castration, which they should perform on themselves.
    It doesn’t get much more obcene than skanky old men — the types who blow their noses into their filthy beards — deciding what physical modesty in a woman’s attire should be. These guys are misogynists, plain and simple, and will use any excuse to commit acts of violence against women.
    The lack of modesty is in their minds, not on the bodies of charedi women. How is it that members of Joan of Arc’s army, testifying at her trial, could all say that though they saw her nude, and though she was beautiful, they had no sexual lust toward her?
    This post, attempting to ‘understand’ the mindset of sadistic criminals, is tref.

  48. I find this debate so hard to stomach. Just had to add that. Can you imagine if people who felt that Jews were interupting their theological beliefs took it upon themselves to do violence to them?
    I don’t know what bleach spraying exactly is going on in the article Y Love presents, but if enough bleach is poured onto someone, I understand that they can require complete plastic surgery…. like it can dissolve their skin, or parts of the face. Am I wrong? I saw something about this years ago, regarding women in, I think India, whose brothers thought they were behaving unchastely and decided to attach them with, I believe, bleach. I think the woman’s face who I saw on TV was not shown because it was very much disfigured…
    Given all this, why are we even arguing about this?

  49. Yes, bleach is quite corrosive. It kills HIV, the hepatitis viruses, and herpes (on surfaces! Don’t use it as a ‘cleanser’ after sex!). Strenously diluted, it is made into ‘Dakins’ Solution,’ used to in dressing changes for certain seriously deep skin infections. In the eyes, like lye, it causes blindness.
    Just splash some accidentally on your clothes, and you may get an immediate hole.
    Were the attacks not against women, we would not be having a bullshit ‘theological’ discussion of this matter; everyone of us would be calling it that which it is: Vile sadism.

  50. 2 points. #1: it is completely wrong to throw bleach or use any other methods of violence regardless of your level of religious observance and by the same token to it is wrong to enter these communitys in immodest clothing, very much the same way you wouldnt walk in to a shul or other religious sanctuary dressed immodestly. in that case both should be fined, arrested etc. its a perfect solution.
    #2. i take offence to the comments blaming this on the “chareidi brainwashing system” and so on, as i myself am a chareidi and would never do such a thing. a violent person will be violent whether or not he is chareidi. its wrong to attack the entire orthodox community for the acts of one person who would use violence even if he wasnt religious.
    parenthetical note: chareidi means one who fears the word of G-D; “chered al dvar Hashem” i.e. ultra-observant. nothing about “fanatical ultra orthodox” b.s.
    only the best news. shalom

  51. I pray that the words of Sefer Zakar’yah chapter 6 verses 12 through 15 come true in our lifetime, and Ha’arets is restored to its formal glory.
    There are too many different movements of Judaism, along with the movement of the Shomerim, at this time for any given religious body to make executive decisions about religious matters within Ha’arets, but at the same time I do not like Ha’arets being secular like it is.
    The only answer to this is for the Kohen Haggadhol to return; along with the Urim and the Thummim.

  52. Thank you, Jacob for proving my point.
    In addition, pursuant to what Rabbi Yonah paskened above (:)), I have to ask the question. What role does the rabbi mentioned in the article play in all this?
    Do we have a demagogue in Geula? A Google search reveals an activist side, or could this be another example of “the Rebbes never fight, only the Chassidim do?”

  53. J-Love, you state you’re not sure what I was getting at in my previous comments. Without belaboring the point, I’ll just say I was trying to point out that your claim that you were merely conducting a dispassionate examination of the psychological factors motivating charedi violence was . . uh.. . not credible. It came across, instead, as a crass apologia for the grievances of the charedi bleach brigade – if not the bleaching itself – with the “let’s-understand-their-motivation” explanation a seemingly convenient rationalization. Moreover, I’m more than a little skeptical that you supported any explanations of suicide bombings as reactions to poverty, brainwashing, the Occupation, and the like, so you now point to those same explanations as the justifications for your own “analysis.” Instead, I think – as I suggested previously – it’s difficult to imagine you’d do anything but dismiss such “explanations” as anything but transparent and egregiously dishonest.
    Then there’s the comment by Jacob, whom – incredibly – you thank for proving your point. Incredible, because his comment seems to me to do precisely the opposite.
    Specifically, he says, “it is completely wrong to throw bleach or use any other methods of violence regardless of your level of religious observance and by the same token to it is wrong to enter these communities in immodest clothing.” Wrong. Completely, indefensibly, irredeemably wrong. For precisely the same reason it is wrong when ostensibly moderate Palestinian spokesmen say, “Suicide bombings are wrong, just as are the conditions leading to the hopelessness and despair that cause the perpetrators to turn to such desperate measures; or “The terrorism of killing innocent civilians is wrong, just as is the state terrorism of depriving people of the right to jobs and medical care.” Each of these is a genuine illustration of the all-too-frequently asserted “moral equivalence,” i.e., an allegation of implicit equivalence between two circumstances that are either completely unrelated or so wildly disproportionate as to be meaningless.
    Jacob explicitly asserts this equivalence between bleach-throwing and immodest clothing, stating “in that case both should be fined, arrested etc. its a perfect solution.” No, not quite perfect. More like a hopelessly naïve misunderstanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy, or a deliberate attack on the democratic character of Israeli state. Incredibly, in an earlier comment Jacob complained it was somehow illegitimate to point out that Israel is a democracy in which the public streets are the property of its citizenry, all of whom enjoy formal equality before the law, regardless of race, ethnicity, and, yes, religion.
    The fact of the matter if that extensive accommodations have already been extended to the religious community in Israel, notwithstanding the boundless paranoia and indignation of the bleach brigade and their allies. They not only retain exclusive control over the Chief Rabbinate, with its enormous subsidies and dominion over a host of state functions and facilities, but are exempted from military service, assorted taxes, and various other civil obligations. Moreover, Israel isn’t a theocracy, where some Jewish Taliban gets to decide what constitutes immodest clothing or terrorize the populace into obedience to its homegrown version of Sharia. Indeed, if the charedim get to decide what women get to wear in “their” neighborhoods, why don’t Muslims get to prohibit women from walking in their neighborhoods without the hajib? Finally, Eretz Yisrael is a religious concept, not a political entity – as demonstrated rather dramatically by the history of extreme hostility to the Israeli state by many of the ultra-Orthodox. The State of Israel is a secular democracy, in which no group maintains control of the street or the buses or the police, or is permitted to abrogate the civil rights of other citizens. Besides, I’m pretty sure there not a stray passage in halacha about the obligation of Jews to obey the laws of the society in which they live.

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