In Elul Shababniks also grow stronger

Haaretz gives us a peek into a world of Orthodox anarchists: The Shababniks.

David Halfon from Netanya insists that he does indeed have the fear of God in him. Halfon is a “shababnik”, a derogatory term for a young person who does not heed the accepted social rules in the ultra-Orthodox community. He refuses to study like everyone at the yeshiva, he is not strict about uniform dress and sometimes he goes out to have a good time, even at secular places. Shababniks like Halfon are usually treated “like lepers” by the ultra-Orthodox community, in the words of one member of the community.

It is this attitude that led Halfon to embark on an unprecedented campaign against the ultra-Orthodox establishment, in which he claims that his lifestyle, though different, is ultra-Orthodox in every way. His faith, he says, is the most important thing. The ambitious campaign has its own slogans, invented by Halfon himself, which have been distributed in thousands of copies through flyers placed in ultra-Orthodox mailboxes in and outside of Netanya, like, “I am a proud Shababnik!”

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