Secular Jews: Time to Speak Out Against Haredi Practices (the Ultra-Orthodox Jews)

We secular Jews do know that Jews have a long history of persecution. As such, we as a group are hypersensitive to the merest hint of antisemitism, regardless of how religious we are. This is why this message must come from Jews, so there can be no hint of antisemitism.

As an side, I also prefer when criticism of the Westboro Batshit Crazies and other Christian extremists comes from within Christianity. Though, clearly I’ll do my part criticizing them as well.

I should state that I fully believe that everyone, including Haredi Jews, is entitled to their own mishigas. I do not hate Haredi Jews. I hate what they are doing. There is a difference. This is about their actions, not about their right to believe, not about hatred for any human beings.

It’s about being moral and decent human beings in a modern world.

What I believe Haredis are not entitled to do is to be bad neighbors. When they leave their homes, they need to be members of modern society in the modern world. They must not expect others to give them special privileges. Nor can they require that others dress according to their standards. Nor can they take over public land. Nor can they vandalize public or private property.

What many of today’s Haredi Jews are doing in the modern world is unconscionable.

I hope that some Haredi Jews will read this and will not hate me for these opinions. I do not hate them for their opinions. I do not hate Haredi Jews at all. I do hate a lot of the actions of the Haredi community, especially the ones that make the news. These actions make me embarrassed to be a Jew.

I also hope that if non-Jews read this, that this will not be a cause of antisemitism. Remember as you read this, even if you find some of these actions as abhorrent as I do that not only are the people committing these actions Jewish, so is the author of this article. There are also many other actions taken by these same people that may be quite beautiful. I am merely criticizing a subset of the Jewish community for a particular type of interaction with the outside world.

1. Haredi Jews do not own the Wailing Wall. Nor are Haredi Jews entitled to vandalize buses when non-Haredis attempt to advertise that others have the right not to follow Haredi laws.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765661563/Ultra-Orthodox-Jews-attack-Jerusalem-buses-over-ad.html

It is unacceptable for the Haredis to take over the entire wall. And, it is unacceptable for the Haredis to vandalize buses.

They have done both. This is not OK.

This site belongs to all Jews and to the state of Israel. Haredis have no greater right to the Wailing Wall than any other Jews.

In fact, the Jews who did not leave in the diaspora and stayed with the old temple were the secular Jews. Secular Jews were in possession of the temple throughout. When more traditionally religious Jews came back and saw the secular Jews in control, they killed and forcibly converted secular Jews. They subjugated the women. They forced men to undergo circumcision at the threat of death. Arguably, it is secular Jews who have proper title to the remnants of the temple. Though, we are probably all equally descendants of both the victors and the vanquished in that bloodbath. So, we should share the site equally.

We even have a holiday to commemorate this wonderful Jew on Jew kinslaying. We call it Chanukah.

By the way, as a secular Jew myself knowing the true story of Chanukah I find it a bit offensive that one group of Haredi Jews has even taken the name of the murderers in that kinslaying, the faithful, the Hasidim. But, since they probably aren’t taught about the real history of who was killed in the temple, today’s Hasidim probably don’t even realize the offensive nature of their name, or at least I hope they don’t.

2. Haredi Jews do not own city streets.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/hackney-council-removes-unacceptable-posters-telling-women-which-side-of-the-road-they-should-walk-on-9743995.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/22/london-haredi-signs_n_5862320.html

If Haredi men find women so disgusting and unclean that they cannot even walk on the same side of the street, that’s fine. They can have an unwritten guide among themselves that men will walk on one side and women on the other.

But, they cannot and must not attempt to enforce this on others.

From the Huffington Post article, there is the following quote:

Parade organizers have promised to clean up the posters more quickly next year, Metro reports. In addition, they will write only in Yiddish to decrease the chance of misinterpretation.

This is not an acceptable answer. Even during their parade, to which they are completely entitled, they have no right to attempt to enforce this even on non-Haredi Jews capable of reading the sign. I’m sure the rabbi in the community is perfectly capable of telling the congregation which sides of the street to use. Even if only one person not from the community can read the sign, it should not be there.

Keep this misogynistic mishigas to yourselves.

3. Haredis have no right to dictate dress codes for non-Haredis

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/30/shadowy_modesty_squads_police_ultra_orthodox_brooklyn/

When modern women dress normally and comfortably for summer and come through public streets of the City of New York, Haredis have no right to say a fucking word about it. These thugs in archane clothing need to shut the fuck up about how anyone else dresses. We don’t complain that you stink wearing dark, heavy, wool clothing in summer (or at least I don’t when I’m not trying to make this point), leave us alone to dress comfortably for the modern world.

Hey Haredis! Did you know it’s even legal for women in the City of New York to go topless? Don’t like it? Try averting your eyes. Or, are you trying to turn Brooklyn into another Saudi Arabia? Get over it. You dress how you want. Let others do the same or we might institute bathing and anti-sweating laws.

4. Haredi men who refuse to sit next to women need to make their own arrangements not to do so.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4574844,00.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/29/orthodox-jewish-men-flight-delay_n_6391104.html

http://www.worldbulletin.net/haber/152031/jewish-men-keep-delaying-flights-by-refusing-to-sit-next-to-women

Haredi men, if you won’t sit next to women, that’s your problem. Don’t make it mine. If you buy airplane tickets and don’t want to sit next to a woman, be prepared to buy up all the seats in your row. If you can’t afford to do so, why not create a website where Haredis can join other Haredis to buy up seats in patterns that ensure that men will never have to sit next to those unclean women. (Unclean? really? More so than your own asshole? Just curious.) You might call the site wanderingjew.com or some such. I don’t plan to create the site, so feel free to use the name free of charge and stop making pains in the ass of yourself to the rest of the modern world. Or, if you want to leave your brain solidly in the 18th century, try … um … well … NOT FLYING!

There is a petition about this if anyone wishes to sign. Of course, I did.

https://www.change.org/p/el-al-israel-airlines-ltd-customer-relations-department-stop-the-bullying-intimidation-and-discrimination-against-women-on-your-flights

Luckily, there are some Haredi women attempting to step out from under the thumbs of their fathers and husbands.

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/routine-emergencies/1.630630

Yay women!! I don’t really know why any woman would stay in the Haredi community. But then, I never underwent that level of indoctrination. Nor did I ever risk losing my whole family and all of my friends by first becoming an agnostic and later an atheist. So, perhaps I just can’t relate to this level of immersion in a closed community from such a young age.

So, perhaps what these brave women attempting to move the whole community a couple of baby steps out of the arcane past and a bit closer to the present day, is really a wonderful thing.

That said, of course, reading the article, we find that the penised members of the community are threatening the women with excommunication. Excommunication??!!? I was raised Jewish and had no idea that such a concept even existed in Judaism.

Read this quote (emphasis mine) from the article, actual quotes from the dictator rabbi for the community. Tell me if you think this sounds as you might expect from a pious man. To me, it sounds like a thug. Perhaps he should run for the governorship of New Jersey, which seems to be a good job for a bully.

In response, Rabbi Mordechai Blau, a senior member of the United Torah Judaism party, issued a statement Sunday threatening excommunication to any women who dare buck Haredi political leadership — and by extension, the religious authority of the rabbis who guide them.

“All women who go near a political party that is not under the leadership of the Torah sages” would find her children banned from Haredi schools and her employer boycotted by the community, said Blau.

You could practically hear the “Godfather” theme playing in the background when he warned: “Anyone who dares do this will be taken care of and will pay for it dearly.”

Fuck you Rabbi Blauhard!

5. Eruvs are land theft.

If the properties enclosed are owned by more than one person, then all the properties must be combined by the acquisition or rental of some right to the properties, and the designation of a meal that is shared by all property owners. The designation of the meal is called an eruv chatzeiros (combining of courtyards) and it is from this that the term eruv is derived.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruv

When an eruv is created, assuming it extends even merely to sidewalks and public streets, it is saying that this is part of the Jewish community. This is no longer fully public property. This is land theft. It is taking land by adverse possession. In my opinion, all such eruvs that extend onto public land must legally be removed. I also believe that the Haredis are cheating their own religion in this. Since they don’t own the land in common, and God knows it, they are not fooling anyone. They are breaking their own laws. But, they won’t care about my opinion on that subject.

This eruv in Brooklyn, NY includes parts of a city park and botanical garden, a university hospital, The Brooklyn Museum, and most egregiously, Brooklyn’s Boro Hall. How the fuck does a religious group get to put a claim of partial ownership on Boro Hall??!!? It’s unconscionable that this is allowed. In fact, it’s in direct violation of the establishment clause in the first amendment to the U.S. constitution.

Click here for larger image.

6. Follow the Law of the Land.

In places where laws are reasonable, follow the laws of the land. It is reasonable, and probably even required for a civilized society, to have laws prohibiting child sex abuse. Neither the Catholic Church nor any Jewish organization nor any other organization is exempt from these laws.

And, ignorance of the law is never an excuse.

So, when you are in a position of leadership of a Yeshiva, no, you may not keep cases of pedophilia to yourself and hope to deal with it in your community. You must report such cases to proper legal authorities. Always. Every time. You don’t get to decide you’ll handle it by shaming the induhvidual in question.

Notify the police!

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2015/02/chabad-rabbi-yosef-feldman-tells-australian-royal-commission-he-didnt-know-its-wrong-for-adults-to-touch-kids-genitals-567.html

Update: This one is still ongoing. Now a rabbi is claiming that gays and pedophiles (lumped together as if they are somehow equal) can be cured by counseling and spiritual guidance.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-13/gay-people-can-be-cured-like-paedophiles-rabbi-tells-inquiry/6091006

Jail. Jails are good for people who do not report pedophiles to the police. And, if these rabbis end up in jail and learn a bit about being victims of sexual abuse, well, that’s wrong. But, I have better places to spend my sympathy.

7. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, stop sucking bloody baby dick!!

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/29/why-ultra-orthodox-jewish-babies-keep-getting-herpes.html

When we hear about the horrors in Idaho of parents letting their children die of highly treatable or curable diseases because they are Followers of Christ or Christian Scientists and refuse all medical treatment, most of us find the idea of letting these children die abhorrent. We expect and hope that other Christians will call these ideas into question and demand that these practices stop. We hope for the opposition to come from within Christianity.

Similarly, when we hear that Jewish mohels are murdering infants by infecting them with herpes through the rather sickening practice of sucking baby dick after a circumcision, we want to and should stand up and scream from within the Jewish community that this is just not OK. Call it metzitzah b’peh all you want, but you’re sucking bloody baby dick and it’s literally killing infants.

You’re responsible to get your children to adulthood so that they can make their own religious choices. How many infants must die before you get over this archaic and frankly disgusting practice that literally causes the deaths of your offspring?

Stop it!!!

So, I say again Haredis, you’re entitled to your mishigas. But, you’re not entitled to inflict your mishigas on others. And, you’re not entitled to kill your babies.

Please be nice.

Shalom.

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15 Responses to Secular Jews: Time to Speak Out Against Haredi Practices (the Ultra-Orthodox Jews)

  1. ECA says:

    Signature? byline?
    Everyone gets an opinion…
    Opinions matter to the person/persons they affect.
    OLD tribal ways need to be changed or adjusted. The old ways had a reason for their use, is they arent needed, get rid of them.

  2. Everyone gets an opinion. Everyone does not have the right, based on that opinion, to annoy everyone else around them. They don’t get to dictate the fashion choices of others. They don’t get to delay flights for 11 fucking hours. They don’t get to deny people access to a wall.

    They should be mensches.

  3. Rodnickov Magilovich says:

    What do I get from this [new to me information]?
    -not all crazies are created equal
    -as a Canadian, much of these practices violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [but that demands you be politically correct]
    -immigrants to America don’t follow or practice their Oath of Allegiance upon gaining Landed Ignorant Status! So who let these people in anyway?
    -what ever is in their Torah might not be the same as the next sect’s Torah, or did someone Torah out certain pages?
    -Pedifiles? Who do they think they are? Catholic Priests? Shame on them!
    -American Civil Law is based on British Common Law with the exception of Louisiana, [and likewise Quebec in Canada…both have Napoleonic Law for State and Provincial Law] Under British Common Law, one cannot usurp public lands, either by stealth or by squatting or claim jumping! Under British Common Law, all land is owned by the Crown [or the State in the case of the USA] until homesteaded and proved up or sold to the occupant through a vested title deed! Homesteading has rules that require residence and land minimum improvement qualifications before the title to the land is granted at a future date! Up until certain cutoff dates these title deeds included mineral rights, but after the discovery of oil and other valuable minerals, many jurisdictions passed laws/rules negating the transfer of mineral rights to private possession! [Politicians and Bureaucrats are nefarious bastards at the best of times, and sometimes downright criminals!]
    -why am I so ignorant of these various Hebrew groups? Partly because I have lived where they ain’t, and it was politically incorrect to talk about their negative aspects!
    Thanx for the rude awakening, MS

  4. Most likely you were unaware because there are only 13-14 million Jews worldwide (0.2% of world population) and 80% live either in the U.S. or Israel.

    http://www.jewfaq.org/populatn.htm

    Haredi Jews make up just 1/10th of that number (but their numbers are growing rapidly).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredi_Judaism#Population

  5. I just updated the text of the original post to add this in point 6:

    Update: This one is still ongoing. Now a rabbi is claiming that gays and pedophiles (lumped together as if they are somehow equal) can be cured by counseling and spiritual guidance.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-13/gay-people-can-be-cured-like-paedophiles-rabbi-tells-inquiry/6091006

    Jail. Jails are good for people who do not report pedophiles to the police. And, if these rabbis end up in jail and learn a bit about being victims of sexual abuse, well, that’s wrong. But, I have better places to spend my sympathy.

  6. Rodnickov Magilovich says:

    And the other 20% live in Great Britain and Canada! No idea if there are any in Australia and New Zealand.
    There is a branch of the Anglican [Episcopalian] Communion that call themselves British Israelites, and are distinctly different with some very rigorous rules of conduct including banning compound interest which they believe is usury! I worked for one during the Summer vacation in his dry goods store when in High School, plus his youngest Son was a close friend throughout high school, but we have lost touch long ago!
    As for equating Gays and Pedophiles, that is a bit of a stretch! Might just as well lump Vegans in with big game poachers! It is about as logical!
    Surprised you did not comment on the Common Law rant! And the Landed Immigrants swearing allegiance!
    Bitterly cold here tonight and all weekend, which is a holiday weekend here in Ontario [Monday is “Family Day”] so try to keep warm, eh!

  7. It’s generally a fair assumption that there are Jews in just about every country of the world. We just may be a small enough minority in many places to be barely noticed or not at all noticed.

    Strangely the Jews in the U.S. are a fairly powerful political block despite the fact that the atheists in the U.S. outnumber Jews by a pretty large factor and have no power at all.

    As for equating Gays and Pedophiles, that is a bit of a stretch! Might just as well lump Vegans in with big game poachers! It is about as logical!

    LOL! Good one. Yes, those vegan big game poachers are a real problem.

    The vegan little game poachers, on the other hand ….

    http://theconversation.com/ordering-the-vegetarian-meal-theres-more-animal-blood-on-your-hands-4659

  8. Humorously, sometimes the Haredis can be too extreme for other Haredis. This ad for socks by a Heredi store owner was banned in two Haredi newspapers.

    Apparently, a two year old girl’s feet, with shoes and socks on, are too radical for some Haredis.

    Full article here:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4642096,00.html

  9. Still more on Haredi Jews. This time, a conference on gynecological issues is notably missing … well … any women at all. It’s a sausage fest to discuss vaginas.

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2015/04/haredi-conference-on-gynecological-health-excludesall-women-234.html

  10. I grant that this is not exactly a movement or a teaching of Haredi Judaism. But, extremist fundamentalist beliefs led to this attack. Even if it is condemned by the Haredi community, and I hope it will be, this was still caused by the extremist religious views of the ultra-orthodox.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33726634

    • While I am certainly glad to see that the top rabbi is denouncing the attack, I must say that the rabbi must not be reading the same Torah I have read.

      http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Jerusalem-chief-rabbi-visits-victims-of-gay-pride-parade-stabbing-spree-410758

      From the Torah I read, the motherfucking shithead who stabbed these people was actually just following the Torah literally.

      Leviticus 20:13 really does say: “And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

      Or, consider Deuteronomy 20:16-17: “Howbeit of the cities of these peoples, that the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, but thou shalt utterly destroy them: the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee;”

      Or, try 1 Samuel 15:3: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'”

      Is it any wonder that shit like this can cause people to become a tad violent?

      Good for the rabbi for claiming this is not so. The problem is that the Torah really does agree with the perp. Perhaps it’s time to denounce the Torah.

  11. More from the morons who are racing forward into the 15th century.

    Now they’re stopping women from being educated. It’s very dangerous when women are educated. They learn that their brains are the equal of men’s brains and that they can think for themselves.

    The horror!!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ultra-orthodox-rabbis-ban-women-from-going-to-university-in-case-they-get-dangerous-secular-a7204171.html

  12. I’m sure I’ve missed quite a few more incidents since I last posted on here. But, here’s a new one. These shitheads didn’t like the movie that the airline was showing.

    https://streamable.com/kwbzl

    Here’s a tip guys: if you want to censor the in-flight movie, buy your own fucking plane or rent one. But, you’re not in your own home here. You’re not the boss. And, you have no right to make the lives of others miserable because of your beliefs.

    Join the modern world. You’re making the rest of us Jews look like asshats because you’re what people think of when they think Jew.

    Be a mensch!

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