Orthodox Jews Clashes With Police Over Segregation of Women

The previously discussed tension between Orthodox Jews and the Israeli government has reached a flash point with violent clashes in the town of Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem. Reporters have been attacked by Orthodox Jews in filming the town.

A protest is planned by secularists and others to protest the harassment of an eight-year-old American girl who said she was afraid to walk to school because Orthodox men would yell at her and spit on her for not being sufficiently modest in her dress.

While it is encouraging to see the counter-movement against these extremist elements, much of the problem rests with the refusal of Israel to impose a separation of Temple and State. For example, a reporter was attacked this week for filming a sign telling women to cross a road so that they did not walk in front of a synagogue. Other signs instruct women to wear long sleeves, calf-length skirts, and other modest clothes. Such signs can only be posted with the knowledge and consent of the government. It should surprise no one that, with such encouragement, extremists proceed to harass and attack women who do not comply.

Source: Yahoo

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29 thoughts on “Orthodox Jews Clashes With Police Over Segregation of Women”

  1. —–Original Message—–
    From: chaimdov
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    Subject: Fwd: “Dating in the Yeshiva World” OR ANY OTHER WORLD 1000 HITS


    Subject: : “Dating in the Yeshiva World” OR ANY OTHER WORLD BY DR. ROSENBERG

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    stevenperkal has shared a video with you on YouTube:

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  2. these FEW charedim should be locked up and the key should be thrown away. They need psychiatric help. Hitler and today’s neo-nazis gain in stature when pictures of these insane idiots are seen througthout the world. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  3. “For the uninformed and misinformed, here is an article published today in Haaretz newspaper (Israel) which will show that Mr. Spindel’s response is irrelevant, since the author emphasize that it is not a matter of a fringe group, but rather the Jewish Law, which, alas and alack, is not separated from the State’s Law.”


    Have you read what I’ve written? Just what points do you think I was making? What Mr. Sand has written is true. However, “Halacha”, the Jewish Law is open to interpretation, just as our legal system, Constitution and Laws are replete with interpretations and re-interpretations. That was exactly my point. The interpretation of this particular group of “Ultras” is of course anti-female. However, the overwhelming number of Jews in this world, from Reconstructionist, to Reform, to Conservative, to Orthodox, to many Ultra Orthodox have very different interpretations of those passages regarding women. This was exactly my point. I believe that those who have acted in this despicable manner are cultists and therefore dangerous to the State. It must be understood though that this is not normative Judaism.

    My problem with “Holy Books” of any religion is that they all have passages reflecting beliefs that were the mores and prejudice of the times in which they were written. Then just as in Christianity and in Islam fundamentalists arise to use strict interpretations of these anachronisms in the service of their own fears and drives for power.

    As for the separation of church and state I believe in a strong separation. I’m an American, however, not an Israeli. Should I cast judgment on Israel’s treatment of this separation? Well I think I have and it bothers me. Do I think that the Israeli constitutional setup requires official US opprobrium, no I don’t. My reason is that in the US we are fighting the same battle with some of the Christian Fundamentalists that deem us to be a Christian country. It would therefore be presumptuous for the US to officially comment on another country’s church/state setup, it would in fact be hypocritical.

    Now is the intertwining of State and Religion unique to Israel? You know that
    isn’t true. The two most prominent Islamic Nations in the Mid East, Saudi Arabia and Iran have their religion wound more tightly into their laws than do the Israeli’s. Why then are my points “irrelevant” as you put it? I would assert it is because you read them too quickly to get their meaning and/or you projected onto them your own preconceptions.

    Incidentally, for those not familiar with Israel Haaretz is their left of center newspaper and is currently engaged in a battle against the more repressive forces in Israeli politics, which we’ve covered here in other threads. Context really is everything and what I’ve tried to do here in my comments is to provide it.


  4. For the uninformed and misinformed, here is an article published today in Haaretz newspaper (Israel) which will show that Mr. Spindel’s response is irrelevant, since the author emphasize that it is not a matter of a fringe group, but rather the Jewish Law, which, alas and alack, is not separated from the State’s Law.

    Published 02:48 30.12.11
    Latest update 02:48 30.12.11

    A woman or a dog or a pig
    If a man and a woman are drowning in a river, first they’ll save the man, ‘who is obligated to perform more commandments,’ whereas a woman’s ‘wisdom is only in the spindle.’ In fact, ‘words of Torah should be burned rather than being given to women.’
    By Yossi Sarid

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    If you would like to know the source from which your brothers derive their brazen behavior, go over to the study hall and open a page of Talmud. It’s true that the Torah has 70 faces, but the trend of these faces is clear: The source of the pollution is in halakha (Jewish law ) itself. What is happening in Beit Shemesh and its satellites is not “contrary to halakha,” it is mandated by halakha. And the rest will be told to the grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters.

    Anyone ignoramus knows that the Torah’s “ways are ways of pleasantness,” that “the honor of a king’s daughter is within,” and that “proper behavior comes before the Torah,” but it’s worth knowing more. It’s worth knowing that a woman is unfit to be a judge, and is also unfit to give testimony. She is unfit for any public position with authority. “Thou shalt appoint a king over thee” – a king and not a queen.

    A daughter, commanded the sages, must not be taught Torah, because “the mind of woman is not suited to be taught, but [only] to words of nonsense.” Women are light-minded and have little knowledge.

    And if a man and a woman are drowning in a river, first they’ll save the man, “who is obligated to perform more commandments,” whereas a woman’s “wisdom is only in the spindle.” In fact, “words of Torah should be burned rather than being given to women.”

    A man must say three blessings every day during morning prayers: He thanks God “that He didn’t make me a gentile, that He didn’t make me a woman, that He didn’t make me an ignoramus.” And it’s not proper to speak to a woman too much, since “all her conversation is nothing but words of adultery,” and whoever talks to her too much “causes evil to himself and will end up inheriting hell.” And let’s not even talk about the fate of someone “who looks even at a woman’s little finger.”

    The extremists who spit at women, who call themselves Sikarikim, learned their lesson 101 times and learned it well: A husband would do well not to let his wife go outside, into the street, and should restrict her outings “to once or twice a month, as necessary, since a woman has no beauty except by sitting in the corner of her house.”

    Because inside the house – very deep inside – her glorious honor awaits her: “Every woman washes her husband’s face and feet and pours him a cup and prepares his bed and stands and serves her husband. And any woman who refrains from doing any of these tasks that she is obligated to perform – is forced to do them.” Some recommend forcing her with a whip or by starvation “until she gives in.”

    And needless to say, she is at her husband’s disposal whenever he is overcome by a desire “to satisfy his urges with her.” And if she continues to rebel, he always has the right “to divorce her without her consent.”

    And there are many similar halakhot, only a few of which we have collected here. Nor have we cited everything in the name of the ones who said them, for lack of space. The readers are invited to find the references on Shabbat – and to browse around – on their own; this is a good opportunity for study. We will direct your attention to Tractate Shabbat, which does a good job of summing up halakha’s attitude toward women: “a sack full of excrement” with a bleeding hole.

    Some people will seek to console themselves: It’s true that this is the halakha both m’doraita (from the Torah ) and m’drabanan (from the rabbis ), but that is not what is taught nowadays. But it suffices to listen to the sermon the sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef delivered five years ago, based on the well-known halakhic work “Kitzur Shulchan Aruch”: “A man must take care not to walk between two women or between two dogs or two pigs, and men should also not allow a woman or a dog or a pig to walk between them.”

    Treating women as impure and filthy begins with halakha and continues with actions. As long as the religious and ultra-Orthodox parties – Shas, United Torah Judaism, Habayit Hayehudi and National Union, none of which have any women in the Knesset – are not disqualified, their nakedness will continue to sing out and the nakedness of the land will be revealed.

    Read this article in Hebrew

    This story is by:
    Yossi Sarid Yossi Sarid

  5. @ JT

    I have discussed this further with my secular Israeli buddies… It seems that many Israeli Orthodox Rabbis have spoken out very strongly against this campaign…JT should note this in his comments, instead of condemning Orthodox Judaism which is not Hareidi Judaism. The video confirms my previous comments that it is a segment of ignorant Hassidic jews known as Haredis that is the cause of this.

    @ Michael Spindell

    I speak perfect Hebrew and have learned much of the classic Jewish literature and I can tell you that you are dead on in your description of the Haredi segment. Thank you for differentiating between the Haredi and the Orthodox.

    @ The ignorant posters above

    Comparing even the Haredim or extremist Christians to extremist Muslims is wrong and shows a warped worldview. Extremist Muslims want to kill you. Extremist Haredim and Christians make a ruckus but they are hardly a threat.

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