Blogosphere Heats Up Over Haredi Internet Rally

The non-Jewish press has taken a great interest in the Haredi internet sobfest held on Sunday.  I guess that’s bound to happen when 40,000 black-suited men take over a baseball stadium on a hot day in May and no bats or gloves are involved.Over at Jezebel, Katie J.M. Baker and Sam Biddle have a scathing post.  Leaving aside a few of their inaccuracies (not all Haredim are Hasidim), they hit the nail on the head by identifying misogyny at the core of all of this: … [Read more...]

Inside The Primitive Ideology Of Haredi Judaism

Behind the growing conflict between Haredim and the rest of the Jewish community is a primitive theology that most of us do not begin understand.  These people live in a world in which God metes out punishment upon the Jewish people and the world for the tiniest of “offenses.”In the video below, broadcast a few weeks ago on Israel’s Channel 10, you will learn about a movie intended for Haredim.  You will see how these people blame their own wives, mothers and daughters who wear wigs (rather t … [Read more...]

Tone Deaf Haredim Protest In Concentration Camp Garb

Last night Haredim gathered in Jerusalem to protest against the crackdown on their thuggish behavior toward women and girls.  Living as they do in the Jewish State (which this group does not recognize) they chose what they deemed an appropriate analogy to their situation:  Nazi Germany.To do this they dressed themselves and their kids up as concentration camp victims, replete with striped uniforms and yellow badges.  The event was covered extensively on, including this reaction from Op … [Read more...]

Haredi Misogyny Is Nothing New

If you have not had the opportunity to watch the YouTube video in the previous post, now would be a good time.  Tonight, in a tribute to sanity, several thousand protestors arrived - on one day’s notice - for a rally in Beit Shemesh.  Secular and religious Jews, including a few moderate Haredim, joined together to express their outrage.It’s terrific and I’m the first to applaud this demonstration of sensibility.  But before we start celebrating the end of Haredi misogyny, let’s remember that … [Read more...]

Israeli Haredim Are Losing It

It should come as no surprise that The Atheist Rabbi would have an issue or two with Haredi Jews, especially when it comes to the matter of “exclusion of women” that has come to dominate Israeli discourse.  I have this in common with millions of secular Jews in Israel and around the world.What is surprising is the large number of Orthodox Jews who are also at the end of their ropes with these people.  Because they come into more frequent contact with them, traditional and moderate Orthodox Je … [Read more...]

I’m Back And Talking Smack About The Exclusion Of Women

For all of my well-wishers out there (I know there’s at least a couple of you) I do apologize for my neglect of this blog.  One of my new year’s resolutions is to do a better job of updating it.  Thank you to those who have been encouraging me to get it going again.As my first order of business, I want to address the latest, greatest issue coming out of the Jewish State, the exclusion of women in the public sphere. … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts About Islam (And The Israeli-Arab Conflict)

These days, it seems that most critiques of the Islamic world come from American and European wingnuts.  Pamela Geller literally makes my skin crawl with her imbecilic bombast about a Sharia takeover of the U.S. and the dangers of a mosque near Ground Zero.  David Horowitz hypocritically names his anti-Islamic organization “The Freedom Center” while he endorses a U.S. constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.  And don’t get me started on the fundamentalist Christian right and their ongoi … [Read more...]

More Vatican Sexual Dysfunction

The Vatican is confirming widespread rape and sexual abuse of nuns by priests in at least 23 countries:Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.The reports, some of which are … [Read more...]

Reply To Aish Rabbi’s “Open Letter To The Atheist Community”

Between busy-ness at work, some ill health and time with family, I have not been able to post recently.  During that time I’ve occasionally worked on this rather long post.Rabbi Adam Jacobs, director of the Aish Center in Manhattan, has written “An Open Letter to the Atheist Community.”  I am going to reply in full and send it to him.  Let’s see what happens! … [Read more...]

Israel High Court Ambiguous On Bus Line Gender Segregation

For four years the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), which is basically the Israeli Reform movement’s political arm, has been fighting to end the practice of gender segregation on Israeli buses that serve Haredi (and other) communities.  The Supreme Court finally issued a ruling and I received an e-mail from IRAC with the intriguing question, “Did we win or did we lose?” … [Read more...]