Monday, August 09, 2010

Orthodox Zionist Jews with their morality police in Israel are hardly in a position to judge Iranian theocrats

Jewish hardliners crack down on fun in Israel

(The Independent) -- by Catrina Stewat in Jerusalem --

It is the time of the year when school is out for Israel's ultraorthodox students. But this year, a Jewish morality police is patrolling in force to make sure they do not have too much fun.

Leading rabbis and heads of religious colleges, or the yeshivas, have warned students to continue their studies of the Torah, dress appropriately and avoid "the great danger, spiritually and concretely, of hitchhiking". The ultraorthodox, who make up roughly 10 per cent of all Israelis, live a closeted life. They voluntarily choose not to own a television or radio, and are barred from using the internet.

But Rabbi Mordechai Blau, leader of the group, Guardians of Sanctity and Education, feared that some temptations would simply prove too much, and deployed an army of snoopers to photograph members of the ultra-orthodox community, also known as Haredi, at a mixed-sex pop concert.

Revellers who ignored warnings to shun ultra-orthodox popstars from Brooklyn, New York, now face being slung out of their yeshivas, or having their children barred from attending the religious schools of their choice.

"We have the photos in our possession," Rabbi Blau told Ha'aretz newspaper. "Here and there are Haredim in lovely pictures, with a woman to their right and one on their left. And then they will come and ask why their children are not accepted into particular schools."

Despite Rabbi Blau's strict stance on morality, his is far from a solo crusade. "I think it's sad that they have to send out spies," said Reva Mann, a Jewish author who rebelled against her ultra-orthodox community. "On the other hand, I understand it. To reach that spirituality, you have to separate yourself."...MORE...LINK

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