Friday, October 7, 2022

The Mod (read modesty) Squad Gets Aggressive

THE CLASHES BETWEEN THE two communities are about control of public space and turf, activists say. According to Dr. Benjamin Brown, senior lecturer in the department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University and an expert on ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel, Beit Shemesh is a “bastion of zealots.”

Many of these people have moved to Beit Shemesh, Brown says, not merely because of the available housing, but also because they want to escape their rabbis, who have tried to restrain their extremism. These zealots, Brown says, will listen to no one but their own. “Even the most venerable rabbis and leaders hesitate to issue rulings,” says Brown, “for fear that they will be publicly disobeyed by the extremists.”

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