Sunday, November 19, 2006

They're still just women, and Rabbis still don't care.

Entry for November 06, 2006

More heredi "justice" from Ha'aretz online:


Sins of the husbands
By Esther Solomon

...The play explores the social and religious intimidation that keeps the community together, with more than a dash of physical coercion in the form of the Modesty Police. Any step outside the norm is an irreversible act replete with the danger of expulsion. Even those willing to accept such consequences are paralyzed by the shadow that would be cast on their children's future lives - in particular, their marriage prospects...

Even if women are courageous enough to escape, no justice system aids them. The writ of secular courts carries little clout in a community that recognizes only the judgment of the religious court system. Chana's challenge to the minyan simply to hear her story reverberates forcefully when contrasted with the voiceless passivity of women in the rabbinical courts - "Taliban or Iranian-style religious courts" as Ragen describes them...

men create a balance of terror at home and in the bedroom; obedience is the cardinal female duty; slander and gossip are pervasive and are consciously manipulated by communal leaders to divide and rule, to break autonomous thinking and solidarity...

While spousal abuse is common in the world, what is disturbing about the reality of the modern heredi community is the statement that it refuses to recognize the validity of the state legal system. In other words, they believe they are above the law. It is this attitude that leads them to excuse insurance fraud and other monetary scams, and to excuse lying about being married to collect welfare and other state benefits, not to mention wife-beating and child abuse. According to the article, 13% of the heredi men polled admitted they thought wife beating was ok - and those are just the ones who would admit it. Probably double that amount or more actually practice or endorse wife-beating in the heredi community.

And it is also disturbing to see that the heredi leaders use emotional and psychological abuse against people who challenge their "god-given" right to rule and control people. These are the people who claim it is a worse sin to expose the crimes of the heredi than to actually commit the sins. They violently supress the truth about the dysfunction of their community so they can continue to claim that they are the moral and spiritual leaders of Judaism. But it's a lie. A leadership structure that must rely on mental terrorism to keep power instead of logic and reason is a leadership that is corrupt, self-serving, immoral and unethical, not to mention is in no way approved by God.

Let me tell you a secret, class. God is not what the heredi have told you. God does not demand that you live in fear, depression, violence, and abuse. I will be happy to give assist anyone in the Cheredi community who wants to escape, and even bring your kids. We'll joyfully make room or do whatever we can. We'll help you in any way. Just let me know.

Vive the Revolution.

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