Ultra-Orthodox Jews

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#1
Ultra-Orthodox Jews more likely to jaywalk
10:00 23 January 2005
Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
Hazel Muir

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6896

It is rarely said that religious types live dangerously, but it seems they do when it comes to crossing roads. A new study in Israel suggests devout Orthodox Jews are three times as likely to be risk-taking pedestrians as their neighbours in secular communities.

Tova Rosenbloom of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel, suspected religious beliefs might play a role after hearing complaints about pedestrian behaviour in the ultra-Orthodox community of Bnei-Brak, also in Israel.

"Drivers who get to Bnei-Brak complain that they need seven eyes," she says. "People walk on the roads as if they were footpaths."

To find out more, Rosenbloom and her colleagues watched more than 1000 pedestrians at two busy junctions, one in Bnei-Brak and the other in Ramat-Gan, a largely secular city. They totted up the number of times a pedestrian either jaywalked, walked on the road rather than the footpath, crossed without looking for traffic, or crossed without holding an accompanying child's hand.

The ultra-Orthodox inhabitants of Bnei-Brak were three times as likely to break these rules as people in Ramat-Gan, the team found.

Rosenbloom thinks that ultra-Orthodox faith might contribute to this cavalier behaviour by making people respect religious law more than state-imposed rules. It is also possible that religious people take more risks because they are more fatalistic and have less fear of death.

Journal reference: Transportation Research Part F (vol 7, p 395)

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Anonymous

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#2
More mundanely, it's possible that a highly religious area has a stronger sense of community, and this allows them to think of the streets as shared or common space, rather than just vehicle routes.
 

rynner2

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#3
A hands-free green man...so devout Jews can cross the road without breaking a religious law
They are not allowed to use electricity or operate machinery on the Sabbath
By Martin Delgado
Last updated at 11:31 PM on 1st October 2011

Britain is to get its first ‘hands-free’ pedestrian crossing – so that devout Jews do not have to break a religious law that prohibits them from using electricity or operating machinery on the Sabbath.
The crossing is near a busy synagogue, and pressing a button to operate it is considered a breach of the strict rules that apply to Orthodox Jews.
Traffic will be held every 90 seconds from Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday, covering the Jewish Sabbath period.
The crossing will be situated on one of London’s busiest roads – the North Circular at the Henlys Corner junction. But planners insist it will not cause traffic chaos.

The system will come into operation in December when the junction fully reopens after a massive ten-month upgrade costing £8 million.
The decision to include automatic crossings was taken after leaders at Finchley United Synagogue explained their predicament to staff at Transport for London, which is responsible for maintaining main roads in the capital. TfL says the ‘hands-free’ green man has not added to the cost of improvements.
A spokesman said: ‘We always consult with the community over major road projects. This idea was suggested by the synagogue, whose members asked if it could be done. We thought about it and came to the conclusion that it could.’

No one at the synagogue was available for comment because of the Jewish New Year. But one of the congregation said: ‘This is a sensible idea that will make a real difference.’

The move follows the controversial formation of an eruv – a boundary recognised by Jewish law within which certain activities are permitted – in the same part of North London.
Although observant Jews are allowed to carry household objects such as door keys, and to push prams and wheelchairs within the six-square-mile area, they are still banned from using electricity.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z1ZcYVHmgq
 

Jerry_B

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#5
I think someone was once said to have commented that 'The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath'... ;)

I'm not sure which is more scary - a god who destroys whole cities, floods the entire planet, etc - or one who gets irate over someone pressing a button on certain days... :D
 

JamesWhitehead

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#6
Somewhere in a local history publication I have the memories of a Middleton woman who recalls that her parents were too poor to give her pocket-money but she could earn a copper or two at the weekend by lighting the fires and stoves of orthodox Jews.

I suppose the Aga did away with that little job. :)
 

Mythopoeika

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#7
I guess electrical items such as lights and cookers could be switched on and off with timers, but...how do they feed themselves? Do they employ somebody to spoon food into their mouths?
Do they employ somebody to get them dressed in the morning?
How about going to the loo?

I am getting entertained by the possibilities. :D
 
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#8
We've had a discussion regarding light switches etc sometime in the past.

Quoting myself from this thread.

Spookdaddy said:
Stormkhan said:
But surely the religious restriction is only applied to lights that the Orthodox jew switches on for themselves. If it's someone elses action or, in this case, a mechanical system then what does it have to do with the believer?
I did a quick search last night because I was sure I'd read somewhere the name given to non-Jewish servants who, in days gone by, performed work for their Jewish masters on the Sabbath. But no, apparently not - strictly speaking it doesn't matter who (or what) performs the task (or, apparently, when they perform it), if it is being done for the benefit of those observing the Sabbath then they are in fact breaking breaking it.

Firstly, how have ancient Orthodox jewish laws suddenly encompassed modern conveniences like lightbulbs?
Secondly, don't Orthdox jews use electric lights on the Sabbath? Or are they meant to leave them on all the time?
Turning on a light bulb is equated with creating the spark which lights the fire and is therefore considered to be work. You can buy Sabbath light-switch covers to prevent accidental usage...I kid you not.
Edit: An example of switch protectors here.

Edited to fix link.
 

Jerry_B

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#12
Much as I always think that human beings are amazing, things like that just seem so utterly utterly daft! The Achilles Heel of the human imagination is an invention such as that - we can dream up all sorts of gods, but then dream up the idea that one of them is a bit iffy about light switches.
 
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#14
Just to clarify something that might have been obvious to everyone else.

After posting on the old thread I linked to I took the opportunity to ask a couple of Orthodox Jewish brothers from Manchester, who I occasionally work for, about the work/sabbath thing.

They told me that they get around the lightswitch issue by turning the lights on before the Sabbath starts and leaving them on until after it ends. The lightswitch protectors are there to stop you automatically turning the switches off rather than turning them on. (At least, this was the case in their families - the Orthodox spectrum is a pretty wide one and I dare say there's room for variation once you get beyond the fundamentals.)
 

Mythopoeika

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#17
Spookdaddy said:
Just to clarify something that might have been obvious to everyone else.

After posting on the old thread I linked to I took the opportunity to ask a couple of Orthodox Jewish brothers from Manchester, who I occasionally work for, about the work/sabbath thing.

They told me that they get around the lightswitch issue by turning the lights on before the Sabbath starts and leaving them on until after it ends. The lightswitch protectors are there to stop you automatically turning the switches off rather than turning them on. (At least, this was the case in their families - the Orthodox spectrum is a pretty wide one and I dare say there's room for variation once you get beyond the fundamentals.)
Yeah, I noticed on that website they were also selling a kosher lamp which stays on all the time. To 'turn it off', you just twist it and a shield hides the light. The light's still on, but light isn't coming out when it's shielded - so technically, it's not turning a light 'off'. :)
 
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#18
Mythopoeika said:
Spookdaddy said:
Just to clarify something that might have been obvious to everyone else.

After posting on the old thread I linked to I took the opportunity to ask a couple of Orthodox Jewish brothers from Manchester, who I occasionally work for, about the work/sabbath thing.

They told me that they get around the lightswitch issue by turning the lights on before the Sabbath starts and leaving them on until after it ends. The lightswitch protectors are there to stop you automatically turning the switches off rather than turning them on. (At least, this was the case in their families - the Orthodox spectrum is a pretty wide one and I dare say there's room for variation once you get beyond the fundamentals.)
Yeah, I noticed on that website they were also selling a kosher lamp which stays on all the time. To 'turn it off', you just twist it and a shield hides the light. The light's still on, but light isn't coming out when it's shielded - so technically, it's not turning a light 'off'. :)
They must have hired a Jesuit to think that one up!
 

rynner2

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#19
NY bus accused of sex discrimination

New York City officials say they could shut a bus service running through an Orthodox Jewish area that is accused of asking women to sit at the back.
Officials have written to the firm operating the bus asking what they are doing to prevent discrimination.

The B110 bus is operated by a private firm under a franchising agreement with the city, but is open to the public.
A student journalist published a story this week reporting that a woman on the bus was asked to sit at the back.

The New York Times later reported that a woman passenger on the B110 had said men and women also sat apart on similar bus services catering for the city's Hasidic Jewish community.

New York City's Department of Transportation director, Anne Koenig, has asked the company that operates the B110 to respond to the claims.
"Please be advised that a practice of requiring women to ride in the back... would constitute a direct violation of your franchise agreement and may lead to termination of that agreement," she wrote, reports Reuters news agency.

The department said the firm that runs the service had no exemptions from city's anti-discrimination standards.
Officials said the public bus has been franchised since 1973 to the Private Transportation Corporation, which has not yet commented.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg told reporters on Wednesday that segregating men and women was "obviously not permitted" on public buses.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15411791
 

rynner2

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#20
Jerusalem mayor battles ultra-orthodox groups over women-free billboards
Female models erased from advertisements across city after religious lobby brands the images as offensive
Phoebe Greenwood in Jerusalem guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 15 November 2011 19.16 GMT

Jerusalem's secular mayor, Nir Barkat, has pitted himself against the city's swelling ranks of ultra-orthodox extremists by demanding that local police enable women to reclaim their position in the public domain.

Over recent months, women's faces have disappeared from billboards across the city amid mounting pressure applied by the powerful ultra-orthodox lobby, who find the female image offensive.
Several advertisers have erased female models from their posters in Jerusalem. Elsewhere in Israel, the winter campaign of Israeli clothing brand Honigman features a model cosily dressed in winter knits. In the capital, the woman's head has been removed from the image, leaving just her arm and a handbag.

Companies that do not fall in line with the standards of the extreme ultra-orthodox have frequently fallen victim to direct action. Across Jerusalem, female figures have been blacked out of billboards with spray-paint, or vandalised with graffiti branding the image "illegal". Other posters are simply torn down.

On Sunday, Barkat wrote a letter to district police commander Niso Shaham in which he said: "We must make sure that those who want to advertise [with] women's images in the city can do so without fear of vandalism and defacement of billboards or buses showing women."
Police have confirmed an increase in vandalism on the borders of Jerusalem's closed ultra-orthodox neighbourhoods. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police would be stepping up patrols to prevent further acts of hooliganism and ensure it is investigated.
Rosenfeld added that despite being pelted with stones, police officers made several arrests in the orthodox Meah Shearim neighbourhood last week.

But activists claim the battle over Jerusalem's billboards is only one manifestation of an alarming trend towards gender segregation across Israel driven by the religious right.
Activist Hila Benyovich-Hoffman was spurred to take action by reports that nine male cadets in the Israeli Defence Force had walked out of an army event in September because women were singing. Four were expelled from an officer's training course for refusing to apologise.

"This was the final straw for me, that these cadets could humiliate female soldiers because some rabbi has told them that a woman's voice is indecent. The army used to be a source of pride because women served alongside men as equals. But more and more, rabbis are influencing army behaviour," Benyovich-Hoffman said.
She organised a series of demonstrations last Friday in which hundreds of women gathered for "singalongs" in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheva to demand their right to a public presence. She says much more needs to be done.

It is not just secular Israelis that have been moved to protest. Members of the Haredi ultra-orthodox community themselves are reporting a rise in assaults on women. One orthodox website reported this week that three orthodox girls had been physically attacked in Jerusalem for dressing immodestly.

The Israeli Religious Action Centre (IRAC) was founded more than a decade ago to take on the fight against gender segregation, which is illegal in Israel. They receive around four calls a day from mostly orthodox Jewish women complaining of segregation in medical centres, on pavements, in post offices, graveyards and, most often, on buses. The centre estimates that daily, between 500 and 600 bus journeys in Israel are segregated.

"I feel like a fire fighter – this issue spreads and spirals like a fire," saids the IRAC's director Anat Hofman. "But the fact that our case load is increasing is a good thing – it means more people are sensitive to the problem and are prepared to stand up against it."

Jerusalem's deputy mayor, Naomi Tsur, admits the situation is "deplorable" but also says that women's rights have never had a better chance of flourishing in Jerusalem. For decades until November 2008, under the leadership of an orthodox mayor, billboards featuring women simply weren't allowed in the city.
Tsur said: "We are talking about a very extreme group of people who don't recognise the authority of the city, the police, the government or the high court. It is critically important that we don't let this minority dominate."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/no ... billboards
 
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#21
Jews in Cyber-Space! Vid at link.

Can ultra-orthodox Jews live with the web?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18155404

22 May 2012 Last updated at 01:13 GMT Help

When New York City's web-phobic ultra-orthodox Jews wanted to discuss how to face the challenge posed to their community by the growth of the internet, they could hardly set up a Google Hangout or host a webinar.

With tens of thousands keen to take part, the community needed a big venue. On Sunday 40,000 men filled Citi Field, home to the New York Mets baseball team, to chart a way forward.

Amid concern over the dangers the internet poses to traditional morality, organisers said the discussion focused on how to protect children from pornography and violent sites. The proliferation of social media was also a key concern.

The event, sponsored by the ultra-orthodox Jewish group Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, featured prayers and speeches from spiritual leaders. Tickets sold out quickly, and the organisers rented a nearby stadium to accommodate another 20,000 people. There were separate women's events in other venues.

Across the road demonstrators staged a protest, complaining that sensitive subjects - including child abuse allegations - were being ignored while the internet was identified as a source of problem and sin.

Despite a media ban the BBC received exclusive amateur video from inside the stadium, and spoke with attendees at both the protest and the rally.

Produced by Anna Bressanin. Camera by Ilya Shnitser.

Amateur video courtesy of Eli Gleiberman.
 
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#22
People often get caught up in the crazies within Islam or Christianity but as I've always said, every religion has its resident lunatics. Its just not often that we outsiders see them. Case in point, some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities both in Israel and here in the US. They have told women to segregate themselves from men, refused to sell to non-Jews, harassed non-Jews who date Jewish women, and so forth. This is just the latest example, albeit a rather silly one.

The one thing I WILL at least give them is that ultra-Orthodox Jews for the most part have no desire to impose their morality upon the rest of us sinners. They don't want their men surfing the internet, but they don't want to shut down our internet usage. Kind of like the Amish. We can use electricity all we want because we aren't a part of their community. I can imagine it must be quite stifling to those born in the community who want out, but for the rest of us its pretty much a non-issue.

I DO find it ironic that women could apparently only watch this through streaming video. Via the internet... Go fig. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some sexy naked ladies to oogle over the internet. And... ummm... whatever other sinful stuff I can think of... eating a cheeseburger I guess.
 

hunck

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#24
Ha Ha. Hilarious. More ludicrous beliefs from religious sects. I've never heard of this one before. It's so ludicrous I suspect it may be some sort of stunt. According to the text re breathing inside the bag:

"Pre-punched holes in the plastic are said to invalidate the barrier. Only if when the kohein is putting on this bag it accidentally rips can there be some leniency"

"Kohanim have a duty to protect their taharah, purity, according to the article. 'They have been bestowed with extra kedushah which makes them worth of being meshorsei Hashem. At times, there may be extra demands made upon them in order to maintain that standard of kedushah and taharah".

This sets new standards of utter bollocks. Respect due.
 
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#25
I'm kind of fascinated by the way prohibitions like this actually come about.

I mean, we're lead to believe that much of orthodox tradition is based on very ancient constants - so who (presuming this rule is based on tradition) decided - and when - that it might be an idea to ban flying over cemeteries? Did some desert elder millenia ago say, 'Right - no meat from animals with cloven hooves, no shellfish, no lifting carrying or lighting a fire on Saturdays and - just in case, mind - no flying over cemeteries.

And are there any other bans in place which are currently redundant but may become relevant in future? No walking on the moon unless you're carrying a piece of cheese in your right hand, and an absolute ban on the wearing of self-cleaning underwear during Shabbat?

To be honest though - I think the world could always do with more harmless weirdness. And this is weird and harmless - at least to everyone else.
 

rynner2

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#26
Here's one urban legend disposed of:

Sex through a hole in a sheet?

It's widely believed that ultra-Orthodox Jews are so concerned about modesty that they have sex through a hole in a sheet.

But this is a total myth says Ribner: "There has never been a group of Jews anywhere in the world that has advocated having sex through a hole in a sheet - that has never happened. It doesn't happen today, it never happened in history. It's not advocated in any text within the Jewish community."

From:

The sex manual for ultra-Orthodox Jews
By Daniel Estrin

...

[Ribner] says publication of a sex manual for Orthodox Jews was long overdue.

Ultra-Orthodox boys and girls are educated separately, and have little interaction with the opposite sex until their marriage night, when they are expected to consummate their union. :shock:

Physical touch with the opposite sex - even something like a handshake - is only permitted with one's spouse and close family members. Access to films and the internet is often restricted.

"We wanted there to be a place where people could say, 'I know nothing and I want to know something,'" says Ribner.
The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy, which Ribner co-wrote with Orthodox researcher Jennie Rosenfeld, starts with the very basics - explaining, for example, how the body shape of men and women differs.

Ribner says Judaism regards sex as something positive, but it has become taboo to discuss it openly.
"Sex is only appropriate within a marital context," he says. "Beyond that it's not talked about. Because of that, it's become very difficult for people to have any kind of dialogue about it."

...

It took a while to find an open-minded translator of Orthodox Jewish background who could translate the book using language that would appeal to a devout reader, says Ribner.
The book is direct in its language and touches on subjects that may be uncomfortable for some, including oral sex and masturbation.

When the Hebrew edition is released in a few weeks' time, it could create quite a storm, says Menachem Friedman, a professor and sociologist who has written numerous books on Israel's ultra-Orthodox community.
"I suspect it will meet tremendous negative reaction - at least within the most extreme elements of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community," he says.

But he agrees that such a book is sorely needed, and foresees brisk behind-the-counter sales. ;)
For a newly-married couple, it can be very traumatic, he says, to go from a lifetime of near-separation from the opposite sex to a full sexual relationship in just one night.

...


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22152700
 

Analogue Boy

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#27
The Daily Maul has yet another story about orthodox Jews and a sex manual written especially for them.
You wait ages for a bit of good, old-fashioned anti-semitism then several items come along at once. Seriously, I think there's something pretty nasty going on regarding the pushing of this sort of article.

Let's not forget The Daily Mail ran similar stories in the 1940's.
 

rynner2

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#29
jimv1 said:
You wait ages for a bit of good, old-fashioned anti-semitism then several items come along at once. Seriously, I think there's something pretty nasty going on regarding the pushing of this sort of article.
Anti-semitism? From the BBC? :shock: Shirley not!

It's just a news item about orthodox Jews, FFS!

All religious sects seem a bit peculiar to those who aren't in them, but it doesn't mean that stories about them are anti-anything, just that people are interested in things that are different.

We have a thread or two on here about the Amish, because their way of life seems strange to most of us, but nobody says those posts are anti-Amish.

I think you're barking up a non-existent tree, TBH.
 
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