A Well-Worn Tallis for a New Ceremony: Trends in Israeli Haredi Culture (Jewish Identities in Post-Modern Society)

A Well-Worn Tallis for a New Ceremony: Trends in Israeli Haredi Culture (Jewish Identities in Post-Modern Society)

Nurit Stadler

Language: English

Pages: 190

ISBN: 193623582X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A Well-Worn Tallis for a New Ceremony is a study of contemporary ultra-Orthodox religiosity in Israel. This book analyzes the ongoing reconstruction of Haredi culture in Israel, a process which has been spurred on by the challenges of modernity, the worldwide resurgence of religion, and the strong sway of Israeliness. Despite its founders’ and the present leadership’s long-standing eff orts to establish and buttress a community enclave, various modern trends and state institutions, such as secularization, consumerism, feminism, and the military, are having a profound impact on the yeshiva world. In other words, modernity is making inroads into the Jewish state’s Haredi “ghetto” and transforming many aspects of everyday life. Over the course of her extended research on this community, Stadler has discerned changes in several key areas, including religious life; the family structure; and the community’s interface with government authorities and the rest of the populace. Her book sheds light on all of these developments.

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how Shas has both restored and invented ethnic and quasi-ethnic barriers that are altering the face of popular religion in Israel. In addition, this movement is changing 8  Shas is discussed at length in the first chapter. The Haredi Community in Israel: An Overview of the Recent Literature traditional Sephardic lifestyles by adopting the practices and beliefs of Ashkenazi Haredis. The stated objectives behind these reforms are to resist the secularization of its flock and “rescue” Sephardic

tradition of ensuring the dignity of the deceased (Stadler 2006). In assuming this role, the ultra-Orthodox organization was lending a hand in an arena that was hitherto exclusively under the purview of state insti- tutions. The organization’s success has given rise to a new model for Haredi interaction with greater society, which is beginning to expand to other fields of enterprise. For instance, in the wake of a huge fire that ravaged much of Israel’s Carmel Mountain range in December 2010,

International Churches of Christ (ICOC). Through a novel combination of Christian beliefs and a therapeutic ethos, this American sectarian movement purports to heal its followers and ensure a strong family unit. To join the church, so-called disciples have to make a substantial donation to the church and must regularly engage The New Haredi Family in proselytizing. Additionally, they consent to attend regular sessions with an elder mentor and participate in a couple of “discipleship groups”

activists, and regenerates. In the process, these factors have constructed a wide array of new power bases. This phenomenon has fomented a revolution in ultra-Orthodox publishing, as the industry is currently embracing feminine writing (Shenkar 2009), popular genres, belles-lettres, and children’s literature. Even within the yeshiva world, numerous writers have occupied themselves with an assortment of topics that, while close to the heart of yeshiva boys, are not necessarily theological in

Possession. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993. Lambert, Yves. “Religion in Modernity as a New Axial Age: Secularization or New Religious Form?” Sociology of Religion 60(3): 303–33 (1999). 153 154 References Lawrence, Bruce B. Defenders of God: The Fundamentalists Revolt against the Modern Age. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989. Lehmann, David. Struggle for the Spirit: Religious Transformation and Popular Culture in Brazil and Latin America. Oxford: Polity Press, 1996. _____.

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