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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Another Woman Attacked in Beit Shemesh

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.A car attacked by haredim in Beit Shemesh

Photo Credit: Flash 90

A woman looking to hang posters for a lottery in Beit Shemesh on Tuesday suffered light injuries when a crowd of haredi men surrounded her car, punctured her tires and threw stones at her. Police called to the scene arrested three men while the others fled.

Just over a month ago, a similar incident brought international attention to Beit Shemesh as an eight-year-old religious girl was spat on, cursed at and called a whore on her way to school by haredi men who disapproved of her knee-length skirts.

Part of a local conflict over real estate in a neighborhood where haredi and more modern Orthodox communities meet, the incident also sparked fierce debate over the treatment of women in haredi society and its increasing influence on general society. Gender separation on several bus lines used predominantly by haredi passengers also became a cause célèbre, as did the frequent defacement by haredim of posters and advertisements in which women’s faces were visible.

In response to intense media pressure on the subject, thousands of haredim demonstrated in Beit Shemesh, equating the criticism with anti-Semitic decrees and vowing to maintain their religious practices.

This latest incident also comes on the heels of two other major issues involving the haredi community. One is the discussion in the Knesset of the so-called “Tal Law,” allowing haredi yeshiva students to defer their military service while they continue their studies, which is now up for renewal by the Knesset. On Monday, the IDF’s chief of personnel told the Knesset that all citizens, including haredi yeshiva students, should be called upon to serve the country for either military or civil service.

The financial management of yeshivot has also come under scrutiny, with the Finance Ministry negotiating with yeshiva heads to institute reforms and the Education Ministry planning to hire investigators to covertly seek out possible irregularities in institutions receiving government funding.

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3 Responses to “Another Woman Attacked in Beit Shemesh”

  1. David says:

    Throwing stones at the car of a woman hanging up lottery signs is not an act designed to “maintain religious practice.” To the contrary, it is a not only a complete rejection of the basic religious requirement of Ahavat Yisrael, an act contrary to all leading Torah authorities, and a Chilul Hashem, but is counterproductive in the most elemental aspect of that term. Does anyone really think that women will stop hanging up lottery signs, or will put on floor-length skirts or Burkahs, because someone threw a roick,or spat, or hurled insults? Lo zu haderech!

    What I would love to see, if it can be arranged, is for a respected M’Chanechet from the Chareidi community in RBS1 to come in to teach a Shiur in basic concepts of Tzniut at the School in question. Now THAT would be a constructive approach.

  2. Chavi says:

    PEOPLE are hanged. Posters are HUNG.

  3. Simcha says:

    As a religious “Charedi” Jew, I am disgusted with the actions of the so-called “Charedim”. Their actions are causing a tremendous desecration of G-d’s name. Residing in Israel in a “Charedi” neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem, I feel a tremendous amount of religious coercion everyday. They consider their customs Jewish law and try to force everyone else to live by their standards and if not they resort to threats and violence. I am totally opposed to separate seating on buses. Due to the fact that the neighborhood where I reside has separate seating on the buses, as a male, I do sit in the men’s section but if there are no seats available then I will sit in the back in the women’s section if there is no woman sitting in the adjoining seat rather than stand which some men prefer to do. When I ride the buses in Jerusalem that are not separate seating, I will not sit next to another woman and if there are no other seats available, I will stand if I have no choice but if a woman sits next to me, I will not get up due to the fact that I believe it is a desecration of G-d’s name to get up and move to another seat. I use my common sense which is more important than sitting in a yeshiva and knowing how to learn the Talmud. It once happened on a bus in Jerusalem while sitting down in one of the front seats, that a yeshiva boy sat next to me in the aisle seat while I sat in the window seat. An elderly lady who had heavy packages needed help in taking her packages off the bus when arriving at her bus stop. The yeshiva boy sitting next to me tried to block my way so I would not be able to help the lady with her packages. Of course, I helped her anyway not caring what he did or thought but it shows that many of these so-called “Charedim” are not following the Torah the way they should and have invented their own Torah and their own Jewish laws. While visiting America, I rode a religious bus from one city to another without any problems where to sit and a quiet and enjoyable ride. Jewish law requires separation of the genders only while praying, when swimming and when dancing. Any other separation is purely custom and should not be imposed on others. Instead of concentrating on destroying the enemies of the Jewish people, the Israelis are helping the enemy and fighting against the Jewish people which is the reason why we are in the terrible situation we are in today. It is a struggle living in Israel which I am trying to overcome but it is not an easy task.

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