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ANNALS OF MODESTY

Family of the Little Girl Spat on in Beit Shemesh Planning to Leave

The Margolis story was supported at the time by interviews with Haredi men who spoke openly o the cameras about the need to shame publicly women who do not adhere to the strictest Haredi manner of dress.

Eight-year-old Na'ama Margolis walking with her mother, Hadassa, on her way to school in Beit Shemesh, Dec 29, 2011.

Eight-year-old Na'ama Margolis walking with her mother, Hadassa, on her way to school in Beit Shemesh, Dec 29, 2011.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / Flash90

Ten months after Channel 2 News ran a devastating story about her 8-year-old daughter, Na’ama, being spat on by Haredim over differences on modest attire, Hadassa Margolis is planning to move out of Beit Shemesh, the Haredi enclave outside Jerusalem.

In the headline-making interview, back in December, 2011, Hadassa and Na’ama shared horrifying tales of Haredi men attacking them every morning, as mother was accompanying her daughter to school. They were yelled at and spat on by Haredi men, they related, to the point where little Na’ama was staying home, refusing to go to school for fear of being attacked again.

The Margolis story was supported at the time by interviews with Haredi men who spoke openly o the cameras about the need to shame publicly women who do not adhere to the strictest Haredi manner of dress.

The Margolis family is religious but not Haredi.

Now, Hadassa Margolis is considering moving out of Beit Shemesh. This is despite the fact that their story had an enormous impact on the city, as Na’ama herself told IDF radio this week: “The extremists are no longer coming out when I walk to school,” she reported, commenting that “the news report changed reality.”

The same IDF radio report this week said that three kolels (yeshivas for married scholars) where the Haredi attackers used to belong have been closed down and the students left town. But that is not enough, apparently, for Hadassa and Na’ama Margolis, who say they’re still feeling traumatized by last year’s events.

“I’ve had enough of feeling like we’re anybody’s scapegoats (fra’yerim), I’ve had enough of feeling uncomfortable, changing clothes in certain places. I’m a little exhausted emotionally.”

She confessed she is yet to take actual steps to facilitate a move, but she is not going to deny that this is her intention. She said she knew people wanted her to say when she was leaving and where to, but she insisted she would do “that which is best for my family.”

“I don’t need for my daughters to grow up with such thoughts in their heads – am I modest enough – with fear. I want to live in a normal place, without extremists,” she concludes.

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth. Invite Tibbi to visit your blog. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


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6 Responses to “Family of the Little Girl Spat on in Beit Shemesh Planning to Leave”

  1. The author offers nothing of the current situation in Beit Shemesh and is only trying to hash up what once was. It's horrible reporting! It's with this kind of article that puts the entire JewishPress.com at question. Who looks over what is being put on this website?

    The current status in Beit Shemesh is one of calm and serenity. There are 2 malls being built and there have been no clashes with the extremists since the whole ordeal started 1 year ago.

    Want honest reporting? Then how about a positive piece of what Beit Shemesh is like now. Write about Shemesh Hadasha, a new diverse party that is being formed to reshape Beit Shemesh. Something, ANYTHING other than what is written here.

  2. Gil Gilman says:

    Apparently a nerve was touched here. The article states that a positive result was obtained in Beit Shemesh. There is nothing horrible at all about the reporting. Thank you for this update! The article is about a feeling of suffering borne by the victims of the alluded to incident. But I have a word for the mother and child. Stay…there are extremists everywhere. Be brave and enjoy the fruit of your victory in that regard. Certainly support is to be found in the religious community to which you belong. If people outside your circle ostracize you, so what, bear it bravely too, as they are in the wrong, and you are in the right. For where would you go? Hashem is everywhere!

  3. Thank God Beit Shemesh has improved.

    May the ways of peace increase in the New Year.

    Good luck to Na'aama Margolis. We are rooting for you.

  4. Country is surrendering to fenatism.
    Shanah Tova
    David Fakheri

  5. Chaiya Eitan says:

    I think they should stay. A new Party is being formed called Beit Shemesh HaHadasha headed by Dov Lipman.

  6. Rafi Hecht says:

    Just because it's being started doesn't mean that the Margolis should stay and suffer from beginners mistakes.

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