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    » 02/09/2011, 00.00


    Controversy in Israel over burqa-wearing ultra-Orthodox Jews

    The movement was born six years ago to fight immodesty in Israeli. There are now hundreds of "haredi" who cover themselves from head to toe. At first, conservative rabbis were in favour, now they emit warnings, especially for young girls.

     Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The movement was born six years ago, and now involves hundreds of women throughout Israel. They are the "Taliban Haredi" ultra-religious women who have decided to completely cover their bodies from head to toe, and like Muslim women wear the burqa. About six years ago a group of "haredi" women (literally: those who tremble at the word of God ") decided to start a battle against immodesty of Israeli women in their fashion choices, by covering themselves completely.

    The aim was not to expose any part of their body to the sight of men, so as to encourage them to avoid sin. As explained by one of them: "I follow these rules of modesty to save men from themselves. A man who sees a woman's body parts is sexually aroused, and this might cause him to commit sin. Even if he doesn't actually sin physically, his impure thoughts are sin in themselves."

    This initiative was received positively by many haredi circles and was even accompanied by an enthusiastic letter of support signed by Badatz rabbis, the ultra-Orthodox court of justice, and “Eda Haredit” leader Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss.

    Now their growing number - about 600, with a constant stream of new recruits – is beginning to create problems. Also because some of these women do not uncover themselves even at home and are forcing their daughters to follow them in this fashion. So much so that the protests and warnings are multiplying: "You do not have to dress in strange ways, including veils, especially if your husband is against it, and also because it is against the Halacha (the law of conduct). And above all this fashion should not be applied in the case of young girls," write some rabbis.

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    See also

    24/10/2008 ISRAEL
    Limit set on negotiations over Tzipi Livni's government
    The prime minister-designate has given an ultimatum, expiring on Sunday, for a decision by the ultra-Orthodox parties. Shas asks for extension of rabbinical courts' jurisdiction, to include civil disputes between couples. The request was refused when Olmert was in office.

    26/01/2007 ISRAEL
    Women reject Taliban-like rules on bus
    A group of Israeli women filed a petition with the court against requiring women to sit in the back of buses in ultra-Orthodox areas, where sit in the front and women in the back to prevent the sexes from “mixing”.

    17/12/2010 ISRAEL
    No renting houses to Arabs: 55% of Israelis agree with the Rabbis
    A poll published by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper gives an overview of popular opinion on the controversial appeal signed by over fifty rabbis to prevent the sale or rental of homes to non-Jews. Significant differences between secular and religious.

    31/08/2009 ISRAEL
    Jerusalem, clashes between police and ultra-Orthodox Jews, eight officers injured
    Hundreds of protesters attacked the police overnight. Observant Jews protesting against the opening of a car park on the Jewish holy day of rest.

    18/06/2010 ISRAEL
    For Haredi parents, better prison than letting daughters in class with someone with TV at home
    Israel’s High Court of Justice postpones arrest warrants against 22 mothers guilty of contempt of court for refusing to send their daughters to integrated classes. “Not a drop of racism” but there “is a set of rules” to respect, parents say. More than 100,000 Haredi invade the streets of Jerusalem in their support.

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