Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Toldot Aharon Novel from Menashe Darash


As I said a few days ago, I surprisingly found Menashe Darash's novel on the Toldot Aharon at the National Library in Jerusalem. I ordered the book from the archives and whenever I have time I read a bit. Although the author claims that the novel is a entire fiction based on his imagination, it is very clear that the chassidic group mentioned in the book are the Toldot Aharon from Mea Shearim.

I admit that, so far, I have only read about 30 pages but ...

The book is extremely boring and Chassidim should not read it. It may be of any interest to the secular but for people dealing with chassidic society the book is simply crap. A waste of money and a waste of time reading.

Tami Hindele is a "Toldot Aharon" girl and refuses to marry a Shidduch at an early age.

I did not understand why she does so. Furthermore, she quotes all kinds of Talmudic phrases to her father in order to undermine her opinion.

Dear Menashe Darash: You seem to have studied too much with the Toldot Aharon Chassidim but you have absolutely NO idea about their women's studies. A TA woman does not constantly throw around with expressions from the Talmud !

Finally the Shadchan sends Tami Hindele to her aunt in Haifa. An aunt living in the Haifa area of Seret - Vishnitz.

I do not think that a TA girl alone would travel to an aunt in Seret - Vishnitz in order to stay with her and get a clear mind in order to agree to a Shidduch.

Then Tami Hindele gets hit by a car and then this guy of Iraqi origin shows up in the novel. I think his name is Michael, of Iraqi origin, Zionist and secular. And guess what ... the two fall in love.

I am not a psychologist but dear Menashe Darash, it seems to me that your book is entirely based on your imagination about having an affair with a Toldot Aharon woman. This is what you project in your book. Tami Hindele, okay, your imagined character, but this Iraqi guy is you, isn't he.

Actually Menashe Darash was very brave giving an e - mail address in his book and I was thinking about contacting him. But, as it looks so far, the book is just bad literature and there is no need of talking to the author. If I wasn't writing about it, I had thrown the book into the garbage right when the Iraqui guy appears.

By the way, Menashe Darash lives in Haifa and is of Iraqui origin.


  1. Actually this book is selling very well among secular and religious people. The book is exactly what it is fiction. Thus the author uses artistic license where he sees fit with the characters. If you find it crap, why even spend time writing about it and telling others not to read it? It does make one wonder.

  2. B"H

    I believe that it sells to people (secular Jews) who have no idea about the Toldot Aharon or chassidic groups at all. People who hate haredi society.
    Who are the religious people you are talking about ?
    Definitely not haredi society but maybe some national religious.

    However, the book is badly written put the purpose is to make money, right !

    Artistic ? I think that Menashe Darash is living out his phantasies and it does make wonder that the Toldot Aharon didn't uncover him earlier.

  3. I am talking about people in haredi society reading the book.Also the feed back from the public has been that the book is very well written.As seen by comments on many book web sites. Since then the author has written another successful novel. This week his book on the Naturei carta comes out. As advertised on news 24 in Israel. The book has been endorsed by that sect.It is a history of the sect with photos and illustrations. he is a serious writer. he certainly does not harbor any fantasy's of the sort you refer to.

  4. B"H

    As far as I know, the author is installing "Dudei Shemesh" on rooftops. Has he become an author now because he sneaked into the Toldot Aharon ?

    What about the money the TA paid him ? Have they finally agreed to his publication or don't
    they even know ?

    How does the author know the Neturei Karta ? Was he there as well ?

    Haredi society usually reads from authors who are in society and not just research some information or guess.

  5. First of all. Your comment on his type of work is insulting. Writers come from many backgrounds and have done all kinds of jobs.The author did years of research before attempting to write about the religious community.Secondly, the book in the shops is the revised version with the name of the sect deleted. Thus perfectly legal.
    Thirdly. The Naturie Karta gave the author access to documents and materiel when he was researching their history.Indeed the head of the sect is pictured with a copy of the book inside the cover. I really do not think you know anything about the author or his work,you are just writing negative comments to please the community you are in.

  6. B"H

    So, after a big scandal, the NK is giving Menashe Darash information. This sounds like if someone is having trouble with Satmar and running to Tosh in order to write about them.

    But to let you know: I am quite friendly with the Toldot Aharon and Mea Shearim as a whole and I am going to ask them personally.

    You have no idea about the haredi world whatsoever ! And neither does he. Except for a look into the neighbourhood or Seret - Vishnitz.

  7. All I have to say to you is look at the picture of the NK rabbi with the book in the inside cover, when it is out, Why do you think it is being advertised on a web site like Hadashot 24. I think you know the answer to that. Talk with as many people as you want, the book has already been ordered by many people. Your rambling on is totally irrelevant and shows an ignorance of the real world around you. You have a closed mind.It is impossible to have any rational conversation with you.So I will leave you to it.

  8. B"H

    No, I don't know the answer because I am not wasting my time reading books written by a person who was sneaking into the Toldot Aharon in order to write a book and make money. And this is what counts for both of you: CASH and no religion and no Chassidut.

    This is exactly what is happening when Chilonim start writing about haredi society.

    The only thing you and your friend have is the hatred of haredi society.

    As I said: CASH counts, no matter how !

    You still haven't answered my question:

    What about the money the TA paid Menashe Darash ?

    Has Darash broken the contract by publishing the book ?

    However, you don't need to answer, as I will find out myself.

  9. actually I answered your question in my last comment. The book came out eventually with the name of the sect deleted. The requirements being met by the contract.Thus publication was allowed. This was over a year and a half ago.

  10. B"

    Honestly, when someone is familiar with the whole Mea Shearim groups, one can see very easily that Menashe Darash is talking about the Toldot Aharon.:-) Even only through the group's history he describes in his book. For instance the split from the former Toldot Aharon after the founder Rebbe Aharon Roth died. When his son left the group and founded the Shomrei Emunim.

    Others who are not familiar with the Mea Shearim life wouldn't know.

    The author is listing some of their internal Takanot. Do you know if he just received them or if they are real at all. However, it doesn't surprise because other chassidic groups (such as Gur) have something similar.