Friday, September 24, 2010

Sukkot 5771 in Mea Shearim


It won't be easy this year. Spending Sukkot in Mea Shearim as a woman may be a problem. Not necessarily for the local women of Mea Shearim but for us female visitors. Last Wednesday night I was walking through Mea Shearim and saw countless of posters. The Toldot Aharon only accept their own female members to their Simchat Beit HaShoeva celebrations. They even give out tickets to their members. Furthermore other chassidic groups limit the amount of visitors from the outside. 
I am planning to go next week but will have to face Chassidim refusing to let me in. I am spending this Shabbat with friends in Mea Shearim and will investigate the subject. Where I can go and when.

More than three years ago I started going to chassidic Tishes in Mea Shearim. Me and my friend where alone with the chassidic women. In those days there were hardly any visitors from the outside but suddenly everything changed. Groups started walking in and so - called "researchers" who are secular but saw the big money, dragged their groups into chassidic neighbourhoods. The moment I saw those groups, I knew the good days are over. Indeed, soon the chassidic communities got fed up and now we see the result. Mea Shearim is closing its gates to visitors on Sukkot. Not only due to the Sikarikim but due to too many visitors from the outside. Secular Israelis and national religious Jews. Especially the national religious girls love to start arguing with chassidic women. Mainly about Zionism / anti - Zionism and this is destroying the entire atmorphere. Now we all have to face reality meaning: Mea Shearim is closed !

Some silly women of Israel's Reform are planning to make a fuss by demonstrating in the middle of Mea Shearim. I am interested in making some pictures how the local population is going to respond. My own opinion is that those Reform women don't have any clue about haredi society and are only looking for provocations. 

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