Monday, February 7, 2011

Sarah Einfeld: "SORERET"


Those of you who know Hebrew are now able to watch the entire "SORERET - Rebellious" documentary about the gender separation on haredi buses in Jerusalem. Chassidut Gur runaway Sarah Einfeld is playing an important role in this documentary consisting of five parts (on Youtube).

Many Haredim were watching the movie when it came out in 2009. Many loved it, others found it far too exaggerated and others simply hated it. Nevertheless, haredi society is extremely curious and its members were anxious seeing the documentary. Most of them secretly.

I met Sarah Einfeld last year and going to repeat this soon. Not only because for writing reasons but mainly because we have a kind of the same problem and lots of experiences and ideas to exchange. It always helps talking to someone who went through a similar experience, as he is able to understand you whereas the secular press just wants a story and doesn't care about the person.

What is Sarah doing at the moment ? She lives in Ramat Gan, works hard in order to support her two children and gives lectures to psychology students. 

For those of you only speaking English: There is a short "Soreret" trailer in English showing Sarah (with dark hair) and another runaway constantly taking photos.

May I suggest that even if you don't know Hebrew, you should still watch the five parts of "Soreret".

Personally, I have never really come in touch with gender buses. When I took the Egged buses 15, 1, 2, 35 or 36, only an inofficial separated seating is taking place. Those Haredim preferring a separate seating have found their own solution long ago by hiring private bus companies. Moreover, there are many of those Haredim who wouldn't use an Egged bus anyway, as, for them, Egged is a Zionist company. This is why you won't necessarily find any Neturei Karta, Satmar or Toldot Aharon on an Egged bus. Maybe just in case of the severest emergency. I know from a Dushinsky friend that they prefer taking a taxi or the private Sherut taxis to Bnei Brak.

The "Soreret - Rebellious" documentary is interesting but, according to my opinion, too much concentrating on the negative sides of haredi society. It neither mentions those thousands of Haredim being against separate seating on buses nor does it show that there are quite a few haredi women who very much support separate seating.



  1. It also portrays Charedi society has being against women. For being myself a charedi (Chabadnik), the vast majority of men are respectful toward women. I was once invited to a Satmar friend for Shabbes. You could read the respect he has for his wife in his eyes. I mention Satmar because they are wrongfuly demonized by many people who don't even know what Satmar is all about. Most of the men in our circles won't even dare usintg derogatory words about women. Those few bad apples among Charedim are a minority and you will be amazed to know that most Charedim do oppose the propaganda of the kanaim. If people could know how kind a Charedi husband is toward his wife and the high esteem we have for women. I think that such documentary is a prejudice because it nourishes the classic stereotype secular Jews have concerning the Charedi society.

    To "segregate" (I don't like that word) between men and women is a good and healthy think if done solely according to the rules, but Charedim are NOT talibans. Enough of that propaganda. And by the way, most of the women I know would like to travel in such buses. Like a woman told me, "I cannot imagine being in a crowed bus with a man touching me". This is in fact the feeling of most women in the Charedi society. And in fact, most of the Charedim (men and women alike) have their own cars or use other transportation to reach their destination. I can even claim that those who use public buses are mainly single men (that can explain why they can be so excited when seeing a woman sitting in the front of the bus).

    I would like to mention some facts:

    1) Many poskim say that it is an obligation to stand before a Talmid Chokhom's wife.

    2) It is an obligation to stand before an old woman.

    3) It is a duty of Gemiliyus Chassodim to stand in a bus and offer one's place for a pregnant woman.

    About 50 years ago, when Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlita served as a member of the Beth Din of Jerusalem, he took the bus to go home in his neighborhood of Tel Arza. As usual, HaRav Shelita was sitting in the bus, being totally consumed by thoughts of Torah. He was consulting a book. But then suddenly he distinguishes in the corner of his eye, a woman who was pregnant. HaRav Shelita gave her his place immediately, head down and always absorbed in his thoughts of Torah. He was forced to close the book (because he was now standing), but he did not hear the voice of the woman who addressed him by standing near the empty space. This woman - noting the curious eyes - sat quietly in the empty space being very embarrassed.

    When the Rav came down the bus near his home, the woman also went down and beagn to call him. Gradually, the Rav recognized her voice and turned back.
    "Margalite! It is you who call me? You were on the bus? "- asked the Rav.
    "Yes, that's me! "- replied her wife the Rebbetzin.
    "I am the one to whom you ceded your place in the bus without even being aware of! "

    There are many pratical lessons to derive from that.

  2. B"H

    As someone stated in the documnetary: There are some haredi groups who want to give the impression of being more stringent than others. Sometimes it is about one's reputation and the idea to gain further admiration from exaggerating. This is the basic problem today. And when you look into Mea Shearim, there are different directions fighting as the Neturei Karta, for instance.

  3. When there is a public to watch your show, you tend to exagerate. But I am quite sure that if those Kanaim were alone without anyone to watch their show, they wouldn't even dare raising their eyes or addressing to women.

    Chasidus is all about pnimiyus, gemiliyus chasodim and good middos. Those who behave otherwise do a disservice to what the Besht built and are making a Chillul Hashem.

    It remembers me of a story that took place last winter.

    In Antwerp, a old goyish woman fell because of the ice on the pavement. She asked some Chasidim who were passing by to help her to stand up. They refused because she was a woman. A goyish man who was standing by helped that woman while lashing, "Ha, these Jews!" The story was heard in all the city, and most Rabbis considered that they made a huge Chillul Hashem. It was a case of Derech Eretz, so they should have help her to stand up eventhough she was a woman. It would have created a Kiddush Hashem instead of a Chillul Hashem.

    So those few kanaim who behave like animals should realize that what they're doing is a Chillul Hashem and it further the hatred people (secular Jews and Goyim alike) have toward us.

  4. B"H

    The same story happened to me two years ago or so. A woman fell and a Chassid came along and didn't help her. He almost did but then was afraid that someone may see him and he disappeared. I think he regreted it but he obviously didn't see another solution but escaping.

    The young woman appearing with Sarah, the one always taking pictures, is seen as total nut. This is what even many moderate Haredim told me. The girl was Litvish and totally hates Haredim now.

  5. Thank you for your voice Sara.
    You are normal!
    You are beautiful!
    You are clever!
    I'm proud of you!