Sunday, November 20, 2011

The EDAH HA'CHAREDIT versus "Taliban" Women Cult

The Edah HaCharedit warning against getting involved with the so - called Jewish "Taliban" women.

 Source: LaDa'at

Sometimes I wish I had studied psychology instead of business administration, as then I would definitely have an explanation why certain women tend to join cults (Hebrew: כתות - Katot). How can it be that a woman is ready to give up her own freedom in order to follow a cult leader or ideology ? 

This is just unbelievable and I don't succeed in understanding those women. Maybe because I love to be independent and follow my own decisions in life.

Please note that I am not talking about religion and Torah but simply about the freedom of a human being. 

How can a woman be that stupid and follow a guy like Daniel Ambash if not due to dire straits ? And how can a woman follow the crazy  made - up idea of dressing like our foremothers Sarah, Rivka, Lea and Rachel ? Besides, I don't believe that the foremothers ever dressed like the so - called Jewish "Taliban" women today. Moreover, I do not see the foremothers go nuts about every presence of a male. 

King David would have such a great laugh about the "Taliban" women and no one from the First or Second Temple period in Jerusalem would understand the women who totally cover themselves and live in their own world. Look at Bruriah, the wife of the talmudic Rabbi Me'ir. Bruriah was a learned woman who was counceling and giving advice to her environment. Event to her husband, as Talmud Berachot teaches us.

Look at Rashi's daughters or a women like Dona Gracia. An emancipated independent woman doesn't automatically mean that she is totally secular and immodest. I know many haredi business woman and female lawyers. I stick to my opinion: When G - d provided a human being with a special gift (singing, writing, drawing, dealing in business, law, science, etc.) he should definitely make use of it. Become a doctor when you love medical science. Become a photographer when you are into photos and cameras. Just use your abilities in positive ways. 

G - d didn't create women in order to stay at home, roll themselves into "Taliban" dresses and keep out of a shop as long as a male customer is inside. G - d wants us to have a life !

I do understand that there are weak women in this world. Women who haven't learnt using their abilities or a profession and to speak up. There are women as well as men who always need a strong person telling them what to do and how. However, when you belong to this particular category, you should look for a person inspiring you in a positive way and not in order to rule your life. And this is what the Jewish "Taliban" women leader do. They draw their own bit of self - esteem out of others and even put their followers down. The followers may escape one day but the person with a true mental problem is the cult leader him - or herself. 

And what do those women in question say ? What about their opinion ? Has anyone ever asked them ? 
I found a blog answering some of the questions. Apparently there are different groups within the "Taliban" women. Some keep it very strict up to the extreme and others only wear a shawl. The Breslover Ba'al Teshuva Rabbis Berland and Arush gave their okay as well as Rabbi Rumpler from Ge'ulah / Jerusalem. On the other hand, last night, Rabbi Rumpler was facing a demonstration of 200 Haredim in front of his Beit Midrash. 

I am not surprised that Rabbi Berland as well as Arush support the Ba'alat Teshuva covering themselves thinking that modesty "Zniut" is THE most important Mitzvah for a woman. Those of you following this blog on a regular basis know that I neither trust in what Berland has to say nor in the cashcow Arush. 

However, I learned that not every Jewish "Taliban" woman is a "Taliban" woman but there are differences. What I still don't understand is why those women don't develope their own personality instead of running after extreme ideas not even our foremothers or Zipporah kept.


  1. B'H

    I am a man, but I really liked that post!

  2. Do they have a source for what they do? I ask because it seems to me (as it clearly does to you) that this is unprecedented in Jewish history.

    1. It is NOT unprecedented, this was tradition in certain muslim countries to wear full face cover, yes for Jewish woman! And all Jewish Women wore some sort of shawl up to the early 1900's. We are so far from our roots we dont even know! Do you think Sarah emainu wore a short skirt and sheitel or robes???

  3. B"H

    When I am back in Jerusalem, I am planning to speak to one of the group members or, at least, try to do so. If they answer in return, well, that's another issue.:-))))

    I don't look like them and I am not planning to join the club. However, what really really interests me is the desire of those women to dress like that. Not only the so - called "Taliban" group but also certain Toldot Aharon, Shomrei Emunim and further old Yerushalmi women.

    Fortunately, I got hold of a phone number of one of the Edah women's groups and will call them up. Its not only because I want to write about it. Its more because I am still searching for myself.

    Maybe they will convert me into one of their group members.:-) Then I will open a ZNIUT BLOG and let you all know ... :-)))))

    I don't think that have a particular source but it is more self - restriction and reaching higher levels.

  4. B'H

    There is no source for the way they dress. But, as I mention in another article, it was common, at least until the 18th-19th century, for Hasidic women to wear a chador-like veil (even in Lubavitch), and many other covered with a long shawl. Now, as for the burqa some of these "Taliban" women wear (I don't like that term of "Taliban", but how we should call them is another issue), this is unprecedented. Even the Yemeni, who are known for their extrem tznius when they were livin in Yemen, didn't wear burqas. Perhaps these women from the "Taliban" community suffered from an inferiority complex compared to Muslim women covered from face to toe, just as many Lubavitcher told me they felt an inferiority complex when they found themselves among Hasidim with the Shtreimel. Compared to such Shtreimel-wearer, they feel "frei" with their Borsalino.