Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gender Separation at Israel Museum Exhibition


The ISRAEL MUSEUM in Jerusalem is running a special exhibition on CHASSIDIM. I haven’t been there yet because I don’t care too much about Chassidic clothes and other items. A Kaftan (chassidic coat) can be long or shorter; it may have three or four buttons. I don’t care. What I am interested in are chassidic writings and ideology in order to advance my own religious life. In order to learn something and, up to certain degree, improve myself. This is why I am interested in Chassidut and not because I love Scheitels or Hungarian white socks.

Most of the books I read on the subjects were written by chassidic Rabbis. By Chassidim or those who used to be Chassidim and know society and ideology. I hardly ever read content written by outsiders or university professors. Their writings drive me nuts after having read three pages because you simply feel that those authors have no idea about society. Just to give you a brief example: I love the books written by Yitzchak Alfassi who is a Gerrer Chassid but also teaching at Tel Aviv University.

However, ISRAEL MUSEUM has received lots of publicity by announcing that a gender separation would be introduced for the special CHASSIDIM exhibition. This way, many more haredi visitors would come to the event. 

To be honest: Many of the Chassidim I know would neither go to the Israel Museum nor to any exhibition. They live their chassidic lives in Mea Shearim or elsewhere in Jerusalem and are simply not interested in finding themselves in a museum. I can just hear what a friend of mine would say if I suggested to her going to the exhibition. Then I get to listen to a whole lecture on Zionist organizations and buildings …:-)

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