Charedi Judaism

Political war looms as Charedi draft becomes law

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 13, 2014

Three controversial laws were passed by the Knesset this week in a legislative push that created rare unity among the opposition.

The laws raised Israel’s electoral threshold to 3.25 per cent, established criminal sanctions against Charedi yeshiva students who refuse to enlist in the IDF and that any decision to relinquish Israeli-held territory will have to be authorised by a referendum.

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Knesset passes Charedi draft law

By Daniel Easterman, March 12, 2014

A contentious new law that will criminalise strictly Orthodox yeshivah students who evade Israeli army service was passed by Knesset this morning.

The so-called "Draft Law" was approved by 65 to 1, with a Jewish Home MK casting the only "no" vote. Most of those who opposed the law simply boycotted the vote.

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Warning by NGO founder over upcoming civil strife in Israel

By Daniel Easterman, March 6, 2014

Israel must do more to build a cohesive society for all its citizens, including minorities, or risk serious the possibility of civil strife.

That was the message from Mike Prashker, founder of the Israeli NGO Merchavim, at a panel discussion on “society-building” at the LJCC in London.

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Women who escaped misery offer help to Charedi misfits

By Charlotte Oliver, February 14, 2014

Three years ago, Judy Kaye bought her first pair of jeans — an act she describes as “overwhelming”.

Aged 30, she had two children and had lived in three different countries, but was still bewildered by everyday experiences taken for granted by most but which seldom touched her life within a strictly observant, Charedi community.

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Orthodox Gateshead is embracing modernity

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 14, 2014

Last week, my wife and I attended a family wedding in Gateshead. The chupah was outdoors. The service could not have taken more than 20 minutes. The bride was led to the chupah by her mother and future mother-in-law, both of whom accompanied her as she circled the bridegroom seven times.

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Charedi battle to stay out of the IDF is ripping Israel apart

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 13, 2014

The new national-service law, now in its final legislative stages, is causing tension both within the coalition and the strictly Orthodox community.

A committee headed by Habayit Hayehudi MK Ayelet Shaked began voting this week on clauses including the quotas of Charedim required to join the army and the length of service for other sections of the population.

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Satmars claim WhatsApp destroys their community

By Daniel Easterman, February 7, 2014

Leaders of New York's Satmar Chasidic sect have expressed alarm over the impact of the social media messaging service WhatsApp on their community.

The strictly Orthodox group banned its members from using Facebook and other social media platforms in 2012.

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Cuts will be catastrophe for young Charedim

By Simon Rocker, January 10, 2014

A further cut in housing benefit for people aged under-25 would have a disastrous effect on strictly Orthodox Jews, a senior community figure warned this week.

Chancellor George Osborne, interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme this week, suggested that the measure could be taken as part of further welfare reforms.

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Fill the Void is a universal story of love and power

By Melanie Phillips, December 24, 2013

There are many in the wider Jewish world who view the strictly Orthodox on a scale ranging from disdain and condescension to outright loathing.

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Analysis: How rabbinate lost influence over holiest site

By Nathan Jeffay, December 20, 2013

Israel’s chief rabbis have issued a declaration reminding the public of the religious ban against visiting the holiest site in Judaism, Temple Mount.

The new chief rabbis, who took office five months ago, have stated that they adhere to the traditional position, which has dominated Israeli Orthodoxy since Israel captured Temple Mount in 1967.

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