Charedi Judaism

UK 'carrier' blamed for New York mumps outbreak

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

An 11-year-old boy is at the centre of a potential mumps epidemic among New York’s strictly Orthodox community because he is believed to have been the carrier of the disease after visiting the UK.

More than 300 people, almost all strictly Orthodox, have been diagnosed with mumps in the towns of Monsey and New Square, home to over 7,000 Skverer Chasidim.

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£3.5m to convert pub to Bobov community centre

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A strictly Orthodox community which hopes to turn a former pub into a centre for social and religious activities is aiming to raise £3.5million to complete the project.

Work is yet to begin on the conversion of The Swan more than a year after the building was bought by Stamford Hill’s Bobov community and four months after planning permission was granted by Hackney Council.

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Frum Friends storms Israeli primetime

By Nathan Jeffay, January 21, 2010

A bride starts menstruating a few hours before her wedding. How will she get through her wedding day and night, given that Orthodox couples cannot have physical contact when the woman has her period?

This may sound like an exam question for rabbinical school but, believe it or not, it is the storyline from the season premiere of Israel’s hottest television programme.

When Srugim, dubbed the frum version of Friends, first hit the small screen 18 months ago, the Israeli public was expecting the normal clichéd religious characters and bad jokes.

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Orthodox marriages are 'happier', US survey shows

By Paul Berger, January 21, 2010

Orthodox marriages are happier than the average American marriage, according to a new survey.

The Aleinu Marriage Satisfaction Survey, conducted by the Orthodox Union, found that 72 per cent of Orthodox Jewish men and 74 per cent of Orthodox Jewish women rated their marriage as excellent or very good.

A 2008 General Social Survey found that only 63 per cent of American men and 60 per cent of women are very happy with their marriage.

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Hackney council threat to demolish four-storey Charedi home

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

A Charedi family is waiting to discover whether their home will be demolished following a long-running dispute with a council.

Jacob Dreyfuss, president of Stamford Hill’s Stolin-Karlin synagogue, has appealed to overturn an enforcement notice imposed after he rebuilt his home without planning permission.

If he loses, Hackney Council will be legally allowed to have the house knocked down and rebuilt to its original dimensions.

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Orthodox confront Neturei Karta sect

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2010

Police were called to a two-hour stand-off between Neturei Karta followers and a counter-demonstration of Orthodox Jews outside a Manchester hotel on Tuesday night.

Around 30 men from the anti-Zionist fringe Chasidic sect held placards decrying Israel and aliyah outside the Fairways Lodge hotel in Prestwich.

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Orthodox blasphemous YouTube outburst shocks community

By Dan Goldberg, January 14, 2010

Melbourne’s tightly-knit Orthodox community is reeling following the public ostracism of a group of dissident Lubavitchers accused of “a massive and reckless” act of blasphemy.

A video posted last week on YouTube shows the group celebrating a seudah, or religious feast, on the Fast of Tevet on December 27, when Orthodox Jews are supposed to mourn the day the First Temple was besieged.

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Rabbi’s Skype exorcism

December 30, 2009

A renowned Israeli master of kabbalah, Rabbi Dovid Batzri, has attempted to remove a dybbuk, or disembodied spirit, from a Brazilian man via the internet.

A video posted on Charedi website ladaat.net, shows Rabbi Batzri, surrounded by dozens of supporters, reciting kabbalistic verses and praying for the exorcism of the dybbuk. He connected with the possessed man via Skype.

According to another Charedi site, kikar.net, the story began when a Brazilian yeshivah student started shouting in shul that he could “smell many sins” and that “the end is very near”.

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Charedi poverty, New York-style

By Paul Berger in New York, December 30, 2009

The shop windows that line Lee Avenue in the Charedi neighbourhood of Williamsburg advertise every aspect of Orthodox life — long black coats, ornate silver menorahs, challahs, prayer books, Jewish-themed toys.

So the gleaming white storefront at number 65 is striking for the fact that it advertises nothing; just a neat row of white blinds.

Behind the blinds is Williamsburg’s first kosher soup kitchen, the Orenstein-Met Council Masbia Kitchen, which opened last month.

“It’s quoted in halachah that the best way to do charity is to go all out,” said Alexander Rapaport.

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