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Ephraim Yuchtman-Yaar, Yasmin Alkalay, and Tom Aival

early 1970s into a veto player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a serious burden on Israel’s international standing, and a threat to state authority and the country’s democratic nature.” Unlike the Orthodox Zionist NRP, the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi

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The Determination of Educational Policy

Shas, Politics, and Religion

Anat Feldman

and why Shas created an ethnic educational network with schools throughout the country. Shas is a small Israeli ultra-Orthodox political party, established by Jews who emigrated from Muslim countries (Mizrahim) to Israel ( Feldman 2013b ). My primary

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A Woman of Valor Goes to Court

Tort Law as an Instrument of Social Change under Multiculturalism

Ella Glass and Yifat Bitton

The Israeli ultra-Orthodox population’s alienation from the state’s justice system is well-documented ( Englard 1987 ; Horowitz 2001 ). These two entities may be seen as representing polar opposites within Israel’s contentious multiculturalism: one

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Menachem Keren-Kratz

Street . [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem : Yad ben Zvi . Doron , Shlomi . 2013 . Shuttling between Two Worlds: Coming to and Defecting from Ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Israeli Society . [In Hebrew.] Tel Aviv : Ha-kibbutz Ha-me’ukhad Press . Efrati , Ido

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Karine Michel

Among religious Jews, hair is described as an application of religious law. This article proposes to study the place of hair in Jewish life, based on texts and social expressions. Hair appears to be linked to every important and ritual moment of life, symbolising the movement from one social status to another as a rite of passage. However, based on age and sex, and also on an analysis of different religious tendencies, hair reveals itself as more relevant in terms of social than religious use.

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Destination Museum

A Conversation with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Conal McCarthy

, disappeared overnight. All but 500 were sent to the Treblinka death camp, and the rest to a forced labour camp. So I grew up in an immigrant neighbourhood in the immediate postwar years. I went through an ultra-Orthodox period (my parents were horrified). I

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Israeli Ultra-Orthodoxy

Credit and Credibility

Hadas Weiss

In recent decades, members of Israeli ultra-Orthodoxy have been exhibiting self-denial, stringency, and unwillingness to enter the workforce despite material hardships. Public discourse has long considered theirs an 'intentional poverty', yet the parsimoniousness attributed to them and its presumed intentionality are losing credibility. I use the concept of credit—in both its economic and its normative sense—to analyze social regulation among Israeli ultra-Orthodoxy. I look at the community's efficiency in redistributing its members' resources through interconversion of social and material goods. I go on to identify the limits that self-regulation comes up against under capitalist pressures and show how these pressures express themselves in ultra-Orthodox norms and practices. Finally, I relate credit and credibility to the larger issue of excess in the present day.

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The Shaping of a Community-Building Discourse among Israeli Pagans

Shai Feraro

This article charts the recent development of Modern Paganism in Israel (1999–2012) and analyzes the discourse maintained by Israeli modern-day Pagans when discussing questions of organization and of religious-political rights. As such it deals with the complexities of identifying oneself as a (Jewish-born) Pagan in Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people. I argue that although Israeli Pagans may employ a community-building discourse, they constantly fear the perceived negative consequences of public exposure. They see the bond between (Jewish) religion and the state in Israel as a main factor in the intolerance and even persecution that they expect from the government and from Haredim (“ultra-Orthodox” Jews). The result of this discourse during the first ten years or so of the presence of Modern Paganism in Israel can be seen through the metaphor of a dance, in which participants advance two steps, only to retreat one.

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'The Art of the Deal'

Preferences in Spouse Selection among Parents in a Hasidic Community

Sima Zalcberg Block

This article examines the considerations that guide parents in an extreme Hasidic community with regard to mate selection for their children. Findings of the study indicate that an appreciable number of factors deal with personal aspects of a prospective match, such as age, external appearance, intellectual abilities, and genetic compatibility, while some concern the family of an intended match, for example, the family's financial status, lineage, and general history of health. Conspicuous by its absence is any consideration of the compatibility of the couple themselves. Gender differences are significant in relation to the importance of the different variables. The study findings reflect the prevalent attitude in ultra-Orthodox society that sees marriage for the most part as a contractual agreement between families, demonstrating that this is, in effect, a barter system between two parties—the families of the projected couple.

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Black Hats and Holy Tongues

Language and Culture among British Haredim

Simeon D. Baumel

The term haredi literally means ‘fearful’ with the reference being to fear of the Almighty. Appearing in the Bible in the phrase ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble [haredim] at his word’ (Isaiah 66:5), the haredim – along with the poor and the contrite in spirit – are those to whom the Lord will pay heed. Although the term is biblical, its contemporary use began only during the latter half of the twentieth century. Initially utilised by speakers of Hebrew to denote any Jew who was punctilious about his religious practice, the term gradually came to designate those Jews whose style of life, worldview, ethos and beliefs went beyond what many people seemed to understand by ‘Orthodox’. In English speaking countries the term ‘ultra-Orthodox’ served as a marker, but as it was foreign to the Jewish experience it did not precisely capture the essentials of the group it was meant to signify. Consequently, the term ‘haredi’ came into use (Heilman and Friedman 1991).