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September 07, 2010

Letter from Jerusalem: The Rise Of Blind Judaism

Brelov Hasidim Veils Radicalization is usually a result of ignorance. When there aren’t enough answers, people fear the questions. In order to avoid them and in a bid not to get entangled, there’s always the option of imagining a world devoid of question marks – to close one’s eyes and sink into a stupor.
The rise of blind Judaism
Op-ed: Religious men wearing veils sign of radicalization in face of modern world

Yoaz Hendel • Ynet

Breslov men in veils The world is home to Jews of all types: We have haredim, seculars, national-religious Jews, traditional Jews, and confused Jews. Yet the images of Breslov Hassidim with their eyes covered at the airport may indicate that a new and surprising Jewish stream is growing here – the blind Jews.

Haredi Judaism is a byproduct of the Enlightenment movement – detachment from modern Judaism in order to preserve the old ways. For years, the haredim attempted to distinguish themselves from the other Jews, to dwell alone, yet they understood that they are nonetheless part of the larger family – the family of Judaism. It may be a split, divided family (and too frequently so,) yet nonetheless, it’s family.
However, the process of religious radicalization among parts of the haredi Jewish camp in recent years shows us that something had been undermined in this family.
Radicalization is usually a result of ignorance. When there aren’t enough answers, people fear the questions. In order to avoid them and in a bid not to get entangled, there’s always the option of imagining a world devoid of question marks – to close one’s eyes and sink into a stupor.
This is true for sophisticated academicians, and it’s also true for rabbis and educated Jews. We can understand where the desire to detach oneself from the world stems from, yet Judaism by its very nature is a religion of people. All one needs to do is open the Book of Books to discover urges, sins, bad, and good.
Those who close their eyes neutralize their faith’s connection to reality, and mostly its connection to the other parts of the Jewish people.

The more advanced the world becomes, the more temptations and dangers it presents to those who seek to maintain a religious utopia. However, closing one’s eyes will not turn this world into a better place. At most, it will place an obstacle before those who are able to see.

[Hat Tip: JK.]


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Apologies to Aerosmith:

(That, that) Jew looks like a maidel (4x)

Cruised into a mikvah at Uman
Reb Nachman was great, but was human
He's a long lost Rebbe outta sight
Bubbeleh you're wrong, but you know it's all right
That's right

(That, that)
(That, that)
In the mikvah we're having the time
Of our lives until somebody say
Forgive me if I seem out of line
Then he whipped out his siddur
And tried to daven and pray


So never judge a sefer by it's cover
Or whom you're going to have a veil smother
FM put me wise to the chasid in disguise
He had the body of a bochur
L-rd imagine my surprise


Bubbie let me follow you down
Let me stay all week there
Bubbie let me follow you down
Daven, daven, daven all night
Bubbie let me follow you down
Don't refund my airfare
Bubbie let me follow you down
Daven, daven, daven, daven

(Guitar solo)

Oy was he a faigel?
He like it, like it, like it, like that,
Oy he was a maidel.

(That, that) Jew looks like a maidel 8x

Jew, Jew, Jew, Jew looks like a maidel 4x

(That that) na-na-na-Nachman na-na-na-Nachman y'all

(That, that)
(That, that)
[Repeat and fade]

1. People are put in physical or emotionally distressing situations;
2. Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
3. They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group;
4. They get a new identity based on the group;
5. They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.
source: Cult

Assist, you just summed up 1975 for me.

I actually think this is great. they should wear these all the time. imagine how much more peaceful and less demanding they could be if they just donned a veil every time they left mea shearim or beit shemesh etc. I think it is sad they feel they need to be cut off from the world, but its not for me to judge so long as they dont hurt anybody (eg. who has a problem with the amish?). if putting a bag over their head helps them to feel pure without imposing on others then it is a good thing.

seriously: what if they just never SAW women davening at the wall, or sitting on a bus. what if they never SAW people driving on shabat? what if they could erase all of it from their consciousness and leave everyone else alone? wouldnt that be great (for everyone else)

i think the guys in the picture are michael jackson's long lost children.

or maybe what his children will look like in the future

if you take an infant and put a toy in front of them and then cover it, to the infant its like it never existed or wasnt there.

maybe for these guys , if they cover their eyes, its like we dont exist.

In the photo, even the frummer guy behind them has an expression that seems to say "WTF"?

as i said before theese fanatics are nothing but mindless robotisozed automatons
programmed by other mindless robotosized automatons and on and on

The Haredi men wearing veils reminds me of a joke.

A rabbi, a priest, and a minister go skinny dipping in the local pond. Suddenly, the minister sees that the Interfaith Sisterhood is walking toward the same pond. The minister quickly takes his towel and covers his privates. The priest does the same thing.

But the rabbi takes his towel and covers his whole face instead of his privates. The minister and priest ask him why he isn't covering his privates. The rabbi says, "In my congregation, we recognize each other by our faces."

I am not buying this "fad" so quickly as a new manifestation of chassidic garb. First of all does any one have an idea what percentage or how many people really did put on the veil? Remember their rebbe is dead, this could be the work of a handful of people looking to do some “laytzanus”(comedy) to bring something different for this the 200 year anniversary of the rebbe’s death.

I know it is a source of entertainment here at FailedMessiah to make fun of Chassidim whenever possible but for this to represent a serious escalation is stupidity is what happens after Uman. Whatever immorality they fear is going on in Uman is going on in Tel Aviv, New York and almost everywhere on the globe. For there to be any real validity to this veil nonsense would imply that this new “protection” from the outside world continues post Uman.

This can have serious results to their movement if it continues. I feel for them and give them charity when they approach me in a restaurant or on the street – tough to be a chassid with a “toite rebbe” (dead rebbe). However I will say one thing, if they approach me wearing a veil they will get a “gey avek du meshigina” (get away you idiot). If they piss me off too much I may have to remove my Na Na Nachman ringtone from my cellphone!

So if this is Uman humor, fine, just leave it there when you return.

I'm sure the Taliban and the Shi'ites will want to emulate this latest fad of Hassidic piety.

Maybe the article headline should read, "Dressed for Piety."

@ Betzalel

Great joke.

With your permission I would like to quote you during Kol Nedri.

I am tried listen to professional sports nonsense year after year.

This is the latest thread so I would like to wish everyone a K'siva V'Chasima Tovah a Shanah Tovah Um'Tukah

When I first hear about this veil business I too thought it was just a couple of nuts. But last night on the TV news here (I live in Israel, aka EY) they had coverage of the "fad". And it was sad. This is apparently a BenGurion Airport phenomenon. The cameras scanned dozens of these creatures, covering themselves with various cloth items, all in the airport public area approaching the check-in counters. Apparently there is a declaration out there about being aware of "naked" women getting onto airplanes for holiday vacations.

These veils are square pieces of cloths. Should they not have tzitzis?

Apparently there is a declaration out there about being aware of "naked" women getting onto airplanes for holiday vacations.


A"H next year I know where to spend my Yom Tov!

When my father told me some religious Jews go around with blinkers over their eyes that he was just kidding.

אל תהיו כסוס כפרד אין הבין

I respectfully disagree with the reference "blind Jews' in describing these religious god fearing pious men.

Perhaps a Michael Jackson wanna be freak or weirdo would be more appropriate.

This bizarre self created UBER frum behaviour did not exist years ago.

Freylekh nay yor keyn gants!

i hear that in furtherance of their effort to ensure nobody can see anything too tempting, there is a group of the biggest haredi rebbeim working on ways to eliminate the sun. until that is done their chassidim are protesting and throwing rocks at the sun.

UPDATE!!! theres a machloikes at the meeting of gedolim. some are for destroying the sun while others say their followers should just gouge out their own eyes.

The bratslavers like to be odd. It gets them publicity. I wouldnt worry about this.

BTW, when the taliban start dancing and singing some equivalent to na na nach, tell me.

OTOH, if these guys start riding war elephants, beware.

I think I saw this bit on Saturday Night Live a couple of years ago.

Bunch of freeks.

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