Terror In Beit Shemesh: Wheelchair Bound Orthodox Kids Harassed By Haredim
Girl in wheelchair says she was chased down the street and screamed at, by haredi kids who think her wheelchair violates Shabbat. An Orthodox boy in wheelchair has the same experience and adds that one of the haredi children tried to hurt him Another Modern Orthodox girl reports she was spit on and harassed because she wasn't dressed "modestly" according to the haredim. And her family was threatened, receiving a letter from haredi neighbors stating that "as a result of the complaints regarding your daughters' dressing habits, the rabbis of the neighborhod have decided that your family should leave this neighborhood within 2 months time."
The Channel 2 video report is posted here.
Shish summarizes what you'll see:
[A]t the 1:40 mark, the girl states "[haredi] children run after me, shouting 'shabbos! shabbos!', or from the windows. It is a very very big harassment" Another wheelchair boy wearing a kippah is then interviewed, and he states "I will be going to my friend, or just casually taking a tour, and there will be one [haredi] child who follows me the entire way. One time they tried to hurt me. And the whole time they are yelling at me and shouting at me, saying "it is prohibited (asur) to do this, it's prohibited'". The girl then states that in order to obviate this harassment, she started wearing a sign on the back of her wheelchair stating that a rabbi gave her an allowance (heter) to use the wheelchair on shabbat. Yet, despite the sign, she states that the haredi youth still harass just as much. The mother of the girl wants to move to a different neighborhood as a result of the harassment, but she doesn't have enough money.
The news reporter then interviews another family (at the 3:00 mark) that actually DID move out of beit shemesh due to harassment. One of the young girls in this family states that she repeatedly had rocks and eggs thrown at her, while being cursed and chased, for not wearing stockings during the summer. The girls states that she is "mamash mamash afraid of the hasidim". The young boy of this same family states that on Israel Independence Day, he was walking from the shul to his home holding an ISraeli flag...this resulted in him being chased by a group of Hasidim yelling "words in yiddish". Beleive it or not, this family actually received a letter from the Haredi neighbors stating that "as a result of the complaints regarding your daughters' dressing habits, the rabbis of the neighborhod have decided that your family should leave this neighborhood within 2 months time" (the actual text of the letter is show on the video at the 4:00 mark).