On the day before Simchat Torah, Gur (also known as Ger or Gerrer) hasidim were told that adults would no longer be allowed to dance with little children on their shoulders – even their own little children – to avoid awakening the evil inclination.
Originally published at 11:37 pm CDT 9-30-2013
Gur Rebbe Forbids Men To Dance On Simchat Torah With Their Little Children On Their Shoulders, Allegedly Because It May Be Sexually Arousing For The Men
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
On the day before Simchat Torah, Gur (also known as Ger or Gerrer) hasidim were told that adults would no longer be allowed to dance with little children on their shoulders – even their own little children – to avoid awakening the evil inclination, Ha’aretz reported.
The order was reportedly issued in the name of the Gerrer Rebbe Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter.
Dancing with Torah scrolls is part of the celebration of Simchat Torah in synagogues from all Jewish denomination and sub-sects worldwide, and it is common practice for adults not carrying a Torah scroll to put young children on their shoulders during the dancing to help the children participate without being trampled by adults who have often been drinking and who might not see small children in front of them until it is too late.
Gur rabbis reportedly told haredi blogger Haim Shaulson the new decree was meant as a safety issue to prevent the children from falling or being dropped during the wild dancing.
However, an unofficial Gur source said the decree was really meant to prevent child sexual abuse because placing small children on one’s shoulders could lead to the adult male becoming sexually aroused.
Even if the new ban “sounds terrible from the outside, from within it is a sharp message to those who sexually abuse children, even if they are only a handful,” the source reportedly said.
Gur is known for extreme sexual taboos, including a complete ban on foreplay of all kinds, an instruction to newly married men to enter their wives and climax immediately, and a limitation on sex to one night per week at most.
Gur’s sexual prudishness is so severe that it is common for members of other hasidic and haredi groups to forbid their daughters from marrying into a Gur family.
Ha’aretz incorrectly reported that there have been “several cases in recent years in which haredi men have been accused of sexual abuse, a problem ultra-Orthodox leaders had long failed to address.”
In actuality, there have been many cases of alleged – and proved – haredi child sexual abuse in recent years, not several.
Ha’aretz also claimed that if the new directive “is an attempt to tackle a previously taboo issue like sexual abuse, it can be seen as a sign of progress” – even though it is unclear how or why normal men dancing with their young children on their shoulders could be construed as being sexually arousing to those men.
Gur hasidim reportedly complied with the new order, but sources told Ha’aretz that some Gur men seemed to be surprised that dancing with their children on their shoulders could in any way be construed as being sexually arousing.