British Government Orders Haredi School To Stop Asking About Parents’ Sex Lives
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbis at the government-funded haredi Hasmonean High School in London can no longer inquire about parents’ sex lives and then use parent’s answers as a litmus test for admission of their children, the Telegraph reported.
Hasmonean High School asked parents if they "observe the laws of family purity.” If a couple said no, their children were denied admission.
"As a prospective parent applying to the school, I was shocked to see that they thought it either appropriate or relevant to ask about adherence to these rules. Not simply due to their extremely intimate nature, but also because they don't affect anyone apart from husband and wife,” a local parent told the Fair [Schools] Admissions Campaign.
The British government’s Office of the Schools Adjudicator agreed and last week it ordered Hasmonean High School to stop asking that question.
For its part, Hasmonean High School claimed it had done nothing wrong.
"This test of religious practice is an established and appropriate test of religious observance which would be entirely clear to an observant Jew and is in no way embarrassing or intrusive,” the school told the government.
The government didn’t buy it.
A Hasmonean High School spokesman told the Telegraph the school would “abide by the current regulations governing admissions.”
"We are reviewing and updating our admissions policies to ensure that we abide by the current regulations governing admissions, that our school's ethos is upheld and that we reflect the needs of the Orthodox Jewish community,” the Hasmonean High School spokesman said.
In most of haredi and hasidic Orthodoxy, children born to parents who do not follow the Orthodox laws of ritual purity are considered to be indelibly stained with a ritual impurity that cannot be removed (ben or bat nida). In some hasidic sects, children born to parents who sometime after the birth became Orthodox are not allowed to marry into families where the laws of ritual purity have been faithfully kept – at least to anyone’s knowledge outside the immediate family.
The laws of family purity stipulate that for approximately two consecutive weeks out of each month running from the onset of a woman’s monthly menses through a number of “clean” days after its end, a husband and wife cannot touch each other, sleep in the same bed, take sexually suggestive actions toward one another, or even pass food or a book directly to the other. This period of a woman’s ritual “impurity” only ends when she immerses in a ritual bathing pool known as a mikvah.