Gideon Aran: The youths Haredi inciters and leaders

Conspicuous among inciters and leaders in violent confrontations on the Haredi front are youths, many of them yeshiva drop-outs, who gradually achieve the status of professional strongmen.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

Many Haredim boast of their heroic feats, while at the same time slander them. Their violent activity blurs the distinction between ideological delinquency and thuggery for its own sake. Haredi violence is carried out with great enthusiasm. The protesting, sabotaging and scuffling Haredim appear to be ecstatic. Though at times resulting in bodily and property damages, the activity is essentially symbolic. Continue reading

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Gideon Aran: The inner tension built into the Haredi violence

There is another element of inner tension built into the Haredi violence. In the offensive episodes conceived and initiated by the Haredim they also “seek” persecution and suffering.

Written By Professor Gideon Aran 

While striking out at others, the participants desire also to be stricken themselves. Thus one can distinguish a sign of martyrdom among many Haredim participating in such demonstrations. Law enforcement agents are represented as Nazi troopers and confrontations are represented and perceived as another link in the historic chain of Anti-Semite pogroms perpetrated on Jews. Continue reading

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Gideon Aran – about price tag attacks

Sociologist and anthropologist Gideon Aran said: “Actually, the divide, the tension, the conflict is not just a religious one. The political or religious conflict is imposed upon the national one. And the two of them together obviously are harder to solve and are much more bitter.”

According to Professor Gideon Aran: “Please remember, this is basically a group of hooligans, juvenile delinquents who choose their targets randomly.”

Watch the video:

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The Mikveh- Chance To Examine The Body

We could add another latent function: the mikveh gives the Haredi the chance to examine his body, to experience it, and compare it with others. It is virtually the only opportunity available to Haredim to satisfy their curiosity about their own body and bodies in general, as the family structure and their tightly-packed homes offer them hardly any privacy, and because Haredim do not usually participate in sport or leisure activities that require undressing, such as a swimming pool.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran 

The mikveh is the place where Haredim are closest to their own bodies and those of others. Because the mikveh is usually crowded, there is a certain intimacy between Haredi men.[i] And despite the crowds, it also affords a degree of intimacy of each Haredi man with himself.

Out of respect for the research subjects’ right to privacy, ethnographic data collected during participant observations at a mikveh will not be presented. We shall Continue reading

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Prof. Gideon Aran: The Nakedness of The Haredim

There was no feeling that the nakedness of the Haredim was accompanied by any particular tension. A certain degree of haste while in the nude was observed, but we can easily explain this in terms of time pressure, and not necessarily as modesty, despite many Haredim replying to questions about this matter by quoting from the halachic Rules of Dressing that are very strict on issues of exposure.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran 

Given the background of the Haredi emphasis on bodily morality, and taking into account the rarity of other opportunities for exposure, it would have been reasonable to expect demonstrations of shame over and above those familiar to us from conventional situations of nudity in a group. However, nude Haredim seemed to move within the chambers of the mikveh calmly and as a matter of routine. Sometimes it would even seem that the Haredim at the mikveh almost verge on exhibitionism.

The high frequency of the situation, and the experience accumulated over the years since their childhood have seemingly created a routine that eases anxieties. A few more hypotheses can be proposed in trying to explain the apparent dissonance in the clear lack of shame that marked out Haredi nakedness.

Taken from “Denial Does Not Make The Haredi Body Go Away Ethnography of a Disappearing (?) Jewish Phenomenon”, By Gideon Aran.

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Institutionalized Public Undressing – The mikveh

It is most surprising to find institutionalized public undressing at the heart of Haredi community. The Haredi is exposed both symbolically and literally at the mikveh, the Jewish purifying bath, prescribed in the Halacha with a detailed explication of the laws of ritual immersion. The religious man must visit the mikveh on a number of specific occasions, such as before fasting on Yom Kippur.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran 

 

The more day-to-day Haredi routine includes ritual immersion on the eve of the Sabbath and festivals. Some Haredim immerse themselves every morning, or even more often: there are Breslav Hassidim who go to the mikveh every few hours, or religious scribes who immerse themselves each time before they commit the name of God to a mezuzah, Torah scroll, or phylactery parchment (tefillin). Continue reading

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Kookism: The roots of Gush Emunim – Preface Part 3

In order to conduct my research I accompanied the followers of Gush-Emunim wherever they decided to go. I looked at them closely, had lengthy talks with them and thoroughly read the materials they had memorized by heart.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

Gideon Aran

Gideon Aran

As time went by, we became friends. I earned and gained their trust even to a point in which I almost became an integral part of the movement myself. There was this one time when a marital ceremony of one of the community’s leaders had to be kept secret and so they felt comfortable enough to hold the wedding at my house (as long as I agreed to remove Leonardo Da-Vinci’s Santa Ana painting off the wall). Continue reading

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