Jewish Hasidic sect in Stamford Hill, UK ‘bans’ women from driving

Three Hasidic Jews with their conservative attire and long beards

Three Hasidic Jews with their conservative attire and long beards

Source: The Independent

The leaders of an Orthodox Jewish sect in north London have reportedly declared that women should not be allowed to drive in a letter sent out to the community.

Rabbis from the Belz Hasidic sect in Stamford Hill have said women driving cars contravenes “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp” and the conventions of hasidic institutions, according to a report by the Jewish Chronicle.

The letter, which was signed by Belz educational leaders and endorsed by rabbis, also said women could be banned from their schools if their mothers drove them from August onwards.

It cited increasing numbers of “mothers of pupils who have started to drive” which it said had led to “great resentment among parents of pupils of our institutions”.

Stamford Hill’s residents are predominately Hasidic Jewish and only New York is believed to have a larger community of Hasidic Jews outside of Israel.

Dina Brawer, UK Ambassador of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, said the instructions within the letter had no scriptural foundation and could prove debilitating for Jewish women.

“It is part of a bigger conversation about extremism,” she toldThe Independent. “In some groups within the Orthodox community, there is a tendency to pull to the right. Some of my extended family would sometimes pick up on some practices that seem to me to be a bit extreme.

“Then I am a fully observant Orthodox woman and I know people further to the left think what I do is a bit intense, but the difference here lies in the fact that this has nothing to do with Jewish law; there is no foundation for it and I found it most disturbing that it is basically saying children whose mothers are driving will not be allowed to continue their education.”

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The Muslim Times’ Editor’s comments:

According to The New York Times, the high fertility rate of Orthodox Jews will eventually render them the dominant demographic force in New York Jewry.[28] A 2009 article published by the University of Florida stated that the growth of Hasidic Judaism may cause Jewish politics in the US to shift towards the political right.[29]

Chabad is a global Hasidic movement that is based in New York. According to The Orthodox Union, “The most visible expression of this flourishing is the steady growth in Chabad’s outreach efforts. Currently, 4,000 shluchim, emissaries, are scattered across the globe”.[30][31][32]

Dramatic changes may be coming in Israel: Demographers now estimate about a third of last year’s Jewish babies were born into the ultra-Orthodox community, an insular and devout minority that has long been at loggerheads with the rest of the increasingly modern and prosperous country.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews – known in Hebrew as “Haredim,” or “those who tremble” before God – have a birthrate far higher than that of other Israeli Jews, with 10 children in a single family not uncommon. They seem poised to become far more numerous and influential.

Relations between Haredim and other Israelis have never been smooth. Critics have long complained that they shun work in large numbers in favor of religious study, rejecting mainstream Israel even as they rely on that mainstream for financial support.

1 reply

  1. Violation of women rights is not the exclusive domain of the Muslim extremists.

    The emphasis on many of these rules was necessary in times when there was ultimate emphasis on group survival. Now is an age of individual and human rights and all religions need to lighten up a little on their previous understanding of rules and focus more on individual human rights and a message of compassion in their religions.

    True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

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