Defenders of the Faith: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry

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University of California Press, 1992 - Religion - 400 pages
2 Reviews
In this first in-depth portrait of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel today, Samuel Heilman introduces a community that to many may seem to be the very embodiment of the Jewish past. To outsiders who stumble upon these neighborhoods and find bearded men in caftans, children with earlocks, and women in long dresses, black kerchiefs and stockings, it may appear that these people still hold fast to every tradition while turning their backs to the contemporary world. But rather than being a relic from the past, ultra-Orthodox Jews, or haredim, are very much part of the contemporary landscape and are playing an increasingly prominent role in the Jewish world and in Israeli politics. Defenders of the Faith takes us inside the world of this contemporary fundamentalist community, its lifestyle and mores, including education, religious practices and beliefs, sexual ethics, and marriage. Heilman explores the reasons why this group is more militant and extreme than its pre-Holocaust brethren, and provides insight into the worldview of this small but influential sector of modern Jewry.
 

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DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An ethnographer's safari into the black-and-white world of Ultra-Orthodox Jews. To the subjects of this rare study, Heilman, an adherent of Modern-Orthodox Judaism, was both an insider and an outsider ... Read full review

Defenders of the faith: inside ultra-Orthodox Jewry

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

For several months, the author, an American sociology professor and a modern Orthodox Jew, mingled with and studied the "Haredim'' or Tremblers, the ultra-Orthodox fundamentalist Jews of the Mea ... Read full review

Contents

Taking the Plunge
3
Who Are the Haredim? 77
11
Community
40
A Bar Mitzvah in Belz
47
Binding Ties
70
At the Rebbes Table
83
This Is Who We Are
94
This Is Who We Are Not
108
Mussar Shmues
236
Shiur and Chavruse
255
Rosh Yeshiva
260
Matchmaking Betrothal and Wedding
277
Funeral
297
The Writing on the Wall
300
The Triumph of Sex 375
313
Scribal Apotheosis
351

Mass Pilgrimage 777
117
Third Meal
140
Education
168
A School for Little Haredim
178
Primary School
213
Where Are We?
226
Ethnographic Afterwords
360
Afterword to the New Edition
365
Notes
377
Index
397
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About the author (1992)

Samuel Heilman holds the Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies and Sociology at Queens College, City University of New York. He is the author of Synagogue Life (1976), The Gate Behind the Wall (1984), A Walker in Jerusalem (1986), Cosmopolitans and Parochials (1989), The People of the Book (1993), and Portrait of American Jews (1995).

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