Sexta-feira, 18 de Outubro de 2013

Extremism in Judaism - the ultra-ortodox Hasidic

Extremism is not a only a deviation of true religion particular to Islam. Examples of religious extremism are to be found in the other two religions of the book, i.e. Christianism and Judaism. 

 

Below follows an article of Haaretz (a liberal Isaeli newspaper) on a particular type of Jewish Extremism (in te Hasidic community) that ended tragically.

 

 

"Ex-Hasidic woman's apparent suicide sparks funeral strife"

 

Deb Tambor, a former member of the stringent Skver sect, was denied access to her children; her close friends and boyfriend
were denied entry to her funeral over the weekend.


By The Forward and Debra Nussbaum Cohen | Oct. 1, 2013 | 9:46 PM | 13


"Confusion and controversy marred the funeral of a mother of two said to have committed suicide after leaving her Hasidic community and
being denied access to her children.
Friends and family of Deb Tambor, a former resident of the ultra-Orthodox community of New Square, in upstate New York, believe she killed
herself on Friday, September 27, in the bedroom of the home she shared in Bridgeton, N.J. with her boyfriend, Abe Weiss. Like Tambor, Weiss
is a former member of the Skver Hasidic sect, which founded and controls New Square, a village about 50 miles north of New York City.
The village is considered one of the most culturally isolated towns in America, with sex-segregated streets and female residents who, in
obedience to the town’s rabbis, do not drive.
Despite their close relationships with Tambor, Weiss and some 40 former ultra-Orthodox friends of hers who quietly converged on New Square
September 29 to witness her funeral and pay tribute to one of their own were unable to do so.
Members of the New Square community said that Tambor’s family chose to bury her elsewhere with only immediate family present due to the
shame she had brought upon the family and the community.
“Who wants to be buried next to this lady?” New Square resident Menashe Lustig told the Forward in a phone interview. “It’s very difficult to
know where to put her. I hear they called up the rabbonim in Israel and they told them the decision” that she should be buried elsewhere. Of
Tambor’s life and death, he said, “The family is ashamed. They’re very ashamed.”
The actual circumstances of Tambor’s death remain unclear, pending findings from the Cumberland County, N.J. coroner. An official with the
New Jersey state attorney general’s office said toxicology tests can take 12 to 16 weeks to receive. But neither her friends nor her family
suspect foul play.
According to her friends, Tambor became depressed after leaving the New Square community four years ago and divorcing her husband. Weiss, her live-in boyfriend, said her family had disavowed her earlier, when she told family members that she had been sexually abused by a member of the tight-knit New Square community as a child and they denied it.
Driven by her depression, Tambor checked herself into a psychiatric hospital, said Weiss, which is when family members in New Square moved
to block her from seeing her children, who are now 11 and 13.
“Her depression started when she decided to leave the community and was threatened with losing her kids,” Weiss told The Forward. “Her
biggest issue was that no one cared for her, everyone blew off all her issues.”
Weiss and other ex-Orthodox friends of Tambor began congregating about 4 P.M. Sunday for her funeral outside New Square’s funeral home,
located on a cul de sac at the end of Roosevelt Avenue. According to some of those who gathered, every few minutes a Skver Hasid would
slowly drive past them.
Weiss said that the crowd of formerly Orthodox friends were given a variety of conflicting reports by their contacts inside the community: that
the funeral would be in an hour, or before dark, or after night fell, or at midnight. Rumors flew back and forth by text and in a closed Facebook
group for Jews who are “off the derech [path], or OTD, as many former ultra-Orthodox Jews refer to themselves.
Around 9 P.M. one of Tambor’s uncles came to the group and said he would call the police and have them all handcuffed, Weiss said. The police
came, stayed about 30 minutes and then left, saying that the friends had a right to be there, said Weiss and others who were present.
At 4 A.M., still uncertain when Tambor’s funeral would actually take place, her friends stood in a circle in front of the funeral home and lit
candles. A few friends spoke about Tambor. They then observed a moment of silence before dispersing.
Five minutes later, while Weiss was en route to stay with a friend in nearby Monsey, N.Y., one of Tambor’s brothers texted him offering to take
him to view her body, Weiss related. Two brothers picked him up and took him to a quiet street just outside New Square’s border, where a
privately owned minivan waited. In the back of the van was Tambor’s coffin, Weiss said. Her brothers allowed him to look but not touch the
coffin or take off the top so that he could see her face.
Later that morning, at around 10 A.M. the same brother texted him that Tambor’s funeral was taking place at that moment at a cemetery in West Babylon, Long Island, Weiss said.
“It was nice what they did yesterday. It would have been nicer if they let me come to the funeral,” Weiss said.
A member of Tambor’s family told the Forward that the decision not to bury Tambor in New Square’s cemetery was not because she was a
suicide. Suicide is considered a grave violation of Jewish religious law, and traditional practice formally prohibits suicides from being buried
within the gates of a Jewish cemetery. But other suicides have been buried in the community cemetery, said the family member, based on the
presumption that they repent in their last breath. The family member spoke only on condition of anonymity due to fear of retribution from his
community were he to be quoted by name.
The head of the New Square burial society, Yaacov Byer, declined to answer any questions about Tambor’s funeral.
Lustig said she was buried far away because she had strayed from religion. “In public they say it’s because she wasn’t shomer Shabbos [Sabbath
observant]. But my friend told me it was because she has relations with strangers and everything. It’s like she was free."

 

in http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.550019

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 08:38
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