Jewish Burka Booster Busted

For the past couple months, I’ve been following the story of a small number of Israeli ultra-Orthodox women who have recently taken to wearing burka-style clothing in a display of over-the-top modesty. They were being encouraged to dress this way — in defiance of the ultra-Orthodox rabbis — by a charismatic female guru who lives in the wacky haredi stronghold of Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Now, it appears, the burka-booster of Bet Shemesh is in hot water with the secular authorities over alleged child abuse.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

The Post also has some interesting background about the sect. Apparently, a reporter from Ma’ariv attended one of the weekly meetings at which the sect leader addressed her followers. The reporter described the sect leader — who was reportedly wearing 10 skirts and eight headscarves — as “a pile of clothing lumped in the middle of the small living room.”

The ultra-Orthodox rabbinate seems to have been pretty clear in its disapproval of this fringe group’s extreme fashion statement. Still, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that this trend has something to do with the increasingly obsessive (and repressive) mores when it comes to female modesty that prevail in some segments of the haredi community.

Meanwhile, the latest revelations from Ramat Beit Shemesh have fueled criticism of what some call the haredi community’s “code of silence” when it comes to abuse.

While these issues are certain to spark vigorous debate, one thing, at least, is clear: Life in the burka cult is not nearly as cool as this imagining:

Hat tip for the video: The Muqata

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Jewish Burka Booster Busted

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