The Schmooze

Haredi Urban Legends to Scare Kids Straight

Crossposted from Chakira

At a time when American Haredi controversies are blossoming, from stadium-filling Internet protests to molestation charges, there are apparently still offenses lurid enough to shock. One such transgression, perpetrated by a Bnos Yaakov Elementary School, was reported by the community blog The Lakewood View. If you were following the Internet protests, you know how complicated a position this blog must take.

“A Concerned Parent” submitted to the blog a copy of a story that was handed out to all grades, setting off a debate about the tale’s appropriateness for young audiences.

The handout tells the tale of men who were drawn to a house by “heartrending” cries. There they found a woman boiling clothing and draping the garments onto a younger woman. We find out that the women are mother and daughter. Because the mother allowed her daughter to dress immodestly in “this world,” now, in some Dante-esque contrapasso (or middah keneged middah) “next world” punishment, she is dressing her in burning garments.

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Haredi Urban Legends to Scare Kids Straight

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