Korifaeus Magazine

••• The Big Brother's, oops, i mean Apple's Gazette ••• A Sophisticated Periodical with Panache and a Sense of Humor

Freedom Hijacked – Secular versus Ultra Orthodox Jewry

By Korifaeus

The most Anti-Semitism of any country in the world is experienced in Israel, which should have been the most exemplary country, specifically in regard to ethnic and Religious tolerance. A country supposedly created to allow a people to feel free to live according to their culture, not having to fear persecution for their ethnicity, traditions and believes.

But Israel is far from that, with constant conflicts between Jewish and Muslim Semites in the news – Semites fighting Semites, while yet it’s never called Anti-Semitism, even though Arabs are Semites, too.

Few Jewish Israelis, however, are ethnic Semites, since taking on, or converting to, a Religion ( Judaism) does not change one’s ethnicity. A Caucasian becoming a Sikh, a Religion having originated in India, does not suddenly turn into an Indian, nor does someone adhering to Buddhism turn into an Asian. Judaism is, after all, a Religion, not an ethnicity, and though there are people of many ethnic backgrounds adhering to Judaism, they’re not all ethnic Semites.

What we’re nowadays understand as Anti-Semitism, is not Anti-Semitism, it’s anti-Jewishness, and that, too, is most apparent in Israel, between the different Religious branches of Judaism, with daily conflicts between the Ultra Orthodox ( Haredi, Hasidic) and secular Jewish Israelis.

A secular Jewish woman on a bus, sharing a ride with Ultra Orthodox men, is in harms way should she refuse to sit in the back, insisted upon by Haredi/Hasidic men. Physical violence toward secular Jewish women in Israel, in instances like the latter, is a daily occurrence. A flight on El Al, too, can be a horror ride for secular Jewish women, should she not sit in the back when sharing a flight with Ultra Orthodox men.

While Ultra Orthodox people are given the right to worship and practice as they please, they don’t grant their fellow human beings that essential right, insisting they should worship as they do. Stones are thrown at tourists taking photos at the western wall on a saturday; store keepers are being harassed and intimidated if they don’t close their stores at the time the Ultra Orthodox deem appropriate to hallow Shabbat, housings of Palestinians in the West bank are torched, marchers in gay pride parades are stabbed to death – these incidences, seemingly from the middle ages, taking place in the 21st century.

Is it any wonder, we must honestly ask, that anti-Semitism and Anti-Jewishness is once again on the rise ? With those not familiar with Judaism, under the impression Ultra Orthodox people are Jewish, while yet, Ultra Orthodox men and women are, in the majority, neither Semites nor are they Jewish. The reason they’re called Ultra Orthodox is because they belong to the ULTRA Religious branch of the Orthodox Church, as in Russian and Greek Orthodox. A branch of believers having split from the Orthodox Church in the 17th Century in Russia, to adhere exclusively to the Old Testament, fashioning their newly founded branch of the Orthodox Church after the ways of the patriarchs, starting the movement of the ‘ OLD BELIEVERS ‘, a group called the Raskolniki.

A painting of 1880 of the 17th Century Raskol.
You can click to enlarge.

Another split occurred some time later with the Raskolniki dividing itself, as well, with the new branch calling themselves Sabatniki,( Subbotniks) hallowing the Shabbat ( Saturday) instead of the Sunday, awaiting the Messiah. Violent uprisings marked one the most tragic happenings in Russian History with Raskolniki eventually expelled, splitting into yet another branch, due to the Old Believers not wanting to have any part in the Movement having turned violent, migrating to the rural areas of eastern Russia and Siberia, living a simple lifestyle.

Raskolinki however, joined Ukrainian Cossack militias fighting the Czar, ( See Link Cossacks and Haredi ) while Sabatniki joined up with Yenish travelers, many of whom were expelled from France and Switzerland, and given land in Poland and Russia to live off their lands. Yenish and Sabatniki intermarried, taking on the Ultra Orthodox religion, worshiping in ways of the Sabatniki.

When the British Mandate of Palestine came into being, Sabatniki were invited to migrate to the British Mandate, as well, with many having already established themselves in the region during the first Aliyah, referring to themselves as Jewish, due to adhering to the teaching of the Old Testament.

And though they’re neither ethnic Semites, for the most part, (though many Semites have converted to Ultra Orthodoxy under the impression it is the purest form of Judaism) nor ethnic Jewish people; their Religious rites and traditions have influenced Judaism of the 20th century to become what we know it as today.

In the meantime, freedom of Secular Jewish people in Israel has been hijacked by Ultra Orthodox Jewish people ,enforcing their ways to worship upon them; in a land created for them to feel free.

The Symbol of Law was a Hexagon since the days of King David and King Solomon, both of whom were Judges, after all, a symbol seen to this day in branches of the Judicial systems, for example the ” shield” = badge, known as the Sheriff Star.

Much has changed since then, with words misinterpreted due to evolving languages, but regardless of the different Religions, branches and rites of worship, one thing has not changed and that’s the Laws of Moses, one of which states:
” Though shalt not Kill”



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