Shalom Life | May 31, 2015

Ultra-Orthodox Sect in London Warns Women not to Drive

Children will be prevented from attending classes if their mothers drive them to school

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: May 29th, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Ultra Orthodox Jews in London


A Hasidic sect of Jews in London is telling its members that should women drive their children to school, the children will be sent home.

The Belz Hasidic sect in Stamford Hill, London has told its members that having female drivers goes against "the traditional rules of modesty in our camp" and against the cultural and religious norms of the Hasidic institution.

The edict, found in a letter signed by educational and religious leaders of the community, claims that there has been an increase in "mothers of pupils who have started to drive," a realization which has led to "great resentment among parents of pupils of our institutions."

The paper continues, warning families that children who are driven to school by their mothers will be turned away.

The UK ambassador of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance has told the BBC that such a declaration illustrates the lengths to which the leaders of the Belz community are willing to go in order to preserve their patriarchal hierarchy and limit women's freedom of movement, creating a reliance on men.

In response to the backlash resulting from the letter, women of the Hasidic sect released a joint statement, claiming that driving the car was a high-pressured activity.

The women claimed that by driving a vehicle, "our values may be compromised by exposure to selfishness, road rage, bad language, and other inappropriate behaviour." However, the women also added that they recognize their lifestyle choice differs greatly from what might be perceived to be the norm, and that, "we do not, in any way, disrespect them [other women] or the decisions they make."

Led by Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach in Israel, the Belz sect was founded as a Hasidic sect of Judaism in western Ukraine in the early 19th century, and has membership across the globe.

France Pays Tribute to Four Nazi Resistance Fighters TrendingPope Francis: Whoever Doesn't Recognize the Jewish People and the State of Israel are anti-Semitic Pope Francis: Whoever Doesn't Recognize the Jewish People and the State of Israel are anti-Semitic TrendingTel Aviv Mayor: Israel Should Follow Ireland's Example on Gay Marriage Tel Aviv Mayor: Israel Should Follow Ireland's Example on Gay Marriage Trending
 

Israel and China Boost Trade with New Tax Agreement

May 29, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Israel and China Boost Trade with New Tax Agreement

"The mutual recognition program streamlines and simplifies trade between two countries, while maintaining a high level of enforcement"

Read More

The Alchemist Releases New Instrumental Album Called 'Israeli Salad'

May 29, 2015 | By Nathan Burley
The Alchemist Releases New Instrumental Album Called 'Israeli Salad'

Song titles of note include "Shalom Alechem," "Yalla Yalla", "Yehudi El Yehudi" and "Bone Thugs N' Haifa"

Read More

WATCH: Jon Stewart Slams FIFA For Corruption Charges

May 29, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
WATCH: Jon Stewart Slams FIFA For Corruption Charges

"To put this in perspective, this FIFA corruption started Jennifer Lawrence ago," the comedian said on the latest episode of The Daily Show

Read More

France Pays Tribute to Four Nazi Resistance Fighters

May 29, 2015 | By Nathan Burley
France Pays Tribute to Four Nazi Resistance Fighters

Emotional ceremony held to honour 70th anniversary of the end of World War II

Read More

'Rabbi' is Suing Ice Cube for $2 Million After Alleged Assault Fuelled by Anti-Semitism

May 29, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
'Rabbi' is Suing Ice Cube for $2 Million After Alleged Assault Fuelled by Anti-Semitism

The man, claiming to be a rabbi, says he was assaulted outside an elevator in a Detroit casino

Read More

New Ben and Jerry's Flavour to Tackle Climate Change

May 29, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
New Ben and Jerry's Flavour to Tackle Climate Change

The new flavour, called 'Save our Swirled', is just one way the company hopes to support saving the environment

Read More

Tori Spelling: Happy Gay Pride, Tel Aviv. I Love You

May 29, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Tori Spelling: Happy Gay Pride, Tel Aviv. I Love You

WATCH: 'Beverly Hills 90210' actress films video teaser thanking her Israeli fans in anticipation of the 7th annual Donna Martin Party in Tel Aviv

Read More

More Headlines