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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beit Shemesh

Jewish Lady in Beit Shemesh Wearing Hijab

In PRI News:
In recent days, many Israelis have come to see the once-sleepy town of Beit Shemesh as a symbol of a national conflict. It’s an internal Israeli conflict, one between extremist members of the Jewish ultra-Orthodox community and other Jewish Israelis.

I have had a post on Beit Shemesh before, one dealing with women taking to wearing the hijab.

How do you deal with believers who exhibit extreme and rigidly held beliefs?
Well, you do not deal with them. I think we have found that out by now. They cannot compromise their beliefs by the smallest iota, and hence they cannot negotiate democratically. It was rather like this year, 2011, in Washington, where we found that people with ideology rigidly held cannot enter into a democratic process of give-and-take. There are other extreme believers who come to mind; when the belief is about God and God's will, there can be no negotiation. The only negotiation which exists will exist between people who are humble enough to admit that they do not perfectly know God's will in all things, from the smallest to the end of days.

Having said that, we shall have to come to a parting of the ways, hopefully non-violent.


Arsen Darnay said...

The contrast there, between the lady's garb and that plastic sack, so utterly modern, is a story in itself. It illustrates, for me, the futility of trying to separate myself from a culture I abhor merely by physical signals.

Montag said...

Interesting observation, and I never even "saw" the plastic bag.

It reminds me of the Amish, who reject certain elements of the surrounding culture.... and sometimes they express their disapproval.

I guess that when the physical expression of disapproval becomes an integral and dogmatic part of the "extreme" culture is the point when the conflicts begin to be a way of life.