From: “Carmi Horowitz” <…>
List Editor: Adam Mendelsohn <…>
Editor’s Subject: Re: Haredim
Author’s Subject: RE: [H-JUDAIC] Query: Haredim
Date Written: Fri, 23 May 2008 20:23:36 -0400
Date Posted: Fri, 23 May 2008 20:23:36 -0400

Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 1:17 AM

If you would spend a Shabbat in Har Nof in Jerusalem which is a largely haredi neighborhood with a minority dati-le’umi population you would see the continuum from the striped coats of the R’ Arle Hasidim (neturei karta, who actually only come on weekdays to collect money for their poor), to Gerer and Vizhnitz Hasidim who on Shabbat wear shtreimels and long black coats, with varying types of pants, tucked in or not tucked; you would see the yeshivish crowd (which is called in Israeli parlance “Lithuanian” since the archetype of most yeshivot is the Yeshiva of Volozhin which was copied and imitated in most Israeli and American yeshivot) with varying types of dress, some with long black coats as well (but not of the Hasidic style, rather more tailored) some with short suit jackets, some with black hats with a crease and a bent rim, some without a crease and without a bend; some with very “stylish” black suits, “stylish” black hats made by the best Italian hat-makers, and very stylish black shoes; you’ll see the haredi-sephardi also some with long black coats (their dress is “Ashkenazi”) and some with ordinary modern dress; you would see the dati-le’umi (religious Zionist) which is not identical with “modern-orthodox” (that itself requires an essay); you would see the different kinds of knitted kippot that characterize this community. On the one end you would see knitted black kippot which indicate an identification of some sort with the haredi community’s values, but it is knitted, which of course is a statement. You would see the large white knitted yarmulkas which sometimes indicate the more “hardal” elements of the religious-Zionist crowd. “Hardal” is a recent (25 yrs?) description of “haredi-le’umi” which means they share many of the values of the haredi sector, and many of their stringencies, but are fully and completely Zionist (e.g. the graduates of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav and Yeshivat Har Hamor – without going into the fine differences between these two flagship institutions). You would see the modern-orthodox-dati le’umi crowd with shirtsleeves – never with a suit. You would find academics davening in the Hassidic shtiebles of Har Nof (your truly , but only on Friday nights!) since Ernst Simon’s description of whom he can daven with and with whom he can talk still holds today. You would find “yeshivishe” Haredi who will never set foot into a Hassidic synagogue, and you would find Yeshiva University graduates who daven in the weekday Gerer Hasidim minyan. You would find some very small knitted yarmulkas that are hardly visible from most angles, but they will come to “Imrei Shefer” a hassidic shul that has minyanim during the week at virtually any hour you wish. And of course if you leave Har Nof and further explore the orthodox, modern orthodox, “mizrahistim” (meaning Mizrahi-Hapoel Hamizrahi) a degrading term used by the haredim for the religious Zionist, and if you continue to Baka you can daven at Shira Hadasha which defines itself as orthodox-egalitarian giving aliyot to women while maintaining separate seating. I’ve hardly alluded to the variations of the Sephardi community which tends to non-haredi life style, although Rav Ovadia Yosef, the most outstanding Sefardi Rabbi today closely identifies with the haredi sector. Nevertheless, many of his halakhic decisions are at odds with the Ashkenazi-haredi camp. In short the continuum of the varieties of haredi, dati-leumi, orthodox, modern orthodox, “havakook” (to mention just a few [I do not exaggerate] of the varieties of “orthodox Judaism”) is virtually infinite, as the Mishna in Sanhedrin (4, 5) already stated. Thus to answer your question – there is a continuum, but many would claim that there are clearly defined lines. On a social level, dati-le’umi generally do not socialize with “haredi”. But I would not attempt to draw the line between haredi and others -it is a debate I often have with my wife.

Carmi Horowitz
Lander Institute, Jerusalem Academic Center

A todo aquel que salva una vida, le reporta el mismo valor que si hubiese salvado un mundo entero. Y porque haya paz entre los seres humanos, de forma que no puedan decirse entre ellos «Mis antepasados son más importantes que los tuyos», ni que puedan afirmar los herejes «Múltiples son quienes tienen poder en los Cielos»; para afirmar la grandeza del Rey de Todos los Reyes, el Santo, bendito sea, [quedó dicho que mientras] que un hombre, si acuña cien monedas con el mismo cuño, son todas iguales las unas a las otras, el Santo, bendito sea, acuña a todos los hombres con el cuño [con el que hizo al] primer hombre, sin que ninguno se parezca a los demás. Por esto todos y cada uno pueden decir «Por mí fue creado el mundo».

Mišna, «Sanhedrin», iv, 5.