Forward 3/20/16: Ultra-Orthodox Experience with Bigotry


Purim and Encounters With Bigotry — Including Our Own

Some time ago, I came across the Twitter feed of a prominent American Jewish writer in which I noticed several disparaging remarks about ultra-Orthodox Jews, with liberal use of words like “parasites,” “psycho Haredim” and other choice denigrations.

Whoa , I thought, that’s a bit harsh , and I tweeted at the writer, saying so. Another writer, an accomplished Israeli journalist, came to the first writer’s defense: “A substantial minority [of ultra-Orthodox] are truly awful.” As if she deserved credit for admitting they weren’t all so.

It’s an odd place to find myself in, given my own frequent criticisms of ultra-Orthodoxy, but it’s hard not to see in the above attitudes something stronger than mere criticism. It strikes me as something uglier: intolerance, disdain, animosity even — not just toward ideas, but also toward people. There’s a strain of real hatred, except it’s often hardest to know it when it’s us, ourselves, directing it at our own.         Read more…

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