Sunday, March 18, 2007

The instant guide to the קנאים of Meah Shearim

Last week's Mishpacha magazine had a fascinating article explaining the various groups of קנאים in Meah Shearim. Here are some highlights.

The עיקרי האמונה of a קנאי

There are a number of עיקרי האמונה
1. It is assur to participate in elections
2. It is assur to take government money for education
3. It is assur to speak in Hebrew. This rule is not absolute.
4. The only hashgacha that is acceptable is Badatz Edah Hachareidis

Each group of Kannaim adds their own issurim as well.

The groups


Just like there is a Shulchan Aruch for halacha there is a Shulchan Aruch for קנאות, the sefer ויואל משה written by the Satmar Rebbe is the Shulchan Aruch for קנאות. What he assurs is assur what he doesn't assur is mutar. Here are some examples:
1. Satmar does not get involved with demonstrations against chilul shabbos
2. It is assur to go to go the Holy places (e.g. the kotel) that were captured in 1967
3. They do take money from Bituach Leumi

Satmar is very much inward focused.

Toldos Aharon

Toldos Aharon is more extreme then Satmar. They don't take money from Bituach leumi, they won't work for a government company (e.g. Egged). They don't belong to a Kupat Cholim. Because of this it is a very poor community where there are very few opportunities for jobs. Most people work in מלאכת הקדש. Very few people can sit and learn all day because of the financial hardship.

The following typifies Toldos Aharon. In the introduction to the sefer שומרי אמונים the Rebbe writes "The opposition to the ציונים needs to be so great that if the government made a law to put on tefillin every day, you shouldn't put on Tefillin"

Neturei Karta

The Neturei Karta start where Toldos Aharon ends. The big difference is in there attitude towards the Arabs. The Neturei Karta meet with Arabs etc.

Who is a קנאי? Someone for whom כבוד שמים burns for them, it is the only thing for them.


David Guttmann said...

I am quite familiar with the Satmar point of view as I went through their system in my early teens in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It akmost made me be "Over al Da'at Koni". The Shomre Emunim sefer was also something that got foisted on me at that time and I thought it was Torah min Hashamayim with the resulting guilt. In my opinion these groups are composed of simpletons hijacked by psychologically flawed leaders. The best tactic is to ignore them and if the media would do so they would lose all importance.

You forgot to mention that technically Satmar prohibits talking Ivrit as it is a descrated form of Lashon Hakodesh.

bluke said...

Not talking ivrit is listed as Ikkar 3 which is accepted by all the kannaim.

David Guttmann said...

I know,but not absolute?

bluke said...

It is not practical not to talk Ivrit in all circumstances

Chanoch said...

Neturei Karta in EY is split. At the end of the article it mentions different groups. Neturei Karta in america - those that went to iran - have nothing to do with the NK here in EY and that NK here basically threw them out and publicized that they shouldnt use the name NK for their (mis)deeds.

Another Haarah - Despite what the article says about the poverty, from what I have heard, there is money in TA. MOst stores in meah sherarim belong to them. Edah chareidis is TA. The safrus industry - including klaf, sofrim, retzuo is TA. Many shochtim are TA. So, while yes they go work, the poverty in the "regular" yeshivishe world is more drastic than in TA. And for sfardi charideim its even worse, as far as i know, since the parents havent bought into the idea of buying apts (yet?).

WFB said...

i find it very interesting that Chanoch claims the neturei karta from Eretz Yisrael dont go to Iran because i have seen pictures of these people (whom i recognize very well from having lived in close quarters with them in Meah Shearim for 2yrs)meeting with the Iranians and in "Palestine" with leaders of Hamas

david said...

How can you say the Sfardi Chareidim are worse off? They are't a half a million dollars in debt buying apartments for their kids!

bluke said...

It all depends on your perspective. From the perspective of the kids getting an apartment is great, it gives them a place to live rent free. On the other hand if you are a 20 something getting married sitting and learning, and you don't get an apartment, what do you do? You can't afford to buy one and in Israel the rental market is pretty bad.

Of course from the parents perspective life is easier.

Ari Kinsberg said...

is this article available online?

bluke said...

Mishpacha is not available online.