Read e-book online Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews PDF

By Lynn Davidman

ISBN-10: 0199380503

ISBN-13: 9780199380503

Leaving a faith isn't really simply a question of wasting or rejecting religion. for plenty of, it consists of dramatic adjustments of daily workouts and private behavior.

Davidman bases her research on in-depth conversations with 40 ex-Hasidic contributors. From those conversations emerge money owed of the good worry, angst, and feel of risk that come of leaving a hugely bounded enclave neighborhood. lots of these interviewed referred to feeling marginal of their personal groups; of pressure of their houses as a result of demise, divorce, or their mom and dad' profound spiritual changes; skilled sexual, actual, or verbal abuse; or expressed an acute wisdom of gender inequality, the varied lives in their secular family members, and forbidden tv exhibits, videos, web pages, and books.

Becoming Un-Orthodox attracts much-needed consciousness to the very important function of the physique and physically habit in spiritual practices. it's via actual rituals and exercises that the participants of a faith, relatively a hugely conservative one, regularly create, practice, and make stronger the tradition of the faith. as a result of many observances and day-by-day rituals required via their religion, Hasidic defectors are an exemplary case examine for exploring the centrality of the physique in shaping, conserving, and laying off religions.

This ebook presents either a relocating narrative of the struggles of Hasidic defectors and a compelling demand higher collective figuring out of the advanced value of the physique in society.

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Additional info for Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews

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In addition, I interviewed forty Israeli “exes” but they are not included here due to the enormous cultural differences between the two countries. Respondent’s accounts of defection highlight the great fear, angst, and sense of anomie that accompanied leaving their highly bounded enclave communities. 20 the life worlds of hasidic jews Many spoke of feeling marginal in their own communities, the result of having grown up in families that differed in obvious ways from the majority. In some cases, one parent had been lost to death or divorce; in others, the mother and father had profound religious differences; or, most distressingly, within these families the defectors experienced sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, or a combination.

As Emile Durkheim demonstrated, societies hold ­together when there are shared values, commitments, and feelings of closeness among their members (1915). These factors act as social “glue,” maintaining the solidarity of the group. But when these common bonds are disrupted and individuals are at odds with their families and communities, the powerful attachments necessary to the continuation of religious and communal life begin to fray. This is the metaphorical tear in the sacred canopy that shelters community members from all possible threats to their way of life.

Hasidic defectors, in contrast, have no 27 b e c o m i n g u n -o r t h o d ox established script to adopt when they step out; instead, they have to search for a community wherein they might feel comfortable and safe creating their new identities. ” This is common in the United States, particularly when we think of the major waves of immigrants who peopled this country. Immigrants arrived in a new land in which most aspects of daily life—talking, eating, dressing, working— were dramatically different from those they had taken for granted in their “old countries” and that no longer applied.

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Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews by Lynn Davidman

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