Gideon Aran

Gideon Aran

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Professor Gideon Aran Dept. of Sociology Anthropology Hebrew University Jerusalem Israel 91905
Gideon Aran
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Taken from “Body, Violence and Fundamentalism: The Case of Jewish Ultra-Orthodoxy”, By Gideon Aran.

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כל גווני האורתודוקסיה הגדירו את יהדותם על פי ההלכה ודבקו בקיום תורה ומצוותיה. בשלב מוקדם נחלקו:  ניאו-אורתודוקסים קיבלו עליהם מאפיינים מודרניים כל עוד לא סתרו את כללי ההלכה (למשל לבוש ושפה מקומית, או, השתלמות במקצועות חופשיים במידה שיאפשרו שמירת כשרות ושבת). לעומתם, האולטרא-אורתודוקסים התנגדו בשם התורה לכל שינוי באשר הוא, גם אם לא נאסר על ידי ההלכה ולא נראה על פניו כנוגע ישירות לדת.

כל גווני האורתודוקסיה הגדירו את יהדותם על פי ההלכה ודבקו בקיום תורה ומצוותיה. בשלב מוקדם נחלקו: ניאו-אורתודוקסים קיבלו עליהם מאפיינים מודרניים כל עוד לא סתרו את כללי ההלכה (למשל לבוש ושפה מקומית, או, השתלמות במקצועות חופשיים במידה שיאפשרו שמירת כשרות ושבת). לעומתם, האולטרא-אורתודוקסים התנגדו בשם התורה לכל שינוי באשר הוא, גם אם לא נאסר על ידי ההלכה ולא נראה על פניו כנוגע ישירות לדת.

As Haredim testify proudly, the peak of their many achievements has been the construction of a ‘Torah world’: the realization of the ideal of yeshiva study. During the eighties and nineties of the last century, the Haredim were aptly defined as a ‘learning community’, where almost all men are full time students at Torah academies.

As Haredim testify proudly, the peak of their many achievements has been the construction of a ‘Torah world’: the realization of the ideal of yeshiva study. During the eighties and nineties of the last century, the Haredim were aptly defined as a ‘learning community’, where almost all men are full time students at Torah academies.

The Gush-Emunim movement has always been a major factor in forming the ideological foundation of the West-Bank settlements concept and was a key contributor toward achieving this goal.

The Gush-Emunim movement has always been a major factor in forming the ideological foundation of the West-Bank settlements concept and was a key contributor toward achieving this goal.

In the seventies, somewhere during the period of disillusionment and dissatisfaction that followed the Yom-Kippur war, I was a research student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and so I decided to examine a new social phenomenon looming on the Israeli horizon.

In the seventies, somewhere during the period of disillusionment and dissatisfaction that followed the Yom-Kippur war, I was a research student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and so I decided to examine a new social phenomenon looming on the Israeli horizon.

The CO of the battalion and many of its officers – some of whom began their career as Haredi recruits – wear skull caps and beards. The majority of the soldiers sport side locks. Three daily prayer and observance of Sabbath and all other holy days are mandatory by martial law.

The CO of the battalion and many of its officers – some of whom began their career as Haredi recruits – wear skull caps and beards. The majority of the soldiers sport side locks. Three daily prayer and observance of Sabbath and all other holy days are mandatory by martial law.

It is the Haredi case that we focus on here. Except for one case (Aran, 2003), there has been no systematic mention of the body in the literature on Haredim. It seems that much of the ongoing scholarship uncritically accepted the official Haredi stance that disregards the body and belittles problems posed by the body. Yet behind this strategy and rhetoric of denial is a live body and the strong rejection of it may be seen as an indication of its frustrated vitality.

It is the Haredi case that we focus on here. Except for one case (Aran, 2003), there has been no systematic mention of the body in the literature on Haredim. It seems that much of the ongoing scholarship uncritically accepted the official Haredi stance that disregards the body and belittles problems posed by the body. Yet behind this strategy and rhetoric of denial is a live body and the strong rejection of it may be seen as an indication of its frustrated vitality.

Our research is based on fieldwork, especially field observations and interviews, with members of the Haredi community in northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, between 1997 and 2003, in the framework of three projects: work ethic among Torah scholars (Stadler, 2001,2002 ), modes of militant religiosity in the middle east (Aran, forthcoming), and talmudic students views of military service (Stadler and Ben Ari, 2003).

Our research is based on fieldwork, especially field observations and interviews, with members of the Haredi community in northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, between 1997 and 2003, in the framework of three projects: work ethic among Torah scholars (Stadler, 2001,2002 ), modes of militant religiosity in the middle east (Aran, forthcoming), and talmudic students views of military service (Stadler and Ben Ari, 2003).

Gideon Aran is a professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He studies both religion and extremism, and particularly their intersection, in Israel, in past and present Judaism, and in comparative perspective.

Gideon Aran is a professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He studies both religion and extremism, and particularly their intersection, in Israel, in past and present Judaism, and in comparative perspective.

Gideon Aran is a professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He studies both religion and extremism, and particularly their intersection, in Israel, in past and present Judaism, and in comparative perspective.

Gideon Aran is a professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He studies both religion and extremism, and particularly their intersection, in Israel, in past and present Judaism, and in comparative perspective.

Professor Gideon Aran Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology Hebrew University Jerusalem Israel 91905 Email: gideon.aran@mail.huji.ac.il Phone: 972-2-5883331 (Office)            972-2-5345801 (Home) Fax :   972-2-5324339 (Office)

Professor Gideon Aran Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology Hebrew University Jerusalem Israel 91905 Email: gideon.aran@mail.huji.ac.il Phone: 972-2-5883331 (Office) 972-2-5345801 (Home) Fax : 972-2-5324339 (Office)

In the past two decades, the body has received widespread attention in the social sciences and humanities based on the contention that social and cultural factors are crucial to understanding body imagery and body-centered behaviors on the one hand, and that the body is an integral component of many social phenomena, rich in significance and implications that may further our understanding of particular cultures on the other hand.

Gideon Aran: The Body, Fundamentalist Movements and Jewish Orthodoxy

It is a commonplace in anthropological literature that hair on the head and face is an effective symbolic medium for expressing identity and changes in identity, especially because it is immediately noticeable and easy to manipulate. Hair is a familiar means for marking out a person’s position in relation to his society, be that a manifestation of identification and commitment, or reservation and opposition.

It is a commonplace in anthropological literature that hair on the head and face is an effective symbolic medium for expressing identity and changes in identity, especially because it is immediately noticeable and easy to manipulate. Hair is a familiar means for marking out a person’s position in relation to his society, be that a manifestation of identification and commitment, or reservation and opposition.

After a welcome hiatus, the subject of terrorism is back in the headlines. The kidnapping and murder of three yeshiva students in the territories, and afterward the burning alive of a Palestinian youth from East Jerusalem, generated pain, frustration, anger and protest on both sides.

After a welcome hiatus, the subject of terrorism is back in the headlines. The kidnapping and murder of three yeshiva students in the territories, and afterward the burning alive of a Palestinian youth from East Jerusalem, generated pain, frustration, anger and protest on both sides.

I am referring to a low seated position – not on a chair – which has several versions, such as crouching down on your heels, with bent limbs drawn up closely beneath the body, or a kind of relaxed semi-lotus position, resting entirely on your backside with legs crossed in front.

I am referring to a low seated position – not on a chair – which has several versions, such as crouching down on your heels, with bent limbs drawn up closely beneath the body, or a kind of relaxed semi-lotus position, resting entirely on your backside with legs crossed in front.

My scholarly capital of interest to this conference rests upon three elements in my academic career. First, I have long been an observer of radical religion, religious violence and militancy in general; and I have written on  fundamentalism, Jewish and Middle Eastern fundamentalism in particular.

My scholarly capital of interest to this conference rests upon three elements in my academic career. First, I have long been an observer of radical religion, religious violence and militancy in general; and I have written on fundamentalism, Jewish and Middle Eastern fundamentalism in particular.