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Vol.7, 2016
Issue Index
Naftali Rothenberg
JPT: The Jewish Political Tradition
Michael Walzer
The Controversy Between Moses Leib Lilienblum...
Yehuda Friedlander
Political Moderation from Right to Left
Zohar Maor
Mixed Marriages and Transformed American Jewish
Sylvia Barack Fishman
Haredi "Flows" in Contemporary Sephardi-Mizrahi Jewry
Nissim Leon
Between Exile and History
Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin
“Are We Still the ‘People of the Book’?”
Prof. Yair Zakovitch
Ms. Shulamit Aloni
Prof. Michael Fishbein
Prof. Uriel Simon
Avi Sagi - The Human Voyage to Meaning
Yotam Benziman
Ofer Shiff - The Defeated Zionist
Chaim I.Waxman

Haredi "Flows" in Contemporary Sephardi-Mizrahi Jewry


Nissim Leon

 The essay proposes an alternative view of the Haredi movement in Sephardi Jewry in contemporary Israel, arguing for its interpretation as a religious current in its own right and not merely a political force, as it is commonly understood.
Aside from presenting this movement as grounded in a reactionist ultra-orthodox ideology, the essay, based on extensive ethnographic research, also exposes the day-to-day circumstances within which its activists operate.
The findings of this research suggest that, in addition to noting the ideological and political motives driving young Torah scholars (Bnei-Torah) to breach the geographic and symbolic walls of the Haredi encalve, we should also take a closer look at what the anthropologist Arjun Appadurai calls "flows" – cultural and social interactions based on local life circumstances or economic constraints.
This complementary view helps to promote a multi-layered and rich response to the contrastive relation typically posited between the "light" religious believers in the Sephardi Jewish communities (Masortim) and the Haredi leadership, a picture that segregates the Haredim-Mizrahim (Sephardi Ultra-Orthodox) in Israel from other ultra-orthodox groups.
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