(Backlash) Haredi Street Demonstrations (Coronavirus)


What matters more than what and to whom, now well past the pat nod to the putative cardinal value of saving lives in Judaism, (pikuach nefesh)? Registering and trying to bracket my own personal disgust (about which I will be honest), I’m posting and might keep posting below on this page links to articles about Haredi demonstrations. The protesters reject (are reacting against) state imposition of public health guidelines. The state actions are intended to put a temporary (emergency) lockdown on synagogues and yeshivot and local business in Haredi communities which, at the tail end of the High Holiday season, have become hotspots of coronavirus in NYC and NYS. In Brooklyn, the language is couched in civil disobedience and the free exercise of religion enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But at what cost to the public good writ large and to the Jewish community, including Haredi Jewish communities, to Judaism and to the image of God writ small?


here (h/t Marta Braiterman-Tanenbaum)



At the crypto-conservative online Tablet Magazine, the backlash looks like this, this, and this. Either what matters is the sacred communities and the rites that sustain them, which are  now massive super-spreader events or the claim against all evidence that Haredi communal leaders are good faith actors open to reason and compromise.

Compare and contrast this response by a healthcare professional from Borough Park. 


About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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