Prof. Gideon Aran: outbursts of violence

These outbursts are limited in space and in duration. They are usually episodes lasting only for a day or a few hours and focus on specific issues.

Written By Gideon Aran

Only rarely has Haredi violence exceeded these limits. One can detect the ritual character of these violent outbursts.

They show an almost unchanging structure: mobilization of participants through wall posters and public address systems from cars cruising in Haredi districts; mental preparation by means of homilies in synagogues; pep talks in yeshiva courtyards and subsequently at demonstration sites; mass prayer, very long speeches by reverend rabbis, blessings or cursing.  Continue reading

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Gideon Aran lecturer 15th World Congress of Science of Judaism

Gideon Aran lecturer 15th World Congress of Science on the subject of Judaism in contemporary religious fanaticism. Warren lecture examines the story of Pinchas the son of Elazar, who was considered a hero of the messianic messianic movements and racist extremism.
Watch a fascinating lecture!

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Professor Gideon Aran – Relationship between jealousy and murder

Professor Gideon Aran fascinating lecture explains the discussion of the 15th World Congress, what is the difference between murder fanaticism. Click here to view:

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Gideon Aran: Acts of violence as protest assemblies

Acts of violence occur primarily in the advanced stages of protest assemblies. The chain of events usually starts with the shouting of abuse and obscenities against police and lay citizens, moves on to spitting and hurling various objects at them, and finally to physical scuffles.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

The Haredim storm police barricades and do not retreat when faced with mounted officers armed with batons. Nor do they refrain from covert activities, often under the cover of darkness, mainly through drawing abusive graffiti or harming property by befouling, breaking and incinerating. In the past a small minority of the Haredim would also resort to underground sabotage actions. Continue reading

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Sociologist and anthropologist Gideon Aran said: “Actually, the divide, the tension, the conflict is not just a religious one. Please remember that there’s a national, political divide and conflict, one atop the other. The political or religious conflict is imposed upon the national one. And the two of them together obviously are harder to solve and are much more bitter.”

To see the full video click:

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Frustration related to the body may lead to violence

Violence may also be a ‘solution’ to such frustrations. It is along these lines that we explain Haredi violence. In contrast to current understandings, Haredi violence is expressed foremostly within the boundaries of the Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel.

Written By Gideon Aran 

This is an internal violence that is evidenced in a wide spectrum of cases: from theological clashes, competition between cliques about rabbinical rulings or economic interests, but is mainly about heritable leadership roles, through to hooliganism and criminality among youths.

A substantial component of Haredi violence is verbal: much loathing, aggression, obscenity and vulgarism are exposed in Continue reading

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yeshiva – The frustrations of the young Haredi

The frustrations that many young Haredi men feel thus is not only derived from the difficulties that the high level of expectations of Torah studies sets, but also from the monastery-like framework within which they live: harsh discipline, authoritative leadership, close regulation, all within dormitory conditions and a uni-gendered environment.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran 

It is only natural then, that one dimension of the problems of youthful energy and the lack of opportunities for physical activity that sometimes almost lead to explosive situations, is that of sexuality. The problem of sexual frustrations reaches its climax without it having an opening for legitimate satisfaction, or a mechanism for effective treatment. Officially talk about the body in general, and more so about sexuality, is taboo in Haredi society. The result, as one journalist observes in regard to the Jerusalem Haredi community, is that “yeshiva students… are occupied with sex. Continue reading

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Yeshiva – Narrow and Intolerant World

For those who failed to pass muster, or, from the outset did not attempt to join the ranks of the select, there were other alternatives that provided an occupation, an income, and some measure of social status.

Taken from “Body, Violence and Fundamentalism: The Case of Jewish Ultra-Orthodoxy”.


Gideon Aran

Gideon Aran

Those who were chosen, but afterwards found unsuitable, could join their ranks later. By contrast, over the last generation, there has been neither selection nor alternative. More or less automatically, almost all males in the Haredi community are included in the narrow and intolerant world of the yeshiva, including very many that are out of place there. Continue reading

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Haredi Success Story – Yeshiva Is Particularly Demanding

The Haredi success story has another paradoxical implication. The life of the yeshiva is particularly demanding. It includes mechanical repetition which demands patience and obstinacy, as well as intellectual challenges which demand concentration, the capacity for abstraction and sophistication.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

This is required 12-18 hours a day, within the four walls of the House of Study, without leisure time or any physical outlet, under severe discipline. It is clear that this can only be an option for a few people. Even among the well motivated, not everyone meets the stringent criteria of yeshiva study. Only those with the appropriate mental structure, cognitive ability and temperament, as well as befitting bodily characteristics, can make it.

In the traditional Jewish society there was only a small minority of people that had the “proper” body: that is, the “neglected” or repressed body, actually, the weak, even effeminate body of the student. In Ultra-Orthodox society, along with the lack of recognition of laymen, there is almost no legitimate place for other bodily-types, that is, members who have bodies resembling those found in the surrounding society. In the past, those wishing to devote themselves to a life of Torah study underwent severe selection. Continue reading

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Success Results In Greater Dependence On The State Of Israel

The great Haredi accomplishments bear the seeds of an upcoming crisis. For one, Haredi success results in greater dependence on the State of Israel. This dependence is primarily financial, and demands ever-greater political involvement (Berman, 2000, Ilan, 2000).

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

This trend has important implications. In order to sustain their privileges, the Haredim find themselves granting – sometimes quite unwillingly – legitimation to the state. In order to receive subsidies, one must vote and be chosen for the parliament, join coalitions and even serve in the government. This implies identification – even if qualified and spiteful – and sharing of responsibility for a national political entity, which was not long ago considered as an abomination. Continue reading

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