Jewish Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy Confronts Modernity, Zionism and Women's Equality


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273 p. · Paperback
In Jewish Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy Confronts Modernity, Zionism and Women's Equality, Motti Inbari undertakes a study of the culture and leadership of Jewish radical ultra-Orthodoxy in Hungary, Jerusalem and New York. He reviews the history, ideology and gender relations of prominent ultra-Orthodox leaders Amram Blau (1894?1974), founder of the anti-Zionist Jerusalemite Neturei Karta, and Yoel Teitelbaum (1887?1979), head of the Satmar Hasidic movement in New York. Focussing on the rabbis' biographies, the author analyzes their enclave building methods, their attitude to women and modesty, and their eschatological perspectives. The research is based on newly discovered archival materials, covering many unique and remarkable findings. The author concludes with a discussion of contemporary trends in Jewish religious radicalization. Inbari highlights the resilience of the current generations' sense of community cohesion and their capacity to adapt and overcome challenges such as rehabilitation into potentially hostile secular societies.
Introduction; 1. The de Haan assassination and the background to the formation of Neturei Karta; 2. Rabbi Amram Blau, founder of the Neturei Karta movement; 3. The modesty campaigns of Rabbi Amram Blau and the Neturei Karta movement, 1938–74; 4. Messianic activism in the work and thought of Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapira (the Munkacser Rebbe) in the interwar period; 5. The life and work of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, founder of the Satmar Hasidic court in New York; 6. Eschatology, dualism, and the decline of the generations - the world view of radical ultra-orthodoxy; 7. Jewish zealotry - past and present; Epilogue. Contemporary trends in radical ultra-orthodoxy.
Motti Inbari is an Associate Professor of Religion at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke. He is a leading expert on Jewish fundamentalism and has won such prestigious awards as the Adolf L. Dial Award for Scholarship in 2014.