These pictures, from Nahar Hayarden Street in Beit Shemesh, were posted on Rotter.net. The youngest one looks about four years old. They are covered from head to toe in black, except for the youngest who enjoys a red, white and blue print with a blue head-covering. The girls from this group, which the author of the piece calls a cult, attend their own school in Jerusalem.
The author of the article claims that this family is part of a cult that is spreading like wildfire, with new families joining each week. Here’s a translation of the Rotter forum post. I have no way of verifying whether the information is accurate:
Details of the Cult, Regulations, and Stringencies:
- Every girl must wear at least three layers of clothes, with the shal (cloak) covering all of these.
- The eyes must be completely covered, by a cloth with tiny holes for vision and air circulation. They see, but are not seen.
- Members of the cult are convinced that their actions are bringing the redemption closer. The girls are ordered to walk in the main streets, lekadesh shem shamayim berabim, i.e. to sanctify the name of God in public.
- Aside from the clothes, there are shocking restrictions, like a prohibition against showering more than once a week, a chupah (wedding ceremony) with a mechitza (partition between the men and women, including the parents of the couple, and most seriously, the day of the wedding is set for a day that the bride is not permitted to her husband (against Jewish law), so that the guests won’t be brought to sin by seeing the husband and wife holding hands on their way to the yichud room. [After an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony the couple have a few minutes of privacy. A couple cannot touch, nor consummate the marriage, unless the bride has been to the mikveh (ritual bath) since her last menstrual period. Usually great efforts are made to ensure that she has been to the mikveh before the wedding.]
- The cult is supported by a certain rabbi whose name I won’t mention right now, who also supports them publicly and claims that they are bringing the redemption, although he also claims that one cannot force this custom on women who aren’t interested.
- Still, many girls are known to be forced to dress like this against their will, and are rejected by their former community. In general, when a group of cult members walks in the street, a row of young women abuses them verbally and scolds them.
- A couple of weeks ago an incident was published in the forum, of a girl forced to dress this way for two years, broke away and found an Arab boyfriend.
It is also worth mentioning that these are not families of baalei teshuva (religious returnees), as in the case of “Mother Taliban [Bruria Keren],” but well-known and respected Jerusalem families. The process that usually grips these families, when one of the daughters falls victims to the cult, is a complete cutoff of contact between the cult and the rest of the family.
Whoever doesn’t believe these shocking things is invited to check them out for himself. I am sure he will be surprised at the power of this destructive cult, which will cause these girls serious mental anguish.
The second link tells about a 15-year-old girl whose parents sent her to a “counselor” to encourage her to dress as described above. The girl told the counselor that she had an Arab boyfriend.