Rafi recently posted about a pashkevil (wall poster-reproduced and translated below) against the sect, or cult, of veiled women. The pashkevil is signed by the “War Council against the Cult of Cruel Women.”
Ynet published the picture above, taken in Jerusalem, of young girls in capes and veils. The author of the accompanying article wonders, like I did a while back, why it’s acceptable to dress children in this clothing.
While the recent poster decries the suffering of women or girls, I don’t believe that is the main concern of the authors. In my post on the veiled women’s cult in Beit Shemesh, I cited a report about the group’s odd practices. For instance, the women don’t bathe more than once a week, and brides don’t go to the mikveh (ritual bath) until after the wedding.
But there is more. A blog reader knows a man who divorced a woman belonging to the group. The man and the woman both came from hasidic families. The reader shared the following details about the cult:
- The women have sexual relations with their husbands only once a month, after going to the mikveh.
- They also don’t have sex when they are pregnant—only when they could possibly be fertile. After birth, they don’t go to the mikveh again until they resume menstruating.
- They breastfeed for only two weeks. I guess they think it’s immodest, but then why do it at all? If it is because of breastfeeding infertility, it’s like pregnancy and they would not want to have sexual relations, which is what they presumably think is more modest. Maybe it’s because it’s still possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding . . . oy, I can’t wrap my head around it. Maybe I’m overthinking here.
- They only wash one body part at a time, to avoid uncovering too much. They eschew soaps and perfumes, and, I believe, laundry detergent. Scents aren’t considered modest.
Women in veils have been spotted in Monsey. Of course, there is no way to know whether every Jewish woman wearing a veil belongs to this cult and follows its practices.
If you read between the lines of the pashkevil below, it makes sense that the group’s sexual practices are the main concern. That’s why it refers to the destruction of “shalom bayit” (a harmonious home) and netinat etzot pesulot ve-asurot—giving advice that is wrong and forbidden. They even refer to the cult as heretical. The pashkevil says nothing about the way that they dress. Of course, their sexual practices are clearly against Jewish law. And for good measure, it tells the women to go back to scrubbing floors and washing dishes. Nothing is said about the clothing.
Like all cults, the group recruits.
Help! Help! Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh are crying out about a new cult of cruel and vicious women, destructive of household harmony in many homes, and who endanger life and do not spare babies and children.
Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh [are called] to a great protest over the education to rebellion against the transmission of the Torah and the sages of the tradition, and against the giving of impure, harmful, and forbidden advice, and the leading of a group, and all under the mask of “extra holiness”! They take on, with arrogance and pride, the crown of Torah, and decide thereon for themselves,
Heavens cry out over the heresy!
The cry of the destruction of homes and the education of children reaches the heavens! The cry of their suffering kollel husbands will not let us rest! People of Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh!
We will not abandon the blood of our brothers! We will excommunicate the women leading this cult that rebels, and we will publicize their names and addresses! And we will not rest and we will not be quiet until they stop driving their impure fingernails and their false opinions into other homes!
Please, go back to scrubbing floors and washing dishes and leave to those who are great in Torah and fear of God and to the rabbis who sit in judgment to lead and give halachic rulings! Prepare! Prepare! More details coming soon!
-War committee against “The cult of cruel women.”
Complaints and testimonies send urgently to the voice mail or fax.