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


  • Author: Motti Inbari, University of North Carolina, Pembroke
  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107088108

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Offers a fresh look into the history and ideology of Jewish anti-Zionism
    • Proposes a new view on the struggles of Jewish ultra-Orthodoxy with the modern world
    • With the help of newly discovered archives, the book portrays the lives of important figures in modern Judaism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Inbari's book stands as a major contribution to the literature on ultra-Orthodoxy and Jewish fundamentalism, an excellent introduction to and overview of a fascinating corner of the Jewish world.' Hadas Fischer, H-Net 

    'Inbari's book gives us a comprehensive and fascinating account of the ideological origins of some of the most significant radical ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist movements, shedding new light on their fraught battle with modernity. Particularly illuminating is his use of new documents from Rabbi Amram Blau's personal archive.' Lihi Ben Shitrit, Politics and Religion

    'There is nothing in this book that is not extremely interesting.' Reuven Firestone, Journal of Religion and Violence

    'This is an important introductory work that serves to revive the sociological interest in Haredi society both in Israel and abroad. It joins Motti Inbari's other important studies, devoted to Rabbi Uzi Meshulam and his followers, the Temple Mount groups, and ultra-Orthodox radicals. Collectively, these works show Inbari to be an important scholar of the radical fringes of religious Jewish society and the ideologies supporting them.' Nissim Leon, Israel Studies Review

    'His new book … will interest all students of modern Jewish religious history …' Marc Shapiro, AJS Review

    'The book's strength is in the breadth of its vision, encompassing several significant developments in Haredi Judaism over the past century. … the book is a useful study of an important phenomenon and could be readily adopted by course instructors wishing to include accessible material on an important contemporary phenomenon in Judaism.' Ira Robinson, Nova Religio

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107088108
    • dimensions: 237 x 156 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Author

    Motti Inbari, University of North Carolina, Pembroke
    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.

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