An annotated bibliography of sources on the topic of:

Internal Divisiveness in Judaism

compiled and annotated by Alex Ascher
for the course CAS CC 204: Religion and Secularism in Spring 2015


“Pray for the Doves; Israel and Judaism.” The Economist, July 28, 2012.

This is an article found in The Economist, discussing the conflict between religious and secular-minded Jews. This article provides one viewpoint on the issue of insular Haredi communities in Israel. It maintains that Haredim present a problem, and in the future they will need to become more involved in not only the army, but also the economy. The major limitation with this article is that it is fairly short, and so does not go extremely in depth into the issue at hand.

Adler, Shannan Butler. 2014. “Israel’s Haredim Effect: Theocracy in a Democratic State.” (PhD diss., Georgetown University, 2014).

This source is a dissertation presented at Georgetown University. It discusses the negative effects the Haredi community have on the Israeli state through their self-perception as an independent religious community. It provides discourse on the problem the Haredi community presents, and discusses the need to address these problems as the Haredi community continues to grow at a great rate. The dissertation also begins to address possible solutions to the difficulties provided by the Haredim. As opposed to the previous article, the limitation of this source is that it is somewhat long. It will be a little more difficult to glean the most relevant information from it.

Chabin, Michele. ”Ultra-Orthodox protest shuts down Jerusalem,” USA Today, March 2, 2014. Accessed April 21, 2015

This is an article published in the newspaper “USA today.” It is an account of an ultra-orthodox protest over a proposed bill that would make military service compulsory for Haredim. In addition it provides a good overview of the general issue, and contains quotes from ultra-orthodox Jews, as well as experts on the topic. Its one issue is its brevity, which does not allow it to have any sort of in-depth discussion.

Efron, Noah J. Real Jews: secular versus ultra-Orthodox and the struggle for Jewish identity in Israel. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Dr. Efron is a Jew living in Tel Aviv where he is afforded first-hand experience of what he describes as a brand of anti-Semitism threatening the future of Israel. The book encompasses the issue nicely, and also details the history of the ultra-orthodox in Europe and Palestine. Though Dr. Efron lives in Tel Aviv, widely regarded as an extremely secular city, the book avoids major secular bias, and examines the intense animosity secular Israelis feel towards the Haredim.

Hartman, David. “Closing the Religious-Secular Gap.” Forward, August 10, 2001.

This is an article from the journal “The Jewish Daily Forward.” Its usefulness lies in two things: Focus on more of legislative/everyday life issues caused by strong political influence of the Haredim, and inclusion of an orthodox Rabbi’s approach to help end conflict between the secular and ultra-orthodox communities. This makes the article slightly unique among the rest of my sources, and therefore useful in its presentation of a new viewpoint. Its limitation is that it does not go into depth discussing how to end argument between the secular and orthodox communities, merely offers a suggestion on how to begin.

Poll, Solomon. “The Sacred-Secular Conflict in the Use of Hebrew and Yiddish Among the Ultra-Orthodox Jews of Jerusalem.” International Journal Of The Sociology Of Language 1980, May 1980.

This article is older than my other sources which is perhaps good, because it demonstrates it is not only a recent problem. This article is useful in that it discusses ways in which Haredim have made themselves into an insular community. For instance, some communities even constitute distinct speech communities, as they speak Yiddish in their daily life rather than Hebrew. It also gives the issue from the point of view of the Haredim, which is a less seen side of the issue. Its age is also somewhat of a limitation though, as my paper will be discussing current and future relations.

Sales, Ben. “Haredi Soldiers Take their Spirit into the Battlefield.” Jewish Exponent, August 30, 2012.

This is an article from the journal “Jewish Exponent.” The previous articles mostly deal with problems faced by Israel in terms of secular-orthodox relations. This article is about Netzach Yehuda, also known as Nahal Haredi, the orthodox division of the Israeli Defense Forces. Nahal Haredi allows Haredim and orthodox Jews to serve in the army in a unit that maintains stringent laws of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), and also allows time for prayer three times daily. This is a good first step towards creating good relations between the secular and orthodox communities, and it is important to include Nahal Haredi in a discussion of these relations. The limitation of this text is it does not have a wide scope in terms of dealing with the issue in my paper. It only deals with this one small part of the issue.

Statdler, N., Lomsky-Feder, E., and Ben-Ari, E. “Fundamentalism’s encounters with citizenship: the Haredim in Israel.” Citizenship Studies, June 2008. DOI:10.1080/13621020802015388

This is an article published by researchers from Hebrew University. It discusses the challenges posed by the Haredim for the state of Israel, but it also discusses ways in which Haredim have been contributing to Israeli society. This article shows both sides of the coin, problems with Haredi in Israeli society, but also ways in which Haredim contribute to Israeli society. This article was published by Hebrew University in Israel. As such there is a greater potential for bias in the writing as the researchers may have had first-hand experience with the issue.


<< Return to the CC 204 Bibliographies homepage