A Well-Worn Tallis For a New Ceremony: Trends in Israeli Haredi Culture

A Well-Worn Tallis For a New Ceremony: Trends in Israeli Haredi Culture


Nurit Stadler

Series: Jewish Identities in Post-Modern Society
ISBN: 9781936235827 (hardcover)
Pages: 174 pp.
Publication Date: June 2012

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A Well-Worn Tallis for a New Ceremony is a study of contemporary ultra-Orthodox religiosity in Israel. This book analyzes the ongoing reconstruction of Haredi culture in Israel, a process which has been spurred on by the challenges of modernity, the worldwide resurgence of religion, and the strong sway of Israeliness. Despite its founders’ and the present leadership’s long-standing efforts to establish and buttress a community enclave, various modern trends and state institutions, such as secularization, consumerism, feminism, and the military, are having a profound impact on the yeshiva world. In other words, modernity is making inroads into the Jewish state’s Haredi “ghetto” and transforming many aspects of everyday life. Over the course of her extended research on this community, Stadler has discerned changes in several key areas, including religious life; the family structure; and the community’s interface with government authorities and the rest of the populace. Her book sheds light on all of these developments.

Nurit Stadler  (PhD Hebrew University) is a senior lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her book Yeshiva Fundamentalism: Piety, Gender and Resistance in the Ultra-Orthodox World (2008) explored the changes in Haredi male piety within the Israeli ultra-Orthodox community. She lectures on sociological theory, the anthropology of religion, fundamentalism, charismatic groups, and modern forms of worship. Stadler has merited research grants from a number of organizations and is the editor of Eshkolot, a series of books on Israeli society published by Hebrew University.

Nurit Stadler’s A Well-Worn Tallis for a New Ceremony: Trends in Israeli Haredi Culture makes an important contribution, bringing to an English-speaking audience more of this growing Israeli academic conversation….Stadler offers a rich understanding of Haredi experience based on close observation, interviews, written sources, and multimedia materials. Stadler is part of a growing group of Israeli students of Haredi culture…who offer rich analysis of contemporary Haredi culture from an anthropological perspective, in addition to a growing number of scholars working on economics, geography, quantitative sociology, history, Jewish thought, and Jewish law.
— Yoel Finkelman, H-Net Reviews
Stadler begins her book with a thorough review of the literature on religion and modernity. She then discusses her research findings on haredim. Stadler’s fascinating work illustrates the interaction between fundamentalist beliefs and way of life within the context of modernity.
— Roberta Rosenberg Farber, Yeshiva University

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Religion and Modernity
Chapter 2: The Haredi Community in Israel: An Overview of the Recent Literature
Chapter 3: Challenging the Citizenship Mold
Chapter 4: The New Haredi Family
Chapter 5: Militarism
Chapter 6: Haredi Voluntarism
Chapter 7: Post-Fundamentalism and the Idea of Freedom