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Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry By Samuel Heilman (400 Pages)Publisher: University of California Press, 2000
For several months, the author, an American sociology professor and a modern Orthodox Jew, mingled with and studied the ``Haredim'' or Tremblers, the ultra-Orthodox fundamentalist Jews of the Mea Shearim Quarter in Jerusalem. This is his perceptive, penetrating account of these ultra-religious people, mainly of Eastern European provenance, who regard themselves as the only authentic practitioners of ``true'' Judaism. Haredi theology, religiosity and prayer, lifestyle, social and sexual mores, and their antipathies to anything that smacks of the ``outside'' secular world are fascinatingly explored through Heilman's intimate contacts with several groups and sects. Heilman, albeit an outsider, presents a moving, sympathetic account of this closed community which exerts considerable subtle and not-so-subtle influences on secular Israeli society. Free of sociological jargon and accessibly written, this book is highly recommended for all Judaica collections
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