, James, but. I will. Absolutely not. They're all I abhor in religion and extremism. Nor am I inclined toward Lubavitcher or Hasidism generally. Nor am I interested in any other dehumanized religion.
You are very inclined to be provocative like this, James. You instigate conflict. While I may disagree, and disagree strongly, I try not to poke others in the eye. I grant that I am not very successful at that, but it is because my eye, and/or the eyes of calm rational beings have been poked first. Sadly this issue is entirely in the reddened eye of the beholder, which I acknowledge as well.
In many respects this group, Lev Tahor, represent the other side of the coin from extreme Islam. Except that they too want to destroy Israel. That's the particular wrinkle in this issue which amazes me. I believe that is because the Hasidim and Lubavitcher and this guy believe that Israel will only be properly founded when the Messiah (one they recognize) returns. But why actively block legislation in the current secular state of Israel which protects them. Why engage in provocative acts such as taking up residence in East Jerusalem causing their Arabic neighbours to react, and rebel, and protest their presence, thus needing the intervention of the Israeli Defense Force to protect them, a force which they believe has no legitimacy. And no I don't want an influx of posts debating those things either. I think their points are irrational and based on ideas plucked out of thin air and are without foundation.
The children of the Lev Tahor community were found to have rampant fungal infections due to minimal hygiene, and to have had none of the normal things that children have, like toys. None at all. They were expected to study Torah from morning 'til night and to sleep in sleep-sacks, never undressing except to change clothes hence the fungus on their feet and legs.
Shlomo Helbrond appears like a jolly Joseph Stalin with a lithp, in a beard and Hasidic garb, but it is clear he rules the community with an iron rod, betrothals are arranged at 14 or 15. I believe that it is possible to get married here with the written consent of both parents, as is the rule in most states in the US. Conservative Orthodox Rabbi's insist on 18, and perhaps Hasidim and Lubavitcher do too, again my unfamiliarity with their beliefs makes me unable to be certain. Hence my question and plea for enlightenment.
It is the detail of hasidic belief and their clinging to 16th Century dress (or possibly earlier) that confounds me as well. They are simply another community who, confronted by things they didn't like or couldn't accept, simply froze in place, holding to an era and beliefs that while distant from the Jewish culture they long to return to which, I presume, is that found in Palestine after their release from captivity in Babylon, was long removed from the 16th Century CE.
Oh, and the Hebrew language is "strengster verboten". They speak only Yiddish. I gather Hebrew is the language for after their Messiah appears.
When I was registered in the Ancient Civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near East program at U of T, in 1987, I was required to take x number of courses, 3 each I think in 3 languages, Latin Greek and one of any of the Semitic languages. I was torn between Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew, but events intervened which short circuited that endeavour (House, child, child care and its delights which isn't sarcasm. For me, it was a delight and the best years of my life).