Monday, February 4, 2008

Unveiled: the Israeli women in ‘burkas’

Contributed by Fatima in Britain

"Modesty among some strictly Orthodox women can now mean wearing 10 skirts and seven robes. By Michal Levertov in Tel Aviv

A new ultra-modest fashion among some strictly Orthodox Israelis, in which women wear several layers of skirts, robes, scarves and veils and avoid talking to men other than their husbands, is creating a storm of controversy among the country’s religious communities.

The unofficial leader of the trend, often practised in defiance of husbands and in the face of rabbinical reluctance, is Bruria Keren, who lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, an strictly Orthodox neighbourhood south-west of Jerusalem.

In a rare interview, Mrs Keren recently told the Ma’ariv newspaper: “The Holy Mothers and the women of Jerusalem used to wrap their bodies and to hide their faces. It is even written in the Torah that Tamar did not see the face of Judah since she was covered.

The Torah does not change. The body should be concealed so its shape won’t be seen. The face and the body-shape of a woman might be an obstacle to men. The more layers of clothes, the women’s modesty is higher regarded.”....."

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