Author Archives: Izzy Posen

Satmar Ideology and Lifestyle (part 2): The Charedi Worldview

This is a cross post by Izzy Posen In my last post in the series I used various illustrations in order to make sense of the interconnectivity of charedi communities. One of them was the imagery of nested circles. But truth be told, that was just an approximation. To more fully represent the way in which

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Satmar Ideology and Lifestyle (part 1): Introduction to Ultra-Orthodox Sectarianism

This is a cross post by Izzy Posen In the last couple of posts I explored Satmar’s history. In the next couple of posts I will be exploring aspects of Satmar’s ideology and way of life: How does Satmar view the world? What does it expect of its members? How do Satmar individuals live? How do

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Satmar History (part 3): The Narcissism of Minor Differences

This is a cross post by Izzy Posen (Pictured: Ahron to the left of the image and Zalman Leib to the right) By the late 90s Satmar was flourishing in all chassidic centres around the world. Wherever chassidim lived Satmar had a strong influence. Institutions were being built at unprecedented rates and enough babies were being

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Satmar’s History (part 2): Rebbes and Satellites

This is a cross post by Izzy Posen As I start the third post in this series, it is worth reminding my readers what I emphasised in the introduction to the series: I am not an academic historian. I have not extensively researched this topic from data and academic literature. Most of what I write

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Who are the Satmar Jews: An Introduction

Most people are aware of the existence of so-called “ultra” or “strictly” Orthodox Jews. Some may know that these communities are divided into a variety of sects of varying strength and size, and that some are part of the “chassidic” movement. But there is still little understanding of the history of these groups: who they

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Burning of Haskallic literature in Brooklyn, NY

The author of the text that is to be burnt was written by Naphtali Hirz Wessely: an 18th century Maskil. He was fully committed to traditional observance and belief, but advocated for widening the Jewish curriculum to include secular studies. His views were essentially no different to those expressed by Rav Hirsch, who is accepted

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I am worried not by Chowdhury’s antisemitic comments – but by his divisive politics

There’s a petition going around requesting for Omar Chowdhury to resign from his post as BME Network Chair in the Bristol Student Union, following the antisemitic comments he made to me on Facebook last year. I want to offer my perspective on the matter. Omar has apologised to me and to the Jewish studentship in Bristol and

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My Autobiography: A Talk at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London – 20th of March 2019

Tonight’s theme is “transitioning to one’s authentic self”. I am not sure what an “authentic self” is and I definitely haven’t found mine yet. But I can tell you about my transition: a transition from chassidic yeshiva boy, to secular university student. My name is Izzy Posen. I am a second year physics and philosophy

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