Haredi male bodies in the public sphere: negotiating with the religious text and secular Israeli men

Yohai Hakak

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Abstract

As a fundamentalist religious group, the Israeli Haredi community claims to adhere to stable fundamentals of belief which also shape the male body as different from the secular Israeli male body and as opposed to it. In this article I will question such claims by focusing on how young Israeli Haredi men construct their bodies in relation to the secular Israeli body, which is considered their principal 'Other'. I will show that due to the processes the Haredi community is undergoing, and especially the transition of many men from the protected Haredi space to wider Israeli society, the secular body's influence on the Haredi body is increasing in some respects. Other aspects of the Haredi body remain constant and form a challenging alternative to the secular male body. I will also reveal the organizing logic for this process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-122
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Men, Masculinities and Spiritualities
Volume3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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