Among Israel’s Ḥaredim, the basic bourgeois virtues of moderation, hard work, patriotism, and temperate consumption are largely lacking, notes Yehoshua Pfeffer. The constant pressure to strive for religious excellence, the emphasis on Torah study over work and the consequent widespread poverty, the suspicion of government, and the tendency toward asceticism especially among non-ḥasidic Ḥaredim, all militate against the creation of a ḥaredi middle class. Yet changes in ḥaredi society as greater numbers gain more exposure to the outside world, together with a growing minority of men working regular jobs and serving in the military, make the emergence of an ultra-Orthodox bourgeoisie a possibility. Pfeffer argues that such a development is both desirable and feasible, and would be aided by the deep-felt ḥaredi attachment to such traditional middle-class values as duty, voluntarism, and family loyalty.
Making an Ultra-Orthodox Middle Class
How Palestinian Authority Incitement Led to the Murder of an Israeli Jogger
On December 20, a Palestinian waited in a wooded area near a Jewish village in northern Israel in the hope of encountering a victim. Soon enough he spotted Esther Horgan walking home from an evening jog and killed her by beating her with a rock. He later told the police that he did the deed to avenge the death of Kamal Abu Wa’er, a terrorist in Israeli custody. Itamar Marcus explains: