Thursday, October 27, 2005

New Satmar tell-all book

Thanks to Chaptsem for alerting us about this newly released book, written by a doctoral candidate in sociology at CUNY, on the Satmarers that we whisper about.


.....As a matter of fact one of the more salient characters interviewed by the author of this book is a well known Williamsburg internet poster with the username 'Mindy' who she wisely disguises as 'Dini'. I am actually impressed by how the author of this book was able to get so deep into the secret lives of these people. However there is a lesson to be learned from all this, these so-called 'bums' are frustrated and are anxious to talk and they will talk to anyone that will listen to them. Now here is a message for our Rabbonim, please be the one's to listen to these people and understand them and help them out, or else this will be only the first of such willing public exposes of the inner circle and shmutz of what goes on.

Eichler sure won't be carrying it. Amazon is.

From Booklist:

The Jews that are this book's subjects are members of the extremely insular Satmar in Brooklyn, one of the largest Hasidic groups in the U.S. Responsible for bearing and raising as many children as possible to husbands they have met only once or twice before marriage, the women are expected to focus on maintaining a Jewish home. The men are obligated to study, and they must pray three times daily. The author, a secular Jew whose mother is a Holocaust survivor, wanted to talk to them for her doctoral dissertation in sociology. Some of these people, Winston found, are able to cope fairly easily with the compartmentalization required of such a life. Others suffer terribly, and often alone, not wanting to live as hypocrites, but also knowing that making the decision to abandon the community's way of life would likely cause rejection by their families and community, and guilt about bringing shame on their relatives and abandoning their traditions. An important work of scholarship and an absorbing account of these Hasidic Jews.

Religious groups are facing the gargantuan problem of maintaining community/religious standards in the face of society's precipitously diminishing ones.

Satmar's lifesyle is becoming further and further to the extreme of an outside world that they are forced to live, drive, work and walk in. There lies the conflict.

How and if we can solve this problematic conundrum is a great big question mark; that leaves a feeling of helplessness.

May our prayers and efforts be answered.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 10:10 PM


Blogger Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

I just ordered it from Amazon.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Yeshiva Orthodoxy said...

Don't walk on Lee Ave. with it.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous jblogger said...

bad research - its a dumb picture streimels are only worn on shabbos or yom tov. of coursei t makes for sexy bookcover, but a regular velvet hat would have been more accuarate and this just proves the ingonrance of someone doing poor research.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See also NY Jewish Week story on it at

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The picture was not dumb. It was indeed taken on Shabbos. That's the whole point of the book.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Avrom said...

Authors generally do not get to design or choose what their book covers look like. That's the job of some graphic designer at the publisher's. Thus, it is not indicative of poor research.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, The picture was taken by the authur. I have the book and on the inside cover she is given the credit.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Somedude said...

The cover image is fantastic. A chossid holding a black bag which can contain anything while walking along the straight, narrow, yellow line. Great shot.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Yeshiva Orthodoxy said...

Why does a cover that is simply meant to sell books, interest you so?

3:11 PM  

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