Thursday, October 20, 2005

Toldos Aharon seeks book removal

Haaretz :

Ultra-Orthodox extremists have been harassing a Haifa author ever since he wrote a romance novel revolving around an affair between religious and secular protagonists.
This is the story of a boiler installer from Haifa who dedicated five years of his life to researching the extremist Toldot Aharon Hasidic sect, and ended up writing a romance novel.
...Since the book has been published, its author, Menashe Darash, has known no peace. Ultra-Orthodox extremists, who were Darash's friends until not long ago, have decided to prevent the book from being released. Darash says he has been receiving harassing phone calls since he agreed at the end of last month to stop distributing the book and then retracted what he said was his coerced consent. And on Sunday, someone threw 50 mice into his living room...
He received information fraudulently," said Barak. "Their community hosted him, and he presented himself as someone who wanted to become religious. He put in the book all kinds of details that he acquired, such as a document that Toldot Aharon gives to its youths before they get married. This isn't something they tend to talk about in public...
On September 28 Barak and two Hasidim came to Darash's house and asked him not to distribute the book anywhere; Darash refused, and they left. The next day Barak called to offer a compromise, whereby Darash would be compensated for keeping the book under wraps. Darash and his wife got scared, and that evening Barak and two Hasidim came for an hours-long visit. "They told me their rabbi would die if he knew the story, that I damaged thousands of children," said Darash. "Later they said, `We're the moderate ones, and it's worthwhile for you to deal with us. We're not responsible for what the radical ones will do.'"
The two parties decided that the Hasidim would pay Darash NIS 50,000 in compensation and that he would delete all references to Hasidism. He also said he would give the Hasidim all copies of the book and show them the amended version at a later date in order to get their approval for its publication. At 3:30 A.M., Darash said, he signed the papers they gave him without reading them. "I just wanted them to leave already," he said...

Forget about the rest of the book, I'm curious what it says on the Youth Document.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 1:27 AM

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