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Mar 26, 2008

the demise of the Burqa babes

It looks like the phenomenon of the Burqa cult might be seeing its last days.

Yesterday a woman was arrested for heavy duty child abuse and heavy duty sexual molestation. From the brief descriptions I have heard and read, it makes Dave Pelzer's story seem boring.

The woman arrested was part of the Burqa club. As you saw in the news clip I posted earlier, she was wearing her burqa in court along with her multiple layers of clothing to hide any body shape that might appear.

The whole story is shocking, but, as I said, no group is immune from having sickos and crazies. So they were a bit eccentric and weird (some might call them a cult) and were behaving way beyond what people consider "within the pale". But as long as they were harmless, so it was just a curiosity, at least for me.

But this is a whole new ballgame. Now, if it was just a member of the group, that would be one thing. Every group has crazies, so you cannot judge a group just because of one sicko within it. For example, if there is a Rabbi caught, as there has been, abusing his students, that does not mean all Rabbis are bad. Lehavdil, if the Church has a minister who is caught abusing altar boys, as has happened, it does not mean the whole church is bad (I am not saying the church is good - I am just saying don't judge the whole group by the minister who was evil).

So one lady in the group was a sicko. That does not mean the whole group is evil.

But now I have just come into more information. The woman arrested, it turns out, was none other than Rabbanit Bruriah keren, herself. The founder and leader of the group. So the group is not just an eccentric group with on sicko as a member. the group is rotten from the core.

BTW, this information has been confirmed by my source - he confirmed it with her neighbors and with the police.

So now that she has been arrested and her evil exposed, hopefully that will be the demise of this evil group of people.

Not only that, but her son in law is Binyamin Friedman - the leader of the kannoim in RBS B that have been the source of all the violence in the past. The question is if the expose revealing all that she has done will now put a damper on Friedman's activities, and the support he has had from the local Rabbonim of the Eidah and of the even more extreme Rabbonim...


  1. I know that there are some people in Israel who have a problem with the German language, but the term "schadenfreude" best sums up what I'm feeling about this.

  2. wow, that's pretty shocking. Rafi, I hope the dominoes fall as quickly and easily as you describe, but with something as crazy and pernicious as this, I doubt it will be that simple.

  3. This isn't Schadenfreude. This is exposing the link between religious fanaticism and corruption.

    It is so obvious -- normal, healthy, balanced, religious people will never go to such extremes.

    By the way, the connection between kanaim and sexual pervesion goes a lot further than Mrs. Keren and her son-in-law. I won't go into it, but two of the leading public figures in the Bet Shemesh kanaim scene are sick people who could be jailed for what they do (one of them ran away from Monsey as a result of his problems).

  4. Rafi,
    "Schadenfreude" is a German word which basically means joy at the downfall of others.

    Schadenfreude is exactly what I'm feeling. I'm very happy that someone who is making himself out to represent Torah, but doing so in a way which I do not believe is consistent with authentic Torah values (I'm not talking about the corruption, but the practices that they take on in the name of Torah) is taking such a hit. I am not happy that this happened, but I am happy that they are being embarassed.

    What you describe ("exposing the link between religious fanaticism and corruption") is a correct reading of the situation, but I was talking about my feelings (see my original post, and read all the words).

  5. thanks. I looked it up on wikipedia in the meantime

  6. i'm pretty sure that she didn't sexually abuse them. according to an article in israel hayom, the siblings (her kids) committed forms of incest and she didn't stop them.

  7. well, we'll see what she did and did not do... I saw a report last night that said she directed the whole thing

  8. I think that one of the problems is that the charedi society never condemns these "chumros". I do not recall having seen any article in the charedi press against the burka phenomenon,nor any proclamation by rabbis.
    We seem to be afraid to criticize any "chumra" because how can we object to somebody wanting to be "frummer". It cannot harm, right? OTOH, any kula is seen as dangerous because it will certainly lead to sin.

  9. bohr - interesting suggestion and it sounds reqasonable. But I would be hesitant to say that it was their crazy chumroh that led to the abuse. I think the person is just sick and evil.

    The lack of condemnation means other people got sucked in when they might have avoided her had opposition been voiced.

  10. Bohr Salino (pardon me for not using your acronym),

    I don't see any reason to condemn these chumros. They were not the cause of what happened. However, I think that it would do the charedi public some good air its dirty laundry a bit, at least within its own circles.

    It should not be overlooked that such a public airing has its roots in the Torah. One of the first steps of the sotah process is for the woman to go to the beis hamikdash and publically uncover her hair, which was both a public humiliation to the woman, and also publicized the accusation (and it wasn't even the point where any accusation was proven).

  11. "But as long as they were harmless, so it was just a curiosity, at least for me."

    Rafi, I disagree. This group was harmful from the get-go by encouraging more and more women to accept this crazy lifestyle- a lifestyle not exactly conducive to a happy, normal, family life.

  12. I never meant that the chumros caused the abuse. It is the opposite: the sickness that was already there is what caused the chumra. That's why we have to we wary of these chumros that have no basis and where they come from.
    Of course chumros of the tavo alav bracha kind are perfectly legitimate

  13. BS,
    (There, I did it!)

    It's easy to draw the distinction in hindsight. The hard part is identifying the "dangerous" chumrot before any wrongdoing is detected. (OK, this case was an exception - these women were clearly out of their collective minds.) I don't think that whoever came up with the chumra of kitniyot was a child molester (although I would like to go back in time and try to stop him!)

    OTOH, a chumra which is done for a less-than-optimal reason may mask one of a whole variety of ulterior motives. It could be child-abuse or some other demented behavior, but is could also be something more benign, such as a way of rebelling against something, getting your husband's attention, sheer ignorance, etc. So a "wacky" chumra may be a signal, but it's not clear of what, or even if it's signaling something sinister at all.

  14. what about the "chumroh" of insisting on mehadrin buses? would that indicate somebody has something wrong with him?

  15. This is not going to be very useful at all but...

    I remember reading that if someone over does it on a chumra they're either a fool or a wicked person. (ignorant or arrogant?)

    However, that its good to take on at least one chumra and try to do it well -especially if that chumra is not a public showy one.

  16. hubscubs,

    while you may mean well, your definition of abuse is pathetic. not stopping abuse, is also abuse!

  17. Anyone who is a Ben Torah must do only one thing now:


    -Mordy Goldstein

  18. Don't know who Mordy Goldstein is. But a previous poster was mocking Rv. Moshe Shternbuch. Why?

    I only deal with him a few times but he seems pretty cool to me.

    Why knock somebody? Just turn them off if their not to your taste.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. so Binyamin is the son in law, and he works together with his brother (not cousin)...

  21. This is not about the link between religious fanatacism and corruption.

    It's about the link between severe mental illness and bizarre behavior of any sort.

  22. But...hasn't the violence in certain haredi communities been going on for years? And no one has stepped in to stop it?

    I mean, it would be great if this forces people to start rejecting religious extremism, including violence. But it would have been much nicer if that rejection had come years ago, as soon as the craziness started.

    But whatever--just so long as it ends.

  23. that's an interesting link with the son-in-law

  24. BTW - whoever it was that wrote about the discrepency in the names of the kannoim, I made a mistake. Binyamin has a brother Moshe, but the leaders of the group with Binyamin is Moshe the cousin, niot the brother. I was just corrected by somebody.


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