Haredim and Addiction

Ynet reports:

… According to N., she is not alone.

“Many of our crowd experiments with drugs,” she says. Most observant families have a son or a daughter who became secular, and they also bring drugs into religious society. I know many religious people who smoke, and the problem is that despite the extent of the phenomenon, people try to deny that it exists.”

Rabbi Eitan Eckstein, who knew a businessman who died of an overdose, decided that this widespread denial must end. Six years ago, he founded Retorno, a rehabilitation center near Kibbutz Tzora. Most Retorno patients come from the Orthodox and haredi communities.…

“The fact that an Orthodox family has an addicted family member can harm the family’s good name as well as the other family members’ abilities to get married,” Eckstein observes. “This is the reason that people prefer to silence the matter and not to talk about the phenomenon.

“When I founded the Center, observant society viewed us with much suspicion. I received threatening phone calls that this isn’t an issue that needs to be dealt with, that it is forbidden to let outsiders know that these things happen to us. They threw rocks at the site and threatened that they would hurt me. They were very angry that we were revealing a phenomenon that Orthodox society wanted to sweep under the carpet.”



Filed under Haredim, Israel

2 responses to “Haredim and Addiction

  1. satmar + anal + mikva + sex + meah shiorim
    Friday November 17th 2006, 10:06 pm | Edit this
    Filed under: politricks, Ruckus

    Gay, Charedim, Jerusalem, Demonstration: these four words bring to mind the current media reports of stone throwing ultra-Orthodox Jews, protesting a Gay-pride parade. But for this writer the words bring other memories to mind.

    Journal-like, flipping back seven years, the following is a little sketch of my experiences as a bisexual man in the Gay capital of the world: Meah Shiorim, the Ultra-Orthodox enclave in Jerusalem whose residents are leading the protests.

    It’s late Thursday night and Sinai (names changed) calls Yoske: What’s doing, Yoili is there? No, the voice, duplicitous, I knew Yosske liked Sinai, and knew he went there after seeing him turn the corner, outside Zichron Moshe, a Charedi prayer center with quorums round the clock, I scout the others. Moishy is talking to Zev, and I know that Zev had sex with Pinky the night before so he has the full report of measurements, body-hair-count, and sphincter specs. Pinky had already walked down to the grave-site of Shimon Hatzadik and was already in the ritual bath with his two Thursday night beauties. One Bobov, from England, the other, from Antwerp. I try to remember with which Chassidus he is affiliated and laugh about what had happened several hours before.

    I was in the Satmar Mikva on a slow day. Only one married guy, and although the married ones are cool, there is always the issue of late-night conundrums with the wife (the most you can do is text the guy and perhaps twenty minutes of fellatio on the Jerusalem rooftop while his wife is slumbering or awake thinking her husband is performing an act of Chesed, (love, jewishly meaning goodness, but here….) Earlier that day, about 6PM, I was soaking in the hot Mikva when a beautiful young man walked in to the anteroom. I could see him get undressed through the narrow opening of the wall. He could see that I was staring and turned so I could get a better view.

    He must have been twenty, thick black ear curls, impossibly white hairless skin, I think you get the picture. Ten minutes into it, when I’m about to enter him in the very ritual bath, he turns to me: Di Bist a Chabadske (you are a Chabad Chosid)? Ye, I reply in Yiddish, Un di bist a Satmere? Ye, he smiles, and we continue, wordlessly, for a half hour, until my Sephardic 7PM friend arrives, early. I prayed that the Satmare and the Sephardi would get along, and my prayers were answered.


  2. shmuel

    It just goes from bad to worse. Gay bathhouse mikvas. In Jerusalem. Used by chasidim. I’m getting off this train.

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