Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An ultra-orthodox Jewish sect trashed a Jerusalem ice cream parlor because they were disgusted by people licking cones in public believing it promotes promiscuity

The owners of the Zisalek parlor in the Mea Shearim neighborhood had put up posters asking people not to consume the snacks in public and installed separate entrances for men and women. But religious zealots from the ultra strict Sikrikim sect did not believe the measures went far enough and broke in during the night to vandalize the premises. The Sikrikim are named after a Jewish group which 2,000 years ago fought against Roman rulers and suspected Jewish collaborators. They wear masks to hide their identity and strike mainly at night. Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 8% of Israel's 7.7 million population. With an average of eight children per family, they are a fast-growing population. Many live below the poverty line and tend keep to their own towns and neighborhoods. Mea Shearim area is small, less than half a square mile, and home to about 30,000 residents considered among the most tight-knit and reclusive of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews. Other stores in the neighborhood, where men wear traditional black garb and women bare little but their face, have had their windows broken, locks glued and foul-smelling liquid smeared on walls. Sikrikim attacks have also been reported at Beit Shemesh, a mixed secular and religious town with a growing ultra-Orthodox community, about half an hour's drive from Jerusalem. The latest target there has been a religious girls' school. The Sikrikim who reside near the school object to the way the girls dress. Since the school year began in September 2011 they have regularly picketed outside shouting out at the students, most of them younger than 12, that they are promiscuous.

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