ISRAEL: Church v. State

Behind the forbidding stone walls of Jerusalem's Mea Shearim quarter, hundreds of bearded, ultra-Orthodox scholars study the Torah from morning to night, and wear the fur-trimmed black hats, ankle-length gaberdines and dangling ear-locks of the medieval ghettos. On the Sabbath, the more violent among them have stoned and burned moving vehicles and shattered the windows of homes where radios were playing. The rules of the Torah and the Rabbinate strictly circumscribe the lives of their womenfolk, who must not sit with men, must cover themselves to ankle and wrist. After a rudimentary schooling, Mea Shearim girls stay at home to...

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