Sunday, September 07, 2014


The daughter of a Neturei Karta member who left her family has set up an art exhibition in NYC telling about her childhood:
SHE HAS moved on, but she has not forgotten.

Sara Erenthal, who split from her ultra-Orthodox Jewish family as a teen, draws on the painful life she left behind in a series of intimate artworks on display in a Prospect Heights gallery.

“This is nice way to tell my story in a very minimal way,” the 33-year-old artist said.

Erenthal was born in Israel and spent much of her childhood in a small Neturei Karta community in Borough Park.

Her family returned to Israel when she was a teen, but she ran away to escape an arranged marriage, she said.

Erenthal had never really believed in the community’s strict teachings, which called for unwavering modesty for women and an end to the state of Israel.

“It’s not really about being good people,” Erenthal said. “It’s more about being afraid of God.”
I would only argue in response to this that it's not about fearing God (though she may be referring to the word Haredi, which means trembling before God) so much as it is thinking they know what God would want. It's also about corrupting Judaism into what some two-bit crackpots think it should be like.

But isn't that something. Despite their anti-Israel stance, they took up residence here, and probably lived on welfare, the only thing they must value about this country.
Ceremonial clothes hang on the wall next to portraits partially made of burlap, like the sacks Neturei Karta members wear to protests.

Video of Erenthal — naked and bound in holy tefillin straps — plays on television near a massive paper mache head adorned with braids made of rope, meant to show the hairstyle Erenthal was limited to as a child.
I wonder what the binding in tefillin is supposed to mean? That she was a technical prisoner of men who abuse tefillin while practicing a corrupted form of Judaism, among other ideas detrimental to the religion? But I can understand what she means by being limited to braids. It's shameful how they're so cruel, mentally or otherwise, to women in their cult.
It’s common for people who leave ultra-Orthodox communities to use art as therapy, but few make the jump to professional, said Rachel Berger, director of community engagement at Footsteps, a nonprofit service provider that has supported Erenthal’s work.

“She’s really chosen to make a life from her art and to live in the art world, and that’s an incredibly tough choice,” Berger said. “She has a real gift and a vision and a determination to put that gift out into the world.”

Erenthal sought out different paths after she left her family, serving in the Israeli Defense Forces and backpacking through India, before finally returning to New York and establishing herself as an artist, she said.
I congratulate her for serving in the army, an ideal way to tell what she thinks of the awful clan she left. She did the right thing to leave Neturei Karta, one of the most repellent of Haredi sects who make the Satmar look almost tame by comparison. And her new art career is a pretty good path to boot.

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