Chapter

Discussion: The Doctrine of Mutual Responsibility, Nonconformity, and Deviance Versus Cultural Change and Stability

Nachman Ben-Yehuda

in Theocratic Democracy

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199734863
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895090 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199734863.003.0010
Discussion: The Doctrine of Mutual Responsibility, Nonconformity, and Deviance Versus Cultural Change and Stability

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This chapter argues that the religious doctrine of mutual responsibility propels Haredim to get involved in trying to persuade other Jews to act in pious ways because infractions invoke the wrath of the Almighty. This wrath is not necessarily directed at the perpetrators but can hit innocent others. Violence–verbal and non verbal-is part of these attempts of persuasion. Driving Israel to become a theocratic Halakhic state is what is behind most of this violence. The chapter argues that the concept of Haredi limited violence is inaccurate. Theocratic democracies can, and do, contain such pressures and tensions, but there is a limit beyond which this flexible structure may loose its flexibility and be driven to an extreme. The chapter ends with examining various trends that may press Israeli theocratic democracy towards a Halakhic state. Such trends consist of, for example, theocratic members of Knesset, large sections in the population that want such a state, existence of underground groups that were willing to use violent direct action to turn Israel into a theocracy.

Keywords: direct action; halakhic state; limited violence; mutual responsibility

Chapter.  17267 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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