Anti-Chareidi Play Paints Religious Jews as “Wild Animals”

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The chareidi public was shocked at the revival of Fleisher, a play from the ‘90s which portrays the chareidi public as Nazi Germany once portrayed Jews, at Tel Aviv’s Habimah Theater.

The story revolves around the residents of a secular neighborhood forced to move out after the incursion of chareidi newcomers who are intolerable of their way of life. The chareidim are depicted cutting off a secular family’s electricity to stop them from watching TV on Shabbos. Chareidim are portrayed as dishonest in a scene where the local butcher, Fleisher, is gulled by a chareidi man into buying a rabbinate hechsher for his shop even though the chareidi man knows full well that the newcomers will only eat meat with the hechsher of a badatz.

The play describes chareidim as “wild animals” as “blacks,” soulless people who “only understand force.” One character declares, “If I wasn’t born a Jew I would be the biggest anti-Semite.”

Kikar Shabbos was told in the name of the Culture Ministry and Culture Minister Miri Regev, “At present, the Culture Ministry is prevented by law from interfering with the content of presentations in the institutions it finances. The Culture Ministry can only convey a complaint to the Treasury if the contents of the presentation contravene state laws such as denigrating the flag, inciting to violence and suchlike according to article 3b of the budget law. Since the above things do not apply to this article we are prevented from intervening and harming the freedom of speech.”

The Habimah Theater said in response to complaints that its job was to present social conflicts and bring them to public dialogue. Certain citations taken from the play’s script were not actually used in the play, they said, and others needed to be understood in the play’s wider context. Furthermore, Habimah claimed, a person viewing the play would see that it expresses diverse opinions in balanced fashion.

David Steger –


  1. Up until about 5 years ago, this is basically the exact reverse plot of almost every Bais Yaakov play I had ever watched.

  2. I agree 100% that the government shouldn’t get involved. Let the play stand or fall on its own merits. Is it shameful that in Israel these are the kinds of plays being produced? Definitely. Is it painful? Absolutely. Should it be illegal? NO WAY.


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