When I lived in New York City, I worked at Rockefeller Center and saw many Orthodox Jews there and elsewhere on a regular basis. Being the observant mischiefmaker interested in religious groups, I would on occasion watch their behavior. At least two times, I stood across the walkway and observed a nervous and sweaty Orthodox Jew buy a porno magazine – in one case it was a “Cheri” – and fervently hasten off. I was naturally struck by the hypocrisy of presenting oneself as so “holy” and “pious” while indulging in smut.
Years later in Los Angeles, I lived near a neighborhood that had several houses owned by Orthodox Jews, who were so cultish that, one day as I was strolling by one of their home-based yeshivas, a neighbor came out and loudly proclaimed, “HELLO!” to me. I responded in like kind, at which point he equally loudly said, just as an Orthodox Jewish man in full regalia walked into the house next door, “Well, at least some people around here are courteous and greet their neighbors!”
I understood what he was saying, because I guessed that these individuals were displaying a pretty typical orthodox xenophobia towards non-Jews, which teaches them that such infidels are “dirty” and “filthy. This same ‘tude was related to me by a black friend who had taken his children to an indoor playground in Santa Monica, where an Orthodox Jewish couple instructed their children not to play with his because the latter kids were “dirty.”
Thus, it does not surprise me that xenophobic Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem are known to spit on Christians. A classy lot indeed.
(And no, I did not say that “ALL Jews” or even “ALL Orthodox Jews” are not classy. I am simply referring to those who believe non-Jews are “dirty” and “filthy.” One of my best friends of all time was an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who had escaped from the cultic mindset and taught me much about it. For an antidote to this mentality, see my book The Gospel According to Acharya S.)
A few weeks ago, a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman in Israel attended a meeting at a government office in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul quarter. When he returned to his car, an elderly man wearing a skullcap came and knocked on the window. When the clergyman let the window down, the passerby spat in his face.
The clergyman prefered not to lodge a complaint with the police and told an acquaintance that he was used to being spat at by Jews. Many Jerusalem clergy have been subjected to abuse of this kind. For the most part, they ignore it but sometimes they cannot.
On Sunday, a fracas developed when a yeshiva student spat at the cross being carried by the Armenian Archbishop during a procession near the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City. The archbishop’s 17th-century cross was broken during the brawl and he slapped the yeshiva student…