Thursday, December 30, 2004


A totally bizarre story of an Arab woman who sold her son to a childless Haredi couple living in Geula for NIS 7,000 (an average Israeli monthly salary). The baby's Jewish father had been murdered 'following a lengthy dispute with his ex-wife and children.'
The affair was uncovered by police a few weeks ago, when [the police] found a soccer ball bearing the child's name and telephone number in a stolen car in the Jerusalem area. When investigators called the house with the simple intention of returning the ball to its owner, the father panicked and told them he did not have a son.
Immediately after the call, the father attempted to formerly and officially implement the adoption process and have the child recorded in the population registry. His efforts aroused suspicions among officials at the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, and they filed a complaint with the police.
Of all the questions raised by the piece (not least, how did the adoptive parents, who had been found unsuitable for adopting a child legally, get away with not registering the son anywhere for so long? And was the child converted?), I'd really like to hear a little more about this throw-away sentence at the beginning of the article:
The [biological] mother has been living in Mea She'arim as an ultra-Orthodox woman for the past five years.
As it happens, this isn't the first time I've heard of someone passing for Haredi. There is a well-known case in England where one of the Jewish schools discovered towards the end of the school year that what they thought was a very frum, sheiteled teacher was in fact a Catholic cross-dresser (I swear). There's also a case of a non-Jewish Puerto Rican student passing as an Orthodox Jew in this book (which I haven't read, although there's a copy on my shelf...). Still, an interesting choice for an Arab woman -- I wonder why she made the decision and how she's carried it off.

UPDATE: A reader sent me a link to this story in Shofar, Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak's paper, which explains that the woman is converting (after watching Amnon Yitzhak's videos, of course), and which quotes her as saying that if her child is removed from the family he's currently with and is danger of being given to a family 'which isn't suitable for the real Jewish way of life I wanted him to grow up with,' she's going to ask for him back.

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