When parents get divorced, and especially when they’re no longer part of the same religion, the disagreements about how to raise their children can escalate fairly quickly.
That’s what’s going on in London right now, where a woman who left her ultra-Orthodox Jewish partner has done the unthinkable: She took their nine-year-old daughter to McDonald’s and allowed her to attend a co-ed gym class. The horrors!
The father told the judge that these actions would result in their daughter being “shunned” by his relatives and friends — which tells you everything you need to know about his relatives and friends…
The man also complained that his estranged wife had driven with the girl on the Sabbath, and had “dressed inappropriately” when picking the youngster up from her ultra-orthodox Jewish school.
[Judge Laura Harris] said the woman had promised not to allow her daughter to eat meat in future, but objected to her daughter being made to leave a mixed-sex gymnastics class.
Judge Harris said the woman should not be forced to remove the girl from the class, in legal action brought after the man had hired a private investigator to follow his estranged wife.
As tempting as it is to tell the husband to get over it, the legal system gives him the right to impose some of these restrictions, even when their daughter is with her mother. But it doesn’t mean we can’t comment on the oppressive nature of his religion, and how horribly it treats women. (Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men are the same people who have created a stir over the past few years by refusing to sit next to women on airplanes.)
I suppose one silver lining is that this girl, unlike many women in ultra-Orthodox communities, will be exposed to her mother’s lifestyle as well. When she’s finally old enough to choose her own path, is there any doubt which one she’ll take?