Jerusalem – On the eve of Simhat Torah, the day when Jews traditionally dance with Torah scrolls, leaders for the Gur Hasidim have issued an edict banning adults from dancing with chidden on their shoulders, a common practice included in the holiday.Join our WhatsApp group
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HAARETZ.com (http://bit.ly/1hhErAG) is reporting that, while the official reason given for the ban cites “safety concerns” that children might possibly fall from adults’ shoulders and be injured, speculation is being fueled that the ban is a veiled acknowledgement of a more pressing social issue—child sex abuse within the community, and that children dancing on an adult’s shoulders might possibly trigger an “evil inclination” to abuse.
An unofficial source said the ban can be viewed as recognition that Gur Hasidic leadership is beginning to acknowledge that sexual abuse can happen within the community—something it has avoided for a long time, and that if the ban “sounds terrible from the outside, from within it is a sharp message to those who sexually abuse children, even if they are only a handful.”
Reaction to the ban has been tempered, but sources said some community members have expressed surprise that the act of dancing with a child on one’s shoulders would lead to sexual arousal.