The holy contract: The social contract of the Toldos Aharon Hasidic group

Shlomo Guzmen-Carmeli, Asaf Sharabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article, based on fieldwork conducted among an extremist Hasidic group, demonstrates how religious fundamentalism may be linked to modernism through the way in which modern ideas infiltrate fundamentalist culture. The authors examine the contract that is signed annually by members of the group, which reaffirms their acceptance of stringent regulations. The contract is signed by every individual by means of a performative act that consolidates the separatist Hasidic social fabric on the basis of contractual legal rationality and creates categories and values that bind the individual to the community, an act that circumscribes that cultural enclave.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-309
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Compass
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • charismatic authority
  • legal rationality
  • modernism
  • religious fundamentalism
  • social contract
  • ultra-Orthodox Judaism

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Religious studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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