In the late 1960s a new Jewish religious movement challenged the current conventional assumptions on the relationship between Judaism and the sexual revolution, as well as the women's movement. The neo-hasids were members of the counterculture who became observant Jews and sought inspiration in Hasidic forms of Jewish spirituality. While to many the hippie culture seemed far removed from an observant form of Judaism, to the neo-hasids such a hybrid seemed possible and even desirable. Calling their center the House of Love and Prayer, the group negotiated between Jewish tradition and hippie culture in an attempt to create a new Jewish environment. A major challenge for the group was accommodating hippie modes of sexuality with Jewish laws governing personal and matrimonial behavior. The group interpreted Jewish laws dictating gender roles and sexual behavior in light of the new expectations of female members, as well as the new norms in sexual conduct promoted by the counterculture and the emerging women's movement. Likewise, the neo-hasids gave new meanings and forms to Jewish rites, reinterpreting them in light of their new understanding of the relationship between the sexes. The compromise the group cut in the realm of sexuality and gender has become the de facto attitude of turnof-the-twenty-first-century traditionalist Jews and has permitted thousands of young women and men to become "returnees to tradition" and join the ranks of observant Jewish communities.
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