The Cult of Dismembered Limbs: Jewish Rites of Death at the Scene of Palestinian Suicide Terrorism (Paperback)

The Cult of Dismembered Limbs: Jewish Rites of Death at the Scene of Palestinian Suicide Terrorism By Gideon Aran Cover Image

The Cult of Dismembered Limbs: Jewish Rites of Death at the Scene of Palestinian Suicide Terrorism (Paperback)

$29.95


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
When a suicide terrorist strikes in Israel, the usual contingent of first responders that one might see anywhere in the world -- police, medics, firefighters -- are accompanied by another group, one found only in Israel. They wear yarmulkes, white coveralls, rubber gloves, and dayglo yellow vests. These are the men of ZAKA, an Israeli religious organization dedicated to dealing with the mutilated and scorched bodies and the severed limbs of the victims of violent death, mainly those killed by Palestinian terrorism.

ZAKA arose, reached its peak, and gained fame during the two waves of suicide terrorism that characterized the intensification of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the last decade of the 20th century and the first five years of the twenty-first century. ZAKA has a few hundred all-male activists, typically volunteers, exclusively Haredi (ultra-orthodox) Jews. Well trained and equipped, they are among the first to arrive at the sites of unnatural death, especially the arenas of mass mortality, where they perform a scrupulous procedure, laden with symbolism. This involves collecting the corpses and body parts, sorting them, identifying them, and reassembling them while diligently preserving respect for the dead and for body parts, and preparing them for burial according to the rigid strictures of Jewish law. Gideon Aran has spent years embedded with the men of ZAKA, and in this gripping ethnography he takes readers inside the organization and on the ground with these men as they do their gruesome -- but, in their view, holy -- work.
Gideon Aran is a professor of sociology and anthropology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is the author, most recently, of The Smile of the Human Bomb: New Perspectives on Suicide Terrorism.
Product Details ISBN: 9780197689158
ISBN-10: 0197689159
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2023
Pages: 368
Language: English