Ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem are isolated from the secular community that surrounds them not only physically but by their dress, behaviors, and beliefs. Their relationship with secular society is characterized by social, religious, and political tensions. The differences between the ultra-orthodox and secular often pose special difficulties for psychiatrists who attempt to deal with their needs.
In this book, two Western-trained psychiatrists discuss their mental health work with this community over the past two decades. With humor and affection they elaborate on some of the factors that make it difficult to treat or even to diagnose the ultra-orthodox, present fascinating case studies, and relate their observations of this religious community to the management of mental health services for other fundamentalist, anti-secular groups.