Chiloni-dati divide

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The Chiloni - Dati divide refers to the broad social divide in Belhavian society and culture between the chiloni (secular) and dati (religious) that permeates much of Belhavian life. The divide emerged in the late 18th century as the Haskalah movement emerged in reaction to the Arthuristan Illumination and challenged the royal and religious dominance of Belhavian society, culture, and politics. In the late 19th century, the defeat of the liberal and secularist Revolution of 1854 gave way to a new reactionary social consensus where secular and non-religious life was subsumed begrudgingly under a veneer of external religious and conservative majority norms. The Fall of Galarian and the mid-20th century liberal political order was characterized by the renewed reappearance of a robust and self-confident secular sector of Belhavian sociocultural life. Subsequently, Belhavia has seen increasing polarization between the religious and secular spheres since the 1950s, a widening rift that has become a top social concern.


Secularity v. Religiosity

The secular Jewish world, known as chiloni ("secular" or "mundane"), engages in secular Jewish culture which believes by living in a Jewish state (Belhavia) and among other ethnic Jews that they have fulfilled any obligations and do not need to be overly religious or devout. Even this, however, is tempered by chiloni Belhavian Jews' habit to speak Modern Hebrew, celebrate traditional Jewish holidays as historical and nature festivals and marking life-cycle events such as births, marriages, and deaths in a secular manner. In particular, they militate against the Orthodox rabbinate's fierce insistence on maintaining the ban on pork and mandatory closing of stores and commercial outlets on Shabbos. If they affiliate with a denomination at all, most pick Reform and Conservative Judaism.

In contrast, religious Jews (dati; literally "religious") live according to Jewish law and imbibe religious and spiritual significance to all aspects of life, including seemingly "mundane" things such as public administration, government, and culture. Torah, Talmud, Yiddishkeit, and the rabbonim are held to the center of Jewish public and private life, living according to what is believed to be G-d's expressed will in the Tanach and through the gedolim. Dati believe that for Moshiach to come and install G-d's salvation, that all Jews must be observant in Torahic and Talmudic law and custom, and thus are often at times in contempt of chilonim for failing to do their "part" as Jews by following Jewish law and custom. They are exclusively Orthodox and Conservadox Judaism, with some "traditionalist" sympathizers in the Conservative movement.



Before the 18th century

Throughout world history for the Jewish people, there have been divisions between though who were religious and Torah-observant and those who were not. However, until the development of the printing press in the mid-15th century, non-religious Jews were largely unable to organize or institutionalize their deviance of Jewish religious communal norms. Cities such as Dakos in the early modern Kingdom-era Belhavia became notorious for self-segregating groups of Jews who externally practiced religious rituals and norms but largely did not have faith or follow Jewish law in private.

These "communities" and families were often punished by the royalist authorities on behalf of the rabbinic leadership.

Arthuristan Illumination

By the 1780s, new ideological and philosophical thought from Arthurista emphasizing rationalism, logic, science, and anti-clericalism had found its way into Belhavia and among select urban elites in the north. Soon there after, it found itself at the heart of the Imperial Court among courtiers, thinkers, and scientific philosophers who advised the Emperor. The Haskalah movement at first promoted that the Jews assimilate into Lusankyan societies, encouraging among others the adoption of local vernaculars locally, shifting to secular studies rather than religious studies, and economic productivity.

The conservative royal and rabbinical elite pushed back hard on these efforts, exiling many early Haskalah thinkers from their communities or the Empire proper itself for "heresy" and "apostasy". There was a broad secularization among north, urban, wealthy, and mercantile elites, with the emergence of atheism and deism as alternative worldviews rather than that of traditional G-d-centered Judaism.

By 1800, Haskalahists were under attack by royalist authorities as well as popular riots in many rural religious communities. In the cities, chilonim had strength and fought back, launching their own protests and rebellions. This era was known as the "Bloody '90s" (1790s). The growing movement for constitutionalism in the court of the Emperor Eliezer III between 1800 and 1811, bolstered by the appointment of moderate Haskalahist advisers and courtiers in the inner circle of the young liberal reformist monarch saw a petering out of open violence and introduction of court and political intrigue as the battleground between the dati and chilonim.

Harsh laws against secular- and scientific-minded Jews were repealed or lightened, though criminal punishments on anticlericalism and anti-Torah writings were increased.

In the 1810s, the battleground moved to the Imperial Senate, where First Party System-era liberal parties backed leniency on chiloni concerns while conservative parties supported the rabbinical elite and religious laws.

Early constitutional order

Subsequently, anticlericalism became a driving message among so-called "second-generation" Haskalahists in the 1820s - 1850s, leading to harsh crackdowns by the Emperor and Imperial authorities for heresy, a violation of the 1812 Constitution which placed the Torah and Talmud at its center.

As early as the 1811 Constitutional Convention drafting the Imperial Constitution, conservatives and religious traditionalists codified laws punishing deviance and enforcing traditional Jewish law.

The chilonim bolstered religious liberals in the Reformist faction, and shifted after its transition in the First Party System (1812 - 1836) to the Free Labor and Provincial Rights' parties, while the dati largely backed the Tory faction and its later reorganization into the National and Traditional Union parties. The mid-19th century breakup of this political order saw a reshuffling again, with chilonim going into the Liberal Party and the dati into the Federalist Party.

Revolution of 1854

White Terror

Age of Empire

Industrial age

Post-Galarian era

Contemporary era






The chiloni-dati divide in Belhavian culture notoriously appears in the music industry. Religious Jewish music dominates the dati sector, emphasizing conservative Torah values such as faith in G-d, following Jewish law, admiring great rabbis, raising families, and other traditional views. Global secular music, much of it from Lusankya and Skandera, overwhelmingly holds supreme among the chilonim, and the music largely tracks to global goyish trends, tunes, and influences. Thus, secular music's emphasis on a culture of individual autonomy, youth life, school, sex, drugs, and other adolescent concerns are the primary themes expressed.

The incompatibility between the two sets of themes have been a big dividing line in the so-called "culture wars" between the chilonim and dati, with the chilonim working to ease restrictions on music content or outright dethrone the Association of Music Quality and Values Control while the dati, contemptuous of the anti-Torah values expressed by secular music, tightly seek to maintain and expand the AMQVC's power to censor and "purify" secular music's content and attitudes to Belhavians' ears.

Major chiloni Belhavian musicians include Marten Sternberg and Zander Van der Gjik, while a leading dati musician is Eliezer Gerstman.





See also