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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Vigilante Tzniut

These types of stories always give that warm, fuzzy feeling:
More and more women in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood have been complaining of being sprayed with a bleach mix.

The attacks mark an escalation of the religious fanatics’ battle against what they refer to as the ‘promiscuity’ on the haredi streets and the infiltration of ‘fashion’ that often times does not correspond with the strict dress codes in the community.

...A vendor at one of the local clothing stores said she felt something wet dripping on her shirt as she was walking down the street. At first she thought someone poured water over her, but later realized that she had been sprayed with bleach.

...Until recently the religious zealots focused their battle against the clothing stores: Last week yeshiva students arrived at a women’s clothing store on Amos Street and destroyed thousands of shekels worth of merchandise with bleach. The store was shut down immediately and a men’s clothing store was set up in its place.

About six months ago a store from the same chain was set ablaze in Bnei Brak.
I presume that the destruction of other people's property is deemed halachically correct by the crazies who are doing so because they figure that they are preventing people from committing what they believe to be sins. I'm sure it will surprise no one that that sort of reasoning just doesn't resonate with me.

I find it difficult to believe that these sorts of scare tactics accomplish much in the way of changing people's dressing or shopping habits in the long run. I also find it difficult to believe that there are many halachic authorities who would recommend this sort of destructive, coercive behavior as the proper course of action.

At least I hope there aren't.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear the clothing was marked empire, but was really vineland, ohh sorry wrong thread.

7:31 PM  
Blogger DAG said...

Disgusting behavior. All this does is cause hatred

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

I guess that is one neighborhood that is not safe for a Hot Chanie TM ;-) but vandalism and attacks on women are certainly crimes. In addition to ruining the clothes and humiliating the woman wearing the bleach damaged garment, they could end up harming someone who is highly sensitive to bleach.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

It does evoke what vehement animal rights activists have done to women wearing fur in the past -- to touch on another thread.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

I have a similarly great idea. People should walk around Mea Shearim and Geulah with machine guns and spray crazies holding bleach with machine gun fire. How else to enforce the halacha? And the charieidim will surely understand. After all they're the one's who have so clearly demonstrated that ends ALWAYS justify means.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... coming soon to the five towns :-)


(and now, here come the wisecracks about the vaad)

11:33 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Perhaps it is time to bring in the burka and the chador - no one can argue that these items of clothing are insufficiently tzniusdik. Or maybe women should just be forbidden to walk outside.

Oops, wrong religion....

1:50 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

These folks aren't Orthodox.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Oops, wrong religion...."

Sadly, not for long.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous henry frisch said...

Never mind the Burka. When will the Naqba come in?

9:17 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Never mind the Burka. When will the Naqba come in?"

When a Shtiebel and 99¢ store opens on Central Ave.

10:34 AM  
Blogger sheva7777 said...

These are the same ones who would line Shmuel Hanavi street throwing rocks at cars yelling "shabbos, shabbos" and I guess they use the same halachic precedent...I don't know which one that is, but I'm sure they are one and the same.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

it makes me ashamed to be jewish.

12:53 PM  
Blogger MDmom said...

wow... homegrown taliban.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"it makes me ashamed to be jewish."

I'm fine. It makes me ashamed that THEY'RE Jewish.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone call the police? Or was it because they were religous it was okay, how absolutely horrific to have people pose a judgement on you because of the way you choose to live your life. I think it sends a clear message, and maybe one you should speak with the public school parents about, they know exactly how it feels, not with bleach, other tactics, destroying thousands of dollars of merchandise is not religon it is called illegal, and you are of afraid of our high schools students????

7:51 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Anonymous said...
Did anyone call the police? Or was it because they were religous it was okay, how absolutely horrific to have people pose a judgement on you because of the way you choose to live your life. I think it sends a clear message, and maybe one you should speak with the public school parents about, they know exactly how it feels, not with bleach, other tactics, destroying thousands of dollars of merchandise is not religon it is called illegal, and you are of afraid of our high schools students????""


Wow. That's an impressive stretch...I can totally see the connection (??????) you dope!

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, interesting how this thread branches out to all areas of concern of this neighborhood except for the original question raised. Is this a matter of poor reading comprehension?

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now what should we do next

Bush: We Will Consider All Proposals to Help Iraq

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush: We Will Consider All Proposals to Help Iraq

go and see this

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

needless to say i do not condone such behavior. having said that, i have always had sympathy for those who live in geula and feel that outsiders swarm upon their community and dress in what they deem to be an inappropriate fashion. i could be wrong, but i rarely, if ever, hear of these acts occurring outside their community. while none of us would act that way if an unwanted element entered our community, we would certainly be upset and likely seek whatever legal recourse we could find (think strip joint). i doubt any legal recourse exists for them.

bottom line: their actions are wrong, but their frustration is one most everyone who stops to think for a moment ought to be able to sympathize with.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

in august my wife and i went to israel for the first time during the summer. as soon as we parked the car in mea shearim my wife suddenly felt very self-concious. during our winter visits she did not have to give a second thought to whether she was dressed proerply for the neighborhood. but now it was summertime and she was a little underdressed as far as mea shearim is concerned.

my assurances that everything was ok did not assuage her fears as we strolled down malkhei yisrael. finally she pushed me aside and grabbed the baby carriage. no one will attack a mother and her baby, she reasoned.

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A slightly different feeling:

Covering your knees and elbows is not so hard. Not even in hot weather. Glossing over your bumps and curves is not so hard. They are nobody's business, anyway.

I am a Manhattan BT, and I am a darn spiffy, chic, sharp dresser, saving your presence. And not on a ton of money, either. With a little thought and taste, you can cover all the bases.

You can wear a Chanel style scarf on your head, too. Knotted just so, it looks very Parisian, and I am in Orthodox compliance, and also true to my taste level, which is quite Midtown Manhattan.

I do require some makeup however. But there is a way to soft-pedal it.

I don't like the way the street and subway looks these days. I may stick chewing gum in the next navel I am forced to look at. Except that I don't chew it. But you know what I mean.

We shouldn't have to live in a seraglio, cat-house, knocking-shop environment. Don't tell me those people in tight spandex are comfortable. It binds. It's nothing to do with comfort.

It is just not dignified, or considerate, to show too much. That goes just as much for men as women.

The burqa is awful. The other extreme is awful too. Why can't people have a nice time in the reasonable middle ground, looking very nice, but civilized?

I grew up totally, utterly, secular. But I had PARENTS.

I am not familiar with the Charedi world and I don't know what was bothering them. But I feel I could walk among them with no problem, right out of my taxi from Fifth Avenue.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear BT, don't be so sure, I believe you are misguided. They are fanatical and no one is saying that the women being attacked did not cover their bases. They are saying that women, even those that are covered but are too stylish in their opinion, have been "bleached" out!

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 1:35am,

I could see your point about the people of Geulah being offended by outsiders who dress inappropriately, but it is not a private community. Meah Shearim has posted a not so "welcoming sign" but women have adhered to their wishes for the most part and fear entering if they are not properly covered up.

Maybe the community of Geulah should post some requests and see if that helps. But the truth is they want the $$$$$$ the outsiders bring in. The only way to bring in the income is with the tourism, so if they want the money they might have to continue to compromise. Maybe posting the request is the only polite way to accomplish their goal.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Rivka said...

"I also find it difficult to believe that there are many halachic authorities who would recommend this sort of destructive, coercive behavior as the proper course of action."

Silence is the same as approval in cases like these. If their Rabbis know about their actions, and say nothing, it's the same as giving the go-ahead.

And I would find it hard to believe that the Rabbis don't know what's going on.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel it's important to point out that not only were short skirted/pants-wearing dressers sprayed. But anyone wearing bright colored clothes or any type of clothing that might stand out were also sprayed. And, btw, EVERYONE knows what's going on.

5:14 AM  
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1:40 PM  

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