Burn the Lycra!

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On Thursday night, Ultra-Orthodox activists in Jerusalem burned barrels of “immodest” clothing, claiming that female immodesty is the only thing that still needs to be fixed in this otherwise perfect world.

We will get rid of the tight clothes and the Holy One, Blessed be He, will place his mercy on us,” it was written on one of the signs held by the protestors. “Modesty is the only thing that needs to be corrected in our generation,” the rabbis clarified, saying this would solve the troubles of today. “We must overcome this hurdle,” they pleaded. (MORE)

This on the heels of the petition prepared by five women protesting the “kosher” busses that require women to sit in a special section in the back.

It’s tricky to comment on another group’s religious behavior — people should, in theory, be able to live by the values they choose. But freedom of religion is not the same as relativism. Stating ones convictions isn’t necessarily inappropriately judgmental. It’s what we do when we have a sense of right and wrong.

So I’ll just say it: Can claiming that female immodesty is the only thing plaguing our generation be anything but misogyny?

Posted on January 29, 2007

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72 thoughts on “Burn the Lycra!

  1. celesteno

    [Israel]

    The issue is not whether or not they have the right to burn their own clothes. The issue is whether or not they are sending an aggressive and very negative message by doing so. I think they are. Burning is a very, very symbolic gesture (particularly to religious nutcases). You know, like burning a flag?

    What on earth are you talking about? Israel is currently not a theocracy. The ruling population does not deport arabs. Are you suggesting that if the ultra orthadox took over complete power in Israel that they would not start treating arabs worse than the current leadership?

    ישראל

    I don’t think it classifies in the same category as burning a flag, the whole community by the way was not there burning clothes. Flag burning says I don’t like what you represent (however I’m not really anti-flag burning as a political statement, not that I would do it, but I think people have a right to as a political statement) this says lets make a public statement to our community that we’re irrevocably ridding ourselves of this stuff we find unacceptable.

    I know Israel is not a theocracy, I was just saying that even if haredi people were in power they would not treat arabs any worse than the current leadership.

  2. celesteno

    [Israel]

    If ultra-orthadox nutjobs took over israel, not only would the state be run according to halacha, but punishments as well. I wonder how homosexuals would be punished? I wonder how people who cheat on their wives/husbands would be punished? I wonder if a tax-paying citizen would be able to drive on Shabbat? What would be the punishments? Hmmmm. I really wonder what your idea of a state where “the most that would happen is” that its run according to halacha?

    ישראל

    First of all a lot of the haredi community says this can’t happen until moshiach so stop worrying about it. Punishments for some of the behavior you’re describing requires a lot of proof with qualifying witnesses, etc for the beit din that doesn’t generally exist so again stop worrying about

  3. tzlil

    Do you know that many orthodox and yes, that includs all of Chabad, do NOT recognize Israel? Yes, some of them serve in the army because ” you have to save a Jew,” (THEY told me so ) but they do not recognize Israel , and this is the reason why non of them ever celebrate Independence Day – Yom Haatzmaut , because to them there is no Jewish state until Mashiach comes?

    Now,Celecteno, if you do your homework you can naturally deduct why they do not mind the Moslems in Israel, and why they do not mind if there are No Jews in Israel…..
    צליל

  4. mbczion

    בס’’ד

    Tzlil wrote:
    “SECULAR depands on who is talking. For the ultra ortodox you are secular too.”

    Maybe to the “ultra orthodox” I am “secular” and if that is so, then that is their right to think so. What do I care about labels? As long as the “ultra orthodox” respect the law, then they have the right to think how they want to. FWIW, I am as disturbed about the burning of the clothes as anyone else in this forum, but I am also disturbed by the labeling and pigeonholing because division amongst us will destroy faster than our enemies from the outside will.

    Tzlil wrote:
    “Look at the Jews of New York. The Satmar Chasidim hate the Chabad Chasidim. For them, Chabad , who are ortodox, are not at all. So much so, that at one point and not too long ago, the Satmar Chasidim sent a pig into the Chabad streets to make thier point….”

    Ok, so now we are switching to the Jews in New York (which is fine, I just thought we were concentrating on the disputes in Israel, but moving along….) Now, YOU are resting MY case, there are NO CLEAR labels that EVERYONE can agree to, see we might as well stop with the labels and figure out how we can mend the divisions within Klal Yisrael or we are in big trouble, even without the radical Islamists wanting to destroy us.

    מנחם בן צבי הכהן

  5. mbczion

    בס’’ד

    Another point, regarding the claim that Haredim would have the Arabs deported if they came to power is a bunch of nonsense. I might have my share of issues with the “Haredim” in Israel, but when it comes to the Arabs and the Israeli/Arab conflict, they are more dovish than the national-religious (which I would most likely be classified as) and many secular.

    מנחם בן צבי הכהן

  6. tzlil

    Celesteno:

    Did I read it right? you worte that “Israel is the new Nazi Germany”??????
    Yes , you wrote it.

    Are you O.K?
    You may want to see your doctor for an Aspirin? Valium?

    צליל

  7. celesteno

    One, I have done my homework, I’ve lived in a haredi community in Israel and have plenty of friends that still do.

    Two, reread what I wrote what I was saying in my above comment is that all of the leftist “liberal” Jews comparing Israel to nazi Germany, calling it an apartheid state, etc. are not running around in streimels, kippot, etc. –ie not haredi.

    Three, there is a difference between saying you don’t recognize the state of Israel (either b/c it does not follow Torah law or b/c moshiach has not come) and saying Jews should not live in Israel. There is a special mitzvah to live in Israel, there certain mitzvot that you can only perform in the land of Israel, and there is a special level of kedusha in Israel that does not exist outside of it. You can believe in the importance of Jews living in Israel in a society where at least Judaism is the default culture and Jews are relatively safe without celebrating yom hatzmaot. You have taken one part of the haredi view of the state of Israel and come to a conclusion that is just not true.

  8. mbczion

    בס’’ד

    I invite all of you to visit the following link:

    http://israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=121317
    ___________________________________________________
    Book by Bar Ilan Prof “Confirms” Blood Libel

    An Israeli professor from Bar Ilan University, in a new book, gives credence to the blood libel claims that Jews murdered Christian children in the Middle Ages and used their blood in rituals….[visit the above link to read the rest]
    ___________________________________________________

    Quite frankly, this garbage worries me more than any Haredi not reciting the Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut (which BTW, I do)….

    מנחם בן צבי הכהן

  9. Israel

    [mbczion] And who, exactly, is “secular”? Whoever is NOT orthodox

    For the purposes of keeping things practical its two groups:

    those people that put the word of god ahead of everything else

    and those who either don’t care about the word of “god” or only put his words ahead of anything else when its convenient for them.

    Those two groups hate each other in isreal.

    ישראל

  10. Israel

    [celesteno]It’s not the Taliban, its respecting their community–they’re not killing people for not following their religious dictates, they’re setting standards for the community they live in. They move to certain communities to avoid things like people driving on Shabbat–and the people throwing rocks that people always talk about are little kids.

    This notion that its “little kids” throwing the rocks is about as accurate as saying that its innocent palestinian “kids” that were throwing rocks at israeli soldiers (but I suppose you believe that garbage as well).

    The rocks that come flying through your windsheild are thrown by young and old men who place the word of god over and above the safety of those who are driving the car.

    ישראל

  11. Israel

    [tzlil]Tax-paying citizens are already unable to drive in many places in Israel on Shabbat.

    No kidding. That was my point.

    ישראל

  12. Israel

    [celesteno] There are far more secular Jews supporting the Palestinians than Orthodox ones, all those far left, Israel is the new nazi germany people are not walking around in streimels.

    We’re in agreement on this. The left-wing secular jews in Israel and outside of israel have this fetishistic support for the “palestinians”. They just love their music and food and therefore feel that they should be supported unconditionally. I just had a “discussion” the other day with an Israeli lefty who referred to Israel as a racist police state and that the citizens are programmed to support its every move.

    Of course, he couldn’t explain why there is such a vocal left-wing movement that has the right to protest in this “police state”. And why this “police state” allows for open and fair debate in the media and in its politics. Or why this “zionist police state” allows arabs to hold seats in the knesset.

    This is also a problem with north american peace organizations.

    ישראל

  13. Israel

    [celesteno]I don’t think it classifies in the same category as burning a flag, the whole community by the way was not there burning clothes. Flag burning says I don’t like what you represent …. this says lets make a public statement to our community that we’re irrevocably ridding ourselves of this stuff we find unacceptable.

    And burning “immodest” clothing is not saying “I don’t like what you represent?” I don’t know what criteria you are using. You don’t think that those who did the burning are very happy with the publicity? That they are happy that those who are not religious are reading about it? And do you really believe that they were doing the burning just as in internal housecleaning and not to make some sort of a point to non-religious people? Come on, man. Don’t be so naive! Its so obvious.

    [celesteno] even if haredi people were in power they would not treat arabs any worse than the current leadership.

    You don’t know “haredi people”.

    ישראל

  14. Israel

    [celesteno]First of all a lot of the haredi community says this can’t happen until moshiach so stop worrying about it.

    In that case, may the coming of moshiach be a long, long way away.

    In fact, lets hope that moshiach never comes. This way people in Israel can hope to have equal rights regardless of whether or not they want to eat pork on their sundecks on a saturday afternoon while blasting some ACDC.

    Sounds to me like a world with Moshiach would be a nightmare.

    ישראל

  15. mbczion

    בס’’ד

    Israel wrote:
    “For the purposes of keeping things practical its two groups:

    those people that put the word of god ahead of everything else

    and those who either don’t care about the word of “god” or only put his words ahead of anything else when its convenient for them.”

    Well, those who throw rockes at people driving on Shabbat as well as burning other peoples clothers belong to the latter group because they only put the word of G-d ahead of anything else when it is convenient for them.

    Regarding the former group, I guess that would refer to the tzadikim who fear G-d and live by His word, even when it is NOT convenient for them.

    Either way, I don’t see wear the secular (or, at least, those who do not believ in G-d) would fit in here, as one who does not believe in G-d would not care about the word of G-d in the first place.

    So, now I am more confused then ever as to who is “secular” and which two groups it is that hate each other so much in Israel.

    מנחם בן צבי הכהן

  16. tzlil

    “Jewish Tailiban”
    A bit from the report I read:
    It was a Canadian woman from Toronto by the name Miriam Shear, a married religious person, who refused to give up her seat on the bus and move to the back. She was SET UPON by five men for 20 minutes, slapped, pushed out of her seat and onto the floor, beaten and kicked. ( I am surprised they did not rape her …)
    This issu is not only religious freedom. It is a crimial assault and from the Torah point of view, from the Jewish ethical standpoint, an amazing irony.
    The idea of orthodox Jews spitting and degrading another Jew while pretending to be holier than the victim is a contradiction they cannot explain
    away.

    And did you know about the “Bleach Patrols”? A group of religious tugs Tailiban like, who splash with bleach individuals they determine to be dressed imodestly?

    and again to quote:
    “The moment when one person’s freedom of religioun expresses itself in physical violence, it passes from the realm of religious freedom and becomes criminal assult, superseding any lofty claims of higher authority…… Israel is a democratic, secular Jewish state. While it makes provisions and very significant ones, at that, for religious and other minorities, its transcendent core principles are egalitarianism and fair applicion of the rule of law.”
    צליל

  17. celesteno

    As far as the bus incident and the bleach patrol is concerned, I think its pretty universal that everyone thinks its was awful, unacceptable and the people involved need to be punished. But again its a couple of crazies not the entire haredi community involved or who even remotely support their behavior. A lot of people think its a chillul Hashem and the people involved need to be stopped.

  18. tzlil

    Celesteno:

    I see very clearly your Pathway to Denial. Look at history. All the greatest wars and the worst atrocities and awful holocausts and catastrophes started with – in your words – “a couple of crazies ” such as Hitler and his friends?
    צליל

  19. hms1981

    what about the ultra-Orthodox Jews who lead double lives? the ones who visit fetish and strip clubs and deal drugs? i find it strange for them to engage in these inappropriate behaviors while they enforce women to cover body parts that tend to go unnoticed most of the time. i understand why some people are very strict about modesty, but i think there are worse things in life than if a woman’s elbow is showing.

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