Or We Are in Great Company
One of my wittier friends periodically calls our religion “Taliban Light” – referring, among many things, to the deep misogyny pervasive in our circles. He does it mainly to irritate the logically challenged who are, alas, also pervasive in our circles. Unfortunately, it does not stop there.
I can not begin to tell you how many times I encountered a recurring theme of “if Jewish women were more serious about Tzniut, Mashiach will come tomorrow”, inevitably followed by a long discourses on hair coverings, importance of wigs, skirt lengths, stockings, necklines, nail polish, make up, gossip, loud laughter, career choices, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. As if, as my other friend pointed out with a nice snort, men are complete and total angels and do not need to change anything about them. I would just like to add to that a short memo to the distinguished male members of our community: “ If you are engaged in what is laughingly known as “chinuch”, please refrain from mental, physical, and sexual abuse of your students; if you would like to do something deemed inappropriate (like going to a peep show), please remove all signs identifying you as Jews; and please, for the love of all that’s holy, observe the basic rules of grooming and personal hygiene!”
The second memo is addressed to all the members of our community, male and female alike: please refresh your memories as to why, precisely, we are in this, the longest and the bloodiest, exile – it is not because of the modesty issues, my dear brothers and sisters. It is because of the baseless hatred of one another – a practice that is not only very much accepted, but encouraged by many of the “ultra” religious communities both in Israel and US. But, as usual, I digress.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago all the major internet sites were splashed with a headline quoting some “prominent” Iranian cleric. What got the poor guy’s turban in a knot? Apparently, Teheran is as prone to seismic activities as our great City of Angels. So, this religious luminary blamed women’s immodesty! It seems that it (immodesty) takes all men, especially the young ones, off the straight and narrow to the point of the earth literally trembling!
There is a great Russian word to describe these people - “mrakobesie”; the English equivalent of which I can not think of mainly because it is impossible to insult somebody in English the way you can do it in Russian; my learned friends are welcome to submit their suggestions.
I, however, rest my case.