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Jul 21, 2010

banning the burqa

In France, and other countries, they have been debating the idea of banning the burqa. The burqa is a symbol of the subservience of women and is demeaning in western, enlightened societies. As well, it is a terror risk, as a person can easily hide out behind a burqa and not be identifiable.

The Eida Hareidis is also considering banning the burqa.

The "custom" of wearing the burqa seems to have disappeared from bet Shemesh. At one time it was gaining in popularity here, until the "Taliban Lady", the grand rabbi of the burqa movement in Bet Shemesh, was arrested for being abusive to her children. I have not seen burqas around in here in a long time, though scarves and shawls are still popular, and perhaps even gaining in popularity (from my unscientific study of seeing them more and more frequently in the supermarket).

However, it seems in Jerusalem the burqa is still popular, and even gaining popularity...

According to Bechadrei, members of the families of the burqa women have been complaining to the Eida and requesting that the Eida ban the phenomenon and say it is assur.

I don't know on what basis they can declare an issur, unless they make a takana (and then it would be up to people to say they either do or do not listen to Eida takanos), but it seems this craziness is getting out of hand.

If the Eida cannot come up with an issur (or if they do and nobody listens), and if it is really the families complaining to the Eida, the next step should be a few husbands threatening to, or actually doing, divorce their wives who wear the burqa. Let the husbands put their foot down. If they really disapprove of it, they should be the ones to stop it.

13 comments:

  1. If they can set detailed standards of tznius, there is no reason they can't stand up and set limits on it as well.

    If, for example, no Beis Yaakov will accept a girl who wears short but below-the-knee still-tznius skirts rather than a mid-calf (but not floor length) skirt nor will they accept any girl who's MOTHER doesn't stay within the standard - they can do the same for this in reverse, any girl who's mother covers her face, fully covers her head Arab style, or full body covering excessively baggy garments with multiple layers underneath will not be accepted into any charedi school.

    That should do it.

    T

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  2. I can't find it online in the original Hebrew, but one translation of the Maariv article about Bruria Keren wrote:

    "The reporter describes how Keren’s followers congratulate a woman who put on a veil a week ago. The woman tells how her husband doesn’t approve, the neighbors point and a Haredi man, who turned out to be her small son’s rebbe, shouted and threw fruit at her. Her son, who was with her, started to cry."

    [from http://www.amotherinisrael.com/keren-interview-iii-she-burned-her-wig-in-front-of-everyone-maariv-keren-article-part-3/]

    I guess there's one school which didn't do sufficient checking ;)

    On a more serious note, it probably would work, although I wonder if this is really a problem in Eida circles. I don't know any of the women who are covering their faces, but but the shawls (often multiple layers) are quite common among many Breslovers,who send their kids to what seems to be a fairly wide variety of schools, although no classic Eida institutions.

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  3. i actually saw one of the burqa ladies yesterday on the 2 bus. it isn't really a burqa since her face was uncovered. she was have been melting in all those clothes.

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  4. "it isn't really a burqa since her face was uncovered"

    No,Ben, the face covering is called niq'ab.

    I've worked with a lot of Moslem women, and I'l tell you, I'd rather wear sweatpants under a burkha than thick tights and a sweater on a hot day. The fabric can be really lightweight.

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  5. Let them wear the burka and display their true colors (so to speak) for all to see.

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  6. I've heard these times compared to the times of the Shoftim, when everyone was their own judge. But now like Esther, when the women don't listen to their own husbands? Interesting....

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  7. they could say it's the way of the goyim
    chukas hagoy

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  8. "let the husbands put their foot down". hahahahahahahahaha

    these are Jewish wives. Their feet and (other parts) were cut off at the Chupah. Yes, mine too. You can stomp your feet all you want, they control the bedroom.


    You so funnnnyyyyyy

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  9. Are you kidding me Rafi, there are more Burquas in RBS Bet than ever before. Over the past few weeks, I've even seen small girls out in the street in full covering, with a black veil pinned acrosss their faces. I stopped to take a picture of one little girl who couldn't have been more than ten, but a couple of men came over to hassle me, so I left quickly. I wonder if social services knows about this, and if they do, would they do anything about it? Its one thing if a grown woman wants to take this on, but completely another if its imposed on a small child. Just the heat stroke factor is enough to consider.

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  10. I don't know if things are different in Israel, but what does social services have to do with a child wearing a burka? Thick tights and long sleeves and cardigans at age 3 are worse than a burka?

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  11. I meant to say, are thick tights and long sleeves and cardigans any less oppressive than burkas? I honestly don't think so!

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  12. anon - I dont go into RBS B all that much, so I dont know what is going on there regarding this. I used to see them often enough in the supermarkets in RBS A, but I no longer do at all. Now I see more women with the headscarves and shawls, but not the full face coverings.

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  13. When a woman is tznius in her clothing and manner-isms, she is a beautiful woman, and I'm sure Hashem blesses her with beautiful children.

    But we are living in 'extreme' times, and the 'estreme' mind can go either way, too much or too little. If you were to travel around manhattan, or ride an amtrak train to somewhere, you would see all kinds of exposures. The neshoma gets agitated by such scenery. Then when you travel back to your tznius neighborhood, the feeling is one of relief and a calmness inside.

    One must remember the Rambam, and live in all ways in moderation.

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