Sep 13, 2012

Haredi Women Working The Shuk

Merchants in Mahane Yehuda shuk are complaining about a group of middle-aged Haredi women who are harassing customers in the shuk and telling them that they should be dressing more modestly.

According to this report on Mynet, a group of 4 women wander around the shuk and approach other people and instruct them how they should dress the next time they go to the shuk. One told a bare-armed lady that she should wear sleeves next time she comes out there. Another told a woman in shorts that she should come covered up next time...

The representatives of the Merchants Association thinks these women are connected to the Tzniyus patrols - the Mishmeret HaTzniyut - and they consider this an escalation and the crossing of a red line by creating an atmosphere of fear that will keep people away from the shuk.

Shimon Darwish, director of the Merchants Association, says they will work on identifying the women, even using the shuk security cameras, and warning them off, though he thinks it is just a group of private women and not part of the Mishmeret HaTzniyut organization.

Representatives of the Mishmeret HaTzniyut deny involvement and say this group of women are not connected to them and must just be a private group of women trying to influence others to dress modestly, and as long as they are not being violent or doing anything wrong, even if they are asking rudely or without tact, that's their problem, but there is nothing wrong with it. And if they can give chizzuk to some women along the way, that's also good!

Good? bad? missionary work? It might be a socially inappropriate thing to do, but if they aren't actually doing anything wrong, there is probably nothing that can be done about it. Darwish and his people can perhaps try to make it uncomfortable for these women to continue, just as these women are trying to make it uncomfortable for the short-sleeved ladies to dress that way, but beyond that they will probably just be looked at as nudniks and ignored...

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