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Dec 13, 2011

Baby Strollers Declared Immodest

I could not resist putting up this craziness in the new pashkevil, but as someone pointed out there is something suspicious about the style. It has been pointed out that the writing style and font used are not common for these pashkevils. Personally, I find the logo more suspicious than the language or font.

Bechadrei is reporting on the latest stage in the fight for public modesty and extremism. The Vaad HaRabbonim L'Tohar HaMachaneh - the Committee for Purity of the Camp, seemingly the same people as the ones behind the selling of the sandekaus as a way of funding all their great work in promoting improved levels of tzniyus, have now targeted baby strollers as the source of immodesty.

Baby strollers? really? No longer is it how some woman dresses or wearing something possibly too provocative - now baby strollers can lead to improper thoughts? Whoa, that's a sexy baby stroller rolling down the street!

They are calling on the Haredi public to not buy baby strollers that have bright colors. In the pashkevil they call it a "breech of serious proportions nothing like we have seen before that the cream of the community has stumbled by". They define the problem as young women with their babies walking in th streets of the city with different and unusual strollers in all sorts of colors that could not have been previously imagined, that draw the eye...

They say they are working on getting stores to agree not to sell such strollers and will publish a list of stores that agreed. Haredi consumers should buy their strollers only in these stores and not buy in or support stores that don't listen to the gedolim.

Here is the pashkevil:
It is probably fake and satire. I sure hope it is.


  1. This is a classic case of Poe's Law:
    "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing."


    How do you put a winking smiley on a pashkevil?

  2. Follow the money,

    If anyone takes this "ban" seriously, within a few weeks someone will be offer a stroller-Hechsher which for a "modest fee" will provide to stores that agree to only carry approved strollers.

    This is the same game that Amnon Yitzhak played last year when he tried to ban Jewish Music, and then offered a music hechsher (for a "modest fee") to anyone who agreed to his definition of appropriate music.

    Fortunately, as far as I know the idea never caught on and he had to go back to smashing TVs.

  3. In England there are schools that have a taknon that parents may not have "modern" three-wheeled strollers. So I assume that this poster is genuine.

  4. Kikar reports straight out that they are forged and they asked the real Vaad for comment


  5. what is wrong with a 3 wheel stroller, no matter how "modern" it is?
    one could say no strollers should be allowed as they are all modern compared to 100 years ago

  6. Not that I agree, but my guess is it has something to do with the origins of the 3-wheeled stroller: the baby jogger.

  7. Yes this really sounds crazy, and in a normal world it would be crazy. However, we live in a crazy world. 'Normal' is almost extinct. I have seen some mothers actually jogging with 3-wheelers (doesn't look very modest), and some strollers that looked like British museum pieces, so much so that the mothers had to dress extremely fancy not to clash with the stroller's facade. It may be more the outer trappings having an influence on the mothers' pushing them that they feel is threatening.

  8. Oh, and my stroller is 3 wheels and red!

  9. I bet you haven't seen any mothers wearing those barefoot running shoes to match their jogging strollers....

  10. My (Gentile) secretary saw the "Baby Strollers Declared Immodest" story on my office computer.

    Her spontaneous reaction was, "Is that all that 'your people' have to do all day?"

    Best wishes from the storm-ridden English Channel Islands!

  11. Darth - lol.. so true..

    Miriam - I see more men running with strollers than women. I have seen it in marathons and half marathons, including the half marathon I ran last week. Though I dont remember any of them, men or women, wearing barefoot running shoes!

  12. and yet so many people are amazed and astounded that we have people dressing in burqas. Oh my, where could that possible have stemmed from?

    Really? colored strollers are assur, but burqas are over the top?

    "You are now leaving the realm of Judaism and entering the Chumra zone, where halacha is ok, but chumra is better. Let me lead you on a journey through the evolution of halacha, where we start as Jews and watch the system change. Yes, we are now witnessing the evolution of halacha".

  13. i have no problem (well a bit of exaggeration) with people accepting chumrot. if someone learns a sugiya and concludes that the proper thing to do is to be machmir, OK (i am over-simplifying for brevity's sake). the problem is when there is no safek, no place in the shulhan aruch, no minhag, no source, no nothing, for these behaviors.

  14. ben,

    the problem is that 99% of the hamon am are not learning the sugyot and taking on a chumra for the sake of protecting oneself. they are being taught a chumra and told that this is the halacha and in fact are told that we should strive even further to do more. i have heard it myself. I have fought with my own rav over his lakewood style of not clarifying when it is a halacha or a chumra.

    your comment is correct, but only for a very small percentage nowadays. for most, this is exactly what the rabbis have been pushing us to.

  15. If you learn a sugya and decide to become more machmir, kol hakavod.

    If you learn a sugya and decide that EVERYONE ELSE who hasn't also decided to become more machmir is no longer a frumme yid, that's a problem.

    And problems is what we got, right here in Capitol City.

  16. I made a similar point when I posted about mehadrin standards

    ...The fact is that I would guess that many people who eat only mehadrin, buy mehadrin tefillin etc. do so because of social norms and not because of any real religious reason. The average person has no idea what is the difference between a mehadrin chicken and a non-mehadrin chicken and is only buying mehadrin because that is what is socially acceptable. They are doing it by rote not any deep seated religious feeling. One of the unfortunate byproducts of the modern era is that it is very easy to find chumros. You can do a Bar Ilan search and find all kinds of chumros on every issue and the various hashgachos are competing on how many chumros they can follow.

  17. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this poster -- which was forged and posted in jest, as described above -- used in articles to demonstrate the severe and dangerous extremism of the chareidi community, which is an "existential threat."

    And thus does a chareidi attempt at protesting extremism become misconstrued as the extremism itself, to a degree to which even the extremists do not agree.

    And then, with all due respect, concerned national religious bloggers become experts on chareidi הקצנה, because they pass a chareidi שכונה on the way to work and because their friend's son learns in a chareidi yeshiva. And they suddenly know all about הדרת נשים and the עדה החרדית and internal viewpoints. So they write articles and blog posts and thereby save Beit Shemesh and the world.

  18. Well, I hate to say this, but I agree with the ban, sorta. Well, it doesn't have to be an actual ban, but people should realize that when a woman pushes a small carrage, it distors her posture so that her posterior is protruding


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