Saturday, 1 October 2011

Taliban segregation in Stamford Hill

**See update**

Last year I wrote about the signs on Craven Walk on Rosh Hashanah segregating the pavement with the eastern side for females and the western side for males.

Needless to say that this year the exercise was repeated but they went one better. Someone, with the best intentions of course, as always, employed eastern European stewards to direct the men to their side and the women to theirs so that never the twain should meet.

Rumour has it that some millionaire with significant more money than sense hired the modesty police to patrol and enforce the segregation. The Health and Safety department of Hackney would undoubtedly have been proud, though. The stewards both wore bright fluorescent yellow jackets.

Protection of the body; safety of the soul; madness of the mind.



Above is the offending notice. Note how in Hebrew it is a request while in the English it has been ‘decided’ as if the streets belong to them.

There was then a contradictory notice signed by ‘The residents of Craven Walk and Watermint Quay’ setting out which gender is to walk on which side of the road but, Go- Forbid, allowing them to occupy the same street at the same time. A shocking development and a terrible chutzpah and hefkeirus in the face of the Union’s far more stringent position.

Due to the confusion, it is not clear whether the stewards were there to enforce the Union’s edict and drive the wrong gender from the wrong street, or whether they were anti-Unionists to direct the men and women to the areas generously allocated to them by the kind and considerate ‘residents’.

Either way Tashlich was a truly uplifting experience and rather than be distracted by women in white shawls or white sleeping caps we were treated to the fairer sex in various stages of undress. This was an overt display of God’s kindness for those who had no sins to dispose of and hence may have been lying to the Good Lord when seeking His forgiveness. A flash of flesh and they could happily join the throngs in polluting the River Lea with their sins.

As for those promiscuous folk I observed besides the pond on Clapton Common standing shtreimel to tiechel and within shockling proximity of each other, they might as well jump in the lake. While they were disposing of their sins with one hand the other was gathering lascivious thoughts engendered by Chasidic womeonfolk in their Yom Tov finery.

What a wasteful and sinful exercise and surely something to keep the ‘Advocates’ of the Jewish Community Liaison Committee, members of the Shomrim and advisors of the Independent Advisory Group busy for the forthcoming year. What we should really have is a Union Waterworks Division to liaise with a Union Segregation Committee to arrange for Eastern European male and female stewards to direct the men and women respectively and then a screen down the length of the road to prevent any cross fertilisation.


Anonymous said...

This was a typical union chumra. The men should go in springfield park and not down spring hill. It was a very hot day and the park had never had so much prizus. I dont think any of the women there were dressed at all. But no. Better go on rosh hashono with all these shiksas than chas v'sholem with a Jewish fully dressed woman.

Anonymous said...

It's not fair to accuse the Rabonim for doing what the Shulchan Oruch [see end of Hilchos Yomtov] require of them i.e. to seperate the men from the women. The fact that it was hot could not be forseen. I think that on these days one should be more carefull before criticizing any onr never mind Rabbonim.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean. Everyone knows that springfield park even if its not that hot women go 'undressed'. Or are running about in shorts. Dont tell me the rabbonim dont know what happens there. And if they dont then shame on them for giving guidelines which they have no idea about. Its no use answering for them. There is absolutely no DLZ here for them. Just plain stupidity thinking anything is better than mixing with well dressed Jewish women. Be honest they havent a clue.

Anonymous said...

I must add this is not what the shulchan aruch requires. It has absolutely nothing to do with it. Most likely the rabbonim are no bigger talmidai chachomim than you and learn wrong pshat like you. Passing a woman on the street and even saying gut yom tov to her was not what the shulchan aruch has in mind. Here its in full view of everyone and no one does more than say gut yom tov. Absolutely no issur at all. Its not that they walk up and down spring hill in groups of men and women together. Most are married anyway. They say their tashlich and then go home. No one lingers there. I challenge you to find me any decent rov who says one must not walk on a road if a woman is also walking there. In the old times they used to linger by the water and parkland mixed groups of unmarried people.That is one has to avoid. Of course the kedassia rabbonim have to invent chumras and cant accept the shulchan aruch at face value which in turn mean going in the part to see the undressed shiksas.

Yoav said...

I don't get it - everyone complains non-stop about Kedassia, but nobody does anything about it (bit like the old joke about the weather).

Simcha said...

Just for a change: I invite you to get hold of a video that the Rav of Hendon Chabad House has just made - "The Rabbi at the UN". I doubt you could get away with doing something similar if you were advertising cornflakes. Don't just take my word for it, see it for yourself and decide whether it is sillier or more dangerous than what IYTU is writing about. Hope you all have a happy and healthy 5772.

Anonymous said...

Simcha, do you have a link. Thanks

Simcha said...

I intend to e-mail the Chabad House stuff to IYTU, bli neder. Meantime here is my solution to the Tashlich problem: don't do it on Yomtov, it can be done up to Hoshanah Rabbah and I therefore suggest that you wait until Sunday of Chol Hamoed Sukkot, scoot down with the family to the Thames at Hammersmith, Fulham or Wandsworth, and recite Tashlich there. You can then go to the nearest pub for a delicious pint of Young's ale afterwards. Trebles all round!

Anonymous said...

Talking of chabad. This is a kedassia blog so here is a connection.
The union is made up of all shuls who want to belong. Even if there are two like two satmars two belz etc. No one has said if the other belongs we will walk out. The exception is Lubavich. If the meshichists in Oldhill Street are accepted they have threatened to go. I think the union should not give in to this blackmail and let them go. No one else will want them anyway.

MarkTheSpark said...

Just stumbled across this blog. As an outsider I find this really entertaining. Do the Jewish people in the area actually take heed of "fatwas" as this?

BTW I am assuming the hebrew text is Yiddish, does anyone know which languages influence the Yiddish language. I know it is based on German, but are there any other languages/dialects which are integral?


Anonymous said...


I speak yiddish and understand german. Yiddish is german just with a different accent.

Are you jewish?

IfYouTickleUs said...

Mark, it's heeded but not religiously if I can put it that way. Most people don't want to step out of line and if they're asked once a year to keep to a particular route they'll go along with it. Others might ignore it while many will grumble about this new craze.

What however few, and no one who counts, will do is state openly and loudly that this is an unnecesary and dangerous madness and they will walk and pray exactly where they like.