Tsnius And Cell Phones

This post first appeared as “For Women in Ultra-Orthodox Williamsburg, No Cell Phones in Public” on The Shmooze blog of The Forward.

Detail from poster seen lately in Williamsburg

First it was an “out of sight-out of mind” approach as Haredi Jews in Israel relegated women to the back of the bus and restricted them to walking on only one side of the street in certain Jerusalem neighborhoods. Now, the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg, Brooklyn appear to prefer that women be seen, but not heard.

Failed Messiah reports that posters have recently been spotted on walls and in synagogues forbidding women from speaking on cell phones in public. The hard-to-miss red and white signs include a picture of a cell phone with a slash through it, and a letter signed by rabbis from Meah She’arim and B’nei Brak in Israel. Women are berated and warned in large Yiddish type:

Can you imagine your grandmother with a cell phone on the streets or on a bus? Where did our ingrained shame and modesty of the Jewish daughter disappear to? On the behest of the Jewish leaders it is forbidden for a Jewish daughter to talk on a cell phone on the streets or on a bus!

Click here to read more.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Tsnius And Cell Phones”

  1. Martin Berman-Gorvine Says:

    If they’d extend this to the men I’d be all for it.

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