Monday, September 21, 2009

Different (literal) views of Orthodox Judaism

It might be helpful in understanding the difference between Modern and Centrist Orthodox Jews, on one hand, and Yeshivish (somewhat more right-wing religiously) and Chareidi ("fervently Orthodox") Jews on the other, if you take a look at these photos.

Here's what the (male half of) the Yeshivish and Chareidi world looks like.

And here's what the (male half of) the Modern Orthodox and Centrist world looks like. Since it's harder to see details in the online version of this photo, I should mention that not only are some of the men wearing blue shirts (gasp!), some are wearing polo shirts (double gasp!!), and some are even wearing multicolored horizontally-striped polo shirts (triple gasp!!!).

There's an old saying that "clothes make the man." It appears that, in some circles, the levush/"uniform" makes the man Orthodox. From my perspective, what the color of a man's shirt has to do with halachah/Jewish religious law--if anything--is beyond my comprehension.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think perhaps that in some societies, rigid clothing requirements are a form of control. Think of the military and its uniforms. So, in a society where leaders exert more control over the people, a more "uniform" mode of dress is found, while in societies with less control, more variation in clothing can be found.


Mon Sep 21, 08:34:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Mark of South Florida, you may have a point. There's been some talk on the Internet that the increasingly extreme (in my opinion) standards of modesty in dress and behavior for women (for example, the demand by the chareidim that women in Israel sit in the back of the bus) are also a form of control.

Tue Sep 22, 06:03:00 AM 2009  
Anonymous jdub said...

I think you spend way too much time thinking about hashkafot of groups with which you don't affiliate.

As an "insider" I can tell you that you couldn't be more wrong. There are plenty of "penguins" who hold extremely radical thoughts, and I have plenty of friends who wear polo shirts (including ones with horizontal stripes) that toe the line in ways that make you think they're wearing an invisible shtreimel.

You are looking at external social phenomena, not anything to do with halacha or hashkafa. I think if you actually got to know more orthodox people, you would see that there is an extreme range of diverse thought, even among people who look a certain way.

Tue Sep 22, 10:59:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"I think you spend way too much time thinking about hashkafot [religious perspective] of groups with which you don't affiliate."

Guilty as charged. I just couldn't resist comparing those two photos.

"As an "insider" I can tell you that you couldn't be more wrong." I'm happy to hear that. I do have a lot of Orthodox co-workers,but, as an "outsider," I'm not really privy to the kinds of conversations in which an insider is welcome to participate.

Tue Sep 22, 01:08:00 PM 2009  

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