Modest But Blurry (Ultra-Orthodox)


The alternative to liberal Judaism? Apparently the modesty police in Jerusalem neighborhoods are selling special glasses to men who don’t want to look at women on the street. Ethnographically, this is very interesting. As a citizen, it’s rather disconcerting. There has to be a public safety problem here, all this impeded vision.

It’s a fascinating little technology, like an anti-Google eyeglass kit. Instead of hypermediating the visual field with too much information, like the boys from Google want us to do, these glasses blur out the unwanted information. But I guess if you want to make women invisible, this is a fair way to go about doing it. The wound is completely self-inflicted, and it’s much better than spitting.

Again and again, you can’t make this stuff up. But can’t we all at least stop pretending that the future of Judaism rests with the orthodox? This looks to me like a crack-up. It’s all about perspective, in this case, literally.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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