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Walk This Way! Yiddish Sign Orders Women to Move Over

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WHY DID the Orthodox Jewish woman cross the road? Because a Yiddish sign ordered her. (ILLUSTRATION: A Yiddish sign, one of more than 16 bolted onto trees in South Williamsburg, implores Jewish women to move aside when a man is walking on the sidewalk.)

A bold new religious decree was bolted to street trees this week that orders women to move to the side when a man is walking towards her on the sidewalk.

The red, yellow and white plastic sign, first noted in the Jewish watchdog blog Failed Messiah, is roughly translated, “Precious Jewish daughters, please move over to the side when you see a man come across.”

Orthodox activists said the signs should not be taken seriously.

“There are some hard-core Hasidim in Williamsburg who think they still live in 19th-century Ukraine and they consider interaction between the sexes, in even the most casual, accidental manner to be licentious,” said bike shop owner Baruch Herzfeld. “They are enormous pains in the tuchis, and most people try to avoid conflict, so they often get their way.”

But Hasidic residents say that the sign is being misinterpreted.

Hasidic women said they would obey a decree imploring them to give men the right of way on Williamsburg streets — all in the name of modesty.
Hasidic women said they would obey a decree imploring them to give men the right of way on Williamsburg streets — all in the name of modesty.

“It is very respectful; it’s not ordering you to cross the street — it means, ‘Let him pass head on,’” said one Hasidic man who declined to give his name. “There are a lot of people on the street during the holidays, and this is a reminder to let men pass so they don’t go barging into a group of women.”

Parks maintenance workers removed 16 signs on Bedford and Lee avenues between Marcy Avenue and Broadway on Wednesday because they were nailed to trees, a violation of city law subject to a $150 fine.

The signs do not indicate their author, but sources said that they are part of a campaign by a rabbinical group that has printed other “modesty” decrees, including one in June demanding that women not wear tank tops.

Many Hasidic women ignored that fashion advice — but the pedestrian etiquette warning appears to have more weight.

This week, women on Bedford and Lee Avenue could be seen allowing men to pass on several occasions.

“Sometimes a gentle reminder is needed to keep the neighborhood the way it should be and that Jewish values are supposed to be followed,” said one Hasidic woman, who declined to give her name.

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Source: The Brooklyn Paper

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2 Comments

  1. Walt Hampton
    October 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm — Reply

    Clearly a violation
    of law, and the law was enforced. Many Jews also think
    criticism of their activities is also illegal, as it is
    in Canada and most Western countries. The Jews are
    frustrated to no end that entities such as the Canadian
    “Human Right Commission” have no sway here. The Jews
    will just have to learn to live with their frustrations.
    To Jews that still think otherwise, then feel free to
    file a complaint here:

    http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/eng

  2. Heinemann
    October 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm — Reply

    A serious question:
    since the CHosen race has created several new extra- natural (may I use this word) “sexes”, I’ve learned four , but neologisms , which I can not define attest to more.

    If in this case when they do not recognize the proper sex, which is to yield?

    May lead to more suits in their courts, since they love to dominate the judicial system with their trivial litigation and vainglorious grievances.

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