Ultra-Orthodox Jews Wear Special Glasses That Blur Women
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Being an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man in Jerusalem isn't all cool hats and fancy speak. Their particular interpretation of Jewish law forbids any type of contact between men and women who aren't married, which is why Jerusalem has the most polite construction sites on the planet.
But having separate buses and sidewalks to prevent the accidental crossing of paths between members of the opposite sex just isn't enough for some communities -- since people from many different backgrounds move through their streets, including women who aren't willing to keep to "their side" of the street, some men feel that they're risking eternal damnation just by going to the corner store.
Enter "modesty glasses" -- glasses that deliberately blur your vision so you can't see women.
Or men. Or stairs. Or oncoming traffic.
Unofficial "modesty" patrols have been set up in these neighborhoods, and they sell glasses specially designed to prevent a person from being able to see. For the equivalent of $6, they'll give you a pair of stickers that, when applied to your glasses, invert their purpose by making it so that only a few meters are visible, turning that bare-ankled heathen strolling down the road into a featureless blur. And if you don't wear glasses in the first place, they'll sell you a non-prescription pair for around $32.50.
What if you need to venture into other non-religious neighborhoods, where packs of unmarried women presumably roam the streets looking for men to harass? Don't worry: They also sell optional hoods and shields to block peripheral vision. We're just hoping that even with the blur a woman still looks different enough from an oncoming motorbike.
"I can't tell if that's two headlights or one."
But these modesty patrols seem like debauched liberals compared to the Sikrikim -- a group of around 100 religious men who want their already ultra-Orthodox neighborhood to become, well, what comes after "ultra"? They hope to achieve this by smashing windows, scrawling graffiti, and hurling bags of poop, all in the name of decency. One of their targets is an ice cream shop. What's so offensive about ice cream, you ask? This part:
Yes, the Sikrikim claim that licking ice cream in public promotes promiscuity; apparently, you're supposed to either rent a room somewhere and lick it in private, or just bite the thing (which would promote cannibalism). The store, which already had separate entrances for men and women, had to put up a sign asking people to refrain from getting fresh with the cones, but that didn't stop these conservative extremists from breaking into the place at night and trashing it.
Hiram H. Huckabee is a writer of humorous short stories that can be found here.
For more on international fashion styles, check out 6 Weird Fashions From History (With Weirder Explanations) and 6 Popular Fashion Trends (That Killed People).