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Wednesday, April 15, 2015 

Haredis refusing to sit next to women on planes make pages of NYT

The New York Times wrote about the recent cases of Haredi men who won't sit next to women on public flights:
Francesca Hogi, 40, had settled into her aisle seat for the flight from New York to London when the man assigned to the adjoining window seat arrived and refused to sit down. He said his religion prevented him from sitting beside a woman who was not his wife. Irritated but eager to get underway, she eventually agreed to move.
"His religion"? No, it's his interpretation of Judaism, and in Hebrew, that's sometimes known as "kava me'or hadat", translating roughly as how one views the religion and their interpretation of it. And the Haredi did a huge disfavor for Judaism by claiming it's his religion, since you could get the vibe he means the whole religion proper, which is not so at all.
Laura Heywood, 42, had a similar experience while traveling from San Diego to London via New York. She was in a middle seat — her husband had the aisle — when the man with the window seat in the same row asked if the couple would switch positions. Ms. Heywood, offended by the notion that her sex made her an unacceptable seatmate, refused.

“I wasn’t rude, but I found the reason to be sexist, so I was direct,” she said.
She did the right thing to refuse. Maybe if he'd paid her, it'd be worth it, since somebody who may not be working in steady jobs and just lives on welfare doesn't exactly deserve much money, but for now, she was right to tell him off for adhering to such an insultingly sexist custom, which is no better than anti-semitism.
Some passengers say they have found the seat-change requests simply surprising or confusing. But in many cases, the issue has exposed and amplified tensions between different strains of Judaism.

Jeremy Newberger, 41, a documentary filmmaker who witnessed such an episode on a Delta flight from New York to Israel, was among several Jewish passengers who were offended.

“I grew up Conservative, and I’m sympathetic to Orthodox Jews,” he said. “But this Hasid came on, looking very uncomfortable, and wouldn’t even talk to the woman, and there was five to eight minutes of ‘What’s going to happen?’ before the woman acquiesced and said, ‘I’ll move.’ It felt like he was being a yutz,” Mr. Newberger added, using a Yiddish word for fool.
That's another serious error the Haredi jerk on Delta committed - he wouldn't talk directly to the woman on the specific flight mentioned, making him all the more a gender bigot who dehumanized the passenger.

Surprisingly, this article also mentions something that's become a serious problem involving a really bad religion in Europe:
“It’s very common,” said Rabbi Yehudah Mirsky, an associate professor of Judaic studies at Brandeis University. “Multiculturalism creates a moral language where a group can say, ‘You have to respect my values.’”
Now isn't that surprising a pro-Islam paper is willing to cite multiculturalism as a problem. But no doubt this is just because this involves Judaism, and the paper's not entirely clear on Orthodoxy, when it's ultra-Orthodox that's the problem here.
And Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, a Modern Orthodox Talmud scholar who grew up in the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect, said, “When I was still part of that community, and on the more conservative side, I would make every effort I could not to sit next to a woman on the plane, because of a fear that you might touch a woman by accident.”
I see they also cite a cult that's been a major factor in spreading around this isolationist nonsense, the Satmar. But conservative? Sorry, but again, I don't buy the notion they're conservative in every way, when they've long been anti-Israel.
“The ultra-Orthodox have increasingly seen gender separation as a kind of litmus test of Orthodoxy — it wasn’t always that way, but it has become that way,” said Samuel Heilman, a professor of sociology at Queens College. “There is an ongoing culture war between these people and the rest of the modern world, and because the modern world has increasingly sought to become gender neutral, that has added to the desire to say, ‘We’re not like that.’”
Well they're making a terrible mistake, even outside Israel, to take these customs to the extreme, because of the mental damage it's causing. And just wait'll you see this stupefying part at the end:
Other passengers, like Andrew Roffe, 31, a writer based in Los Angeles, said he and a friend wound up debating the ethics of the situation after Mr. Roffe described his experience on a United Airlines flight to Chicago. When passengers started to board, he said, an ultra-Orthodox man stood in the aisle, refusing to move and delaying the departure for 15 to 20 minutes until another passenger volunteered to switch seats.

“My buddy who is Orthodox was saying this is a traditional thing — he doesn’t want to be tempted when his wife wasn’t there. And I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ This was just some woman flying to work or home and minding her own business.”
If you think that's jaw-dropping, it is. The nutcase was implying he's unfaithful to his wife, or incapable of fidelity. It's the kind of bizarre blabber that makes one wonder: is the Haredi education system really that poor, a man raised under that tommyrot cannot sit next to an unrelated woman without feeling like he'd want to violate the 10th Commandment? Pure head-shaker indeed.

Some readers sent in their thoughts on this. One asked:
Can someone explain why a woman should be asked to move her seat because an ultra-Orthodox man refuses to sit next to her? Why is it not up to the man to find himself another seat on the plane? Or to alert the airline at the gate or before that so accommodation can be made in advance?

Perhaps the man should have to leave the flight if there is no passenger willing to accommodate him.

The burden should not be placed on women but rather on the man making the demand.
Yes, that's something I can fully agree on. Another said:
My suggestion for a man refusing to sit next to a woman who is not his wife is that he should be asked by a flight attendant to sit down, and if he won’t, he should be removed from the airplane.

Giving in to such a ridiculous demand opens the gates for other such situations, such as people saying they won’t sit next to a black person, a white person, a child, a person obviously of another religion or whatever.
This is a valid concern too. The Satmar have given strong suggestions they're hostile to other races, one more reason why they're such an embarrassment. One more said:
There is a very simple solution for ultra-Orthodox men who don’t want to sit next to women on a plane: Buy two seats.
Yeah, make them pay heavily. That's also an interesting idea.

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