Sunday, December 21, 2008

losing submission of Chumra of the Month award

A Guest Post by Rafi G.
(originally posted on LII)

A recent incident in Yerushalayim has made bids for winning the Chumra of the Month award. In my opinion it comes up short, and will not be declared COTM.

A store in the Haredi neighborhood of Jerusalem, Ramot 04, has declared itself, upon the urging of the local neighborhood rav who is affiliated with the Eida Hareidis and Vizhnitz (not sure how exactly that combo works out in one person) Rav Mendel Fuchs, a mehadrin store.

Mehadrin does not necessarily limit itself in meaning to the limitation of carrying only products bearing a mehadrin kashrut certification. They are mehadrin because they have instituted separate checkout lanes for men and for women.

In addition, Rav Fuchs encourages people to do the bulk of their shopping early in the week rather than late in the week. This would relieve some of the high level of traffic in the store that makes the separate lines necessary.

I wonder what it was that caused it. Were there so many people that there was a lot of jostling with men and women bumping up against each other? The stores I shop at are pretty busy on Thursdays and Fridays and I have never had the "opportunity" to be jostled up against female shoppers. Maybe that store is busier than the stores in my neighborhood?
Did they just use the opportunity to look at each other? How would separate lines prevent that? They can still look at each other.

Anyway, in my opinion this chumra loses its bid for Chumra of the Month. It loses because it is too little and too late. The Gerrer Chassidim are really the pioneers of everything separate. The Gerrers pioneered the separate seating in buses, they generally do not even walk with their wives in the street, they also have had, for years already, small supermarkets in any neighborhood in which they live in significant numbers where the shopping in not just separate lines, but separate hours, and even separate days.

So this little supermarket just comes up a bit too short for the Chumra of the Month.

The submissions for next months winner of Chumra of the Month are starting to come in. As the issue of tzniyus is always a popular one for COTM, we so far have submissions for separate cities (e.g. all men will move to Modiin Ilit and all women to Kiryat Sefer), and submissions for separate countries.
One submitter tried to submit something that had to be rejected, as it did not just make something up out of thin air, but actually contravened the Torah. The submitter wanted to suggest banning marriage between man and woman and only allow "separate marriage" {ve'hamyvin yavin}...

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