Sunday, October 9, 2011
Yiddish sign urges 'precious Jewish daughters' of Brooklyn to make way for men
Plastic signs, posted throughout ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood, read: 'Precious Jewish daughters, please move over to the side when you see a man come across'.
Yiddish signs have been posted on trees throughout Brooklyn, imploring “precious Jewish daughters” to move to the side when a man is walking toward her on the sidewalk, the Brooklyn Paper reported last week.
The red, yellow and white plastic signs, posted throughout an ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood, read: “Precious Jewish daughters, please move over to the side when you see a man come across,” the Brooklyn Paper said.
“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,” bike shop owner Baruch Herzfeld told the Brooklyn Paper, adding “they are enormous pains in the tuchis (bottom), and most people try to avoid conflict, so they often get their way.”
Hasidic residents in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood reportedly claim that the signs are being misinterpreted.
“It is very respectful; it’s not ordering you to cross the street — it means, ‘Let him pass head on,’ ” one Hasidic man who declined to give his name told the Brooklyn Paper. “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.”
The signs, nailed to trees, were reportedly in violation of city law, and parks maintenance workers removed 16 signs on Bedford and Lee avenues between Marcy Avenue and Broadway in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
According to the report, the sign does not indicate who posted them, but sources told the Brooklyn Paper that they are part of a larger “modesty” campaign being carried out by a rabbinical group, including a June decree demanding that women not wear tank tops.
Despite the removal of the signs, women on Bedford and Lee Avenue were reportedly seen making way for men 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,” a Hasidic woman, who declined to give her name, told the Brooklyn Paper.