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(104 Posts)
salsamummy Tue 15-Aug-17 23:11:55

I work in a leisure centre and was told I had to leave asap as a group of Jewish young men had hired the whole centre and as a woman I couldn't stay. The receptionist was told she couldn't move from the reception area whilst they were swimming. Can you explain why? I haven't seen any or know of any Jewish people in this area so obviously just visiting .

pinkbraces Tue 15-Aug-17 23:15:57

Orthodox Jews do not mix with people of the opposite sex. Girls and boys are segregated once they reach secondary school.

coriliavijvaad Tue 15-Aug-17 23:19:39

There are lots of different branches of Judaism just like there are different kinds of Christianity and Islam. There are loads of liberal Jewish people who have no desire at all for segregation of sexes like that. There are some branches of Judaism, Islam and Christianity that require the two sexes to be entirely separated except within marriage or close family relationships. They didn't make a fuss about a woman in their vicinity because they were Jewish but because they were strictly conservative.

FrogsLegs31 Tue 15-Aug-17 23:26:42

Haredim Orthodox Jews practice sex segregation

FrogsLegs31 Tue 15-Aug-17 23:27:08

*Haredi

YouRat Tue 15-Aug-17 23:27:41

When I was a teenager I used to work in high end shoe shop. We used to get many Orthodox Jews in and non of the men would ever look at me while I served them. I think boys and girls are segregated as teenagers till they're married.

salsamummy Tue 15-Aug-17 23:32:05

Thank you.

salsamummy Tue 15-Aug-17 23:32:50

Very odd for Dorset.grin

MorrisZapp Tue 15-Aug-17 23:33:42

Do they practice arranged marriage? Would be hard to conduct relationships if you can't look at the opposite sex.

samG76 Wed 16-Aug-17 09:28:41

Morris - definitely arranged but not forced. Often involves meeting in hotel lobbies (but definitely not going upstairs if they hit it off). Sounds a bit bizarre (obviously an extreme group), but presumably you were paid for a day off. If not I'd be livid...

StepAwayFromCake Wed 16-Aug-17 10:42:10

Married men are not allowed to look at adult women outside their family, nor touch any adult woman other than their immediate family. Women OTOH have no such restriction.

For religious Jews adulthood does not happen suddenly, 17y 364d you're a child, the following day you're an adult. It is a process beginning at 12 or 13, so once a child hits puberty they begin to follow the same modesty rules as an adult, and to be treated with adult modesty, even though they are still considered a child to be looked after, nurtured and protected.

So teenagers can look at each other. They are not segregated, apart from education, but they are chaperoned.

But as with all forms of orthodoxy, Jewish or otherwise, different communities take it to different degrees. Some manage to follow their own rules of modesty with good manners and respect both to those within their community and to 'outsiders'. Those who don't are ill-mannered boors, whose behaviour is generally not condoned by the religion.

Bobbiepin Wed 16-Aug-17 10:48:11

Morris its not really arranged but heavily organised. There are big rules with Haredi Jews (the people with the big black hats and curly sideburns). Families are friends and children tend to end up together, lots of N. London Haredim marry New Yorkers. They practice a principle that is heavily based on modesty and sexes are separated until after marriage, this includes any sort of physical contact (i.e. no holding hands until after the wedding). Married couples rarely touch in public either.

salsamummy Wed 16-Aug-17 10:52:59

I did notice the no eye contact!

specialsubject Wed 16-Aug-17 16:28:41

Haredis in Dorset?

Most UK Jews don't practice any of this any more than most Christians are polygamist Mormons.

MrsSpenserGregson Wed 16-Aug-17 16:35:26

Yes there are Haredi Jews in Dorset (or Orthodox Jews anyway - I'm Jewish myself but not raised in the faith or culture so I'm woefully ignorant on the nuances of the subject). There are both orthodox and reform synagogues in Bournemouth, and It's always been a popular holiday destination for orthodox Jewish families smile

salsamummy Wed 16-Aug-17 16:50:39

Yes not unusual in Bournemouth but rare if any in west Dorset. Apparently I found out that they were on holiday from London though do they choose not to speak English?

StepAwayFromCake Wed 16-Aug-17 17:45:28

Oh they speak English well enough. But for many of the ultra-Orthodox, Yiddish is the language spoken at home, so they may feel more comfortable speaking to each other in Yiddish. Most Orthodox Jews are fluent in at least three languages: Yiddish, Hebrew and the language where they live (ie English, here).

Sometimes it can come across as rude, but it's no different than, say, me slipping into my home language when talking to my family, and switching to English when talking to anyone else or if anyone else is present. Of course, being Orthodox doesn't necessarily mean they won't be rude gits, and you will get some people who ostentatiously speak 'their' language when it's not necessarily appropriate or polite.

salsamummy Wed 16-Aug-17 18:49:04

Thank you so much for explaining.

OhForCodsHake Wed 16-Aug-17 19:08:17

I once had a new business meeting at a mining company in Mayfair. When I arrived, the receptionist took me to one side and told me that "the gentlemen do not shake hands." She explained that as Orthodox
Jews, they would not shake hands with a woman in case she was having her period, which would be seen as "unclean". They were wasting their time anyway as I was preggers so definitely not on my period smile But i did find it awkward introducing myself without being able to shake hands.

alltouchedout Wed 16-Aug-17 19:11:50

I think it would be good to remember that not all Orthodox Jews are Haredim and there are many, many people who identify as Orthodox Jews who do not follow the Haredi rules that are being mentioned here. My SIL's father for one- he's Orthodox and observant but he definitely mixes with the opposite sex and isn't shomer negiah.

Sittinginthesun Wed 16-Aug-17 19:16:28

Lots of my friends' children are on summer camps over the summer in groups from their synagogue. Maybe they were a group holiday?

samG76 Wed 16-Aug-17 20:06:40

I think the bit about periods is an urban myth. If you refuse to touch non-related women this applies whether they are pregnant, post-menopausal, or buying a pack of tampax at 2am at a petrol station.....

The period bit would be relevant to whether the bloke could touch his wife, but not to anyone else.

OhForCodsHake Wed 16-Aug-17 20:15:27

Not sure, Sam, but the receptionist I met said it was something to do with a religious custom/law called nidda, or possibly niddah.

StepAwayFromCake Wed 16-Aug-17 20:33:19

The men not touching women is about modesty and sexual propriety. The issue of periods is only between husband and wife.

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Wed 16-Aug-17 20:52:20

This is fascinating. I am Christian and work with liberal synagogues. I am pretty certain the periods aren't a urban myth, although happy to be proved wrong.

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