The New Modesty Patrol: Anti-Indulgence Activists

Charedi activists in Brooklyn have begun to increasingly vent anger at a new perceived threat to the heim.

Not immodesty.

Not secular or non-Jewish music.

This time it’s restaurants.

As the charedi newswire VIN reports, ads which display overly tantalizing food are now non grata in the charedi world:

Over the past several years, the Chasidic community of Williamsburg has experienced several incidents in which anonymous community activists destroyed, damaged or defaced advertising or signage of various business establishments.

The motivation behind the incidents is spiritual. Ads featuring highly detailed images of tantalizing food—and businesses hawking an unnecessarily wide variety of food, such a the now-shuttered Sub on Wheels once parked along a Williamsburg street—are seen as excessive and indulgent by austerity-minded activists, who are alarmed by what they see as an intrusion of secular, pleasure-oriented values into their community.

An unnecessarily wide variety of food? What, then, is the “necessary” level of variety, and when does one cross the line?

That is, if there is even a line. Now subs are indicative of secular, “pleasure-oriented” values?

Things like this make me wonder what Brooklyn’s frum communities will look like in 15 years.


A modern charedi Jew-by-choice since 2000, and igniting headphones with Torah hiphop since 2001.

Originally from Maryland and now holding it down in the shtetlach of New York, won the Jewish Music Awards for "Best Hiphop" in 2006.Vocally anti-prejudice and pro-unity.

Love me, hate me, or debate me, know you can't ignore me, though.

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    10/12/2008 at 2:49 pm

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