Not too long ago, I had my first abaya-sighting.

For the first time, I saw one of the followers of veil advocate Rabbanit Bruria Keren decked out in hijab sal and abaya…in Boro Park, walking down 13th Avenue with her friend, chatting and schmoozing in frumspeak.

The first thing I thought to myself was, “Oh no, they’re here. They’re here in Boro Park.”

And like I say on, I think this, the recent haredi ban on concerts which was passed in New York, and the recent spate of rock throwing at “immodest” storefronts in Brooklyn are all related events. (You can imagine how I feel about the concert ban.) Things like this make me wonder what the future holds for religious Jews.

I’d say that I wonder what the future holds “for Orthodox Jews”, but I just read about one Conservative woman who related on an Emirati forum about how she had also recently taken on hijab and jilbab, as she feels “it is more in keeping with what Jews would have worn at the time of the Torah”.

The British Times Online ran a story this past Friday profiling two “women of the veil” from Beit Shemesh, part of a group numbering about 100 now in the city. One of the women, “M”, apparently incensed that people were viewing her and other Jews as adopting Muslim customs, said flatly:

“Muslim women are imitating Jews to try to gain G-d’s favour with modesty. The truth is that the women of Israel are lessening in G-d’s eyes because the Arabs are more modest in dress. If the Jews want to conquer the Arabs in this land they must enhance their modesty.”


So now not only are concert bans being recycled and imported from Meah Shearim, the veil is here in New York, too? (Just in time for Purim?)

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About the author


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.


  • I’ve been debating what to don for Purim. Todah Y-Love for the covert advocacy!

    Napkin-Regalia=Tiel Burqa, how novel!

    As long as Prince Harry isn’t invited to the festivities…

  • … I don’t see what’s wrong. If “progressive” Jews can “creatively reinterpret” Jewish practices, throwing over Halachic process, why can’t these gals?

    That’s the stringency-mongering’s ultimate – and most harmful effect: it eventually divorces Jewish practice from Halachic norms and process, just as surely as revisionism does.

    According to Halacha, both men and women are allowed to bare their faces, necks, and lower arms and legs. And both men and women should cover their torsos, shoulders/upper arms, and thighs.

    Anything else is non-Halachic – either a stringency (chumra) or a custom (minhag). But not normative Halacha.

  • Once again Jews emulating the lowest common denominator. How embarrassing for us.

  • Are you absolutely sure this wasn’t an Arab woman? You were close enough to her/she was speaking loudly enough for you to hear what she was saying?
    There are a lot of actual Arabs living right there, not just Jews who portray them on t.v.

  • this has got be a Purim Prank because if the new way to “out frum” everybody is to wear this, they’d be in sporting it in Plifton right now…the frum contest is on hot and heavy here.

    I’d rather see my daughters in Daisy Dukes and lovin’ the impure thoughts they are stimulating than in this “creative reinterpretation”.

    And by the way, the reason Arab men love having sex with other Arab men so much is because their women look like that.

  • While the rest of the jewish world is doing a bang up job emulating the western humantic democratic atheistic feministic clothing and behavior, a small few number of women want to emulate Sarah Rivka Rachel and Leah our Mothers, and jews down throguh the centuries until recent times. Read up on your jewish history, and you will see that our Mothers of from 60 to 130 years ago (depending on the country) would not have recognized the kosher jewish woman of today as being their spiritual descendants. Walking around with plunging necklines and clothing stuck to their bodies, poodlish wigs and tonnes of makeup and perfume, and these the religious ones! So scoff and throw your ignorant words at those who fear sin. You are fulfilling one of the signs of Messianic times from the Gemara, “those who fear sin will be reviled”.
    Kol HaKavod that there are 100 woman in the enire jewish world that dont bow to the goyish norms of present day frumkite!