Baltimore’s Hasidim Are Made of Sterner Stuff
How the traditionally Orthodox beat the heat
Joseph Berger explains how the large number of Hasidic Jews in New York City cope (or not) with the ungodly heat. Glorious details abound!
• Polyester coast, lightweight tzitzit.
• “Women snatch up neckline-hugging shells that allow them to wear thin, long-sleeved and open-necked blouses from, say, Macy’s.”
• Small (secret??) holes in the shtreimel (the big furry hat).
And then there’s this, from CUNY professor Samuel Heilman, who is the go-to guy for quotes whenever reporters write about New York’s Hasidim: “They spend a lot of time indoors, and they’re not Amish or Luddites, so they have air-conditioning.”
To which Baltimore’s also-substantial traditionally Orthodox community might retort: “AC’s for wimps.” A massive storm, a “derecho,” has wiped out power in much of Maryland on days that have seen temperatures upwards of 100 degrees. To add insult to injury, reports Vos Iz Neias?, the local utility “prioritizes repair calls by the order in which they are received,” and the storm hit on—you guessed it—Friday night, putting those who don’t use the phone on Shabbat at the back of the queue.
At least Jews only have to go through this for a couple months out of the year. Imagine if lots of them had to live in a hotter region—the Middle East, say—where it’s like this all the time!
Dressing With Faith, Not Heat, In Mind [NYT]
Sweltering Orthodox Baltimoreans Face Days Without Power [Vos Iz Neias? News]