Show of HandsShow of Hands

Sk8BoredR April 2nd, 2016 4:34pm

A Holocaust survivor was told to move seats on a flight, despite being allocated seats separated by a screen, so an Ultra-orthodox Jewish man would not have to sit beside a woman. Do you think the woman should've been allowed to keep her seat?

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chickencookie Jihad Joe
04/02/16 12:49 pm

I hate to say this but the Orthodox Jews...the hassic and the like have always annoyed me. Poor woman has been through enough.

17millionTwats Leeds, UK
04/02/16 12:38 pm

There are some right nutters out there

arollaatoris Nomad
04/02/16 12:33 pm

Well he was the one that was uncomfortable, so he should have been the one to move to a different seat

singkitty In the cloud
04/02/16 9:51 am

She should keep hers and they should move him. However if my understanding is correct the Orthodox Jewish males can't touch a woman who is possibly menstruating... The woman in question would be post menopause so there shouldn't be an issue at all.

chinito Florida
04/02/16 12:19 pm

An ultra orthodox jew won't touch his wife when she is menstruating and never touch any woman other than wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter...

arollaatoris Nomad
04/02/16 12:37 pm

You are right about the Orthodox Jewish rule that forbids menstrual sex and affection. However, for ultra-Orthodox Jews (which I'm going to assume the guy in this story is), people of the opposite sex who are unrelated do not touch at all. If a couple is engaged, they won't touch before the wedding. And ultra-Orthodox/Chassidic men will not even shake a woman's hand in order to honor this rule.

chickencookie Jihad Joe
04/02/16 12:50 pm

Well then the airlines do not revolve around him. He should have bought two seats.

chinito Florida
04/02/16 1:00 pm

Hey Arollaa, what is that bottle in your profile picture?

chinito Florida
04/02/16 5:24 pm

I'm curious, why do you have a picture of a bottle of arak?

arollaatoris Nomad
04/02/16 8:32 pm

Well, first of all, I try to stay relatively anonymous on this app, so I don't want to use a picture of myself. 2nd of all, my husband is Israeli & introduced me to Arak years ago, & I have developed a taste & admiration for it lol. Have you had it before?

arollaatoris Nomad
04/02/16 8:33 pm

By the way, your profile picture is hilarious!!

susanr Colorado
04/02/16 9:48 am

Yes, of course. The airline could have attempted to comply with the male passenger's wishes by trying to find a place to move *him* where he wouldn't have to sit next to a woman, but they should not have moved the woman. They might also have suggested to him that the next time he flies, he buy tickets for all the seats in one row. Or isn't that far enough away, since a woman might sit in front or, or behind, him?

The fact that he acknowledged (according to the info in the linked article) that the Torah doesn't forbid a man sitting next to a woman made it pretty clear that it's just his personal preference, anyway. And what's the bit about putting oneself in a "dangerous situation"? Sitting next to a woman is *dangerous*?

I'd be interested in the educated opinion of a Jewish SOH user, since my opinion isn't particularly informed about Orthodox rules.
I'll bet @GrandmaAlice has an opinion on this.

04/02/16 11:20 am

Agreed, susanr. And orthodox men know this is a problem well in advance. Why would it be so hard to place him next to other men to start with. Before boarding they arrange it. And yes, if that can't be arranged then the man with the problem is the one who should be moved, or he should pay for extra seats.

susanr Colorado
04/02/16 11:56 am

I had some close interactions with a small group of Hasidic Jews in the early 1970s. They were an unusual bunch, as they were also hippies, and apparently didn't follow all the strict traditions of Orthodox Jews. They lived with us for a few months (I was living in a commune at the time). We observed the Sabbath rules (as well as I can remember, anyway) while they were there, and we were vegans so the dietary issues were minimal. It was a very interesting experience. But we *never* encountered the issue of men being physically close to women.

GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
04/02/16 12:38 pm

First of all, I don't see the relevance of the fact that the woman is a Holocaust survivor.

The "danger" is a religious danger, that he might touch her, which he is not permitted to do.

Also, see the post by @singkitty just above this. I'm not sure if it's just about menstruation. I think the prohibition is more general.

I'm calling @chinito for a mote Orthodox perspective. He knows these things pretty well.

chinito Florida
04/02/16 12:45 pm

Of course there is an issue with men and women being close within the jewish ultra-orthodox community. But this case looks like a BS case.

Apparently, an orthodox man told the steward to ask the lady if she could move to another seat. She moved because she didn't want to be next to that guy for 11 hours. After the flight, an anti orthodox group that has been waiting for something like this to happen so that they can sue the airline, contacted the passenger. The fact that she is a holocaust survivor help the case gain traction.

chinito Florida
04/02/16 1:25 pm

Susanr, I have no idea about the "danger thing". What I can tell you is that religious Orthodox Jews have several gender-related rules they follow.

-They don't touch their spouse when she is menstruating (and some days after).

-They can't have any physical contact with anyone of the opposite gender ever. (Excluding spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren...) Some will go as far as not touching their siblings.