Last year I wrote about the signs on Craven Walk on Rosh Hashanah segregating the pavement with the eastern side for females and the western side for males.
Needless to say that this year the exercise was repeated but they went one better. Someone, with the best intentions of course, as always, employed eastern European stewards to direct the men to their side and the women to theirs so that never the twain should meet.
Rumour has it that some millionaire with significant more money than sense hired the modesty police to patrol and enforce the segregation. The Health and Safety department of Hackney would undoubtedly have been proud, though. The stewards both wore bright fluorescent yellow jackets.
Protection of the body; safety of the soul; madness of the mind.
Above is the offending notice. Note how in Hebrew it is a request while in the English it has been ‘decided’ as if the streets belong to them.
There was then a contradictory notice signed by ‘The residents of Craven Walk and Watermint Quay’ setting out which gender is to walk on which side of the road but, Go- Forbid, allowing them to occupy the same street at the same time. A shocking development and a terrible chutzpah and hefkeirus in the face of the Union’s far more stringent position.
Due to the confusion, it is not clear whether the stewards were there to enforce the Union’s edict and drive the wrong gender from the wrong street, or whether they were anti-Unionists to direct the men and women to the areas generously allocated to them by the kind and considerate ‘residents’.
Either way Tashlich was a truly uplifting experience and rather than be distracted by women in white shawls or white sleeping caps we were treated to the fairer sex in various stages of undress. This was an overt display of God’s kindness for those who had no sins to dispose of and hence may have been lying to the Good Lord when seeking His forgiveness. A flash of flesh and they could happily join the throngs in polluting the River Lea with their sins.
As for those promiscuous folk I observed besides the pond on Clapton Common standing shtreimel to tiechel and within shockling proximity of each other, they might as well jump in the lake. While they were disposing of their sins with one hand the other was gathering lascivious thoughts engendered by Chasidic womeonfolk in their Yom Tov finery.
What a wasteful and sinful exercise and surely something to keep the ‘Advocates’ of the Jewish Community Liaison Committee, members of the Shomrim and advisors of the Independent Advisory Group busy for the forthcoming year. What we should really have is a Union Waterworks Division to liaise with a Union Segregation Committee to arrange for Eastern European male and female stewards to direct the men and women respectively and then a screen down the length of the road to prevent any cross fertilisation.