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Baltimore’s Hasidim Are Made of Sterner Stuff

How the traditionally Orthodox beat the heat

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Imagine wearing that today.(Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

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]

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gemel says:

“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!”

Do you not know of Mae Sharim and the Charedi all over Yerushalayim or are you trying for humor?

Marc, I know you’re from that state and remain an O’s fan, but you missed the boat on this one. Baltimore has a miniscule Hasidic community (not counting Chabad, who, while Hasidic, don’t dress the way that the Hasidim you’re thinking of dress). B-more’s ultra-Orthodox community is dominated by Lithuanian-style “yeshivish” adherents, as it’s home to a major yeshiva, Ner Israel.
And the small Hasidic community is also somewhat eclectic:Baltimore is the only place in the world where you can see a Hasid walking his dog on a Shabbat afternoon.

mahatmacoatmabag says:

Its easier for Hassidic Jews in Israel to cope with the heat. They don’t work & spend all day in Air Conditioned Yeshivas which hard working tax paying mugs like me pay for.

maias says:

What is the religious significance of wearing a fur hat? And the fur of what animals?

    I’m pretty sure it’s rabbit fur. There is no real religious significance, it started out as merely a custom and they turned it into a self-imposed requirement.

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Baltimore’s Hasidim Are Made of Sterner Stuff

How the traditionally Orthodox beat the heat

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