MembersA wall of separation

Is it right? Is it helpful? Is it respectful?

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Judaism
Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90
Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90

These questions pop into my head every time I am invited and go to a wedding of ultra-Orthodox Jews or one of their other celebrations. At such an event I come with my husband, and sometimes my children. Then at the entrance there is a wall of separation – with one side for women and one side for men. And I have to say goodbye to the people I live with intimately all my life.


Because the ultra-Orthodox consider it immodest for women and men to sit together.

Is it so?

Albeit, those who want to, can perhaps find something nice in this separation because suddenly there is a “tribe” of women, and a “tribe” of men who sit together. A different mix of people and conversations can be refreshing.

Yet, from time to time you can also see during the event the ridiculousness in it, because there are often men and women who take a glimpse through the wall at the other side. A husband takes a peek to check “What about my wife? What is she doing?” And...

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One response to “A wall of separation”

  1. Masami Cobley says:

    Interesting to hear the reasons behind some of ultra-Orthodox Jewish customs. Psalm 2:11, ‘Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate His rule with trembling.’ came to mind.

    Perhaps, they are extremely careful never again to sin against the Holy One of Israel, whom their ancestors rebelled too many times (?) They are doing at least one thing right, I think, that is regarding the Holy One of Israel as a living God who is presiding over His chosen people (though I don’t know if they try to inquire of Him for guidance like David did).

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