Saturday, May 17, 2014

Another two news items that caused my jaw to drop.

Most religious sects rationalize away inconvenient or outright immoral traditions. But not the Orthodox Jews. These guys are the MacGyver of the religious world circumventing divine laws with a penknife, bubble gym, a little wire and a plastic bag.

Consider for example the proscription on carrying or pushing objects outside homes during the Sabbath. Now this is outright inconvenient: no pushing prams or carrying Junior for a Sabbatical stroll. So enter MacGyver to enclose the city within slim wires hung from poles and thereby transforming the outdoor into a -nudge nudge, wink wink- private domain where Jews can carry objects.

Then there's wrapping yourself in plastic so you can fly. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently Kohens are holy priests prohibited from flying over cemeteries because they believe corpses emanate impurity upwards -  another highly inconvenient rule that even MacGyver might struggle to resolve. But not this gentleman :

Via: gothamist
Yes, that is a man inside a huge condom on an airplane. It seems Kohens are indeed allowed to fly over cemeteries if they wrap themselves inside thick plastic to deflect the impurity radiating upward from corpses. This is a rare example of zealotry even among Kohens, but I still appreciate the rule dodge.

Modesty Glasses are another example of the Orthodox MacGyveresque problem solving skills. Modesty glasses basically blur the outline of alluring women thereby blocking temptation and preventing sinful thoughts. Unfortunately the glasses are intended for international travel; women are still expected to dress in black coal sacks inside the compounds.

Meanwhile here in the West we have Google Glasses to beam tempting images into our brains during our daily commute. But that's another story.
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