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In Williamsburg, Wearing Tank Tops or Nothing at All

The Satmar community’s Central Rabbinical Congress last week banned tank tops, among other women’s popular warm-weather wear. Of course, the hipsters and the Latinos who live in the neighborhood, alongside the Satmars, probably can’t read the Yiddish posters that Hasidim hung on light posts throughout the area to promulgate the ban.

We’re not sure if the ban is targeted at Hasidic women who, in a recent fashion trend in other Orthodox communities (though perhaps not Williamsburg), have taken to wearing spaghetti-strap dresses and other immodest wear over long-sleeved tee shirts.

The rabbinic powers-that-be over at the CRC probably would have been happy to have the women who had planned to ride in the naked bike ride through Williamsburg on Shabbat wear anything at all — even tank tops. The ride, organized by the organization “Times Up,” was put on to protest “indecent exposure to toxic pollution.” The ride was scheduled to conclude with a party at the Times Up headquarters in the neighborhood, which is the New York City home base of the Satmar Hasidic community.

The Times Up HQ shares space with Traif Bike Gesheft, which is Yiddish for “non-kosher bike shop.”

Cyclists have been recently struggling with threats and harassment from Williamsburg Hasidim, according to this Brooklyn Paper article.

Due to cool, rainy weather, the New York Naked Bike Ride was postponed. Naked Bike Ride organizers [called the inclement weather an “act of God.”

I wonder what the Satmar rabbis would say about that.

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