Edmonton Sun | 08Mar2010 | Orest Slepokura

How far accommodation?

RE: “How much are we willing to accommodate?” Mindelle Jacobs, March 5, 2010.

Mindy Jacobs’s story of the outrageous drama queen in a niquab reminds me of when I taught in a Hassidic boys’ middle school in north-end Montreal. One hot day in June, my class was visited by a school inspector, a middle-aged lady wearing a sleeveless dress. To avoid looking at her, some of the boys put their faces down on their desks and closed their eyes, others ostentatiously turned their desks toward the wall. An impressive display of misogyny! By then, mind you, I was already well-acquainted with their virulent bigotry toward gentiles and secular Jews. Still, seeing such kneejerk contempt for outsiders in 11-and 12-year boys does, I admit, take a while to process.

Orest Slepokura

(Orthodoxies eventually moderate or become irrelevant.)