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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.


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Monday, October 16, 2006

Chol Ha'moad at Six Flags - part two - section one

Some of my readers may recall that I had a pretty good time last year at the Six Flags Chol Ha'moad. This year was a lot less fun for a whole lot of reasons. Some of them were merely logistical and not related to Jew-y part of the outing for example:
It was a lot warmer and the sun was unexpectedly strong, it wasn't on a Sunday so there were fewer attractions to see, there were more regular customers there so the lines were longer, and it was late in the year so all the water rides were closed etc...

As expected there were Jews of many stripes there and the Chiluli Hashem managed to cross all sectarian boundaries. I'm pressed for time (and frankly Henry did so well with his Hersey Park post that I don't want to be redundant) so I will dedicate my posts this week to two specific areas - Jewish Fashion and Kosher Food.

This, is the (incredibly shallow) Fashion post.

MEN- I didn't really notice what most of the men were wearing - the yeshivishe look doesn't do much for me and besides, they all look pretty much the same. I did notice many men had a veritable utility belt of communication devices, or hockerwear(TM) as I like to call it. Many of them spent a large portion of their trip on the phone ignoring their children as they climbed all over the railings and mauled the Halloween decorations clearly marked "Do Not Touch." I noticed that most men left their hats in the car (presumably) with the exception of the Chabadniks who were seen running about the park accosting their fellow Jews with the Arbah Minim.

TEENS- The gang of teenagers who showed up for this event were largely a motley crew. Many boys wore no kippa (but plenty of hair gel) or the silky crinkled "from the bar mitzva of" variety. Also popular were T-shirts with rude expressions, flip flops or well worn sneakers and jeans. The girls wore short denim skirts and tight tops, hooded sweatshirts and an abundance of lipgloss and eye glitter. As was the case last year the guys seemed to hang with the guys and the girls with the girls, although they groups kept a close watch on one another.
The more yeshivish girls (who came with their families) wore the traditional black shoes, black tights, black skirt and neat sweater. Yeshivish looking teenaged boys were notably absent.

Kids- The families that brought children were mostly yeshivish. I guess it's only worth the trip from Brooklyn if you are taking more than six kids along for the ride. They were the best dressed kids in the park (or course) and lines for the tot-rides looked like a high end stroller showroom.

Women - Oh... My... God! Why oh why would a woman go to six flags in a sheitle and high heels?! I understand it's chol ha'moed and you don't want to look shlumpy but I saw some women there with more jewelry on than I will own in my lifetime. Do the words ostentatious and inappropriate mean nothing to these people? NO? OK how about mugging?

At the other extreme there were a few older Chasidish women dressed in shapeless velvety bathrobes and slipping snoods revealing what I'll generously refer to as "high foreheads." They shuffled around the place as if it were an extention of their bedrooms occasionally yelling a few words in Yiddish to one of their many children as they zipped to and fro.

There were also a few women who I'll call "Hot Chanies" (also TM.) These women, mothers in their mid-twenties or early thirties who came to the park with boys with payos tucked behind their ears, and little girls in tights and matching jumpers. These women were dressed to kill (think Boro Park meets Bond girl) in full makeup with long, sleek, sexy sheitles, tight sweaters and skirts slit high up the side, and high heeled boots! Bending over to put their kids into the rides they certainly attracted plenty of attention if not wolf whistles. This is a style I've not seen much of before but it didn't seems to phase their husbands who seemed to gaze about blankly while talking on their cell phones (as mentioned above.)

OK this was a shallow post I admit, but fun.
I spent my whole adolescence being "deep." Clearly the ditzy girls were onto something, but I promise not to make it a habit.

51 Comments:

At 11:30 AM, Blogger SephardiLady said...

I've thought about talking about cell phones a lot. While I appreciate technology, it seems that cell phones have managed to make parents disengage from their children.

I remember growing up standing in plenty of long lines with my parents. Cell phones weren't even invented at the time and people just talked to their families. In fact, it was a great bonding opportunity.

Today, many parents, fail to even greet their children after school because the cell phone is glued to their ears.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger SephardiLady said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

LOL.

I would definitely be the guy in the hockerware with the hot Chanie.

But I don't ignore my kids. My kids would be quiet and touch NOSSING!

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Shallow or not....any stream of thought that led to coining the "Hot Chanie" demographic is well worth writing!!

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Great sum-up. From what I hear, Hershey Park was a bit different, grabbing a larger variety.

We were in Balto for last days, and you can tell immediately who is a transplanted Brooklynite: They're the "Hot Chanies" (or trying to be). They're also the ones who are standing at the front of the women's section jabbering, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the women's section.

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

"Hot Chanies . . . This is a style I've not seen much of before but it didn't seems to phase their husbands who seemed to gaze about blankly"

at least they were not looking at the other hot chanies.

and by the way, do you have terms for a chanie-in-training (like "ars tza'atzu'a" in hebrew) or a chanie-wanabe (someone who emulates one but clearly falls short)

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

and the solution to this whole chilul hashem business is simple. next year insist that the parks hire jewish employees from brooklyn.

 
At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The more yeshivish girls (who came with their families) wore the traditional black shoes, black tights, black skirt and neat sweater. Yeshivish looking teenaged boys were notably absent.

Kids- The families that brought children were mostly yeshivish. I guess it's only worth the trip from Brooklyn if you are taking more than six kids along for the ride. They were the best dressed kids in the park (or course)"
While in the preview to this post you make mention of the chillul(lei) hashem that you observed, I think this exerpt is a prime example of a kiddush hashem. These children who are dressed in thier finest in honor of the Yom Tov, instead of treating the day as just another vacation day, make me proud to be associated with them. When I see the way people from my neighborhood dress on Chol Hamoed, I cringe, I love taking trips into Brooklyn on Yom Tov, just to see the honor these people give the holidays (although I could do without all the traffic). However the "Hot Chanies" are, unforunately quite a Chillul Hashem, as well as an embarrassment to orthodox people everywhere.

"and lines for the tot-rides looked like a high end stroller showroom."

In defense of those parent's, I'd just like to note, that if I were a parent of 6 children (or planning to have that large a family) I'd try to buy the best stroller out there, so it would survive the amont of abuse it is sure to go through.

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Big Fan said...

These people dress the same way on chol hamoed and yom tov and weekdays, as far as I can tell. I am sure there is some difference, but to a Jeans wearing MO type, I can't tell.

 
At 5:37 PM, Anonymous henry kissenger said...

At hershey park, they had chabadninks with the lulavim too.

Everyone seemed to be on their cell phone. The teenagers were talking to each other. I saw some of the frum men talking on the rides. If they don't care about flying chezkie, at least they should care about flying hockerware.

I can't believe I forgot to mention that in my post. Next time I should bring my palm pilot. (Hanging from my pants in full view of course)

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous the one who will soon become known said...

Hot Chanies! Lol! Shifra does it again. *chuckles all the way to the kitchen*

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

an interesting mix!

i bet the 'chol-hamoed-tutty' look was going on for the men - smart shirt, pants with running shoes, a cap (instead of the black hat) and all the gadgets, tzitzit flying everywhere.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Disclaimer: In the unlikely event that my Hot Chanie reads my comment, let me say that although she is a Hot Chanie she is also not afraid to get her hands dirty. (Yes she pulls the weeds in our back yard. I have "allergies.") And she does NOT wear a sheitel (or a meitel) to the amusement park. She goes on all the roller coasters and vomit rides with the big kids, while I dutifully sacrifice the nausea so that I can take The PT on that little ride where the boats just go around in a small circle.

 
At 8:37 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Also, here's an interesting observation that I probably would have blogged about if I had had a blog a few years back:

We went to a little amusement park up in Green Bay (yes, da home of de Packurs) a few years ago. The rides were mostly kiddy rides with a few olde tyme rides like a ferris wheel and smallish roller coaster.

There were two families there dressed like frummies. One had girls in longish skirts but shorter sleeves and boys in shorts and polo shirts.

The second had girls in long shirts and long skirts (or frilly dresses) and boys in long white shirts and dark long pants.

Each family had about 6 kids.

The first family's kids were mostly well behaved, but occasionally their father had to keep them from wandering off or making too much noise.

The second family was incredibly well behaved and polite.

Figure it out yet?

The first family was the PT clan.

The second was a fundamentalist Christian family.

We made eye contact and nodded knowingly, but never actually tried to speak to each other.

We traded looks that said that we realized we had more in common with each other than with the rest of the crowd of bikini tops and short shorts. And beer bellies. Yuck.

 
At 12:46 AM, Anonymous Rachel said...

I have a good friend from college who is an observant Muslim who had the biggest crush on a "hot Channie" that was in a class of ours. He just thought that she was so sexy and mysterious.

 
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At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 10:53 AM, Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Hot Chanies defintely enters the pantheon. Brilliant!

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Elie said...

"Hot Channie" definitely deserves to enter the lexicon. Now you need to draft the Wikipedia entry - compete with photos of course!

In all seriousness, every time I see a HC type (there are always a bunch of them at chasunahs, e.g.), it just strikes me what an absolute mockery this makes of the laws of tznius. Can anyone understand why this is apparently condoned by the yeshiva world poskim, who seem to have such tremendous authority to mandate chumras when it comes to areas like kashrus and Shabbos? Or is feminine allure one of those things that is just not legislatable?

On that last point, as an interesting comparison, see here.

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"However the "Hot Chanies" are, unforunately quite a Chillul Hashem, as well as an embarrassment to orthodox people everywhere."

re: "hot chanies", we may object to their ironic dichotomy of hashgafa, but I hardly view the hot chanies as being a chilul hashem. If anything, they serve to distract the public from the poor manners of their correligionists.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

If you want to enter "Hot Chanie" into wikipedia, feel free to add it to my list of Jewish Blog definitions here.

 
At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Just wonderin' said...

@Elie- Since when do the yeshiva world rabbanim condone women dressing like that? Just because some women dress like that, does not mean that it is condoned, it means that people don't always listen.

@PsychoToddler- I don't understand your wikipedia entry at all. It is not a list of definitions that are used in the JBlogsphere, it is a list of Orthodox Jewish definitions. Yarmulke? Layning? These are not exclusive to the JBlogsphere. It should be under another wikipedia entry called "frum lingo" or somethin'.

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Elie said...

JW: If they condemn it, show me the sources - i.e., articles, speeches, teshuvas. E.g., TTTB were quite swift and efficient in banning shaitels that might have been used in idol worship. Where is the ban on shaitels that are too "long, sleek, and sexy" as per Shifra's description? I've seen published rules on blouse and skirt sleeve/hem length; where are the corresponding teshuvos on blouse and skirt tightness?

Won't happen. Like I said, some things you just can't legislate successfully. Like common decency and bayshanus (see my followup post today).

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger Elie said...

Oops, that acronym should have been TPTB (the powers that be).

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger Elie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:15 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

elie - for once I have to disagree with you. When I was in Bais Yaackov the teachers spent a ridiculous amount of time talking about JUST this subject- such as how tight clothing even if it covers all the right areas is totally innappropriate and there has been tons of writing about slits in skirts.

When I was in Israel I remember that some Rav had made a takanah about the maximum length of sheitels too (I think it was shoulder length or shorter.)

Oh believe me - rabbanim are not afraid to tell women what to wear.
I've even seen illustrated books so there will be no confusion (women aren't very smart you know.)
In fact I believe your sister-in-law may have such a volume around at her house (but they only keep it around for comic relief!)

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger Elie said...

Shifra: I stand corrected on the "lack of sources" count. I guess as a guy, I never was subjected to such (although of course tznius applies to men as well). In any case, the books you mention don't seem to have created any great dent in the ranks of the Hot Chanies.

My personal view of tznius is rather different than that of normative psak today. It basically boils down to "look modest by the standards of your society and locale". This would mean pants are OK, but not skintight ones, modest swimwear on the beach, modest blouses, etc.

Of course, tznius also applies to behavior, not just clothing - as per your previous post.

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

just wonderin - you're right, it started off as a list of terms culled from my own site. I put it on wikipedia so others could use and add to it.

 
At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but I hardly view the hot chanies as being a chilul hashem. If anything, they serve to distract the public from the poor manners of their"
Anon 5:24 here, We seem to differ in opinion as to what constitutes a chillul hashem. I personally believe that a chillul hashem is more common amongst other jews, than amongst gentiles. The primary example of chillul hashem amongst the poskim is when an aveira is preformed in front of ten or more fellow jews. The poor manners of coreligionist that you mention, is a far greater chillul hashem when preformed amongst jews, than when preformed amongst gentiles.

 
At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Just wonderin' said...

@PsychoToddler-
So maybe change it to a general list of "frum" words instead of being "davka" under the wikipedia heading of JBlogsphere

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Anon 5:24 here, We seem to differ in opinion as to what constitutes a chillul hashem. I personally believe that a chillul hashem is more common amongst other jews, than amongst gentiles. The primary example of chillul hashem amongst the poskim is when an aveira is preformed in front of ten or more fellow jews. The poor manners of coreligionist that you mention, is a far greater chillul hashem when preformed amongst jews, than when preformed amongst gentiles."

Who the hell was talking about gentiles? The only thing that mitigates the aching shame of seeing the slovenly behavior of schlubby chassidim and their dull, spiritually abused children is the number of Hot Chanies they bring along for the trip.

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Just wonderin' said...

That's harsh!

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

wow...what a post. (also proves that "shallow, sells" :)

Though, I must admit, I have more communication equipment on my belt on shabbat than most midsize technology companies have.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

JW (getting off topic): I don't want it to be a comprehensive list of all frum terms. It'll get too unweildly. It's just for terms people encounter when they read frum blogs.

 
At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that I do have a problem with the hypocrisy of the "Hot Chanis". I wear pants and shorter sleeves but always cover my hair (usually with some sort of hat) and I am looked down upon by these women and a large part of my community for the pants. However, women who walk around in shirts that are so tight that you can see their ribcage (and more)and low cut (it's quite a view) with skirts so tight (you know they must be wearing a thong) are considered frummer because they don't wear pants and they only wear a sheitel (obviously the frummer thing to do). They send their kids to the ultra-yeshivish schools (as opposed to one that might be..gasp..zionistic) their sons have payos behind their ears and their husbands say torah as "toyrah". Why are these women more acceptable in the community that one who dresses modestly, but is pants as opposed to a skirt?

 
At 1:22 PM, Anonymous A-nony-mouse said...

I work for an Orthodox organization. Ages ago, there was an Orthodox part-timer in my office who occasionally wore a blouse that covered her elbows but not her cleavage. What on earth made her think that that blouse was tzanua (modest)?

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

"Toyrah"! Hmph. Everyone knows it's "tayra."

 
At 9:57 PM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...

i agree with PT.... about the "tayra" :-)

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger SephardiLady said...

I disagree with PT and Steg. :) :)

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

question--How do the Hot Chanies, who have gaggles of young children have time to put on all that makeup? I have 3 kids and I;m lucky if I can get on sunscreen and chap-stick. I know--their shiksa is doing all the childcare.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I agree with steg who agrees with me and disagree with sefardilady who disagrees with steg who agrees with me.

frum cleavage...dunno how I should feel about that...

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...

Shifra, it looked like you offended some of those "Hot Chanies"

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Steg - yes I saw that...
And Barbie has got NOTHING on the women I saw at six flags...

Still I think I may have been misunderstood - I wasn't speaking out against Hot Chanie-ness just making observations. I'm actually all for Jewish women looking attractive it's just a strange juxtiposition of yeshivish and sexy... tzarich iyun.
I'll have to write a follow up eventually.

 
At 5:55 PM, Blogger Halfnutcase said...

personaly i think it's really sad that these girls feel a need to be eye candy.

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Ariella said...

Shifra, you're a genuis about phrasing: "Bond girl meets Boro Park" - that's brilliant!

 
At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came up in the Jewish 'hood, and I really do go for the Hot Chanie, or as I call it, the "frum slut" look (sigh)...

WHat can I say? I think a tight blouse that covers the elbows, a straight snug skirt to the knees and high-heels is just ..wow.

As you were.

 
At 12:26 AM, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Maybe making it an occasional habit would be ok...this was really funny! Hockerwear, Hot Chanies and "high foreheads"- classic!

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger HotHornyHasidic said...

at best the only one who minds if you hc walk around looking like sluts is your hubbys when they see us ogling you. eye candy is great

 
At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all i can say is improve yourself and your own tznius before you judge everyone else.
we all have our own imperfections and i personally think that the biggest kidush Hashem would be if all jews got along tznius and non-tznius. we all have our own things to work on and perfect whether it's tznius, shimiras haloshon, tefilla, derech eretz, anger, savlanus.... and the list continues- so the next time your about to criticize a Hot Chani keep in mind that you might be a Shmoozing Eli during tefilla!

 
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