On Jeans

 Posted by on October 10, 2012
Oct 102012
 

A Rabbi saying that jeans (genes) is the cause of all disease

If “he’s wearing jeans” or “she was seen in jeans”, forget it, he or she is not anymore. They are both history. Shiva! Jeans is the point of no return, the marker that you officially left. I don’t know how it so happened, but jeans has somehow earned the honorary title as symbolic article of clothing for those who leave frumkeit. When a person starts to wear jeans, a hundred Hasidic tongues start wagging. Because of the weight “jeans” and “pants” have on Hasidic identity, those who leave are imbued with a sense of monumental transition when wearing it for the first time as well.

In order to understand what this terrible thing jeans are, I polled about 40 Facebook “samples” about their jeans experience. The results were startling. The majority of those polled described jeans as “stiff” and “ill fitting”! It shocks my prudent senses just to think of it! What immodesty! Other respondents expanded a little bit on their first time experiences, all of them quite scandalous of course :) I thought I’d share it with you here some of their experiences.

“I got my first pair of jean at the Gap. I had no idea how they were supposed to fit, so I asked the woman managing the fitting room if she thought they looked right. I must say they felt great. So much more comfortable than skirts. I had always thought that pants would be less comfortable, but boy was I wrong. The first time I wore them out of the house I felt like a million dollars.”

“It took me a while to find a pair of jeans I felt comfortable in so I wore them around the house first but one of the first times I wore them outside of the house was pretty memorable – I walked right past my own mother in the local shopping mall and she did not recognize me! I don’t think she even saw me and I didn’t stop her because I wasn’t ready for “that” conversation just yet. It was an oddly dual feeling – both of conspicuousness in doing something publicly that I wasn’t “supposed” to be doing and invisibility of fading into the crowd because I was dressed like most of the people around me.”

“I used to hate jeans. I thought they made you look like a farmer. I started with only black ones, cuz they were less “goyish”…”

“For me it was very confusing at first. But then I realized that my legs were supposed to go through the holes and not my arms and it got better from there.”

“I still can’t even imagine myself wearing jeans, but you know, there is many other things I didn’t even dreamed a few years ago and now I’m quite ok with it.”

“My first pair of jeans was 3 sizes big- I don’t know what I was thinking.. but I felt comfortable.”

“For me, putting on Jeans wasn’t a big deal. But the first time someone took them off was a huge deal.”

There! Now taking the jeans off… that is sin – in the best possible way!

Frieda Vizel

In between raising her son, racing triathlons and cramming for graduate school, Frieda keeps busy by doodling and writing essays about her transition from Hasidism to life as a woman who charts her own creative path, trials, blessings and all.

  6 Responses to “On Jeans”

  1. Brilliant drawing, as always.

    As for one’s first jeans purchase, I once heard a good tip: Try on successively smaller sizes until you get to a pair that feels too tight. Then go one size smaller and you’ve got your size.

    The rules that goyim live with… :)

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  2. You are throwing me down memory lane.

    When I was a thirteen year old in yeshiva, there was this programmer that installed a new computer system, and he was visiting every Tuesday to train the staff.

    This guy used to come in every time for Mincha. Yes you guessed right, in his Jeans!

    I remember how we used to Muse about this guy who was like totally oopgefoorn, but is still coming for mincha. One of the office staff was also a magic shiur, and we used to peak in the office through an outside window to see him “learning programming” sitting right next to this oopgefoorener… the green dos system still vivid in my memory.

    When he found out he started closing the blinds…..

    Excellent as usual.

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  3. It’s like the age-old argument: You take off your “kaple” because you’re a goy, or because you’re a goy, you take off your kaple.
    Love the cartoon!

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  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is more of a Williamsburg/Monroe thing than general chareidi. In BP/Flatbush the jeans aren’t that distinctly goyish to begin with.

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  5. So we have the shaving head experience now its jeans.How about how mikvah night and sex in general is in the ultra Orthodox community? some myths and truths spill it all.

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  6. Reminds me of a joke:
    Diarrhea is hereditary because it runs in your genes…

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