Intro note: to understand what restrictions there are on the internet for Hasidim, you have to understand how restrictions work in the Hasidic community. Unlike, say, in China, where the government can point-blank block domains, Hasidim who live in New York City cannot simply physically be blocked from using the internet. Instead, customs are enforced among Hasidim through a combination...

For us ultra-ultra-ultra (ultra) Orthodox Hasidim, handshaking with the other gender was prohibited. No handshakes, no hugs, not even passing a paper to my boss directly into his hands. I’d put it down on a table, and he’d pick it up. Now that I’m secular, I shake hands - not big deal. (I’m not so big on hugs though; they are...

They kiss. The Hasidic couple, of my community’s arranged marriage variety, has their first kiss in the private room. Someone recorded a Hasidic male teacher preparing the boy for marriage. The teacher is talking to a sheltered, nineteen year old boy who had no prior contact with women. The whole thing is difficult to listen to - for emotional reasons - but here...

I gave a tour of Hasidic Williamsburg to a group of Mennonites, which are similar to Amish but maybe in some ways less insular. I think. That's how they explained it to me. Notice me in the jacket without a pretty hand sewn dress! I look so bad. So much like a shiksa, a bad Jewish girl. But wait. They are all not even Jewish! The...

Best rephrase the question. Are Hasidic Jewish men allowed to sleep in bed with their wives while on their menstrual period? No. Hasidic couples in my neck of the woods get a wedding gift from their parents of an expensive bedroom set with two beds. Here are some pretty jaw dropping furniture sets from Chasuna Depot. See? Hasidic couples have separate beds. One night chest in the middle....

The shtreimel (שטריימל) is made of real beaver fur and is usually first received by a man from his bride’s family — the hat can be very expensive so this is a wedding gift. The man wears the shtreimel only once he gets married, and even then, on shabbes, holidays and other special occasions. Believe it or not, there is quite a...

I'm a tour guide in the mostly-Satmar Hasidic community in Williamsburg, and am surprised by the number of answers denying your experience instead of admitting that while it might not exist in their community, this does happen. Our tour groups go into several shops and we have often seen something like this in one way or another. For instance a...

When I was in 11th grade, at 17, the administration in our Hasidic girls school organized a day for the organization Dor Yeshurim (which Elka Weiss linked to, they do genetic testing) to come down to school. We all had to bring some money, a release and we all stood in line to give a blood sample. We knew it...

As a tour guide in Hasidic Williamsburg, I've gotten used to being asked this question. The first time I explained how Hasidim are educated - with all emphasis on religious learning - and I got this question, I didn't expect it. Having grown up Hasidic I wasn't used to thinking of education in the strictly vocational way that secular people...

I am one of fifteen. I'm the fifth. We have no twins. I grew up with the cycle of the once in two years birth of a sibling creating a pattern in our lives as predictable, exciting, stressful and rythmic as the holidays. Every year in December our house was turned aglow with Chanukah, every year we built a Sukkah for...

There's been a lot in the news recently about how Hasidic women dress for swim. This comes amid a controversy in Williamsburg over if the Metropolitan Pool should offer hours especially for women, catering to Hasidic women who will not swim in a coed pool. Yesterday the city announced that it will keep the women's hours, albeit only four instead...

Are you planning on passing by Hasidic Williamsburg on this weekend? The following tips might contribute to your fuller understanding of the neighborhood on these days.1.. This year, the two-day Shvies holiday is technically observed on Sunday and Monday the 12th and 13th of June, but since the holiday is immediately preceded by Saturday, the weekly Shabbos day of rest,...

Here's how incredibly different Hasidic NYC is from most of the rest of the city: as far as I observed, there is no tipping. The other day I overheard a secular woman ask the waiter at Gottlieb's Restaurant if he was sure there is no gratuity. The waiter smiled and insisted, in heavily accented English, that there is no gratuity....

I saw this the other day. The sign on this bus reads: "This 'air condition' on this bus was sponsored by the 'Ladies Auxiliary' of our congregation." I had to stop and take a picture, because I've never seen a part of a bus donated! And because I needed an air condition too, and I thought maybe this may be my answer. But...