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Published: Saturday, 8/11/2012

Special glasses offered to ultra-Orthodox men

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICE

JERUSALEM -- It's the latest prescription for extreme ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who shun contact with the opposite sex: Glasses that blur their vision, so they don't have to see women they consider to be immodestly dressed.

In an effort to maintain their strictly devout lifestyle, the ultra-Orthodox have separated the sexes on buses, sidewalks, and other public spaces in their neighborhoods. Their interpretation of Jewish law forbids contact between men and women who are not married.

Walls in their neighborhoods feature signs exhorting women to wear closed-necked, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts.

Now they're trying to keep them out of clear sight altogether.

The ultra-Orthodox community's unofficial "modesty patrols" are selling glasses with special blur-inducing stickers on their lenses. The glasses provide clear vision for up to a few meters so as not to impede movement, but anything beyond that gets blurry -- including women.

For men forced to venture outside their insular communities, hoods and shields that block peripheral vision are also being offered. The glasses sell for $6.



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