Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Am I The Only One Not Bothered By This?

Vos Iz Neias has an article about some new rules that are being adopted by twenty hotels in Israel in the hopes of attracting more chareidi guests. Among the rules are:

  • No TV (unless requested, but see below for more on this)
  • No Internet unless it's a married couple
  • No viewing of the swimming areas from the rooms
  • Tznius dress for hotel staff
  • Separate bars for men and women
  • Separate beds in the rooms (or an additional bed to be added)

As you can expect, the article generated a few responses. Among them are:

And the Talibanization of Israel begins. Personal responsibility is no longer an option: The hotels must make those weighty choices for its guests.

in the words of the great Bob Grant "they are sick and getting sicker"


Most of the comments are about the regualtions and how silly some of them are.

I agree that a lot of the rules are silly (what's the difference if a person is married and want to access the Internet?), but that's not really the point. Truth be told, I'm not terribly troubled by this.

I think that this was simply a business decision made by the owners of the hotels to attract a different sort of clientelle. They want to attract more chareidim to their establishments and are willing to give up the guests (and their money) who would not stay in a resort such as that. If they guessed correctly, then they will thrive, or else they will have to abandon/modify their policies or go out of business.

As long as the policies are clear to a person making a reservation, and as long as there are alternatives for those that want them, I don't really see why this is a big issue -- it's a business decision -- no more, no less.

As an aside, I found the following rule particularly laughable:

"The television equipment will be disconnected, at the very least by removing the cable and closing it away in storage, as well as disconnecting the central control in reception, such that no one can turn it on. The television itself will be covered or closed in a closet. A guest who does not observe the Torah and mitzvot, or someone who claims he has a television at home and his looks prove this, will be directed to a rabbi who will authorize that he be connected to the television."

I'm curious -- how can you prove someone has a TV in their home just by looking at them?

The Wolf


Anonymous said...

the TV rule is great. How does someone's looks prove that he has a television at home?

Larry Lennhoff said...

I assume people who have a TV at home wear a kippah sruga, or at least a hat in a color other than black, If female they will wear something other than a sheitel on their heads, or else they will just lack the air of pure spirituality that a true eshet chayil possesses.

Perhaps the rabbi takes on the great spirtual danger of watching TV himself and asks the guests a few questions to confirm they actually watch TV shows?

Anonymous said...

Just a rabbi to determine if they can watch TV? That kind of deceision takes at least a gadol hador.

G*3 said...

The problem with something like this is that it increases community control over people vs. personal responsibility. I imagine that only these "kosher" hotels will be sanctioned by the chareidi community, and anyone going to a non-approved hotel will suffer social consequences (gossip, shidduchim, etc.)...

reading the original article, I see that only hotels cleared by the "Committee for the Character of the Jewish People" are to be granted kashrus certification (for food). This would force the committee's standards on anyone who's frum.

Why is it up to the rabbi to "authorize" the connection of the TV. Even if the hotel disconects all the TVs because that is what most of the guests want, shouldn't the TV be reconected when someone asks for it without a rabbi being involved?

This one is funny

• Hotel employees
"Women to be dressed modestly"

Apparently the men can walk around nude.

ProfK said...

You could be right Wolf that this is purely a business decision. The hotels may be in areas that have gone to the right and the hotels foresee a need for hotel accomodations for the type of people who would want to stay in such areas. If they asked their communities what would attract people to this hotel from your group, well, you have at least some of your answers.

Another possibility is that the hotels border areas that are unfriendly to those who are not obviously chareidi, or where there have been incidents with locals attacking or harassing visitors who are clearly different. If the hotels want to stay in business they may not have any choice, business or otherwise.

Without knowing which hotels are involved it is also possible that the hotels are not "up to the standards" that many out of country travelers might require, and it's easier to go the chareidi route rather than undertake the kind of upgrades and redecorating that a less right olam would require.

As to the being able to tell a tv watcher by how they look, are they going to use their little crystal balls too? I thought "kishuv machen" was ossur?

Mikeinmidwood said...

I had the same question on the last comment, Im guessing he means kippah srugah or blue shirt wearer. And what does he mean by the rabbi will tell them to let him have a tv, since when does a rabbi (in israel) ever let it at all.

Ariella's blog said...

When I was a child, my father used to cut the plug off the TV when he wanted to put an end to our watching. It was a very educational tactic. We learned how to attach plugs to wires. Ironically, most of us do not have television sets in our own homes. From what I've seen of TV today (there were sets on without sound in the gym) I don't think I am missing anything.

Shalmo said...

God-willing this rabbis are doing their fair share to produce more and more apostates. The more they try to move Jewry like obedient little robots, the more apostates they will produce. Religion only lasts when we have the option to accept it willingly as opposed to being forced down our throats.

Anonymous said...

You asked for it But Part of the problem most of those people don't know what xenophobia is.

Unknown said...

After reading the details of the rules, it sounds to me like the idea here is for these hotels to "protect" the young charedi males.

It seems to me like the idea is that this hotel "won't let you" watch tv, or surf the internet if they fear you are actually charedi and trying to "escape".

I'm really not sure what to think about it, but it's certainly not "silly." It's actually very smart and possibly manipulative.