02.07.2011 30.Siwan, 5771 Chukat
In the ultra-Orthodox community, gender segregation in public places is slowly seeping into the home. But there is distress among some about what they see as excessive vigilance.
As soon as she entered the home of her relatives in Jerusalem, where she and her husband had been invited for a holiday meal, D. caught sight of the table set in the kitchen. When she turned her head, she saw the much bigger and grander table set in the living room with much finer cutlery and china. Smiling, she turned to her husband and said: "They're putting us in the kitchen." She recalls that her hostess turned white in response, "as if I had touched a raw nerve," and asked D., sounding quite amazed: "You don't mean that you actually want your husband to sit with you in the kitchen? The table [in the kitchen] is for the women."
Even before her hostess set her straight, D. suspected that the reason two dining tables were set was to separate the men from the women, not merely to provide more elbow room for the diners….