Blurry glasses for Orthodox keep women out of sight

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. Extremists have accosted women they consider to have flouted the code.

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. It’s not known how many have been sold.

For men forced to venture outside their insular communities, hoods and shields that block peripheral vision are also being offered.

The glasses are going for the “modest” price of $6.

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