Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ housing

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “homes”, came with this note: “You didn’t see that one coming, did you? Here’s the story behind this week’s strip.” (JAC: I give an excerpt below the strip):

The National Secular Society has criticised a London council for building housing with special features designed to accommodate the beliefs of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

The block, expected to be completed in 2021, will feature a higher number of large homes, with four or five bedrooms, than would normally be the case on such an estate. This is out of special consideration for Haredi families, which typically include seven or eight children.

The council is working with architects to ensure that some of these large social rented homes meet additional requirements of the local orthodox Jewish community. Most of the balconies at Tower Court will be open to the sky rather than stacked above each other as usual. This is for Jewish families to erect a Sukkah, a hut built for the feast of Sukkot that must sit beneath open sky in order to be ‘religiously compliant’.

Additionally, Tower Court will include lifts that do not require manual operation on the Jewish Sabbath, as orthodox Jews say they are forbidden from activating electrical equipment on this day. Such lifts have been criticised for wasting considerable amounts of energy and they usually involve constantly running the elevator up and down every floor of a building, repeatedly servicing floors where it is not needed.

The kitchens will feature a large volume of storage space to accommodate separate meat and dairy kitchen equipment and ceremonial dishes required by kosher rules. There will also be special walls designed for shelves of religious books.

The NSS’s objections:

. . . Although some media sources have claimed that this is the first time a UK council has put together a residential development that specifically caters for the needs of a religious group, the Tower Court development echoes a similar project in 2005 to build council houses with Muslim sensibilities in mind.Sixteen flats in Bristol were built with toilets not facing the south east, specifically so the tenants of the flats do not face Mecca when they use them. [JAC: this is a new one to me!]

Megan Manson, campaigns officer at the NSS, said: “It is worrying that Hackney Council has gone to such lengths to appease the highly specific and complex demands of a religious community. Why should religious affiliation give anyone greater entitlement to demand larger homes with more rooms and more kitchen storage?

“For the sake of efficient public spending, and the sake of social cohesion, social housing should be built according to universal standards of safety, comfort and value for money. Religious considerations, which ultimately lead to increased segregation, should not be a factor.”

Do you agree?

67 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    IMO they should just put the toilets out on open-to-the-sky balconies, facing northwest, and cover both religion’s requirements. And the space saved by not having an indoor bathroom will offset the larger kitchens all will enjoy!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    This gives new meaning to the term “holy …”

    Naaahhh I won’t….

    • Desnes Diev
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Holy Feng shuit?

  3. Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Not much of an issue. If the expense associated with buildings is in line with other buildings, why not reinforce the occupant’s superstitions … uh, never mind. If individuals insist on living a particular way, then it is incumbent upon them to joint together in a building association to get their needs satisfied … *as it always has been*. This is a little like a Vegan neighbor inviting themselves to your barbecue and then complaining about the menu.

    On Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 8:45 AM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “homes”, > came with this note: “You didn’t see that one coming, did you? Here’s the > story behind this week’s strip.” (JAC: I give an excerpt below the strip): > The National Secular Society has criticised a London co” >

    • somer
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Exactly. public housing is just that – not religious ghettoes. Why are these groups always rewarded for their intransigence – so long as they are religious? If they cant organise their special needs themselves let them have rabbit hutches.

  4. David Duncan
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Why are councils (i.e. the taxpayer) even building these appartments? The ultra orthodox and Moslems can build and pay for these themselves.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I assume the Haredi and Muslims concerned otherwise qualify for council housing. You’re not suggesting they be excluded on religious grounds, are you?

      It would certainly constitute a violation of the First Amendment to apply a religious test for Section 8 housing in the US.

      • kurtzs
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Sizes and amenities should be the same for all sects if a government project funded by taxpayers. You twisted the issue!

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I agree that the religiosi should bear the costs themselves for any modifications to the apartments. But Mr. Duncan contends “[t]he ultra orthodox and Moslems can build and pay for these [i.e., the apartments] themselves,” not just the modifications, so I’m hardly twisting the issue.

      • David Duncan
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        If they can’t afford standard housing, sure, but they can meet the additional costs imposed by their religious scruples. And they can keep their dicks in their pants if they want to impose the cost of that many kids on the taxpayer.

  5. Addie Pray
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I see no issue with certain accommodations in particular circumstances– for instance, allowing orthodox Jews to run a fishing line around a neighborhood atop telephone poles as an “eruv”, which allows them to carry items on the Sabbath, since such an accommodation has no affect on anyone else (the line is essentially invisible, and as long as taxpayers don’t pay for its placement and maintenance, who cares) Such an accommodation may be pointless or silly to many of us, but to implement it neither “picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”. But I have to imagine there is significant added taxpayer expense for the modifications listed above, which would count as pocket picking.

    • Graham
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      “such an accommodation has no affect on anyone else” Not necessarily true if one thinks of the law of unintended consequences. eg the creation of an eruv will attract other utra-orthodox to the area, changing its character. It could become a de facto ghettto. House prices could be depressed; or increased.

      • Posted November 9, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        You could make that same argument against the building of a church (it will attract more of a particular faith) or a Halal restaurant /butcher (Muslims will flock there). A gay bar will attract certain people to the neighborhood, too. That strikes me as a weak argument against a minor accommodation.

    • Debbie Coplan
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I also think it’s very unwelcoming to people that want to live in a certain area or who already live in the area that don’t have the same religious faith as those putting up these religious symbols. There are “eruv” wires near UC San Diego where I live and I think it’s not right to declare an area for your specific religious faith.

      • Posted November 9, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        An eruv doesn’t declare an area for a faith. It encloses the neighborhood so the haredi can carry on Shabbat, makes it “a single property” essentially. It’s doesn’t imply ownership or exclusion of anyone else. I’ve lived in neighborhoods with and without eruvs and unless I ask, I could not tell you if it’s there or not. If someone wanted to sprinkle a teaspoon of incense at the corners of my neighborhood to ward off evil or whatever, it would trouble me just as little and should be equally permitted.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Somehow, we secularists always end up with the shitty end of the gored ox.

  7. darrelle
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    If it requires significantly more money to accommodate the religious customs I would so no, it is not appropriate. If it merely took a bit of additional planning and design work, then I think that may be appropriate.

    I’ve no problem with the government providing housing for people in need. But I think it would be inappropriate for the government to give more to one group then to others due to religious beliefs. If our society was post scarcity and everyone could be accommodated to their liking, then no problem. But we aren’t there yet.

    • darrelle
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Jesus. Than, not then.

  8. Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    If this was in the good old USA, there would be marches and statues of King Henry VIII coming down, opps Henry was not a Muslim or a good Christian. Seriously, religious groups should sponsor their own building. Although, didn’t a certain church sponsor the building of Oxford?

  9. BobTerrace
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I do not agree with them. Public housing should not be used to accommodate superstitious dogma, since the public pays for it.

    If they want special features, they can build their own and pay for it.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 9, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      +1

  10. Ray Little
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The families involved did not choose to be Haredi, did they? I see this as analogous to building with consideration for tenants who must use wheelchairs (ramps, wider doorways, etc.) Of course, I’m not suggesting that being religious is in any way a handicap — or AM I?

    The NSS should pack it in: they lose credibility with this kind of carping.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Huh? All religion is voluntary, to the extent that anything is.

      • Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Judaism doesn’t seem work that way. Not too long ago I met a guy who told me that he was “half Jewish and half Italian.”

        • GBJames
          Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          The religious aspect of Judaism is still voluntary. There are plenty of atheist Jews in the world. One can’t choose one’s ethnicity, exactly, but nobody who is a Haredi Jew must remain one.

          (Leaving aside all discussion of the nature of free will.)

          • Ray Little
            Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

            Religion is voluntary? Oooh-kay! Let each of the above commenters (except me) leave a comment in something other than their native language. People do learn other languages, and sometimes use the new languages brilliantly (Vladimir Nabokov comes to mind) but it isn’t easy. We’re all indoctrinated in any number of ways, some bad, some good. Those who shed their family’s religion are often those who were only half-heartedly indoctrinated (my family were Anglican) or those who were offended by their religion’s moral contradictions, hypocrisy and cruelty.

    • kurtzs
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      You seem to be doing just that, but it is a false comparison. This is a legal issue, and church and state are supposed to be separate, at least in the US.

      • Ray Little
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Not in the UK: the Queen is the defender of the faith — I believe that’s one of her official titles.

  11. Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    That phrase, “Muslim sensibilities”, used by The National Secular Society, is an amusing oxymoron.

    I hasten to add that it would be equally amusing if the name of any other religion were substituted in place of “Muslim.”

  12. Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Do you think the “toilets facing away from Mecca” thing might have been some enormous joke? Perhaps a government official was gulled by a snarky Muslim cleric.

    Ok so I googled it. I guess it really is a thing. https://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/01/uk-prison-toilets-rebuilt-to-face-away-from-mecca

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      So this means Allah gets to see their arseholes? “I fart in your general direction”?

      Do these people have no sense of the absurd?

      For some reason I find this quite amusing. Distressing but amusing.

      cr

    • somer
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      What about Chinese who believe in Feng shwei?? Britain is different from the US – there has been a lot of accommodation there and the Conservative government doesn’t like to upset religion – especially Abrahamic religion. There used to be a lot of prejudice towards some groups but now it goes the other way regarding this. The police around the country are constantly warning people not to post “hate crime” that might upset someone or “inappropriate comment” that might upset someone or they can expect swift consequences.

      Why do only non Christian Abrahamic religious groups get this special attention? The more they pull the – “if you accommodated me more and more and more I wouldn’t feel discriminated against and I would fit in” thing the more they get in Britain. And in the case of Haredi they don’t want anything to do with the non Haredi community, often wont work cos they are studying the scriptures and have heaps of children. Why the pandering?

  13. BJ
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I think they should build houses that accommodate the religious *if and only if* they can build them for the same cost of secular housing. If it can be built for the same cost, it would be wrong to exclude certain groups from being able to take advantage of social housing simply because it would be against their religion to do so. We all think these religious beliefs are stupid, but for these people, it’s either have the home conform to the religious rules they believe they cannot disobey, or not be able to take advantage of social housing like every other person can. So long as the cost can be made the same, I don’t see any reason not to accommodate.

    • kurtzs
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      If these are temporary and/or emergency housing units, making them in configurations for different religions would greatly reduce the flexibility of reuse. An 8 bedroom unit would need more than one bathroom, for example. If a family with one child, or a single parent with one or two needed housing, that unit would be a huge waste. Also, the large ones must cost more: new construction is normally priced by the square footage.

    • CJColucci
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I don’t mind a minor expense. After all, a toilet has to face some direction, so why not a direction that suits everyone? Some families are large not because of religion but because the parents engage in lots of unprotected sex with each other. But if it becomes seriously costly or inconveniences others, that’s a different matter.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      That business with the balconies could cost quite a bit more.

      As for the large families, they’re entitled to accommodation like anyone else with a large family. The question arises though, if there is a general need for such accommodation (in which case the Haredi cost the taxpayer no more than anyone else) or whether the Haredi are exceptional in that regard (in which case they should be told to knock it off. And so should the Catholics of course).

      cr
      (Personally, I’m with the Chinese – you have one kid, that’s it. The world doesn’t need more people. But that’s a peripheral issue).

    • somer
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      there may be a lot of hidden costs. The authorities have to look for particularly oriented land and sometimes wind up buying more expensive land. Their planning costs de facto increase but that isn’t shown. A great overall design on a particular site for shared facilities or some great feature that would have made the great bulk of people happy, can’t be implemented or is seriously watered down or costs more because its too difficult to accommodate the religious. I would think that a lot of these things would be impossible to cost in advance because they affect individual sites.

  14. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Separation of religion and public housing should certainly apply in the U.S. However, it probably does not in other places even though it should.

  15. busterggi
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    last time I looked the Earth was pretty spherical. Doesn’t that mean that if a toilet faces away from Mecca from one side, that side will face towards Mecca just from farther away?

  16. Jamie
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Monetarily sovereign nations, like the U.K. and the U.S. do not fund public projects with taxes, therefore, differential building costs do not represent differential tax burdens and cost in general is not the most important consideration in public housing.

    I am against secular governments pandering to religious sensibilities in housing, however, it does make sense to provide pubic housing in a variety of designs. Cookie-cutter boxes and large communities with no variety in architecture or living accommodations stand as a testament to our systematic mistreatment of, and stinginess toward, the lower classes. Ditto, keeping them all ghettoed in the same place. Public housing should be integrated into existing communities, using existing structures as much as possible. The main reason we don’t do this is the protective jealousy of middle-class home owners who will only agree to provide for the poor, housing of inferior stock and somewhere outside their own precious enclaves.

    Since builders do not generally consider the direction the toilets face (have not, historically), there will be roughly 25% of existing housing stock with toilets already facing away from Mecca. I do think that applicants for public housing ought to be allowed to choose from the available options the housing that best fits their needs, including roof access and toilet direction if those are the things they care about. And there should be sufficient housing stock (and of sufficient variety) in the pubic pool to allow for some meaningful choice. But for central governments, this is all about political will not cost.

    European, and other, states that have abandoned their monetary sovereignty, do have to consider costs, and do require tax money to provide public housing. Different arguments apply in those circumstances.

    • kurtzs
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Please give a reference for “Monetarily Sovereign” Nation’s not using tax revenues ( plus borrowings of course) to pay for expenditures of all kinds. Some may opt for Treasury to issue new monies, but that is not the rule. And eventually severe devaluation sets in if too much is issued.

      • Jamie
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Here is one reference:

        https://mythfighter.com/2010/08/13/monetarily-sovereign-the-key-to-understanding-economics/

        Or, see the entire Department of Economics at UMKC, read the works of L. Randall Wray, Stephanie Kelton, Jamie Galbraith, Joe Firestone or J.D. Alt., or try the Modern Money Primer at New Economic Perspectives.

        But rather than a reference I would prefer to give you an understanding. So ask yourself, if the U.S. government requires taxes to get dollars, where do the people get the dollars from in order to pay those taxes? Do you print dollars in your basement? The government spends dollars into existence, and has to do that before it can re-collect them as taxes. It does not need taxes for revenue. It only needs taxes to limit the growth of the money supply. (I hasten to add there are other good reasons for taxes… but revenue generation is not one of them.)

        • kurtzs
          Posted November 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          Commercial banks create by far the most money per year in the US. ( via loans)

          • Jamie
            Posted November 8, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

            You must understand that ‘dollars’ are abstract. The “dollar” is just the unit of account. When a bank issues a loan, credit is placed in an account and made available to the borrower. This has no effect on the money supply. How far do you think you’d get paying your federal taxes with money borrowed from the bank? The loan has to be repaid, and when it is, the “extra” money the bank “created” ceases to exist. What remains is an accounting transfer of interest from you to the bank. You get the temporary use of “bank dollars”; the bank get a permanent increase in capital from your interest payments. But that is money you must get from somewhere else. If you fail to repay the bank takes a loss. The bank doesn’t then shrug and say, “oh well, we just created those dollars out of thin air, so no matter.” The bank’s asset (loan) is your liability. When you extinguish your liability, the bank’s asset is simultaneously extinguished. The banking system moves money around in the private sector, but does not effect the amount of money available to the private sector. The bank is issuing credit, denominated in dollars… it is not issuing dollars. It is a significant difference.

            • kurtzs
              Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

              Suggest you read this:
              http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/economics/money/importance-of-monetary-policy-for-economic-stabilization-with-diagrams/38097

              The following three monetary policy measures are adopted as a part of an expansionary monetary policy to cure recession and to establish the equilibrium of national income at full employment level of output:

              1. The central bank undertakes open market operations and buys securities in the open market. Buying of securities by the central bank, from the public, chiefly from commercial banks will lead to the increase in reserves of the banks or amount of currency with the general public.

              With greater reserves, commercial banks can issue more credit to the investors and businessmen for undertaking more investment. More private investment will cause aggregate demand curve to shift upward. Thus buying of securities will have an expansionary effect.

              2. The Central Bank may lower the bank rate or what is also called discount rate, which is the rate of interest charged by the central bank of a country on its loans to commercial banks. At a lower bank rate, the commercial banks will be induced to borrow more from the central bank and will be able to issue more credit at the lower rate of interest to businessmen and investors.

              This will not only make credit cheaper but also increase the availability of credit or money supply in the economy. The expansion in credit or money supply will increase the investment demand which will tend to raise aggregate output and income.

              3. Thirdly, the central bank may reduce the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to be kept by the commercial banks. In countries like India, this is a more effective and direct way of expanding credit and increasing money supply in the economy by the central bank.

              With lower reserve requirements, a large amount of funds is released for providing loans to businessmen and in­vestors. As a result, credit expands and investment increases in the economy which has an expansionary effect on output and employment.

            • kurtzs
              Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

              Another link to short explanation:
              https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/moneysupply.asp

              • Jamie
                Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

                Thank you, however, we seem to be straying from the point. Also I know I wasn’t very clear above, and we are rapidly running out of literal space to carry on a conversation our host didn’t intend. As much as I would like to take another stab at it, I think it best just to offer one last link. I will then peruse the article you linked to, and if you care to, you can look over mine:

                http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/01/diagrams-dollars-modern-money-illustrated-part-1.html

                Cheers,

              • kurtzs
                Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

                Thanks.pls email kurtzsb@yahoo.ca and we can discuss later.

    • somer
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Fair enough muslims – because they are a large minority should be informed which units have loos facing away from Mecca. Varied housing is very important but it shouldn’t be increasingly dictated by whichever religious group is loudest, rather than by what is more desirable for residents generally. Effectively this means very religious groups get more priority than others.

      My problem with the Haredis is that they actually don’t want anything to do with the wider community but expect this – and de facto expect to grow their community at others expense. They do the same in Israel causing a lot of resentment and its a matter of time before they are made to take on the same responsibilities there as other jews.

  17. Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I’d be in favour of supporting the special constructions under the conjunction of three circumstances:

    1) They don’t cost any more money or time to do to speak of.
    2) A threshold for a “numbers needed” policy is established and maintained by proper debate and discussion
    3) The groups which can ask for these are not in any way filtered – anyone (secular or religious) can ask.

  18. Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    If the rents are high enough to responsibly pay off the housing costs, sounds like a business decision rather than support of religion.

  19. Chukar
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    1. The constantly-running elevator sounds like an unwarranted expense. Perhaps voice-activated? I presume Haredis are permitted to speak on the sabbath.

    2. Extra bedrooms could be accessible from 2 or more apartments. If one family doesn’t need it, another could use it.

    3. Adjust the toilet direction so Muslims could use the apartments if Haredis weren’t available.

    4. Question: How does a toilet FACE in any direction? A sitting human will face to one direction; a standing (urinating) male will face to the opposite direction. Unless they’re looking at their feet.

    5. Uncovered porches sound fine – enjoy the rain and fog 342 days of the year.

    6. Assuming that occupants are paying SOMETHING for the apartments, it should be on sq. ft. to be equitable with the more common smaller apts.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Re 4, many Muslims pee sitting down.** So, no conflict.

      And I can quite understand their desire to point their arseholes at Mecca while doing so. It’s what I’d do.

      cr

      ** I recall a note in a book about train travel in darkest west Africa – you could tell the Muslims from the Xtians quite easily. The Muslims would squat precariously in the doorway (no mention if they checked which way the train was facing). The Xtians just used the hand basin.

    • Posted November 9, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      While Haredim are of course allowed to speak on Shabbat, they cannot do any “work”, which includes using electricity. They won’t do anything that causes “work” to be done either. So they cannot push a button (which closes a circuit) and would consider a voice activated circuit to be the same thing. A shabbos elevator is running regardless of your presence or absence, so you are in no way activating it. There was a kickstarter campaign for a “shabbos switch”, which was a convoluted gadget that could turn on and off a light while not violating the specific halakhic rules for Shabbat. It’s all silly loopholes, but it means everything to this community. Hell, they have a basket of torn toilet paper for use on Shabbat since they can’t tear paper on the sabbath.

      • Chukar
        Posted November 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        If tearing off toilet paper is work, why isn’t actually wiping yourself with it work? Do others come and do that for them?

        If they can’t speak in order to get an elevator to operate, can they ask a non-Haredi to do something for them on the Sabbath – light the fire, open the fridge? Elevator or person – it’s still getting something (or someone) to do something. If they walk on the Sabbath and someone unknowingly blocks their way, can they ask them to move?

        How about neutral words for the elevator? “Nice day” gets the elevator moving. “My feet hurt” makes it stop at the next floor. Or is looking at the floor indicator light considered work? Can they watch where they’re going on the Sabbath or must they walk blindly?

        It all sounds like a lot of hard work in order to avoid doing trivial work, but I guess it keeps them off the streets and out of trouble.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 9, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          It seems to me totally idiotic. If they get someone else to do the ‘work’ for them, then they are still responsible. You don’t escape a murder charge by paying someone else to do the shooting. If G*d can’t see that they’ve only ‘avoided’ doing work on His Sabbath by specifically pre-arranging for it the day before He must be pretty thick. (And in engineering terms, running the elevator uselessly all day is just a profligate waste of energy and mechanical work. It will also wear it out faster and hence require more actual manual work to maintain. Daft.)

          But then that’s applying normal standards of causality and common sense to religion, which I guess is pointless. I can still call them idiots, though.

          cr

          • Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            The way it was explained to me that it is *less* of a sin if a non-Jew does the work.

      • jeremy
        Posted November 9, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        I’ll do the work for them!

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 9, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        That elevator is a total waste of energy and a crime against the environment.

        I recall Richard Feynman was not exactly complimentary about that same issue.

        cr

  20. alexandra Moffat
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Certainly do agree – specially for the extra bedrooms to make room for the additions to the over populated world. Idiocy. And talk about slippery slopes! Ceiling cats have special felines needs in their housing that could cause millions…

  21. ashdeville
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Nobody has mentioned that the Haredi are a comparatively economically unproductive group. Men just learn the torsh and the women are breeding stock. Doubt much tax is paid so little in the way of social contract.

    Likely that is why dedicated social housing is required – they won’t have the economic means to purchase or obtain a mortgage. Knowing the torah is unsurprisingly not a skill that you will be remunerated for.

    So my taxes are paying for this.

  22. Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    If you turn around and face away from Mecca, what part of your anatomy will then be facing toward Mecca?

  23. Posted November 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    F this, how do I go about pretending to be a Haredi Jew?

  24. eric
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    7 rooms, bigger kitchen with more storage space, and balconies that don’t stack one top of ones’ neighbors?

    While the motivation might be to accommodate Haredi Jews, I can’t see why anyone *wouldn’t* want such a nice place. So as long as the township is making the tenements equally available to anyone based on open bidding or some other method, I have no complaint.


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