>It is time to acknowledge that sometimes it is better to be shaven than not to be shaven.  While I find this to be infrequently true, it often crosses my mind when I am near Hasidic people.  Now don’t get the wrong idea: I am not anti-Semetic; I am just anti-zealot and pro basic hygiene.  (This is a problem that plagues fundamentalists of many faiths, but I more often run into groups of Hasidic guys than other smelly hairy religious nutjobs because of where I live and where I have traveled of late.)

Anyway, when you don’t bathe very often, it is not a good idea to have lots of bushy hair.  (It is also not a good idea to wear lots of layers of wool clothes, particularly in the summer.)  This just traps germs and accentuates the nasty body odors generated by sweaty adults.  While I have had some passionate debates with people who swear that it is not true that Hasidic people have sex through a sheet, I can absolutely see why it would be necessary.  How can you procreate like rabbits if you pass out from the smell of your partner?

While I was in Jerusalem in August, I went to the Western Wall.  Initially I was livid at the vile sexist conditions that existed.  For those of you unfamiliar with obnoxious tradition, the men and women each pray at their own segregated section of the wall.  Oddly enough, the women’s section is tiny and sucks ass, while the men have tons of space and lots of new prayer books and torahs to use.  As I stomped around the plaza fuming at the injustice, I considered that it might be worth risking my life and throwing a bloody tampon onto the men’s side of the wall and desecrating it.  (Actually, the idea still makes me laugh and laugh, although the mob that would surely beat me to death immediately for such an unholy action is not all that amusing.)  But only time and thousands of miles can bring an important truth to the forefront: the men clearly need more space because they reek.  And while I loathe segregation by sex, I do acknowledge that it spares the women (myself included) from standing next to gross germy men, and probably allows for a more introspective spiritual experience.

I’d still throw a bloody tampon if I thought there was even a chance I could get away with it, though.