New Square: Total Conformity, is this what Judaism is about?
Mishpacha magazine (Hebrew) published an interesting supplement for Pesach where they had a writer spend a Shabbos in different places and describe the experience. One of the places was New Square.
The piece emphasized the total conformity in New Square in every aspect of life. Here are some example:
- There are no restaurants, bakeries, prepared food stores in all of New Square. The only supermarket sells only basic items, no prepared food, no national brands. Everyone eats the same few staples
- Everyone eats the exact same food on Shabbos. For example, the menu in every family in New Square for the Friday night meal without exception is
- Gefilte fish
- Chicken Soup
- Fruit compote for desert
- There are no individual simchas. Every Shabbos there are approximately 10 aufrufs and ten bar mitzvas, they only throw candy at the end for everyone and there is 1 small kiddush after davening
- There is only 1 shul with only 1 minyan. On Shabbos morning at 8AM they start saying Tehilim for 3 hours, at 11AM they start Shacharis which takes over 3 hours
- There are 3 tishes every Shabbos which everyone must attend
- All the men dress exactly the same down to the boots that they all wear.
- There is complete separation between men and women
- separate sidewalks, one side men one side women, married couples aren't allowed to walk together
- separate waiting rooms at the doctor
- mechitza buses
- women leave shul after kedusha so that when the men leave there isn't a woman around