‘Furs come from God’ and a NY ban may endanger Orthodox Jews

‘Furs come from God’ and a NY ban may endanger Orthodox Jews June 22, 2019

A PROPOSED ban on the sale of new fur garments in New York could lead to attacks on Hasidic Jewish men, who are characterised by the enormous fur hats (shtreimels) that they wear.

Images via Facebook

Brooklyn  councilman Chaim Deutsch, inset, cited the Hasidic custom as a reason why he opposes the ban, even though the proposed legislation contains a religious exemption that would allow the sale of fur to those using it as part of their faith.

Deutsch, an Orthodox Jew, said:

Considering the fact that hate crime in New York City is on the rise, people will be targeted on the streets, saying, ‘Why are you wearing this if there’s a fur ban?’

In March, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced legislation that would ban the sale of new fur apparel.

As an animal lover, I believe it is cruel to kill an animal just for the purpose of people buying and wearing a fur coat. There is really no need for this.

In May, the council heard testimony from opponents and critics of the ban. Following the hearing, Johnson slightly changed his tune, saying he would want a potential ban to be phased in over time time to have a less dramatic impact on the industry.

During a hearing on the proposed legislation last month, Johnson showed graphic images of animals housed and killed for their pelts. A number of celebrities, including fashion guru Tim Gunn, have spoken out with PETA in favour of the ban.

The New York State Senate and Assembly also are considering bills to ban the sale of fur in the state.

Stores that earn the majority of their revenues through the sale of fur employ about 1,110 people, according to Fur NYC, which opposes the ban. That doesn’t include a supply chain that includes marketing, banking and insurance, says the trade group. According to Fur NYC:

A fur ban would be catastrophic to New York City – eliminating a historic manufacturing community, along with thousands of jobs for New Yorkers who’ve never made another living and millions of tax revenue that fund critical government programs that help New Yorkers.

Alexander Rapaport, a Hasidic Jew who runs a Brooklyn-based network of kosher soup kitchens, echoed Deutsch’s fears.

There are thousands and thousands of citizens who wear [the shtreimel] for culture and tradition, and it’s almost symbolic to their way of life.

Made from the tails of sables and foxes, shtreimels can cost as much as $5,000. Image via YouTube.

Rapaport questioned the efficacy of the bill, since it would only ban fur in New York, and wondered whether it would put “a bulls-eye on every shtreimel.”

Some see the religious exemption as problematic and untenable. Bezalel Stern, an attorney at Kelley, Drye & Warren, LLP, representing the International Fur Federation, says the exemption violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause because it would favour religion and have the government evaluate the validity of a person’s religious claim.

Stern fears that if the law were to pass, the religious exemption would not stand up in court.

I think the [City Council] speaker knows that the religious exemption is unconstitutional and he’s putting it in because he wants to – excuse my pun – pull the fur over people’s eyes in order to get it passed.

But the ban has Jewish supporters as well.

Orthodox Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, the founder of Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy, criticised Hasidic opposition to the ban, saying that wearing shtreimels is a custom but not mandated by Jewish law.

It is not required to actualize holiness. What is required, however, is the need to follow the notion of ‘tzar ba’alei chaim’: not causing needless pain to animals.

Jewish Veg, which advocates for veganism in the Jewish community, also threw its support behind the bill. In a statement, the group said that fur industry practices constitute:

Egregious violations of Jewish ethics. Judaism mandates that we treat animals with exquisite and sensitive compassion, and the practices of the fur industry grotesquely violate this mandate.

Image via YouTube

Meanwhile, fur dealer Marc Kaufman, pictured above right with one of his customers, former football players and actor Joe Namath, says he’s more focused on running his business than worrying about the legislation, which he believes is unlikely to pass.

God will take care of everything. Furs come from God, it’s part of the Bible.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • freethinker666

    What is with religious men and funny hats

  • rubaxter
  • Sam

    What is bad with Shtreimels made out of Faux Fur?

  • Barry Duke

    Faux fur is bad for the planet: https://theovertake.com/~beta/real-or-faux/

  • Barry Duke
  • Cozmo the Magician

    Blasphemy! The slippers were SILVER not ruby. Hollywood ruins everything.

  • Broga

    What a berk. ” Furs come from God, it’s part of the Bible.”

    So does disease, starvation etc..

  • Michael Neville

    Ordinarily I’d support the ban of fur but if PETA is in favor of the ban then maybe there’s some holes in the suggested legislation.

  • persephone

    A shtreimel is what happens when you let tradition and legalism take over common sense and true faith.

    They look ridiculous. They only exist to make the Hasidim–and it’s not all Hasidim who wear them–stand out and look super religious, and make it that much harder for members to leave the community.

  • WallofSleep

    No, he meant literally, so let’s find this god and skin ’em!

  • persephone

    Did you watch The Young Pope? They used the same suppliers as the Vatican to make the clothing. I love the scene where he’s dressing as pope for the first time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFMDVH4lqSU

  • WallofSleep

    I learned something new today. Thanks, Mr. Duke.

  • rubaxter

    YHWH would see through such a shabby trick.

    It would cheapen the whole effect!

    (snicker, snicker, chortle, snort)

  • rubaxter

    Sooooo, the “Looks Like a Toilet Brush” is big in the Hasidic community?

  • rubaxter

    Mark Twain was big on The Fly as part of YHWH’s Creation, FWIR.

  • Norman Parron

    So a silly dimwitted religion with a long history of killing and torturing animals will be ENDANGERED by outlawing fur IN NEW YORK! Really? How??? As the law will ban SALES not possession! Buy them some where else, these dimwits are st00pid as hell!

  • persephone

    Apparently. But only one part of it. Some wear more standard hats like bowlers, and some I’ve seen with small fur hats.

  • barriejohn

    And, as always in the animal world, the appendage gets bigger and more useless over time until it eventually becomes ridiculous!

  • barriejohn

    They’re not in canvas any more.

  • barriejohn

    Furs may come from God, but didn’t he put them on the backs of animals?

  • rubaxter

    Well, just thank YHWH they weren’t Golden …


  • goldmeier1

    you all have too much time on your hands…get busy with issues of real import.

  • Bubblecar

    They should try to develop holographic shtreimels. Fewer animals killed and less danger of bumping into things.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    As legend has it, God also made gave fur clothes to Adam and Eve, as a parting gift from Eden. Thanks to the coverup, we’ll never know which of the kinds went extinct on their behalf.

  • barriejohn

    I’m sure he made sure that they’d already had babies. God thinks of everything!

  • Sau Peih

    I suspect it all started to make the leaders look more important (100% ego), with the added benefit of making the short ones look taller. When it comes to smaller head coverings for non-leaders, I reckon it started to cover bald spots.

    And clowns wear hats.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Yeah sure, like He made a parallel human lineage free of sin.

  • Freethinker

    When you need to extend your headgear to grotesquely extensive proportions you are very likely overcompensating for shortcomings in the other….head department. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38df38c4a5f0ef875518671e2bc3ed74f8a97e0479ef0b60e409b87b748d163a.jpg

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    Faux fur. How gauche. /s

  • DakotaMark

    As the article mentions, lots of people would lose their jobs if furs are banned in New York.

  • sfmike

    Their moronic god is vengeful and would strike them down.

  • Cage KY

    Is it just me?
    That last photo looks like Alfred E Newman stuck his head into a cotton candy machine to mold it.

  • Fred Rickson

    And, we thought Christians were the only goofy ones around.

  • steveiam

    Time for some hard responses to groups who want to manifest their, often untenable, unfathomable, and socially irresponsible belief systems on society. Fur use IS abusive, as is the behavior of anti-Vexers, those who want to outlaw abortion, family planning, etc. If they believe, let them do so, but not at the expense
    of those who wish for a balanced, healthy world.

  • steveiam

    Like animal abuse, Pervert Clergy in ALL religions, Women’s Rights, quality public education without a faith and fantasy curriculum, inappropriate tax advantages for religious institutions, stealing by Clergy, etc.

  • ted-

    Hahaha, I’d like to see that event when it happens.

  • Richard B

    What’s the big deal already? These adornments are not required by Jewish law. People should not use clothing as mere adornment. It’s not right.

  • willin53

    “Furs come from God.” Well so does marijuana but you have millions locked up for it

  • BlueSurgeon

    Whaaat!!! And have all the Faux go extinct? They were made by God too, as were the people who wear silly hats and those who don’t.

  • Norman Parron

    Meh!! Its is always that way someone makes a silly law and people loose jobs! Well put pressure on the gov’mint to stop the silly BS ban.
    But at least there is a better reason to stop the bill then ‘I can’t buy a silly hat’!

  • sweeks

    Faux Fur is not made by god. More likely satan. 😉

  • Zetopan

    “YHWH would see through such a shabby trick.”
    Are you sure? Gawd had to ask around in the garden in Eden to find out what Adam and Eve were up to. The Gawds (plural) also had to come down and look around to see what the Tower of Babel builders were up to. And of course Satan fools gawd all of the time, and gawd can’t do anything about that either.

  • Gary Whittenberger

    I hope this bill is passed with no religious exemption.