You have a very strange concept of humor. If satire is supposed to make a point and teach something, I wonder what is being taught here [see “News of the Weird: First Things First,” Nov. 13 Xpress].
I subscribed to The Realist, which pushed more boundaries than you can imagine. But that publication was available to subscribers-only — and I’m sure many readers were offended. However, with all the listings for family and kids’ activities in the Mountain Xpress, Chuck Sheperd’s view of things is more than “weird.”
I am not religious, but picking on Orthodox Jews is singling out an identifiable minority within a minority. For those unfamiliar, this group — and still only a part of them — wears “peyes,” or prayer curls. The “modern” Orthodox do not. Instead, they keep a very small part of their hair longer and tucked behind the ears.
Before I moved to Asheville, I had some “modern” Orthodox friends in Brooklyn. They were as observant as the ones who wore long peyes, but they would not have had a single woman as a friend.
I have not yet passed Shepherd’s column on, but I am certain that my very close friend, who is a Baptist pastor, would be equally offended.
Shepherd’s syndication only means that this offensive, blatantly anti-Semitic piece will reach a wider audience. Quite frankly, I am not sure if anyone here knows anything about Jewish Orthodoxy and probably has never met anyone who practiced it. Before Shepherd’s piece appeared, I had mentioned Orthodoxy to a friend here, who is about as open-minded and good a person as one can find, and has no religious attachment whatsoever. The first reference he had was, “Oh, are those the guys with the strange, long curls?”
— Bryna Miller