10 of the Eighth Month 5768
Knesset Bans Sandals in Addition to Jeans
(4 Cheshvan 5768, October 16, '07)
(IsraelNN.com) In addition to a new regulation banning denim jeans in the Knesset building, sandals - the classic Israeli footwear - have now been banned as well.
Journalists and citizens invited to testify before Knesset committees bitterly complained Monday that they had only been informed of the jeans ban and not that on sandals.
Exemptions were granted after committee heads called the head of Knesset security to ask that entry be granted to the sandal-footed visitors.
Then this news flash was posted about 11 hours later...
Knesset Relaxes Dress Code for Disabled
Well, I'm glad, someone showed some sense.
Apparently, the durability of denim is ideal for those wearing leg braces. Other fabrics would not last very long, with the constant rubbing of the braces.
Back to the issue at hand, those of you who know me, know that I do not own standard shoes, and haven't owned shoes in years. I have two pairs of sandals, one for during the week, and one for Shabbath and Yom Tov (shown right). I even polish them liKhvod Shabbath Qodesh.
Most inclement weather does not deter my sandal-wearing either. Last year I continued in the tradition of my Macho Settler Sandal Shitah, wearing sandals throughout the winter, with the exception of the week of Jerusalem snow, and periodic days of heavy downpour. On those days, I must admit that I did wear rain boots.
But, I digress....
Where are the Israel sandal companies? Why aren't they crying "foul?" Israeli cultural pride aside, what about the possible financial implications?
If the U. S. Congress were to ban sports trainers, there is no doubt that athletic shoe companies and civil rights groups would cause such an uproar, the ban would be reversed before day's end. Cries of freedom of expression would no doubt be accompanied by the proclamation that trainers have a firm place in American culture, and are now considered part of traditional American dress.
Furthermore, where are all of the groups who traditionally call for unity among Israelis? Is this not an issue affecting religious and secular, right and left, Jew and Arab?
Have they caved into their Euro-philia, shunning their traditional footwear for one more acceptable to the West?
Forget the Annapolis Conference! This issue of the Kenesset's ban on sandals has the real potential to bring down the current government.
And so, I put it out to you, my fellow Israelis. Let us not be stepped upon (pun intended)! Let us rise up, and take action!
...In the meantime, the next time I visit the Kenesset on official business, I suppose I could just take my sandals off. After all, I saw nothing in the ban regarding bare feet.