“Someone has to tell this so-called spiritual leader that he can’t just undo tradition with a wave of his hand.”
Baltimore, November 23 – Female students at Johns Hopkins University staged a protest today at what they termed the permissive and sacrilegious attitude of the Chabad Rabbi serving at the institution after the latter informed a student that she may wear boots or shoes not produced in a manner that evokes or uses Australian sheepskin.
Rabbi Shneur Zalman Goldberg, who runs the Chabad House at Hopkins, informed sophomore Lisa Chait, 20, on Tuesday that Jewish tradition has little to say on the matter of Ugg boots, and that as far as Jewish Law is concerned, any type of footwear is permissible as long as it refrains from wool and linen woven together. After Chait relayed the Rabbi’s answer to several friends, cries went out to dismiss the Rabbi for violating the sacred traditions of the season.
A group of approximately fifty students gathered outside the Chabad House to protest the ruling. “We pride ourselves at this institution, and on campuses across America, on being tolerant,” declared Katie Djilis, a junior. “But some acts remain beyond the pale of acceptability, and one of them is implying, let alone endorsing, that it is OK for someone in this demographic not to wear Uggs outside. Rabbi Goldberg must retract or leave.”
“This is an outrage,” concurred Stephanie McCabe, 21, a senior. “Someone has to tell this so-called spiritual leader that he can’t just undo tradition with a wave of his hand. Ugg boots – and I mean even imitation ones, the ones that don’t use the ‘UGG’ brand logo – are sacrosanct on white college girl feet in this society. I feel violated.”
Several male students attended the protest. “I don’t quite get it, but it’s important to a girl I’m trying to bed, so here we are,” stated Stu, 20, a sophomore who declined to provide his last name. “It’s good to feel passionate about something. It’s good when I can exploit someone’s being passionate about something to get them to give me what I want.”
Several yards away from the demonstration, a fellow student operated a stand where she distributed free supplies to the protesters. “I took up a collection of pumpkin spice lattes and black-leggings-to-be-worn-as-pants to support my sisters here,” explained Maggie Ulridge, 22, also a senior. “When it comes to issues of identity, people are very protective. I think it’s healthy to encourage a strong identity and to defend it from unwarranted assault such as this. Can you imagine the gall?”
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