Associated Press, in a recent report about men of the insular ultra-Orthodox Jewish community being offered blurry glasses, says: “It’s the latest prescription for extreme ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who shun contact with the opposite sex: Glasses that blur their vision, so they don’t have to see women they consider to be immodestly dressed.”
In an effort to maintain their strictly devout lifestyle, the ultra-Orthodox have separated the sexes on buses, sidewalks and other public spaces in their neighbourhoods. Their interpretation of Jewish law forbids contact between men and women who are not married.
Walls in their neighbourhoods feature signs exhorting women to wear closed-necked, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts. Extremists have accosted women they consider to have flouted the code.
Now they’re trying to keep them out of clear sight altogether.
While Manichaeans call believers to be chaste in their conduct, we would say such practices not only discourage the individual from cultivating chastity (instead relying on blurry glasses, or calling women to cover up every portion of their bodies so as not to distract the Orthodox believers) but also these glasses could actually end up getting someone hurt. If someone is wearing blurry glasses and their field of visibility is affected, they may cross in front of a vehicle are endanger themselves in some other way.
Adopting a state of purity is about developing a mind and heart that are untouched by lust. Without this, all such gestures such as impairing the vision or covering women in an overabundance of fabric, are vain attempts to fool the body into not experiencing lust. No spiritual development has been made in such a case. When a man or woman can look on the naked form of another person and not harbor lustful thoughts in their mind and heart, that is a sign that they are making progress. Covering one’s eyes or having others cover up, is spiritual laziness.