Hot Day In Pico-Robertson, Don’t Expect Orthodox Jews To Show Much Skin

I remember a friend of mine moved from a university in Australia to one in California. And he went to work in dress shorts and received an unexpectedly large amount of derision. Dress shorts aren’t acceptable in the U.S.

Dress shorts are the way to go in Australia. Even bank managers wear them with ties.

I was shocked when I came to California from Australia in 1977 and found that it was often impermissible to wear shorts, even on the hottest of days. Long pants were required by many social situations.

In many ways, Australia is a less formal country than America.

Today it is close to 90 degrees in Pico-Robertson but you won’t find many Orthodox Jews walking around in shorts. Particularly not the women. The only Orthodox Jews who wear shorts in America are the modern Orthodox. It is a sure sign of limited Jewish religiosity.

I remember a story in Leon Wieseltier’s book Kaddish about a man coming to shul in the summer and asking whether or not to say a certain bracha (blessing).

He was told it was said with pants.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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