I’m currently working on a job that requires me to spend all day knocking on doors in Stamford Hill, Hackney.
Stamford Hill is home to Europe’s largest community of Hasidic Jews. This makes it quite an interesting place to spend all day walking around. I’ve been reading up on the origins of Hasidic dress to try to get some idea of why they wear such crazy clothes.
Hackney’s Hasidics obviously want to keep themselves culturally distinct, but in some of the streets in the neighbourhood residents of other religious persuasions can be found. There surely aren’t that many areas in Britain where most of the doors have either Talmudic or Koranic texts stuck onto them, where there’s a synagogue twenty metres away from a Muslim Community Centre, and where all the women are wearing Tichels or niqabs!
Anyways, I’d better get back to work before Sabbath-o-clock.