This is true of many Charedim as well. But “Lite” Charedim hide it better by their ‘look’ and by the fact that they buy their TVs in air conditioner boxes. DLs tend to dress in more modern clothing and buy their TVs openly. They are more open about their level of observance and public about their attitudes.
I have mentioned the following anecdote before with respect to the RW Yeshiva worlds mimicking the Chumros of Chasidim. I think the same thing is happening here.
When Telshe first moved to Chicago in the realy 60s, their banquets had mixed seating. But when a new day school opened up a bit later under the guidance of the Veitziner Rebbe (Satmar) their banquets were separate seating. Shortly after that Telshe started having separate seating at their banquets. They were not going to let the Chasidim “out-Frum” them.
Fast forward to the 90s. The daughter of a close friend of mine became engaged to one of their former students. My friend had discussed having mixed seating at the wedding with his daughter and future son in law and all agreed that based on family’s needs, the wedding dinner would be mixed – allowing for some “rabbi” tables to be separate.
Somehow Telshe became aware this. It was unacceptable to them that one of their Bachurim strongly recognized as a Telzer was going to have a mixed seating wedding. Long story short, they applied tremendous pressure to prevent that. My friend relented. He was pretty upset by it but he told me that after a while he just got tired of fighting them. The wedding was separate seating. And so were all the subsequent weddings of his children.
I believe there is a similar dynamic going on in Religious Zionist circles in Israel now. They will not be “out-Frummed” by the right! And they are going to do whatever it takes to rectify that. If past is prologue, they will succeed.
About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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