I love mechitzas, I really do, especially the kind that give you a small opportunity to check out the ladies, if youíre clever enough. I donít like the really short oneís because they donít provide a challenge and the ladies can stare right back, but thereís nothing like a curtain waving open to reveal some lovely ladies when someone walks by it too fast and makes it flutter open.
Carved Wood: One of the most popular types of mechitzas is the carved wooden wall, it usually has holes big enough to take in full body scans of the ladies. I like this design because it allows for casual glances, and keeps the mystery of the ladies section alive without shutting it out from public view. Carved wood also allows for ladies to grab a hold of the mechitza to steady themselves in the event of extreme kavannah, you will then be able to see if they have rings on their fingers so you can formulate your Kiddush flirtation strategies.
The Balcony: Great for the ladies, terrible for the men, unless they happen to be carrying binoculars, then it could get interesting. Balconies make it hard for men, it hurts out necks and eyes. It can also be very deceptive for women look better when they are far away, as the saying goes ďgood from far, far from good.Ē The only thing about the Balcony is that you can look around the shul without fearing that you are staring at anyone.
Glass: If you want to look at girls itís great, but if you feel like scratching your balls Ė everyone will be looking at you. Glass takes the mystery out of the ladies; they are right there and never as good looking as they are when there is a carved wood mechitza blocking half of their size. I guess the best thing about having a glass mechitza is giving people shomer negia high fives through the glass.
The curtain: Typically used in makeshift situations like small chabad houses and basement shuls, the curtain style of mechitza usually makes it impossible to see into the womenís section. All is not lost with the curtain mechitza, because it is possible that gaps may form between different sections, gusts of wind from folks walking past or shuckeling violently or the occasional mechittza mishap may all provide a view into the womenís section. In certain situations, you can strategically place your chair at a poll and peek into at the ladies, but this is not advisable in basement shuls Ė because hot girls rarely attend.
Side by Side: The first time I walked in to the Jewish Center on the upper west side I though we had walked into the wrong shul. They were putting away the torah and everyone was standing, it appeared as if they were all standing together, and there was this awkward moment when I had to ask one of the ushers (only modern orthodox snobbish shuls have ushers) if we were in an orthodox shul. When everyone sat down it became apparent that the women were sitting on an elevated platform with a short wood wall that could have doubled as an armrest. Side by side mechitzas suck, I really donít like them for a few reasons, usually the women have a vantage point and when you do try and look they always catch you staring. These are the type of mechitzas that invite over the mechitza baby passing as well.
The one way mirror: I never understood why it was tznius for women to look at us in plain view but for us not to look at them. Do they really think that women arenít as horny as men or is it just because they might as well throw em a bone? Either way I donít like it, itís unfair, they should give us the one way mirror, that way we can look at the women and the women can style their sheitles in the mirror, besides isnít it against halacha to daven while looking at a mirror.† The strangest one way mechitza I have ever seen is located in Shaare Zion in Baltimore, the women can see in and the men can see in if they bend down and look at the one way nylon mechitza from an angle.
Window Blinds: I have been a quite a few shuls that have window blinds as their mechitza, thank God they are of the cruddy office kind and not of the Israeli type that shut out all light and sound. Even the most quality window blinds let some light in and this mean you can have random peeks at the ladies, someone may rustle the blinds or hit them and bend them to provide small peepholes for your viewing pleasure. Also, shuls that have blinds tend to raise them up for the rabbis speech or presidents announcements, they do this in Beth Abraham Jacob in Albany and at Goldbergers in Baltimore, unfortunately at Goldbergers they decided to keep it tznius and the blinds have been tznius proofed and donít go down all of the way.
Portable mechitza walls: I was at this shul in Baltimore once with a girl and they had to erect this one seat mechitza for her to sit in, I would have rather davened outside than in the solitary confinement they afforded her, women just donít belong in basement shuls. This whole point is that portable mechitzas rock, because they are hastily set up and therefore they have gaps, sometimes big enough gaps for full body imaging, but sometimes big enough to tell the girl to meet you by the cholent table so you can rub kishke on each other.
Short enough to step over: These mechitzas provide no fodder for the mind, the ladies are all there in plain sight and I usually wish they had a wall to block them out from my brain. It seems that all of the hotties go to shuls with very tall mechitzas or balconies. Typically these shuls are described by frummies as ďsort of frumĒ,
The cracked window: I have been to several shuls that have the ladies section in separate rooms with a window slightly cracked open to allow the sounds of davening to flutter into the ladies so they can say amen. In this case your only hope is to hang around the bathrooms or wait until shul is over at which point the women usually get the hell out before any man can see who was there.
The carved out ceiling: This one is hard to explain, basically the women are upstairs, and there is a big hole in the ceiling with windows on all sides, but the hole is quite narrow and on the women standing in front can see anything. I am pretty sure that the main sanctuary in Landaus minyan factory in Brooklyn has what I am trying to describe. Either way you will never get an up skirt shot and rarely can you actually see the ladies.
Wooden Wall with a curtain: Sometimes you can see hands protruding through and if that gets you off, you should probably stay very far away from women. Really yeshivish shuls have these, the only reason I could figure out is so they can open the curtains when there arenít women there to signal that the coast is clear for men to daven mincha in the ladies section. Have you ever noticed that men will daven mincha but not shachris in the womenís section?
Fake Trees: Commonly seen at weddings and chabad houses, mechitzas made of fake trees are really cool. They give you the mystery along with clear unobstructed views. If you’re a real bastard you could even move them around before the ladies get there to improve your view. Sometimes fake trees are combined with portable walls to make it a bit more secure.