For many orthodox Jews, the biggest drag is not being able to go out on Friday night like normal people. Lots of folks are seen as anti-social and weird for not going out with their non-Jewish or non-religious friends, it’s not work to have a couple of drinks and let loose, is it? I myself don’t have these issues, because my ideas of going out are vastly removed from regular society, I do find it unnerving that I can’t use my weekends to be in the woods, but I really love shabbos, I love sitting around with friends and family and doing the shabbos thing.
I can’t say the same for the folks on the Upper West Side, I know they love shabbos. Ohab Tzedek is filled to the brim on Friday night and revelers spill out onto the sidewalk for the most interesting and famous Jewish social scenes in the world. If there were a list of places the orthodox Jewish single must see before they die or get married, Friday night at Ohab Tzedek would be at the top, one may argue that shabbos afternoon at the Great Lawn is better, but OZ is more contained and easier to watch.
Obviously there are a lot of folks who live on the Upper West Side that are a little bored with the whole oneg hopping thing and this is why Bars are beginning to offer orthodox Jews the deal of a lifetime. Two bars have recently come up with the idea of pre-paid Friday night oneg passes. You pay a flat rate sometime before Friday night and you are able to join society and go out on Friday night. This stinks of Morris Ayin, but growing up on the UWS I can tell you that is not on anyone’s mind.
I don’t know halacha, but I am pretty sure that it must be kosher, since one of the bars is New York Cities first fully kosher bar, which means they are under hashgacha, which means their hashgacha would have been pulled already if this sort of thing wasn’t kosher. Like many frummies, I can’t help wonder how far along the slippery slope we will go, until actual halacha is broken. Going out to bar on Friday night just doesn’t sound right, no matter how far in advance you paid for it. However, since this is another strange Jewish thing, I would love to check it out.
What do you think about orthodox Jews going out on Friday night?
Read the article about this with more information on the locations on Bang It Out