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(I wrote this post a few weeks ago, maybe even the beginning of October, but only realized a couple of days ago that I never actually posted it, so it's been sitting, languishing, if you will, here in my playbook. It's still true, despite a couple of fall heatwaves that have pushed temps up into the 30s again. )

Long sleeves are everywhere. Well, 3/4-length sleeves, anyway, where just a couple of weeks ago, you would have seen the same women in tank tops, or less.  For our first two months here (wow,2 months!), that has been my "quick" shorthand way of figuring out who's religious and who isn't. It hasn't been entirely foolproof, however, since many women wear t-shirts way shorter than anybody "frum" would wear in North America, and even pants (sometimes) and still consider themselves religious. 

Of course, clothing (as I have told Elisheva Chaya, probably too many times) is a mighty shallow way to judge someone or try to discern what sort of relationship she has with Hashem.  we shouldn't dress modestly just to impress other people... But sometimes we do, or assume other people are getting dressed knowing they will be judged by us...

All the cues here are different. Like the seasons:. If I close my eyes, it's definitely still summer.  open them, and everybody else knows it's fall.  As for who's religious and who isn't, those cues are totally mixed up as well... But luckily, as I've always said, I don't have to decide where each person stands in her relationship with hakadosh Baruch hu.

It's up to Hashem to sort us all out, and luckily, He can do anything.  Certainly, with full sun and temperatures still in the 20s, if He can convince women who'd rather be wearing something strapless that fall has arrived and they should put on a sweater , He is capable of great wonders indeed.
Sent on the go in the Holy Land - please excuse my typos!!

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