Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On modesty

ANOTHER GUEST POST BY SARAH

I have had it with tznius. I’m tired of hearing about it. Yeah okay I do it but do I have to hear about it 24/7? I mean really. Maybe it’s the community I am living in but it seems like everything that goes wrong, whether it’s sickness, poor finances, missile attacks, or the Temple being destroyed, it always comes down to women’s not being tznius enough.

Okay the Temple being destroyed was not the fault of us ladies but the rest of it…

Is it me or has this been going on since day six, I mean this blaming the woman thing? What did Adam do after the whole “forbidden fruit” episode? He pointed the finger at Chava. And men have been doing it ever since. Enough! Ad Matai?!

Not all ladies are sick of hearing about tzius though; some can’t seem to get enough of it. I think the reason why is that it is very empowering in a way. It’s like this: covering up your elbows might thwart a missile attack. Tucking those extra hairs under your tichel will help you have healthy babies and possibly avert WWIII. Very empowering. And putting on the Jewish burka there’s no telling the awesome effect that might have in the cosmos. Keep up the good work ladies, you can never be too tznius apparently.

Is it me or is the tznius thing getting a little extreme? Is tznius really IT?

Known to have been caused
by short skirts
I’m new to orthodoxy so I guess I have my priorities all askew what with only recently emerging from the tumah and all. I still think about silly things like rapes and genocide in Darfur and the Congo, human trafficking, honor killings, female infanticide, things like that. I guess I would like to hear what we as Jews can do about the world situation. And apparently what we can do is be sure to wear stockings that are not too sheer. This is worse than going naked legged, because you have to make an extra effort to put on the untznius stockings. So ladies make sure no skin shows through, it makes you a fitting kli and there’s no telling how many lives you may save.

I’ve been told that I have a weird perspective on things. Like one time my husband came home and said that if we donate money to his yeshivah and pray for sons we will have them. Immediately my mind flashed to all the baby girls that are killed in China and India and other places. Female infanticide has been going on for centuries. Now they’re getting high tech and killing female babies before they even get out of the womb. In China they are starting to see a real discrepancy in the numbers of males and females. This may have larger repercussions on all of us since a society with a plethora of males and a dearth of females is likely to be warlike and may go marauding. In other words it might not be good for the Jews. To me, my husband asking me to pray for sons is like him asking me to participate in female infanticide. He thinks this is crazy. But I have been taught that the words we Jewish people say can affect reality, can affect the ENTIRE WORLD. Likewise the words we fail to say.

Like I know we have plenty of rabbis who have what to say about tzniut, but would it be so horrible to maybe say a little prayer for the other people in this world? For the people killed in Darfur, the people sold in sex slavery, for the women brutally raped in the Congo, for the millions of baby girls killed for being female? As Jews we wonder how the world could have stood by while we were killed in the Holocaust. We need only look to ourselves to see just how easy this is to do.

But what do I know? Maybe being tzniut will actually help make things better. After all things are not what they seem, so maybe my wearing a tichel does make a profound difference. But I am not praying for sons, happy healthy holy babies are fine with me.

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