Thursday, June 16, 2005

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Part 1

I was stocking up on stuff for Shavuos in a local kosher supermarket. I had a lot of stuff, so I had someone help me to the car. "Wow, it's nice out here," he initiated. "Nice? It's hot!" I responded, and we proceeded to discuss the uniform for the supermarket and other minor things. After we put the bags in the trunk, he told me that he had been working there for nine months, and I was the first person to actually give him time of day (or actually talk to him). I literally almost cried. Why do we gain a reputation like that? Why do some Jews feel that they are soo above everyone else that they can't even exchange pleasantries!

Also, last semester I became friendly with a girl in my class. After a week or two, I asked if she was Jewish. She then admitted that the first day, she was a little cold to me because the other orthodox Jews she had been in class with her did not respond to her. They ignored her, or brushed her off.

I am no Tzadekes, you know and I know...I am just giving examples from my personal life about how it is so important to make a kiddush Hashem wherever we go. One good way to do that is to treat people well.

I also read somewhere, I don't remember where, a letter to the editor that an attendee at a Simcha received a compliment that the Jews always treat the waiters with respect and thank them, and things like that, so that kind of allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief. I just think it's important for people (Jews and non-Jews alike) to treat people with respect.

On a side note, last year, I had a few friends over for a Shabbos meal. My parents were away, so it me, my friends, and my older brother who was about 22 at the time. I'm not saying these kids had to hit on him and flirt all day. But some girls enraged me by their behavior. They didn't say Good Shabbos to him, didn't even look him in the face, and they even shifted the chairs so that they don't come in a 10-foot-radius of him ( he's not ugly, and he doesn't smell, either). They never asked him to pass anything. They basically treated him like he wasn't there. Once he left the room, it livened up. I thought that was so rude. I know one of my friends in particular, she knows who she is, and she knows I appreciate it--is always friendly to my brother. She talks to him like a mentsch, even engages in deep conversation, but does not flirt at all. Why is this not common practice? We're all brainwashed that talking to boys is soo wrong and bad and all that, but ignoring someone (especially your friend's 100% harmless brother) is worse in my book. I look at those girls as rude, and the girl(s?) who actually spoke to him as fine Bais Yaakov girls. They understand that you have to be a mentsch, and treat everyone like they're human.

Now, just to undo a little judgementalness, I know they did not mean to be rude and all that, and they were shy...just pointing out another glitch in the system we call Bais Yaakov.

6 Comments:

At 6/17/2005 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle, you're right on as usual. I'm male, and I've been to rabbeim's houses (some pretty yeshivish ones, too), and even their daughters gave me time of day -- in a non-flirtatious manner, of course.

 
At 6/17/2005 6:41 AM, Blogger EN said...

Great post!

 
At 6/26/2005 8:20 PM, Anonymous F-SIL said...

Way to not be judgemental!

 
At 7/05/2005 8:08 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Thanks! :-)

I'm not surprised about the Rabbi's house---he taught his children Mentschlechkeit.--however you spell that. He didn't have maids raising his children, so he was able to be more hands-on, and undo the image drilling of many of the schools.

 
At 7/20/2005 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once Again right on! Some people think that not associating with the oppsoite gender= treating them like they are garbage and dont exist. part of being a good frum jew is learning how to interact with the opposite gender without letting it get too far.

Yonne

 
At 12/22/2005 9:58 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

Have you ever thought that maybe we were not expecting him to be there & were very uncomfortable with his presence? I understand that it's his house, but some of us found the situation very uncomfortable. To an extent, you're right-we should have been more...normal. But you have to see both sides of it. Usually, when a bunch of my friends get together at someone's house on Shabbos, for a meal or the whole Shabbos, they make sure their brothers aren't home. In sem there were plenty of times when I called people up & asked to come for Shabbos & they said "Sorry, my son's coming home from Yeshiva this Shabbos." They didn't say this because they wanted to give him a lot of personal attn, they said it bec, they didn't think it was appropriate for me to be there when he was. And I'm a good girl who wouldn't do anything...whatever.

 

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