Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hey you! Look at me!!

This morning I was walking to Seminary, and this yeshivish-looking guy on the street looked down, buried his face in his hat, and whisked past me. Honestly, I used to think, "OMG, this guy is so rude. Why can't he look me in the face? Why does he have to look down?" Call me Chassidish, brainwashed, yeshivish--whatever. But here's my new theory. I already hear the arguments before I type it. But okay.

These men don't look at girls. It's not to demean us or to be rude and condescending. They're married, or they GET married. They know that women are not evil, and are not poisonous.They are attracted to women. (That's part of the problem)They just don't want to tempt themselves. Okay, here you are..."If he's turned on by any woman on the street, he has a problem--maybe he shouldn't walk the streets..." Whatever. That doesn't mean every time he sees a woman, his body goes crazy. This guy is doing what he can to keep himself in check. It's Tznius. People should respect him for that.

Now, tell me the guy is a total moron everywhere else and treats people like garbage, disregard what I said. But most of these people are sincere and just don't want to put themselves in a sticky situation. They treat everyone, especially their wives with respect and honor.

21 Comments:

At 9/13/2005 11:34 PM, Blogger EN said...

Great post! I agree with you 100%

 
At 9/14/2005 5:56 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

What are you smoking, girl !!! Give me some..

Seriously, if you are right, its wonderful, but you still have to be normal and live in the world.

 
At 9/14/2005 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although you're understanding, I can see this being a turnoff to, say, a girl who is just becoming frum. Besides, if it hurts (some) people, who says it's the right thing to do?

 
At 9/14/2005 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many people view the Jewish approach toward women as negative and discriminatory. It is certainly a touchy subject and people should learn more about the issues involved and the reasons for some halachos before making judgments. That being said, halachos don't change in order not to turn off people. Halacha is Halacha and someone who is sincere about his/her yiddishkeit will look deeper than some guy who covers his eyes when there are women around and see the beauty of the torah approach.

 
At 9/14/2005 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Hey, listen - she's not telling YOU to keep your head down while you walk in the street. She's just sharing her feeling of respect for these guys. I understand that some may feel like these men are taking it a bit far. But let them take it a bit far rather than the completely opposite. Would you rather a guy whistle at you or turn his head the other way? I know which one i would prefer...

 
At 9/14/2005 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous two posts make a fair point, but the issue isn't as black and white as you're making it out to be. Some well known poksim have mattired shaking a woman's hand (when she offers it, to not offend her), and there are stories of gedolim who went out of their ways to not offend a woman. R' Yaakov Kamenetzy, for instance, sat in the front seat of a car when a woman drove, so that she wouldn't feel like a cabbie. It's known that he greeted a non-Jewish woman everyday when he passed her by, and that she cried at his funeral because of this gesture.

Also, it is a big sin to hurt someone, and it can also be a chillul Hashem. I wouldn't be so quick to judge that these guys are so right for whizzing past a woman face down.

 
At 9/14/2005 6:10 PM, Blogger Lost said...

You speak the truth Michelle.. I used to be put off by it as well.. but i supose you grow older and more mature. Most pp do neway. But most def, there is coherent reasoning behind wat they are doing, for sure. I might not be lookign for that type of guy, but different strokes.. i suppose. See you in college girl.

 
At 9/15/2005 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is, did the kid ask a rebbi before doing what he did? I wouldn't just assume that he did. Sometimes people just learn about the dangers of histaklus and start doing things like this which may cause others to feel uncomfortable. I think a halachic authority has to be consulted beforehand.

Listen, I've been to yeshiva, and sometimes people get carried away by their good intentions. There's a story involving a kid in yeshiva who decided to start wearing his tefillin all day long. He was doing it for a few days, and then the rosh yeshiva summoned him into his office. The rosh yeshiva sat him down, and asked him, "when are you going to start acting normal"?

It's nice, it's wonderful, and it's tremendously important to look for opportunities to improve and become a better Jew. But there's a right way and a wrong way to go about these things, and a rebbi must be consulted before taking certain steps.

 
At 9/15/2005 7:51 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9/15/2005 7:52 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I remember a non Jewish lady being offended when I wouldn't shake her hand, I explained I wouldn’t shake the hand of a Jewish lady either and suddenly she respected that.
It's all about how you look at it.

 
At 9/15/2005 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that story, too, about the guy who wore tefillin all day and was chided by his rebbe. I totally agree, that when chillul Hashem may be involved, a rav should be consulted. I wonder if Michelle ever asked her teachers this in seminary....

 
At 9/15/2005 4:24 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Well, about the shaking a woman's hand thing, I believe that it is now a necessary part of life in the business world. Sometimes there are no ways around it, but it is definitely respectable to kindly refuse and explain.Funny how my mind works. And the Anonymous who discussed that as well as respect for women brought up a great point, and I guess I didn't think of that aspect when I wrote the post.

And the one who keeps bringing up Seminary- I don't know what your intentions are, but it's obviously malicious and childish. Besides the fact that I DID discuss this with a Rabbi-I mentioned this post-and he agreed with me. In fact, he looked me in the face when he said it too.

 
At 9/16/2005 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he told you that you were right that it's great for men to zoom past women, thereby possibly offending them and making a chillul Hashem, I think it's time to find a new seminary. Besides, when you have an agenda, which you clearly have (namely, to prove your point), you're not allowed to ask a rabbi a shayla!

 
At 9/17/2005 10:27 PM, Blogger Elisheva said...

Michelle, take it as a compliment. I find the ones who look down are the ones having a hard time not looking.

And it is definitely better than like ogling. Though the ones who I guess worked on themselves seem to manage to look normaly without ogling.

Shalom

 
At 9/20/2005 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IT IS a fundamentalist approach to jewish law. It is an extreme intrepetation, that's all. It's what works for him. Do you think he would put his head down in his hat if Barbara Bush passed him by?

 
At 9/27/2005 9:08 AM, Anonymous Outsider said...

I'm new here:
OK, just to be clear:
Men/boys who are "oisgearbet" (they work on their middos and learning) have a *right* not to look!
I would be more keen on chastising those that look *too* much rather then those that would like to give women that privacy they deserve to not be fodder for every base instinct.

As a side note, there is a concept of "ayin gashmi" and "ayin ruchni" - the physical and the spiritual eyes. There were Tzaddikim who in their humble abode were able to see across the globe - yet were extremely sight challenged in the physical sense.

Excessive use of the physical sight weakens the spiritual. I believe this is a Chasam Sofer in the name of his Rebbe R’ Noson Adler (who was - besides his geonos in torah – great in Kabalah) that discusses this at length and bases it on a posuk in Tehilim, “K’Chasheicha k’orah…” – correlative to “darkening” ones physical sight so, too, will ones spiritual sight strengthen.

In general, when it comes to today’s Yeshiva boys trying new chumras (or what seems to be a chumra to an outsider) we tend to frown upon it. It amazes me, for if we open a gemarah we find that Rav did not look out of his four amos. His student R’ Sheishes blinded himself so that he shouldn’t be led to “extraneous” eyesight. So did R’ Masyo ben Charash – the story is well known. And that was a long time ago…

So, yes, in this day and age, when someone takes a protective measure it should be encouraged, applauded and rewarded. EOS.

 
At 9/27/2005 6:10 PM, Blogger ClooJew said...

Well thought out. I think you're right. It may not look normal but it's like trying to look away from the blinding light of the sun.

 
At 9/27/2005 6:17 PM, Blogger ClooJew said...

Oh, and, lulei demistafina, Elisheva is right. He may not have made such an effort to look away if you were fat and ugly.

 
At 1/10/2006 10:00 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

Yay! Another positive blog! I totally agree with you. It's funny-I think that that's 1 of the things that is hard to understand when you're younger, but as you get older & more mature, you understand. Anonymous(you know which one I mean)you're completely off-base. What's she supposed to do if she has a shayla, not ask it? Honestly! Outsider, good points!

 
At 4/25/2006 8:47 AM, Blogger JBL the first said...

If I may add we're speaking about boys who never communicated with any females except mother, sister, grandmother aunt and maybe niece. It's very natural for such a boy to get all nervous etc at any female that just almost bumps into him (you know what I mean).

 
At 5/10/2006 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think these guys shud b applauded. its very hard to control urslf and frankly, im a guy who doesnt practice looking away... and many times after passing a girl with non-yeshiva guys, some one is bound to comment about her body... and i think thats very offensive even though she'll never know. and btw, the rav who said gdmorning... he wasnt noticing her physical features, but for the avg person, better not look!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home