web analytics
November 25, 2014 / 3 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 2/13/09

By:

Chronicles-logo

Dear Readers,

Back in September this column ran a letter written by an aggrieved Brooklyn resident who had the misfortune of losing her footing one afternoon as she walked along an avenue in Boro Park balancing a boxed pizza pie in her hands. Much to her dismay, not one pedestrian or shopkeeper had bothered to come to her aid as she took a nasty spill on the heavily traversed walking strip.

In general, reader reaction to this incident was mixed – that is to say, some were surprised and some not so surprised, based on their own personal experiences. One reader, however, had quite an axe to grind as she wrote to express her disdain and disgust with what she called “the new character of Boro Park.” (Chronicles 12-19-08) She went on to deride this borough’s residents by claiming that “the frumer the person, the greater their ‘holier than thou’ attitude, and there is no way they would stoop to a lower level to help a stranger.”

This column took such a startlingly brash condemnation to be reflective of biased thinking. Our reply read, in part – “While objectionable behavior is especially repugnant when displayed by a supposedly frum person, rudeness, disrespect and disregard for others are mannerisms of individuals, not of ethnic groups.”

A Boro Park Reader (Chronicles 1-16-09), not about to take such scathing criticism of her hometown lying down, wrote to air her own strong sentiments and to decry the critic’s “Jewish anti-Semitism.” In obvious distress over the aspersions cast on her fellow inhabitants, A Boro Park Reader called it as she sees it: “If you look for the good, you will find it! And when an episode needs to be addressed, one should certainly speak up… without enmity, and without labeling and writing off an entire community.”

The following letter, the latest in the series, is a response by the original “injured party” herself – the one who first wrote of her “unbelievable” experience “on an unexceptional summer day…” (See Chronicles 9-26-08)

Dear Boro Park Reader,

You write in your letter that if there are issues they should be addressed. Fortunately, “Chronicles of Crisis” offers us a public yet safe forum in which we are able to give voice to all sorts of issues.

I am the person who fell on the street in Boro Park, and I had originally written to vent at inconsiderate Yidden who would actually stand by and not move to assist a fellow Yid.

Though I believe it to be just happenstance that this incident occurred in Boro Park, and I agree that there are good and bad in every race, religion and neighborhood, my episode unfortunately reflected very poorly on us as a whole.

I myself was a Boro Park resident for 37 years and just recently moved to another area in Brooklyn. Here too I have encountered both types (good and not so good).

Personally, having expressed my disappointment and anger in Rachel’s Chronicles has offered me some relief; besides for venting my frustration, I can tell by the responses that have subsequently followed that it was a good move on my part. I believe that I made myself heard. And I must add (in direct response to your letter) that it is not the labeling of Boro Park people that creates Sinas Chinam (as you imply) but the behavior of the people who surrounded me at the time that I fell – and who did nothing.

A good thing to come out of this: your letter proves that people are paying attention. Thank you for writing.

Still Bruised Inside and Out

Dear Bruised,

In all fairness, all of you feel justified in your grievances. The Boro Park disparager, Disgusted but not surprised, had written to say that she finds “most of the people I encounter to be rude and completely self-absorbed.” Her letter leaves little doubt as to her intense dislike of the neighborhood she still visits “from time to time.”

In fact, her condescending frame of mind may have much to do with her unpleasant experiences. When a person feels contempt for something or someone, the object of this loathing will sense it. To put it simply, a pleasant and cheerful person will generate reaction in kind. A smile is known to beget a smile

A Boro Park reader apparently shared that thought when she advised Disgusted to “work on herself and her happiness first…”

She also came to the defense of her fellow B.P. citizens who she felt were unfairly maligned. Standing up to their critic, she steadfastly declared, ” there are hundreds of kind and wonderful people in Boro Park, Baruch Hashem.”

As for your own lingering ache “inside and out,” may I suggest that a positive attitude goes a long way toward healing any injury, and we wish you a speedy and complete physical and emotional recovery.

A good way to maintain such positivity is to recognize that there is a reason for everything that happens to us. This in no way is meant to say that anyone has the right to inflict harm on another, nor does it release anyone from the responsibility to help another in need.

“Labeling” is never a good thing; it can create ill feeling both in those being labeled as well as the ones who may be influenced by such labeling.

As for behavior that is wrong or unseemly, it always helps to bear in mind that to err is human, to forgive divine – and to admit to having erred is a vital first step in the right direction.

Hopefully, people are paying attention and will work on strengthening the middah of chesed that is an insignia of our people and without which the world would have no leg to stand on.

Thank you for writing.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 2/13/09”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Pro-ISIS Group Says ‘Use Ferguson Flames to Fuel Terror in America’
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Respler-112114

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-146/2009/02/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: