web analytics
July 12, 2014 / 14 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim's Restaurant in Tiberias Restaurant in Tiberias Enriches Holocaust Survivors’ Wellbeing

The generosity of Mrs. Lee Steinberg of New York helped establish the Meir Panim Free Restaurant in Tiberias.



The Invisible Woman (Part II)


Kupfer-012712

The following article was written by Breindy Lazor in response to Cheryl Kupfer’s On Our Own column for the week of January 6.

 

Dear Cheryl,

Your thoughts in last week’s column were an absolutely perfect reflection of everything going through my mind and the minds of many of my friends for the last few years.  Thank you so much.  I always enjoy reading your articles, and when I read this one I felt I had to write to you because the topic touches such a nerve with me.

As someone who grew up in the 80s and 90s in a “regular” (i.e. middle of the road) Orthodox home in Boro Park, I realize now that I witnessed a societal shift towards the right which happened so gradually that when I look around today I just can’t believe how different things have become.  When did I ever think about who I was sitting next to on a bus?  When did I ever pay a shiva call and find a mechitza separating men and women so that family members in mourning can’t sit beside each other or at least see one another?  Who separated men and women at simchas such as a seudas bris where there would be no dancing?  There has been an all-encompassing change on every level, touching on almost every facet of our lives as frum Jews.  And that change is now so complete that few people even remember what things used to be like, and even fewer seem to remember what really counts and what Hashem really wants of us.

The last straw for me was the appearance of newspapers and magazines, in recent years, whose publishers refuse to print pictures of women.  Despite certain writers, despite certain appealing stories, I made up my mind to stop buying these publications because I feel that by buying them I would be supporting something that is twisted.  Like you, I cannot understand what could possibly be so horribly un-tzniusdik in showing a woman dressed modestly, and at the very least, from the neck up.  One article in such a magazine featured a write up on the life and accomplishments of a very famous author, historian and Holocaust survivor, yet it was her husband who was pictured and not she.  I think that was the issue that shocked me right out of ever buying the magazine again.  What an affront to this woman, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized what an affront it was to all women.

The leap from making women invisible to viewing them as inferior is a small one, and I knew it would come eventually.  It therefore came as no surprise to me that a woman might be beaten if she is pushing a carriage on Shabbos by men who don’t hold of the eiruv or that a girl might be spat on by a man who decides she is not dressed according to his standards of tznius.  One thing I would like to point out is that it’s an even smaller leap from being viewed as inferior to believing you ARE inferior.  The messages I received in school always revolved around tznius and there was always some terrible catastrophe that could potentially occur, to us personally or to society as a whole, if it wasn’t adhered to properly.  We never learned about it as something beautiful to move towards; rather it was always about covering up so as to move away – away from sin and Gihenom.  Small wonder that so many women and girls rebel against that message when they finally leave school.  Smaller wonder that so many women and girls in our community have complexes about their bodies.  Here I am, long out of school, yet the messages haven’t stopped, making it clear to me that I didn’t just have a few misguided teachers – my school was a microcosm of what our society would become.

To illustrate, some months ago I saw signs in Flatbush reprimanding women who wear “flesh-colored” stockings.  The sign said they were inappropriate and may not be worn and had signatures of greatly respected roshei yeshiva.  I was dismayed to see it and glad when I saw the signs had been torn down a few days later.  Once again it was the familiar mussar message of,  “Cover up, girls!  Don’t let anyone know that you have legs, or any other potentially provocative body parts.”  I was enraged.  Why are men looking at women’s legs, determining whether their stockings are flesh-colored or not?  Why are men analyzing women’s skirt lengths?  And why are women always having the finger pointed at them?

It seems, as you pointed out, that recent events are an inevitable outcome of a) women constantly being guilted into feeling responsible for every ill in the world and b) the general public (women included) hopping on board and joining in the chanting of that message.  In my opinion, the only way out of this is a two-fold approach:  Those of us (men AND women) who have been doing the finger pointing need to stop playing G-d and making women or any particular group feel that they are responsible for all the troubles in society, and secondly, and more importantly - because the blaming will not stop so quickly – the rest of us need to stop buying into it!  No one should be telling you that he or she knows what your relationship is with Hashem or how He feels about you.  Each individual has his or her bond with Hashem and the responsibility to look deeply into himself/herself in order to grow spiritually and continue to strengthen this bond.  With this awareness, the guidance of a rav then serves to support this journey.  The rav (or rebbetzin or morah) becomes an enabler – not an accuser.

About the Author:


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 “The Invisible Woman (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
An Islamic Jihadist in Gaza, eliminated by a rocket from an Israeli aircraft.
Hamas’ ‘Operation Death Wish’ vs. Israel’s Protective Edge
Latest Sections Stories
Aaron in front of Gush Katif-related school history project.

He wondered what it was like to live in Israel, to be religious.

Eller-071114-Book

The Open Kitchen is so appealing you practically want to eat the pages as you turn them.

Schonfeld-logo1

In reality, Baruch is one of many children who can be described as twice-exceptional. He is both gifted and struggling with a learning disability.

Since there is no “happenstance” in our world, we can only say that something of great import is taking place in the Holy Land.

Alternatively, you can try your absolute hardest to listen whenever she says anything.

As queen of the Maghreb, Aures Damia reigned in peace and prosperity until 702.

Some yeshivish couples do not believe in going out with other couples, but that does not mean that the women cannot have social lives.

That rescued little boy is Israel’s former chief rabbi, Israel Meir Lau, now chief rabbi of Tel Aviv.

An SRO crowd recently celebrated the 22nd Anniversary Breakfast of Congregation Bais Naftoli, honoring Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell and community leader and philanthropist Ira Frankel.

Zimmer was popular with veteran teammates like Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snider – and with a rookie lefthander named Sandy Koufax.

Of course it is disingenuous to tell a person from a non-rabbinic, non-rosh yeshiva home to make an effort.

Israel’s coastline may be short, but there are still some real estate pearls waiting to be realized, offering cheap alternatives for sea front living. All you have to do is go further from the boundaries of Tel-Aviv and the Dan Block.

Explosive children or those with ODD are easily frustrated, demanding and inflexible.

More Articles from Anonymous

I hear a beat,
I know the sound
I feel a skip,
One that I’m used to
I see a picture,
But this one is new
I cry of pain,
Because I know this is real.

Taking the words from my mouth,
Twisting them, stretching them, turning them round and round,
Negating their true meaning, as it was meant to be heard,
You hear what you want without really listening.

A poem about living with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Greetings to all, my name is Nachalah, I am a 24-year-old student. I am studying communications and graphic designing at Sapir College… Sapir College in Southern Israel is under fire, situated near Sderot and the surrounding Kibbutzim, where the bravest children in the world live.

It was the mid ‘60s and I was living with my mother and brother in public housing on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. We moved there from Brooklyn a decade earlier to be near my mother’s family when my father died suddenly of a stroke.

You’ve gotta settle, stop being so choosy, it’s a boy’s world after all
And you’re just one of the millions who think their worth something, have the gall.
You’ve got to start looking better, so that you’ll be noticed when you walk through town
And perhaps you can lose a few pounds too, so we can pull your resume dress size down.

Turbulence.
There is
Turbulence
Up here.
In the air.

Dear Cheryl,

Your thoughts in last week’s column were an absolutely perfect reflection of everything going through my mind and the minds of many of my friends for the last few years. Thank you so much. I always enjoy reading your articles, and when I read this one I felt I had to write to you because the topic touches such a nerve with me.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/the-invisible-woman-part-ii/2012/01/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: