Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The New Skid On The Block
Not the latest, but still some nice silly Hassidic style neighborhood gossip. And the relevance to the blog’s purpose will be revealed, on the other side of the loshon-hora cesspool.
So, on a nice sunny day Mrs. Next-door-neighbor 'A' comes over to my wife, totally beside herself with rage, telling her that that, er, slut Mrs. Next-door-neighbor 'B' wears tank tops (read: extremely un-tsniusdik, immodest sleeveless shirt) at gym. Now this, I must specify, is a women’s only gym. No guys around, the view is blocked from all sides, even the local Hassidishe bochurim haven’t yet found a peephole. Still, the saintly Mrs. 'A' was so shocked by this frivolous behavior that she couldn’t resist telling it to my wife – not before blurting it to her husband. That, she related, might have been a serious bluenose goof, as Mr. 'A' might tell the local ‘,rebbeleh’, who in turn might raise a big storm over the issue, set the printing industry into motion, the flyers flying and sermons burning - then everyone would have to kiss the gym goodbye. This fortunately didn’t happen, but the next day His Royal Highness the mighty local rebbeleh, (of course an illustrious scion of the house of Rashi, Rabbi Yochanan HaSandlar and by consequence King David himself – though I admit never to have met a Hassid who wasn’t) called over Mr. 'B'. Before I continue I must state that most Hassidic families on the block – and especially the 'A' family – are by no means fervent bigoted devouts, Kiryas Joel/New Square style. On the contrary, they are understanding of other religions such as Litvak or Modern Orthodox, listen to radio, are fairly well informed on national politics and do not refrain from taking their kids to the Imax theater on occasion. In any event, Mr. 'B' was summoned to HaMelech ADMO"R Ploini Ben Dovid, who informed him that Mr. 'C' complained that he can’t leave his house because Mrs. 'B' dresses so immodestly. Mr 'B' in so many words answered him that he isn’t moved by Mr. 'C’s complaints, and that he wouldn’t force his woman to change her attire. What puzzles me is that Mr. 'C', originally from Brooklyn, where, the last time I’ve been, most Hassidic women actually dressed as, well, you know how. To my understanding of modest and immodest, Mrs. 'B' (yes, I confess, I actually do see my next door neighbor from time to time) doesn’t at all dress immodestly. And to my understanding no one forces Mr. 'C' to look at her either. But I guess when the state, county and town look after your mortgage (well, technically rent, you know how it works, wink-wink, nod-nod) health insurance, grocery bills and other expenses, you can afford schmoozing with your spiritual mentor about other people’s wives.
So what’s the morality of the story? That potentially intelligent people, who can spend energy on so many positive things, people who have access to the greatest spiritual and intellectual tool, the Gemora, to improve their and others’ lives spiritually and materially, who live in a very dangerous time, when fierce enemies admittedly seek our physical and spiritual destruction, busy themselves with petty schmutz like the above episode, yet completely ignore what is going on nationally and internationally, in the midst of our community and out of it. No concerns about the mass-giyur mafias, the Rebbe wars, intermarriage, the ‘going off the derech’ in droves, our lack of leadership and willfully blind media and Rabbis. No concerns about Ahmadinejad, the growing Arab community, the impotent American and Israeli governments, the corruption of both gentile and Orthodox Jewish officials and powerful members of the community.
Folks, it’s grand time to wake up. Stop the clan adherence, stop the madness, stop the stupidity. Ahmadinejad doesn’t care whether you’re Satmar, Belz, MO or Brisker. Neither does Mrs. Hillary Clinton. She’ll sell you down the river as soon as there are enough Arabs and/or Mexicans to keep her in power. That day you can kiss your zoning violations, welfare checks, Medicaid, section 8 and food stamps goodbye. Please don’t take G-d for granted Moslem-determinism style, like you did 60 years ago. Wake up now before it’s too late.