My decision to write this letter was not a confident one. I found myself wavering back and forth; will my comments on this loaded topic be viewed as another form of sensationalizing or should I share my perspective with those who are willing to keep an open mind. I will let the reader be the jury. I pray the verdict should be a favorable one.
Like many of you, I too read the letters. In full disclosure, while reading some of the comments I found my own perspectives whirling inside my head, alongside a heavy dose of entertainment and light hearted banter. But then it hit me like a ton of bricks…Something is very wrong here.
I refuse to weigh in and give platform to either side of the issue, however, there’s an overlooked third dimension to this somewhat illusive picture.
I think it is fair to say we all share one common goal of preserving our elite status of an Am Kadosh. We strive for this ideal within the context of navigating the harsh reality of our Golus. Achieving this ultimate feat is the long and short version of the discussion at hand. This ideology is surely the basis of many past, present and future themes to come.
Tznuis and Kedusha is a fundamental Torah theme we are all so very passionately fighting for. However, knowing when, where,with whom, and how to discuss such topics should be no exception. Tznius applies to speech and how we communicate just the same. Why trade one tznius standard for another? Being hyper-sensitive to the nisyonos in the goss (streets) without staying up to snuff on the blogs is somewhat selective and counterintuitive.
Without getting into detail, having men and women chime in on this topic in a public forum is a tragedy in its own right. If our premise is purely the preservation of our Am Kaddosh, this discussion in all its glory has proved to be yet another example of being fixating on the leaf in the forest.
The irony in my mind is that 25 years ago a grocery store issue would’ve been considered extreme for many, but had any of our Rebbeim seen how and where it was discussed it would’ve been condemned in no uncertain terms.
I remember back in the 90’s, when a presidential scandal of immorality rocked the nation. That news was the talk of every American. I recall how an Adom-Gadol labeled that president a rotzeach of epic proportions. He explained how there’s a huge difference when something is kept private vs when it becomes news and infiltrates our daily conversation. The actions of that president desensitized every individual’s sensitivity on some level, thus responsible for the spiritual breach of so many.
Discussions are often necessary. But, let us ask ourselves, did this discussion bring us closer to our goal of the preservation of Kedushas Klal Yisroel or Ch’v the opposite?
I wish to close with the following thought. Would any of us consider having the same dialogue in a public location, in person, and open to both genders? I venture to say that any grocery store issue would pale in comparison to such a venue. So, let us ask ourselves; why is it so much more ok if it is done anonymously behind a screen?
May Hashem guide us and grant us the Siyata Dishmaya we need to succeed in our common goal of being an Am Kadosh.