Readers’ Scoop: What’s Important? What Is Not?

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallDear TLS,
This past Sunday, I decided to take a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure located in Jackson, NJ.  I’m not one that cares much for roller coasters, but I decided to conquer my fears and take the plunge (quite literally). In much the same manner, I am not one that writes often to public forums, but I am willing to brave it this time. I am a resident of Lakewood, NJ. Perhaps I’m a bit naive or sheltered, but what I witnessed in the park that day left a terribly bitter taste in my mouth. My nature is such, that when I go to a public place of entertainment, I will often wear a cap and not a yarmulke so as not to attract undue attention to myself. I don’t try to hide the fact that I’m a frum Jew; rather, I just don’t wish to be the recipient of inquisitive stares. Am I wrong? Probably so, however, this is what I choose to do. 

THAT BEING SAID, when I do see someone who dresses as an obviously frum  Jew, and personifies what it means to act like a member of the Am Hanivchar , I respect them greatly. These people are our true ambassadors to the gentile world, and I am humbled before them. They are an example for us all.
  However, there is a flipside to this. If one wears a yarmulke, has thick peyos  and sports a beard, then he better make sure that he acts in a manner befitting his image. He is watched by everyone, and his actions are examined through a microscope.

Unfortunately, there are times that a microscope is not necessary to view a flaw. When a couple leaves basic concepts of tznius at home, and decides that certain things can be flaunted in public, even while dressing as supposedly heimeshe yidden, the incongruity is glaring. Where have these people gone wrong, that they place so much emphasis on externals, yet there is a fundamental disconnect when it comes to elementary halacha?

It is quite possible that I just don’t understand. Maybe Yin can mix with Yang. Perhaps light is the same as dark, and up is merely another way of saying down. One thing I do know, however. There were many rides that day that made me nauseous, but this truly sickened me.

(Send your Readers’ Scoop to [email protected]).

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  1. Maybe you shouldn’t go to such places where you might see such things. Even more so the Goyim are dressed much worse so why would you want to see that. What other people do is their problem and they have “bechira” to do as they wish, this is not Iran. My suggestion is if you want to make it look good for Yidden then you should were your Yarmulke proud and show how a Jew is supposed dress. There is a concept in our community that tznius is the “Ikur” and then we have 612 other mitzvahs. People have missed the boat, I remember a while back there was a story on The Scoop of a couple that didn’t have children and someone sent them a letter in the mail that the reason why is because the wife dose not dress tznis. I’m sick and tired of hearing tznis, tznis, tznis all day, how about Bain Odom Lachvaro that would be a good place to start.

  2. Frankly – I find myself more and more being shocked by the things people wear. And I’m sorry – it is not the guys with beards that catch my eye- it is the obvious jewish women with their stunning sheitels, flip flops/ bare legs/ tight skimpy garmets, and it’s not in Great Adventure, it is right here in ShopRite, on Clifton Ave. Please, Please Please, there are basic fundamental laws of tznius, and it is very upsetting to see the laws broken. We love you, we care about you, and we want to welcome you with open arms, but we are a holy nation and such dress is improper to a bas yisroel.

  3. Eli, why don’t you move to (moderated)? I’m sure you would feel more welcome and much less things will bother you. There you will be able to focus on bein odom lechaveiro and no one will judge you based on your bein odom lamokom.

  4. In other words if you don’t like our community of Lakewood and you don’t share our values… Kol tuv! Don’t stick around and complain about our schools, mock our yeshiva and compare is to Iranians. There are many “open minded” communitys for y’all.

  5. Eli, as the letter writer I will tell you that this was not a mere case of tznius (not being dressed properly). In that case your point would be correct. Unfortunately the originial letter was edited a bit, and the point was tweaked and changed. (moderator’s note: I apologize for having to edit it. Although your point is important to bring out, many on this site may take it the wrong way…thanks for understanding).

  6. TO#5 In your own words… if you don’t like what you see, then don’t stick around and complain about (tznius) it, why don’t you move.

  7. Eli, fact my point should be clear. I state that “they WERE dressed as heimeshe yidden. That was my point. The emphasis that they placed on dress, yet not on adhering to basic halacha.

  8. I was in Flatbush yesterday and I had an appt. with a frum doctor who said Lakewood is becoming just like Flatbush, and it wasn’t meant as a compliment. I like Lakewood 35 years ago much better, even without all the shopping and the conveniences we have now. Who needs all the eateries, the fancy houses, the clothing stores that sell “slinky” skirts and calls them tsniudik, etc. Kids socks and shoes don’t have to be in so many styles and colors and exorbitant prices. High fashion doesn’t have to shine in Lakewood, it is not a Jewish value. I like to dress nice and neat, but, I don’t parade around in the latest style. I don’t go to Six Flags Great Adventure, but, if I did, I would keep myself and my kids dressed low key and modestly, proudly showing what a Jew should look like, and we would not act loud and rowdy either so as not to cause a chilul Hashem.

  9. #4
    I can live where ever I want. This is the United States Of America. Lakewood is not yours more then it is mine, besides I have lived here for 27 years, I would bet that is longer than #4, and #5

    To Dirty, I can only go on what I read its to bad that the monitored your letter.

  10. You can live here I’m just saying that if you want to be happier there are other options,, the fact that your here for that many years and the yeshivishe hashkofa has not rubbed of on you only shows that you have an “anti” attitude. What a shame..

  11. Eli- Let’s go even on just what you see in my letter.
    Quote- “When a couple leaves basic concepts of tznius at home, and decides that certain things can be flaunted in public, even while dressing as supposedly heimeshe yidden”
    I state that they WERE dressed as heimeshe yidden, that was half the issue. If they were dressed differently, and did what they did (cannot say, due to moderation), then that would be between them and God. However since they WERE dressed as heimeshe yidden, they caused a chilul Hashem through their actions.

  12. I definitely understand you and feel your pain. However, I have a point to make. The problem is that everyone ‘watches’ out for everyone else. Now, there is nothing wrong with that as it states that in the Midbar, there was 1 head of every 10 people who was in charge of the group making sure everyone did everything right. However, the head was a truly honorable Torah Jew. In this day and age, noone is perfect. Therefore, before everyone looks at how everyone else is dressed, one should look at him/herself and fix themselves first.
    I know i may be coming across obnoxious and stubborn. I do not mean that in any way. I just mean to say that it isn’t fair to always be pointing fingers at everyone else.

  13. Dirty, Well then I cant comment because I don’t know what they did, if it was a “dress issue” then that is totally a Bain Odom Lamokom issue.

    #11 Thank you so much for letting me stay, that is really kind and sweet. True I never leant in B.M.G. but I’m definitely not anti, I would love to know why you think that. Do you think it was appropriate for the person to send the childless couple the letter? Is that called anti? Is there no such thing as bechira??

  14. Eli- Of course there is bechirah, and the incident that you refer to was as awful as it was disgusting. However, stop with you’re insistence that my letter was about a dress issue. We get it, a dress issue is bein adom lamokom. How much clearer can I be that this was NOT an issue of improper attire, rather it WAS an issue because of their attire as frum Jews.

  15. I was in great adventure with my wife yesterday.
    This letter makes me wonder; you are trying to criticize an action that you saw, without saying what it is that you saw. Please elaborate.

  16. When you state that you like to keep “my kids dressed low key and modestly” do you mean Childrens Place?
    If some people can afford more than just “low key” don’t knock them in the name of tznius, out of what is really jealousy. I find that most holier than thou attitudes come from jealousy- if your honest admit that much and stop berating those that shop in and support our local frum stores that work hard to cater to the frum community.

  17. For anyone that doesn’t get the point of the letter THINK!!! it says a COUPLE!! what do you think he was reffering to!? A couple doing something they shouldn’t do in public!! You’re right it is unfortunate to experience something like that to see such blatant disregard for who you are and what you stand for ….especially like you say they were dressed appropirately …..I guess we should realize that whatever you do in public is scrutinized by everyone Jews and non-jews alike and we do have a responsibility to act appropriately! Of course most people reading this would never do what was witnessed but just think of other ways throughout the day when you’re in public places do you always make sure to be on your best behavior in stores, supermarkets, malls or driving???? Take this as a lesson …You’re always being watched!!!!!!

  18. Great, there was a couple doing something inappropriate in great adventure!
    Now, can anyone please explain me why its everyone else’s business how i dress, or how my wife dresses. Please mind your own business. Correct, i don’t dress the same way you want your son or daughter to dress, and they might see me and get a bad influence, however, that is frankly none of your business. Don’t give me any of this that I’m being machshil when you look at me with my pink shirt or my wife at her dress that you don’t approve of.

    Any thoughts?

    Have a great day.

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