Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chasid shoteh - sinning in the name of piety

There was recently an event that was designed to inspire and uplift women. The event was carefullly planned and professionally organized - to convey the greateness of Jewish women. Unfortunately something happened which surely would have caused the tzadik who inspired this event to weep bitter tears.

The event was advertised for women only.  A woman in her fifties - unfortunately still unmarried - looked forward to an evening of inspiration and being part of Jewish womanhood. She looked foward to forgetting her lonely existence by hearing inspiring speeches about serving G-d and being sensitive to the feelings of others.

However at the entrance to the event she was told she could not enter. "Why," she asked. "Because you are a girl - you are not married and this event if only for married woman. The woman begged, "But the advertisement did not say that only married women could come and be inspired - it said woman. At 50 years old I am surely a woman." Unfortunately her pleas were ignored and she was told to leave.

I am writing  these words  in the hope that those who dedicate their lives to helping and inspiring others - will stop and think and this embarrassing degradation of a Jewish woman will not happen again. Being involved in inspiring others can never be a justification to insult people and be oblivious to their pain.

I did call up the organization to protest this disgusting injustice. I hope they listen to the messages on their answering machines.


  1. I applaud your speaking up in this situation. If the organizers whish to make an event that they feel is only relevant for married women, they can have course, advertise that. In the latter case, I can understand if the organization would then refuse entry to the woman in question.

    This perhaps touches on the issue of "mishkal hachasidus" mentioned in the Mesilas Yesharim, the ability to weigh conflicting issues in Avodas Hashem.

    I think it also illustrates that sometimes tzniyus can be understood in a very shallow sense, as in this case, where it apparently just evoked a knee-jerk reaction of not allowing the single woman to attend in the name of propriety.

  2. DAAS TORAH, in complete agreement with you on this poing. How terribly humiliating for a woman of 50yrs to be told that she can NOT attend due to not being married!!

  3. This is kamtza bar kamtza, a misunderstanding about an invitation and no consideration of dignity.

    Has torah departed from their sechel that they could not see the applicability

  4. This is kamtza bar kamtza, a misunderstanding about an invitation and no consideration of dignity.

    Has torah departed from their sechel that they could not see the applicability

  5. Recipients and PublicityNovember 23, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    With the rise in the numbers of singles population in the frum velt, and with so many rabbonim crying about it, it is truly sad that a 50 year old woman should have suffered such emotional bullying. How on Earth were they able to know if she was single or married? This just shows how through sheer brutality and lack of simple mentschlichkeit, people choose to drop out of Yiddishkeit.

  6. Recipients and PublicityNovember 23, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Arutz Sheva has an article about real dangers faced by many women in Israel: First-Ever Conference on Arab’s Anti-Jewish Sexual Harassment (11/23/09)

    "...Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University provided a short history of women's objectification in Islamic culture, from the days of Mohammed to the current mass rape in Darfur. He explained that from its outset, Islam allowed “mut'ah” marriages, a form of temporary marriage for pleasure, which enables a man to marry a woman for a period of time that can be measured in hours or even minutes, solely for the purpose of his gratification. This form of marriage is still allowed among Shi'ite Muslims, he said.

    Jurist and journalist Daphne Netanyahu explained to the audience, which was made up mostly but not solely of women, that feminism was developed by the Left and is the successor to communism. She said that feminism, like communism, is opposed to nationalism and it expects a Jewish woman to identify with an Arab woman who raised her son to be a terrorist more than she identifies with her own husband, father or son.

    Likud Knesset Member Tzipi Hotobeli told the gathering that several months ago she was invited, as the chairman of the Knesset Committee for Advancement of Women's Status, to visit a hostel in Jerusalem for Jewish women who had left abusive relationships with Arabs. She met a group of 20 women aged 15 to 30, and discovered to her surprise that these women had not come from “peripheral” areas but from central Israel.

    She also visited a religious group in Yafo, where Arabs frequently threaten their Jewish neighbors, and learned of a growing phenomenon of Jewish girls in the central Yafo High School who are seduced by Arabs and marry into Islam.

    Anat Cohen of Hevron told of a repeated pattern of sexual harassment of women in Hevron by Arabs as part of an ongoing campaign aimed at intimidation and humiliation of the Jews. She said that she had turned to the police and repeatedly demanded, in vain, that they do something about the problem. When an Arab accosts a Jewish woman and a Jewish man intervenes to protect her, the police arrest the Jew and not the Arab, she said..."

  7. You should announce the name of the event & the organization, so we can all tell them how obscene this was. That would make more of an impression...

  8. I went to a certain halacha shiur for years as a bochur. One night, the topic changed to vestos without any warning. I was already there and felt awkward just walking out. There was in any case no imperative for me to leave since no inyanei ishus were being discussed. The shiur focused on red & black environmental contaminants that can mimic dam like airborne coal particles from the heating systems of NYC public schools.

    The only time that I asked a kashya in this entire shiur was when it strayed to briefly to hilchos mezuzah. The maggid shiur tried to shut me up several times and made it very difficult for me to finish the question which is highly out of character for him. He apologized to me later and said that a number of people in the shiur were giving me sneers and dirty looks because they felt I had no business being there. He said that even though they were out of line for that particular sugya, it is better that I do not create the perception in these drey kops minds that I was doing something improper.

  9. R' Shalom Schwadron said he once witnessed someone walking into a shul and noticing a hunchback was there to daven mincha. The guy ran over and lifted the hunchback off the ground to make the berocho of meshane habriyos bekol ram.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.