Jun 19, 2014

Maintaining Dignity

In today's day and age, maintaining dignity is not high on people's list of priorities.  People (out in the world) dress in undignified ways, talk in undignified ways, and share personal information that undermines their dignity. 

R' Avigdor Miller was known for his shoot from the hip style.  He famously said, don't tell your spouse about the C you got in chemistry! People tell derogatory information about themselves for no purpose, seemingly for the sake of "being honest" and "accept me as I am."  R' Miller saw no purpose in this; on the contrary, he considered it detrimental.

He also told his Beis Yaakov students, not to wash the floor when their husbands were around.  No doubt, this was to preserve their dignity, especially back in the day when floors were washed on hands and knees.

It is an act of Ahavas Yisrael when we protect a person's dignity, by not looking at things that shouldn't be stared at, by ignoring those things that people say or do that are silly, by enabling them to maintain a façade and not "blowing their cover." 

1 comment:

  1. This is along the lines of a lesson taught in Pirkei Avot, where it says that you do not seek to look at someone in his time of spoilage; You do not comfort a man during his time of mourning; etc.

    Thanks for the post. Rabbi Miller had these tapes I would listen to privately, and, after I married, was thankful to this good rabbi whose words of wisdom helped carry me through rough times. May his neshama have an aliyah!