Oct 2, 2014

Pouring Fuel on the Fire part 3

continued from previous post

 I had a long talk with one of the women responsible for the brochure. Her number was on it and I conveyed to her the negative comments I'd heard and she welcomed that.

She said 35,000 copies of this issue were sent primarily to schools all over the U.S. and the world. Some shuls got them too.

I brought up 4 negative comments:

1) It blames women and women resent that - she agreed that she would not want to be singled out for blame either, and she asked me whether I had seen flyers around directed at the men (I hadn't).

2) What about other issues like stealing etc. - she said anybody can work on improving any area they like. They focused on this because the rabbis they consulted with, when asked what the women should focus on, told them tznius.

When I said that in addition, tznius is a public transgression, unlike certain other aveiros, she added that breaches in tznius directly cause others to sin which is not the case with most other aveiros.

3) People take exception to the cause and effect message - she said that until she saw it in the sources, the Chofetz Chaim for one, she would have agreed, but what can you say when the sources directly attribute tzaros to lack of tznius?

4) About people thinking it's a negative message - she said two things: A) we need a wake-up call B) if you read all the material you see many positive things too

She sounded like a sincere woman who was truly troubled by the tzaros of Klal Yisrael and who, upon the guidance of rabbonim, chose to work on upgrading our tznius as a volunteer.  

It's 12 years later.  I think we can all agree that what we want are RESULTS, not to be yotzei "hochei'ach tochi'ach," and not to make people "feel good about themselves." Has tznius improved since then?

 If a softer, gentler approach is what people, they need to demonstrate that it's working.  We see that the communities which are tougher on tznius have women and girls who actually dress according to halacha. In the communities that try the gentler approach, the results are not obvious.

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