Posts Tagged ‘Monsey’

Where Two Worlds Meet

May 5, 2009

We drove home from Monsey this week after Shabbos and Malava Malka and it wasn’t until around 1:30 AM that we were near our school. There were three of us in the car, and we were feeling inspire from a great Shabbos and the Jewish acapella we were listening to (sefira!). 

As we got near the school we see the people in the car next to us waving frantically. The car is full of college guys with gelled hair. Our friend in the backseat thought that it was someone we knew, and I thought the guys were telling us about a flat tire or something. We rolled the window down, only to get hit on. 
Guys: Where you ladies going tonight?
Tsivia: To sleep!!!

This isn’t a big deal to most college girls, but we are coming from a different place. This is not the world we grew up in, and we have pasts. Being tznius is not an easy thing, and it’s much harder when you feel you are being degraded by random guys on a semi-regular basis.

This is a perfect example of where two worlds that probably shouldn’t meet do, and there isn’t anything we can do about it.


“Jewish Things”

May 5, 2009

So this weekend we went to Monsey and I found out that I am doing something very important wrong. We are sitting in the house of a wonderful Spinka Chasidic family. It was our first Shabbos with a Chasidic family, and so far we were fitting in okay (if you ignore the fact that we wore color!!!0.

We took a break from a lively discussion about dating to play a card game with the two middle school girls, and I had a song (“Tov L’Hodos”)  stuck in my head. The husband of the family was upstairs napping, but I still didn’t want to sing. I preceded to whistle quietly  and was immediately stopped by the 13 year old girl. “My mother says not to whistle! It’s a GOYISHE thing!”

Personally, I’m very into whistling. I do it when I’m nervous and, as in this case, when I have a song stuck in my head but can’t sing. I don’t want to do anything “goyishe” but I don’t really know if whistling qualifies as this.

I don’t think whistling is intrinsically Jewish, but neither are turkeys or clocks or pillows. 

What is it that makes whistling goyishe? Is there a problem with doing something that isn’t Jewish by definition? If there is, then why do we shop in non-Jewish stores or buy non-Jewish products? 

Someone please explain…