Friday, October 08, 2010

Immodest/lo tzanua

In clothing and posture
Some things are simply impossible not to notice: The young lady sitting across from me on the subway was wearing a skirt so short, and had her knees spread so far apart, that anyone within visual range could see all the way up to, and including, her panties. Pardon me for showing my 61 years, but don't mothers teach their daughters to keep their knees together anymore?

Those of the female persuasion who don't want to worry about such things might seriously wish to consider either wearing skirts long enough to cover their knees even when they're seated, or wearing pants.

In behavior
The person leading Shacharit this morning at my (former) "Kaddish Minyan" never opened a siddur/prayer book the whole time, praying the entire service from memory. What a show-off!


Blogger Jendeis said...

Re: the immodest young woman, my gramie called that "seeing all the way to Nova Scotia". I don't think this is your age showing, I think that this is this young woman's lack of thought about decency.

Fri Oct 08, 03:08:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Too Old to Jewschool Steve said...

My zeyde, who, I now understand, was something of a chassid, insisted that one should never daven from memory; and I have read this elsewhere, but the reason eludes me right now.

Fri Oct 08, 05:46:00 PM 2010  
Blogger rivkayael said...

When I daven from memory, I usually lose my place or forget something like yaaleh v'yavo, or hamelech hakadosh, and have to go back and daven shemonei esrei 3 more times or something. Happened every single mincha between rosh hashana and yom kippur, and during sukkot.

Sat Oct 09, 10:23:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"Nova Scotia," eh? That's a new one for me, Jendeis but I do remember an old rhyme that went, "I see England, I see France, I see (girl's name's) underpants." In my generation, we were taught to be concerned about such displays. I'm surprised by the number of women who don't seem to be worried about how much they "show" in public. (This is, of course, balanced by those who wear a higher-cut "liner" [T-shirt, camisole, etc.] under their low-cut tops, and those who wear extra-long T-shirts with low-riding jeans.)

TOTJ Steve, I read somewhere that praying from memory isn't permissible, but I don't remember where I read that, nor I am sure that that's correct.

"When I daven from memory, I usually lose my place or forget something . . ." Happens every time, RivkaYael--even *with* a siddur, I lose my place unless I read carefully and don't get ahead of myself.

Sun Oct 10, 01:49:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Davening from memory... it never occurred to me that this was potentially immodest behaviour. I can go whole sections of the service without needing to refer to my siddur, but I don't do it to display my knowledge - more it's because I feel more spiritually moved if I don't have to flip back and forth in the book. I love the services, I have a good memory, the lyricism of Hebrew speaks to me far better than any other language.

I do feel a bit judged by that post, to be honest (not in reference to the clothing, though).


Mon Oct 11, 07:59:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Rachel, I'm not sure about the halachah/Jewish religious law regarding praying without a prayer book, but my personal opinion is that it's more of an issue when one is leading a service than when one is praying for oneself. If you can manage to pray without a prayer book and not get lost, you're lucky. But "advertising" your good fortune in front of the entire congregation is another matter. Then you're just rubbing my nose in the fact that I'm not as good at davvening from memory as you are. You might wish to keep that in mind when you lead services.

Mon Oct 11, 11:04:00 AM 2010  

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