Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to pass for a mugger :(

I took advantage of being back in my favorite neighborhood for the first two nights and days of Pesach/Passover, and went to services at the synagogue that I used to attend frequently back when I was taking the subway to synagogue on Shabbat (Sabbath) and Yom Tov (major holiday).   One of my buddies there had an interesting New Yorker's perspective regarding observant Jews who refuse to to push elevator buttons on Shabbat or Yom Tov.  She said that, if she were followed into an elevator by someone who appeared to have been loitering in the lobby until she got there, she'd be seriously concerned that she was about to be robbed.  Let's take that one step further, folks:  Imagine how the button-pusher would feel if the religiously-observant individual were one of those who wouldn't ask anyone to push buttons, but would, rather, ride as far as the button-pusher, then leave the elevator and walk the rest of the way--the button-pusher might very well expect to become the victim of a push-in robbery.  Hmm, maybe my reluctance to ask strangers to push elevator buttons for me is justified.


Anonymous Miami Al said...

Whatever, I've loitered/waited for someone to push buttons, got off when the elevator got there, and walked stairs the rest of the way, and I've never been harassed, attacked, or otherwise abused for this... and this has been on cruise ships where I'm one of 10 Shomer Shabbat Jews on the ship, in Las Vegas, and in cities without large Jewish populations. The idea that in New York this would be seen as criminal is self delusion.

Fri Mar 29, 12:26:00 PM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sorry, maybe I didn't write clearly enough--it's not the observant person who's nervous (in these scenarios), it's the *other* person who's nervous about being mugged by the stranger who's acting strangely (in his/her eyes) by entering the elevator and not pushing a button.

Fri Mar 29, 02:15:00 PM 2013  

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