The Tree of Life - Here and Now
Jewels of the Choshen

#MeToo - Not You!

Lass with Class
There's a big difference between the Hope Diamond, which weighs 45 Karats and is worth $350 million, and between a broken beer bottle in the street. Whereas the former is a rare gem and heavily guarded, the latter is cheap and rolling around in the gutter for everyone to touch and see. The Hope Diamond is the epitome of class; it conjures up images of a Rolls Royce and Cartier La Dona Watch. Nobody would have the gall to touch or even say something out of line to a woman wearing a Prada tailored-and fitted suit getting of a chauffeur-driven Jaguar XG, especially when the chauffeur and the body-guard sitting shotgun are iron-jawed former MMA stars who weigh 25o pounds each. Why?

The lass has class.

When she gets out of the car with her attache case and walks into her business meeting, people stand up. The young lady looks like royalty; her appearance, posture and speech demand respect. She will make her point and people will listen.

But, if she walks into the meeting wearing her barely thigh-high sleeveless and collarless mini bodycon, no one will hear a word she says. Young lady, you are hereby declaring your candidacy for the #MeToo movement, and the Harveys of the world (which any man who doesn't guard his eyes potentially is) won't be looking to do business with you, any more than one night. Why? Your appearance puts you into the category of a broken beer bottle.

No one said don't look snazzy. No one said don't be attractive. Care about how you look and think twice before you pop the cookies in your mouth. Take care of yourself - eat right and work out at the gym. Take walks everyday and talk to Hashem. But remember that you're His daughter, not Harvey's chunk of meat.

You owe yourself to be a lass with class. If you're a working woman, take 5 short minutes to see how to be a Winning Working Woman. You're success is guaranteed. You'll be commanding more respect and a bigger paycheck. Go for it!

This week's new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine has plenty more dynamite articles.

My esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush gives us an option to lamenting during the Three Weeks, and instead, becoming proactive and building A Beautiful World.

Hashem loves Racheli Reckles (so do her readers and all of us at Breslev Israel); she gets herself into jams that nobody could bail her out of except Hashem. Read The Lost Check to see what we mean...

Hitting cleanup in our team of all-star writers is Alizah Teitelbaum, whose weekly column is especially for women. Alizah doesn't want you to be so quick in blabbing your heart out to your so-called best friend. You've been forewarned in Girl-Friend or Foe.

Breslev Israel's women writers are all young ladies with class. See Yehudit Channen's Prayers People Pray to see what I mean.

The head of Emuna Therapy, Dr. Zev Ballen, is a great guy who knows how to make other people feel great, as he does in All or Nothing.

You met former Golani fighter David Perlow this week on our really moving broadcast, One Person to the Rescue.  His latest article is about being a super husband in Make the Peace, Bro.

David Ben Horin is a breath of fresh air always. He loves Israel and he writes this week about Two Levels of National Miracles.

I want to share this short email with you, from Mrs. Judy Inbal in Israel:

"...I was riveted to my seat when I saw One Person to the Rescue. It was like a gripping 'This is Your Life' show and what an exciting surprise ending. Only Hashem could have produced such a broadcast. I never had any idea about the power of Emuna Outreach. From now on, I want a share in the action..."

Mrs. Inbal, Emuna outreach is happy to have you share with us in spreading emuna far and wide.

You too, cherished friends, are welcome to partner with Rav Shalom Arush and Emuna Outreach in saving lives, like you heard in the testimonies of One Person to the RescueDonate to Emuna Outreach - you'll be glad you did! 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

elisheva

No-one deserves to be maltreated, whatever the situation. And the truth is that anyone can, Gd forbid, be raped or sexually abused: babies, boys, men, nuns .... And abusers can come in many guises. Hamevin yavin. Failure to understand the issue, by blaming the victim, only propagates the problem. I believe in dressing modestly, in the service of Hashem, but it is patently false to claim that this protects one from sexual abuse. And this is not even a Jewish view, but a Muslim one.

I think that many people have a deep need to blame the victim, in order to have an illusion of feeling safe and secure in the world. If something bad happened to someone, attributing it to their behaviour means that I can feel safe (and maybe smug) in the knowledge it won't happen to me as long as I play by the rules. Unfortunately, this only makes the situation worse in the case of sexual abuse, as victims are scared to come forward, knowing they will be blamed, which in turn serves to embolden abusers. This is a general societal problem, but particularly so in haredi communities, which are havens for paedophiles.

If the writer and blog owner wish to confront the issue they should do so from a professional and constructive angle. Instead this article is just another nail in the coffin for anyone who has been/is being abused. Real people, real children are suffering and this blog is saying: just dress modestly, that'll solve the problem.

I find this outrageous.

Kalman

Dressing modestly does not protect women from sexual harassment. That's dangerous misguided myth.

The idea that modest clothing prevents sexual harassment is debunked by the number of Muslim women who have joined the #MeToo campaign. Within our own communities the idea is refuted by the simple fact that frum women that do dress modestly fall victim to sexual predators.

The idea that dressing modestly will somehow protect women from sexual assault is factually unfound. There is zero evidence to support this myth.

This is victim blaming masquerading as bad advice. Modest clothing has never protected anyone from sexual assault.

Aliza

The focus of the article is to encourage modesty and remind women that we are daughters of the King. I reread this piece and fail to see how this can be turned into a ‘blame the victim’ piece. Davka the message is beautiful and I hope most see that.

Hadassa

I definitely agree with Aliza. The other comments are too quick to rant; it seems to me that their authors did not bother to read this post carefully as well as Rabbi Brody's article that he links to, both of which I for one find complimentary, encouraging and uplifting.

Azi Benz

The suggestion that dressing modestly will protect you from #MeToo situations is victim blaming. The way to prevent rape is for people to stop raping. Women wearing a myriad of styles of outfits (ranging from revealing to what would be considered modest by most Orthodox standards) get raped. If this was about women being modest, don't utilize the played out story of women getting raped because they're enticing men.

I'm sure the victims of Rabbi Eliezer Berland fit most standards of tzniut and they were still raped and assaulted by him. This article is disgusting.

Yehudit

#MeToo - I'm with Hadassa, Aliza.

Sigh ... it never fails - any mention of tsniut brings this knee-jerk reaction.

I've searched the article for where it says " ... it is patently false to claim that this [tsniut] protects one from sexual abuse. " - I can't find Rav Brody claiming that.

Where does the article say that "dressing modestly will protect women from sexual harassment"? I can't find Rav Brody claiming that either.

This article is talking about debauchery that might occur when friendly office behavior or inappropriate business dress goes too far. PERIOD. This isn't an article about sexual abuse, assault, harassment, or predators - that's a different area that needs a separate article.

I'd like to suggest to all esteemed Beamers that we look at what the article IS talking about without extrapolating all sorts of conclusions about different problems.

Kalman

@ Yehudit

Rav Brody's post doesn't literally say "dressing modestly will protect women from sexual harassment". But the idea is clearly expressed at the beginning of this post:

"...if she walks into the meeting wearing her barely thigh-high sleeveless and collarless mini bodycon, no one will hear a word she says. Young lady, you are hereby declaring your candidacy for the #MeToo movement, and the Harveys of the world"

In other words: Dress in certain way you're setting yourself up for sexual harassment. Inversely, dress modestly and no one will touch you.

The problem with this idea is that unfortunately modest dress does not protect women. Women in very modest dress have been and continue to be harassed.

Yehudit

Interesting – I read that paragraph maybe 5 times and never found a problem with it. It struck me as so “muvan” (patently obvious) – probably because I was using Torah values as the yardstick rather than Western values.

I think the core disagreement here isn't about tsniut or blaming the victim, but rather about where personal accountability fits in.

In Western law, no one can be both "victim" and "perpetrator". The “victim” is 100% innocent and the “perpetrator” is 100% guilty. In the West, there is deep reluctance to accept responsibility, however small, that one's behavior contributed to tragedy. [Notice that I'm not saying "caused".]

The Torah holds us to higher standards. Before saying the 2nd paragraph of the Sh'ma, we must accept upon ourselves all the mitzvot and *the consequences* of our actions, even if unintentional and unforeseen. If I accidentally turn on a light on Shabbat, I'm held accountable: why wasn't I more careful? why didn't I put a guard over the switch?

A Jewish woman's honor and status is reflected in how she conducts herself. If she has a healthy self-esteem, she'll follow the laws of tsniut. If, Gd forbid, something should happen, she can know with certainty that it did not happen as any consequence of her behavior/dress. She is 100% victim of an abuser/rapist/predator.

On the other hand, when a man who acts 'like that' crosses the path of a Jewish woman who acts/dresses 'like that', it creates the Perfect Storm. Did she intend for it to lead to debauchery - no. Did she intend to make the guy go out of control – no. Is the guy a pervert – absolutely. But - can she claim COMPLETE innocence? How does she prove to herself that her attire and behavior bore ZERO causality leading to the tragedy?

And what about the woman who dresses “like that” and the man does nothing to her? He’s a gentleman - only now, the man feels bored and disappointed in his un-foxy wife. The woman will have no idea of the damage SHE did to HIM! Can she claim innocence?

Either way, the woman’s intentions were innocent, but they led to tragic consequences. Shamayim will hold her accountable for her part in creating those consequences.

This is the whole point of doing honest, daily self-assessment. Self-assessment holds a person accountable for HER OWN behavior and its part in creating consequences. The Torah expects us to examine OURSELVES and make any changes necessary to come closer to HaShem. This is what we all want, right?

elisheva

Aliza, Hadassa and Yehudit, with all due respect, between the three of you, it is you who fail to read the article as it is plainly written.

It says quite clearly:
"Young lady, you are hereby declaring your candidacy for the #MeToo movement ... Your appearance puts you into the category of a broken beer bottle."

If that is not telling a victim of sexual abuse that she had it coming to her then I don't know what is. Victim blaming and victim shaming in one fell swoop. And, Yehudit, dividing up categories of victims, into "real" victims and those who "had it coming to them" is part of the problem.

In my comment I support modest attire, but for the right reasons, not a "knee-jerk reactions to any mention of tsniut".

It is possible to write an article about tsniut for men and women in a respectful manner. This article sadly did not achieve that. Tell a woman that she is beautiful and precious in Hashem's eyes, don't shame her. Nobody is going to make tshuva on account of being told that they are "in the category of a broken beer bottle".

Yehudit

@elisheva -
You're totally right - these women ARE beautiful and precious in the eyes of HaShem. That's the whole point!!

A woman who dresses and behaves outside of Jewish guidelines clearly doesn't understand how beautiful and precious she intrinsically is!! She has no lack of beauty that needs to be compensated for by immodesty.

I've read the article many times. Yes, it is plainly written, but you left out a critical part that changes the meaning. Here's the entire paragraph:
"Young lady, you are hereby declaring your candidacy for the #MeToo movement, and the Harveys of the world (which any man who doesn't guard his eyes potentially is) won't be looking to do business with you, any more than one night. Why? Your appearance puts you into the category of a broken beer bottle."

The "category of a broken beer bottle" is how " THE HARVEYS OF THE WORLD (WHICH ANY MAN WHO DOESN'T GUARD HIS EYES POTENTIALLY IS) judge her when her clothing and behavior are immodest.

It's THOSE MEN who are shaming the woman, not Rav Brody!

I hate the word "blame" because its very negative, damming, and goes nowhere. I prefer "accountability" as being more in line with completing one's mission as a Jew.

In Shamayim, BOTH the woman and the "Harvey" are held accountability for their behavior, down to the finest detail. I'm curious - if you were the Defense Counsel for the immodest Jewish woman in the heavenly Beit Din, how would you defend her innocence?

Yehudit

Another thought about your cogent comment:

"It is possible to write an article about tsniut for men and women in a respectful manner. This article sadly did not achieve that. Tell a woman that she is beautiful and precious in Hashem's eyes, don't shame her. Nobody is going to make tshuva on account of being told that they are "in the category of a broken beer bottle". "


Go back and view Rav Brody's shiur (on 22-Oct-2017 when the #MeToo scandal broke):
https://www.breslev.co.il/vod/judaism_and_halacha/judaism_and_halacha/a_fence_of_roses.aspx?id=5906&language=english

The video does take that approach.

Susan

This article is disgusting and aggressive.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)