Sunday, August 7, 2016

Proud To Be A Jew

Life - for me  - especially when I am in a Gentile country - is a lot about שלא עשני גוי. 

One area where I feel the greatest divide between Goy and Jew is in the area of tzniyus and related issues. In New York City in the summer women are walking around with the vast majority of their bodies exposed. It is disgusting. Rav Kook explains that we bless Hashem מלביש ערומים not only on the clothing we wear but on the fact that we need to wear clothing. Wearing clothing is DIGNIFIED. Animals don't wear clothing. Human beings do. The more clothing we wear - the more dignified we are. 

It is not only the women who should be dressed. Men also should have the sense of dignity to get dressed properly and in a dignified manner. The only people you see around who understand this are frum Jews. No matter how hot it is, no [sincerely] religious woman is going to bare all for the whole world to see. And similarly, regardless of the tempature, men who are connected to their sense of dignity and self respect, are not only fully dressed from head to toe but are wearing dignified, respectable clothing. 

The Telzer yeshiva stressed the middah of "Malchus". Every Jew is a Melech. The great Rosh Yeshiva Rav Bloch ztz"l [I once read] was never seen, even in his own home, without his long jacket. A real Melech doesn't walk around in shorts or a t-shirt.  

Similarly, look at the morals of our surrounding culture. It is unheard of for men and women to be in a relationship without a physical component. This is because the animal in man seeks fulfillment. Jews in contrast don't touch until married. Even then, with limits as to when, where and how. In public [as the Rema rules] no touching is permitted. Why does the whole world have to be privy to the special relationship one has with a spouse??!

When you make the bracha, you don't only mean to thank Hashem that you are not the Goy with a body mutilated with tattoos who is serving 20 to life in a state penitentiary but that you are not like the President of the United States. Numerous Presidents [not only Clinton] were having affairs in the White House. Kennedy, who presented himself as being a man of moral uprightness and values, was corrupt in this area to the core - והדברים ידועים ואין כאן המקום להאריך. Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was no better. Even his wife knew about it and tried to justify her husband "He has so much love for humanity so it wouldn't be right for him to limit it to only half of the population". 

Who would even think in such a twisted way?? [Unless you assume that she really didn't mean it and was just trying to publicly protect his reputation. That is probably part of it]. 

So sweet friends, a little of what they call in the army "גאוות יחידה". Be proud you are a Jew. And keep our laws with a sense of mission. 

Nobody else gets it.

And when you make the bracha שלא עשני גוי tomorrow morning - Be FILLED with simcha.