Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The “Shawl” Girls

     In the Orthodox Jewish community there is a dress code.  Women are expected to dress within certain standards of modesty, specifically long sleeves, skirts below the knees, and if married, some type of hair covering (scarf, wig).   Now there are variations in what is considered “best” or appropriate, but there is certainly a certain amount of leave way to find your own style within the bounds of modest dress.

    Now some small groups have taken upon themselves extra strictures, dressing in loose capes and almost always black.  [There is a cult-like group that dresses almost like the “Taliban”, I am not talking about them.] And even if one does not agree with this type of dress (especially when people dress their little girls this way), I suspect that their intentions are generally very good. Most of the women wearing these shawls are normal women trying to be extra modest. [I admit that when I personally see little girls dressed like this, I feel that this is really taking things to“overkill”.]

And finally, after that intro, here is the blog:
    I begin by recounting my “sin” of yesterday: After a lovely healthy breakfast, I went to the health-fund to take care of some paper work.   And on exiting the building I suddenly had a good desire for a butterscotch Hanukah doughnut. Now I allow myself a doughnut each year on Hanukah, but I had HAD one small one already, at the family get-together last week.  But each year I buy myself a butterscotch doughnut, and I decided that yes I would buy one. However, there is a condition to this purchase: The day I treat myself to the doughnut, I have to go on a LONG walk, to walk off the extra calories. And at about 400 calories in a doughnut “bomb”, that means a LONG walk.
        Now I had already been planning to take a walk… and even to grab a new geocache in our area on the way. And then, at noon, when I looked at the geocaching site I noticed that there were even a few MORE new caches. PERFECT! If I would walk to all of them, the extraneous calories would be taken care of. So I set out. 
       The first two caches were in an area that while not too close to my house, at about 30-40 minutes away, they were certainly not too far . The other two were on the other side of the national park in Ramat Gan, which is itself about an hours walk away. However, being at the first two caches, I was already most of the way there.  So I crossed the big highway and set out for the third and fourth caches.
    Then I saw them: three young girls, dressed in shawls, the oldest being about ten years old.  They were obviously headed back to my town from the national park. I was shocked to the core. There were no adults with them.
    WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH THESE PARENTS? You are worried about modesty and you let your little girls out alone?!!? You let your little ones be supervised by a ten year old?
       About ten minutes later, I regretted not having turned around and escorting (or following) them home.   -To see that they would arrive safely, and to give the mother an education about how dangerous this is. Also I realized later, that maybe the ten year old had done this “outing” on her own, and the mother would be more than pleased to hear where her little darlings had disappeared to.

PARENTS: The period children have vacation from school is not a vacation for you. Kids need to be entertained. And not by their ten year old sibling. Keep them busy. And keep them safe

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