Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Yom Tov can be hard sometimes. Especially dealing with my family. I don't recall if I've written it before, my family is Ultra-Orthodox. My wife and I consider ourselves Modern Orthodox, and aren't as stringent as my family is on a lot of things.
Anyway, over Yom Tov, my wife had on a dress with short sleeves. Not sleeveless, they ended just above her elbows. Anyway, we're sitting at the table, waiting for the meal to start. when my mom asks me to come outside for a minute. Basically, my father wasn't comfortable with my wife's short sleeves, and wouldn't come to the table if she was dressed like that. He wanted her to go change her outfit. He didn't care that she'd be very embarrassed by it, he just wanted her to change. We ended up skipping the meal, and eating on our own later that afternoon. My parents just don't understand that we don't live our lives the same way they do, and we see things very differently. My father is the definition of a chossid shoteh - the man who, if he saw a woman drowning, wouldn't save her, because he's not allowed to touch a woman. He doesn't care about embarrassing someone, he just knows that in his mind, elbows have to be covered.
Later on, he apologized for embarrassing her, but only after I pointed out to him how bad it was. He just didn't see it on his own. I'm not surprised.

Anyway, last night, when we got home, we had no electricity, which meant no air conditioning. It was 87 degrees in our apartment. We both got no sleep last night. The power came back on at 5:30 this morning, so my wife got some sleep, but I had to get ready for work. Hopefully, I'll get to sleep early tonight.
Wife has a doctor's appointment today. We're going to find out if she's going to the hospital tomorrow, or on Sunday. Should be fun either way.


m/csurvivor said...

where is the source for chossid shoteh? i wanted to see that inside. i think it's a good source to have under my belt.

i'm sure being in the hospital will be tough. but i'm so glad yr wife will be monitored so closely and forced to stay in bed :-P

baruch hashem shehechiyanu v'kiyimanu v'higiyanu lazman hazeh. may hashem continue to help over the next few months, too!

hoping for a child said...

that ticks me off...good for you that you can recognize how wrong his behavior is. i can appreciate the modesty issue, but you don't embarrass a person. how is that being a good Jew? anyway, my thoughts are with your wife during this difficult time. be good to her!

MO IF said...

that's crazy! Sorry you had to deal with that! You'd think at this point they would accept you for who you are...

Gumby said...

Hi, I don't recall if I've commented before or are (were) still at lurker status but I just have to ask... What's so big about elbows? I'm obviously not Jewish at all and am not schooled in the religion (though it seems interesting) so am asking out of complete ignorance.
I could maybe understand if she was sleeveless as you aluded to but the above the elbow sleeve thing seems odd to me.
But again, coming from a non Jew (and non Christian too).

I hope everything goes smoothly in the coming weeks and your wife's hospital stay is completely uneventful. Wishing her weeks of boredom! ;)

Anonymous said...

chossid shoteh
Shabbo's Daf Yomi strangely enough see here around 16 lines from top
But being the Halacha is you cant Make Kiddush in front of Ervah see below than it is not a concept of Modern Orthdoxy it is a matter of HALACHA
What parts of the arms must a woman cover?

Upper sections of the arms must be completely covered. The elbow has the same halachos (law requirements) as the upper section of the arm and must be completely covered. In fact, the elbow is a "ball and socket" area, the "ball" being the rounded end of the bone of the upper arm, and the "socket" the top end of one of the lower bones of the arm (the radius). Hence the upper limb of the arm occupies a substantial part of the elbow. Since the upper section of the arm must be covered and it extends into the elbow, it is understood that the complete elbow must be covered.

Modesty- An Adornment for Life, Rabbi Pesach Eliyahu Falk (pages: 291,293)

Anonymous said...

And in general it seems you want to go to Ultra Orthodox Places and have them accept your standards they are your's and do not need to be shared with your parents. The parents approach is not right but you don't go to Saudi Arabia and tell them that Veils are wrong. Your general rule for Maintenance of the Peace is "WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS" BASIC RULE: DON'T INSTIGATE

Trying said...

I know they don't agree with it, and that it's an issue. However, my point wasn't that they had an issue with it - it was that they had no problem embarrassing her because of it. In the future, we'll make every effort to make sure we don't make them uncomfortable. However, it's no excuse to publicly embarrass someone.

Anonymous said...

You Implied it is part of Modern Orthdoxy to allow Short Sleeves which is wrong as you can see here
A Mizrachi Yeshiva in Isreal

Trying said...

No, all I said is that we aren't as stringent as they are on some things. I never said it's part of Modern Orthodoxy to allow it. If you're going to take out that since we don't hold from it, and we happen to be Modern Orthodox, that MO's official stance is that it's allowed, well, let's say that the Ultra Orthodox might hold of lots of things they shouldn't. Believe me, you don't want to start down that road with me...