Wednesday, June 13, 2012

// // 13 comments

Good Jew, Avoid Manhattan, Close your Eyes!

via CrownHeights.Info

20120613-BQE (2)

A huge billboard on the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn-Queens highway in New York City (USA). It says, “Fellow Jew, You're Going into a Danger Zone; Shield Your Eyes.”

Really??? And Brooklyn is a Holy Land???

This is a particularly problematic attitude.  Shmiras Aynayim is an important concept.  It means we’re responsible for what we choose to see.  If we choose to read inappropriate materials or view inappropriate images, then we’ve caused ourselves a form of damage and are responsible for it.

The problem is when this concept is taken to the extreme.  Perhaps we should go around with blinders on?  Perhaps we should require our women folk to put on burka’s so we won’t accidentally see a curve?  Perhaps we should not enter Manhattan, or never leave our neighborhood in Brooklyn, or never leave our house or synagogue because we might come across an inappropriate sight?

Perhaps we should close our eyes while driving to avoid an inappropriate billboard?  (Not a good idea, but all the suggestions in the previous paragraph are real things done by a select extreme few within Judaism.)

The problem in general is Jews are supposed to engage in this world.  We are never monks on the mountain.  We’re here to light up the world, and to do that we have to interact with it.  Not roll around in the muck, not absorb it.  But yes, to engage it.

A segment of our religious population has become terrified of the outside world.  (Not so terrified as to not be able to engage an advertising agency.)  And they seek to impose their position on their brethren.  They believe it’s not safe to engage, as they fail to see how to do that without absorbing and rolling in the muck.

It’s not just sad, it’s contrary to the goals of Torah.  We are to be a light unto the nations, not a hidden light cowering only in our own neighborhoods… a voluntary ghettoization. 

They must learn… those who emit light don’t absorb.  Those who give, those who do, those who go to fulfill the mission direct from the Torah… those who shine need not fear the shadows.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is just a sign to guard some one eyes and it is nothing wrong with this sign. They did not say not to go to Manhattan it is just a reminder that we have to be very carefully. The wrong thing that some like to exaggerate things.

Anonymous said...

When we stop see "bad" and give credit to each other? Halacha is when we see that somebody doing is wrong we stop him and sometimes scream at him (ex: when somebody saying bad about talmidei hahamim, we should scream at them. ) But if nothing is wrong one can not say things even personally that he is doing wrong.
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Shiloh said...

Excellent article.

josh said...

There is nothign wrong with the sign and you are reading way too much into it.

Men walking around Manhattan, Miami, Vancouver, and even Bnei Brak and Jerusalem are exposed to women who might be in some form of tnziut or another. The sign is a reminder that you might encounter a lower level of modesty and to be strong and not stare, gawk, or put on sunglasses so you can unlimited.

I once learned that you are not judged if you come across a non-modest women, but if you look back or gawk, you get judged on both instances. The sign says to be careful, not to stay home.

ariela said...

Could this be possibly immodest, bring attention to one self to ones people? It is not like only Jewish people know Hebrew. This in its self is not wrong in one way, yet in another it feels wrong, they are not in Israel they are in diaspora and I am sure the nation for which this is planted is not going to be very receptive.. Could it possibly bring trouble to the Jews there? G-d forbid. I hope not. Yet I am sure it very well could.

Anonymous said...

we are responsible to guard the seven opening in our head, our 2 eyes from looking at the profane our 2 ears from listening to evil speech, our nose from ? i forgot and our mouth from evil and negative speech.

Any way these things are very important at this time when we need all the positive merit we can to get through to the geulah, in a merciful way any one who doesn't what to help the rest of us should just drop out of the Jewish nation and stop holding us back and causing all the other harm by staying in tumah. we should gently warn every one and maybe some will lift themselves up out of the 49.9th level of filth before it is to late.

Anonymous said...

I want to add that is nothing wrong with the Asifa too, because I see more and more even in jewish blogs it is kind of lashon hara and wasting time to read somebody's false predictions instead of learning Torah and doing mitsvot.

Neshama said...

Dribble, dribble, boil and bubble, go the comments!
I'm shocked, someone actually gave you a compliment :-)

Dov Bar-Leib said...

There was just a large scale defacing of Borough Park over Shabbat with swastikas. As the world economic situation gets worse, this situation will become more frightening. In the end NYCity Jewry will need to hold a new Asifa, this one to arrange an orderly and safe exit from NYCity of about 2.5 million Jews to what would hopefully be Eretz Yisrael. It would be best to start arranging this Asifa now and not wait until Dov Hikind has no one to complain to when G-d forbid the hate crimes become more frequent. As far as this sign is concerned yes, it is harmless and probably good advice. Yet, if I were a Jew in NYCity, I would start trying to see the wild forest that is about to engulf me rather than just the individual trees.

Gibbo said...

Brilliant article, totally agree with Ariela, its a hillul Hashem.

Anonymous said...

http://palmtreeofdeborah.blogspot.com/2012/06/still-no-internet-at-home.html

Is that a novelty or the Asifa?

Anonymous said...

Dov, is not the "raya" what you are saying to my comments, no one is allowed say lashon hara. kapish?

Anonymous said...

Dov, I hope another false prediction
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