by Reb Aharon Rubin on Mystical Paths
(Photo of a billboard on the way into Manhattan, New York, USA)
I just wonder who they are addressing and what kind of person do they think is going to take notice? A person who is aware of holiness? Such a person no doubt is already naturally careful at what he looks at and probably wouldn't see the billboard either. A person not in touch with holiness? Putting up such a notice is like scratching a boil he hadn't noticed.
I wonder under whose auspices such a billboard was erected. We are instructed to keep a low profile in golus. Unfortunately, today a low profile amongst frum Jews is the exception from the rule [or so I have been led to believe - please correct me if i am wrong).
Such a billboard might even be viewed as a Chillul of G-d's Name Chas VeSholom, but it definitely makes Jews stand out and that is not a good thing. Light and truth do not need to shout out in order to be seen.
This is unfortunately a wide-spread problem: it needs to be addressed.
Going round in a car with a loudspeaker announcing a levaya HaShem yerachem, is not on, not in a place where gentiles are living> It's not right to have loud music blearing late at night or till the early hours of the morning. It's their land - we are the guests and it's up to us to behave that way.
There is a big difference between not being ashamed of one's Jewishness and acting without shame, without tsnius - modesty, modesty in behavior. We see that Yaakov Ovinu took pains that he and his sons should not stand out amongst their neighbors even when those neighbors were idolaters. All the more so today, when a lot of our host nation population recognize G-d.
It's high time this problem was addressed and I pray it's not too late.