Monday, May 20, 2013


Of Course I’m Right, and So Am I

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

modest_signI few moments ago I followed a Jewish blogger’s “link dump” (list of interesting articles or links) to a Jewish religious blog I had not read before.  The article was ok, about issues of appropriately modest women’s clothing.  Not an unusual topic within the religious Jewish community, though one of considerable and constant argument – as every group has different standards.  Laxity in this area is not uncommon, but being an extremist is even less uncommon!

However what caught my attention was at the end of the article…


(Bamidbar 12:3), “Now the man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth.”

(Tehilim 22:7 – King David), “I am a worm and not a man.”

Jewish modesty is not ONLY about how one dresses, it’s also about how one ACTS.  Being haughty and arrogant, going around as if you’re special or better than others is the ANTITHESES (the opposite) of Judaism.  And true Torah leaders tend to be exceedingly humble men (and among the women influencers of religious Jewish communities, and yes there are plenty of such women, are equally as humble and modest).

Jewish religious Bloggers come from all types and all stripes.  BUT if you’re going to represent yourself as a Jewish religious blogger on a religious topic such as modesty, having your blog configured modestly is a reasonable prerequisite.

Feel free to comment and tell me how right I am below.


Neshama said...

Great to hear from you.
I read the same blog earlier and while I disagree with her mantra (as taught to her by the Shawl ladies) I found the 'reply' mechanism "controlling' (the same as the topic written about). This is what bothers me about this style of literary indoctrination, there is no room for an actual reply from the mind or heart, no room for discussion, because they believe they are 101% correct. Cults behave this way.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%.

Can you provide a link to the blog?

Shiloh said...

Excellent Akiva, and when one follows the dictates of men believing they are holy and ignore the Tanach, this is the exact result.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, this is a case where a secular technique is more humble than the "reactions" block you show here. That is, having a full range of options such as (as applied to this case, simplified): 1) Right on! Everyone should be like this...2) I don't care about this issue...3) This is entirely the wrong way.

Another way of saying: Good - Neutral - Bad

And a comment box afterwards would be appreciated so we can explain our comment if need be.

My guess is you don't want us exposed to any more of their "If-you-disagree-with-us-stay-away" message, so you didn't give us a link. This also goes for other articles you have posted like this, such as "Losing It for Torah" (below).

(NOTE: In a "previous life" I was a research assistant working for a psychometrics expert, so I am familiar with survey techniques and using proper questioning to solicit valid information. As part of the job I used to write surveys, administer them and analyze the results.)

Reb Akiva, thank you for continuing to give us the benefit of your perspective on all of this and helping us stay sane while striving for holiness in a particularly unholy world. These people you are writing about could exploit an excellent opportunity to reach out beyond their community, but it seems they choose not to, or don't know how to. Chaval.

CDG, Yerushalayim

Akiva said...

I did not provide a link because the content of the article was not the point, and more importantly I'm not trying to embarrass or hold the author up for public ridicule. Rather I'm pointing out factors to consider when encountering such articles or positions.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reb Akiva,

I apologize for having apparently imposed my thoughts on you and not thinking through sufficiently to consider the issues you pointed out.

CDG, Yerushalayim

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