Pesach is Coming

9 Apr

This pissed me off over pesach:

There’s a guy at shul who’s constantly giving mussar to everyone else. Like he thinks he’s everyone’s personal mashgiach. The guy barely knows other people in shul and he’ll go over, ‘So, you don’t believe in hats?’ Always with a smile of course, so you get caught off guard and don’t have your ‘go fuck yourself’ handy.

Now this guy’s obviously an idiot, probably a failed mashgiach or rebbi or something, but people do this all the time. Just dialed down. Or maybe it’s just frum people. People are constantly talking about everyone else, or just thinking, judging. And if it’s a religious thing, they can shut out the guilt by feeling all frum about themselves. Now they have full permission to, no, a Responsibility, to stop someone else from doing an aveirah.

And no matter how righteous they think they are, they’re usually full of shit. Like me right now. I want to think I’m doing the world a favor by pointing out this behavior, but I’m actually just pissed off at the guy in shul and didn’t get the chance to tell him off. Here’s a mashal I thought about during davening later:

Everyone has to clean and prepare for pesach. If you don’t turn your entire house upside down, you won’t have anywhere to go, or any thing to eat come yomtov. And you get kares.

Let’s say it’s a week before pesach and you haven’t done a thing. You also notice your neighbor hasn’t done a thing. At this point, you have 2 logical choices. You could either A) work on your own house, or B) you could work on your friend’s house. A real tzaddik might help out his friend before himself. Most normal people would obviously do their own houses. But who the fuck would ignore his own house and go make comments about the other guy’s mess?? It’s insane.

Unless you don’t really believe that pesach’s coming. Then you’d look at your own house, maybe try to clean it up a little, see how hard it is and give up. Then, you don’t want to look like a kofer so you don’t let anybody see into your house, pretend you’re cleaning, and divert their attention to other people’s messes. And if you’re really screwed up, you feel guilty, so you point out other people’s flaws to divert your OWN attention from your OWN mess. And maybe you do something because you still feel guilty deep down. Like pointing the mess out to your friend. (Or writing about it on a blog.)

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5 Responses to “Pesach is Coming”

  1. Tinok ShenishBeth April 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    This is not exactly on point, but…

    The idea that one should mind one’s neighbors’ business is certianly not exclusive to frum society; however, frummies do seem to have a particularly blatent manner of expressing their disapproval for each other.  Amongst the goyim, a man without proper attire (for example, a black hat – if the goys did hats) would be talked about behind his back and perhaps not invited for tea.  

    I think the persecuted history of our people has made this type of (rude) social interaction much more prevalient. At various points, being noticed at all as a Jew could and did lead to being killed, maimed, raped, displaced, etc.  Not just for the person displaying difference, but for the whole community.  As such, I believe it became much more essential that all members of the shtetl policed each other’s behavior.  Your neighbor acting weird could, afterall, get you killed, too!  

    I don’t have any real research to support this idea, but I think I’m on to an underlying sociological current.  (It’s also a kind of victim blaming and it’s something we might want to let go of!)

    Moadim L’Simcha!
    (^^Pretty darn frum, eh?)

    • itchemeyer April 10, 2012 at 5:27 am #

      Hmm. I don’t see the link so well. I think you’re hitting on something good though. I’m not sure how far it extends and what the cause is today. Clearly, there aren’t those kinds of threats here, and people are still in everyone else’s business. I don’t know how far and to what degree you can extend that original cause.

    • Dan April 10, 2012 at 10:55 am #

      Well, all in all, I think I’d rather be disapproved to my face, and not be talked about behind my back.
      When I joined secular society, that was one thing that hit me really hard. These people talk about other people. They sit and make fun of other people behind thier backs. Just like the chofetz chaim talks about.

  2. bestbathroombooks April 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Dude, I don’t know half of what you’re talking about but I still like it.

    • itchemeyer April 10, 2012 at 5:21 am #

      🙂 Sorry about that. You got the main point though, right? If you want to know any specific word, let me know.

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