10 CROWN HEIGHTS NEWSpapER ~July 25, 2008


New Kollel Wives Shura Rishona Formed in Crown Heights.

By mrs. m. Resnick

Baruch Hashem the response was


i am always encouraged and heartened

by the positive response i receive when i

address young women about the insidious

penetration of secular culture into

all areas of our lives - behavior, speech,

and mode of thought.

But last week when i met with thirty

young kollel wives in Crown Heights on

the same subject, the response bordered

on the miraculous. it was as if Hashem

opened the hearts of all those attending

and made them willing keillim for His

mission – “vatem tihyu li mamleches


For at the end of the session those

beautiful new wives committed to form

a vanguard (shura rishona) which will

meet biweekly, in weight watchers-like

supportive fashion, to give each other

encouragement, sharing achievements

and difficulties with the aim of achieving

a viable positive impact on our

beloved community.

Tzinius is a touchy topic among some,

so rather than discussing the halachos,

i tried to step back and re-examine the

fundamentals of a Jewish look. in the

not too distant past, men and women

took their fashion cues from the aristocratic

class, trying to emulate the upper

echelon. But today, people attempt to

dress downward emulating lumberjacks

and janitorial staff by sporting a disheveled

look, shirts hanging out, unkempt

hair styles, etc. The Rebbe points out

that the term for why the righteous

women merited to be the catalysts of

the redemption was because of the “ lo

shinu’ aspect of their existence. They

did not substitute their yiddishe look

(name nor language) for an egyptian

look even though that look may very

well have conformed to the Halachic

laws of modesty.

Nowadays, some women wear snoods

outdoors, others dress casually on Shabbos,

still others sit in an inappropriate

fashion. They all cite comfort to explain

their behavior. when did comfort

replace the will of Hashem? The aristocratic

lady who rode side saddle on a

horse did not enjoy as much comfort as

the man who rode the horse normally.

But even Goyishe women understood

that propriety trumped comfort.

One wife at the meeting recalled a real

life test she faced recently. after a full

year of teaching her pupils not to wear

T-shirts emblazoned with logos and

trademarks (“walking billboards”)

in public, she found herself debating

whether she should walk the two blocks

from her ride to her home wearing the

Gan israel T-shirt she had to wear in

camp as a madricha. Changing for a

two block walk wasn’t easy for her, but

“what if i were to meet one of my pupils

on the way home, that same pupil that

i spent an entire year dissuading from

wearing T-shirts with the ‘GaP’ & ‘Old

Navy’ logos”, she wondered. So she

changed and she triumphed ( Score:1

for her - 0 for the yetzer Hara.).

Raising children was also a topic.

many mothers have absorbed the latest

psychological fad of offering children

The Importance of Tznius During the


Likkutei Sichos Vol. 13 page 83

Free Translation

The hora’a (practical instruction) from

this is that a person should not say that

in a major and fundamental aspect of

tznius - such as the fact that “each tribe

dwelled on their own and they were not

mixed” - they will be careful. However,

in the small and lighter details it is not

important to be so exacting. For he

should know that even this detail is

fundamental, and it has the ability to

transform every negative thing from

one extreme to another.

However, there is still room for the

yeitzer hora’s persuasion: “when does

this apply? Concerning one’s permanent

conduct. However, when we are talking

about temporary conduct, it is not obligatory

to be so exacting in tznius – to treat

the lighter details like the serious ones.”

also to this (rationale) comes the

hora’a: “He (Bilam) saw the openings of

their tents--that they were not aligned

facing one another.” even when they

were in tents, “the tents of yaakov”, even

in a temporary dwelling, this level of

tznius and carefulness applies.

On the other hand, when we are careful

in this matter and the conduct is in

a way of “how goodly are your tents

yaakov, your camps yisrael,” then

“Hashem you G-d will overturn for

you (the curse into blessing)...” and as

Rashi comments on the earlier verse: “it

was in his heart (to curse them)... and

when Hashem changed over his mouth,

he blessed them etc.” until the promise

of the complete goodly mishkan - that

Hashem will return His security (mashkon)

- the Beis Hamikdosh. Since a

security connotes that even during the

time of the churban it still exists - and

when the atonement is complete, it will

descend and be revealed, eternally.

Footnote 34: Now is the opportunity

to stress a timely matter: those who are

“lenient” in certain aspects of tznius in

the summer, especially when they are

in a temporary dwelling outside of the

city. and there are those who say echta

ve’ashuv - i will sin and then return

(repent) – when i return to the city.

This applies to the conduct of men as

well, and especially to women, since

each one of them is called akeres

Habayis. we could speak at length, but

now is not the time.

choices in every aspect of their lives,

believing that to be the road to raising

independent adults. But doesn’t

this kind of training undermine the

idea of kabbolas Ol, the basis of all of

yiddishkeit? isn’t it the parents’ job to

train their children for a life of avodas

Hashem? with the purpose of lo nivreiti

ela leshamesh es koni?

when the Rebbe founded “Tzivos

Hashem”, some questioned the militaristic

nature of the organization. The

Rebbe replied as follows: “The most

important aspect, in my opinion, in

this day and age, is the lack of kabolas

Ol, not only of Ol malchus Shomayiim

but also of general non-submission to

authority including the authority of

parents at home, teachers in school

and the authority of law and order in

the street.

“american children have been brought

up on the spirit of independence and

freedom and on the glorification of

personal prowess and smartness. it has

cultivated a sense of cockishness and

self-assurance to the extent that one

who is bent on mischief or anti-social

activity feels they can outsmart a cop

on the beat and even a judge on the


“i came to the conclusion that that there

was no other way to effect a basic change

than through a system of discipline and

obedience to rules which he/she can get

accustomed to.”

another example of the mainstream

culture affecting our behavior in the

workplace is the new, seemingly democratic

policy of addressing each other

by first name, no matter if the person

is of the opposite gender, is older, or is

a rabbi or rebbetzin.

most of the women readily acknowledged

this problem. One even recounted

how she felt uncomfortable when she

first encountered such a work environment.

However, she sadly admitted that

she very quickly got accustomed to this

disrespectful behavior.

another issue raised was the excessive

socializing among young couples, and

the consensus was that familiarity in

certain circumstances is simply not

the Jewish way.

i quoted extensively from Rabbi

Glukowsky’s inspiring, timely address

to their husbands – the kollel yungeleight

(highlights were published in

issue # …of this publication), and they

were all anxious to get audio copies of

the entire talk. Go to the yagdil Torah

website to listen to the shiur: http://


after several hours of enthusiastically

sharing their experiences with me and

one another, i am gratified to report

that the women agreed that reclaiming

our authentic yiddishe heritage

is definitely the order of the day, and

that the creation of a shura rishona will

surely have a positive upward spiraling

influence on the entire community.

kollel wives, please join us in this

groundbreaking effort to strengthen

our families and our community.

Our next meeting is scheduled for July

30. Please call mrs. C. Nemni @ (718)

809-0379 for details.

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