Thursday, August 7, 2008

too frum for shul

one of my mother's friends asked me why she never sees me in Shul. I told her I was too Frum for Shul.
Ok, it's not like my family is part of a Reform temple, but the Shul we go to has a mechitza that JUST barely manages to pass the kosher test. Why is this a problem, you ask? After all, low mechitzahs are all the better for spying on new cute guys (PS guys - girls love a boy with kevana! but be sure not to overdo it unless you're looking to attract a breslover).
But the truth is, a low mechitzah causes a lot more problems than Shul builders probably anticipated. (and the cons far outweigh the pros when you go to one of those shuls where the average age of membership is deceased).
When you go to a Shul like mine, davening is usually the last thing on your mind. Your outfit is usually #1. You know that as soon as you walk in, everyone in the sanctuary will turn their heads to give you the once over. You know, because you do the exact same thing to everyone else. So before you even get to Shul, all of your Shabbos morning energy is spent on finding the perfect thing to wear and making sure that you rotate your closet enough so that no one is thinking "she's wearing THAT again".
Now, as a Material Maidel, dressing up is normally something I look forward to. Just not so much for an audience of women who probably sin more in Shul than daven.
I'm talking about Lashon Harah. Shul seems to be more of a Makom of Gossip than a Makom Kodesh these days. Or maybe it's just where I go. I've been to smaller shteibels where you can actually hear the people saying Kedusha. But there is a reason those places are small. (people like to gossip!).
So instead of spending my Shabbos mornings worrying about saying or listening to the latest Lashon Harah, I spend my time engaged in an activity that is 100% sin-free - I sleep in!


Lion of Zion said...

some women don't feel part of the communal aspect of davening when the מחיצה resembles the berlin wall. also, for some women it is difficult to follow unless they can see what is going on.

aml said...

Once again, I have to agree with ProfK... And I've been to pleanty of Berlin wall-type shuls where its still a loshon hara fashion show. But enjoy your sleep regardless. At some point here you may have little ones running around and sleeping in will be a distant memory. Get it while you can!


Honestly Frum said...

No need for there to be a memory of sleep on shabbos morning. The reason we in the MO community pay such high shul membership fees is so that we can ship the little rug rats off to be dealt with by some teenager for a few hours on shabbos morning while our wives get their desperately needed beauty rest.

Lion of Zion said...


i thought it was so that they could go to shul and daven rather than babysit.

some of my friend's shuls have really good groups for the kids, other are so-so. some of them also don't really last that long and are sort of pointless.

Frayda said...

I find it difficult to follow because I can't hear what the men are saying.

katrina said...

S.Y. Agnon wrote a story about the issue of lashon hara and Shabbat. A guy is travelling, and he passes through this shtetl, where he sees a woman spinning wool in a window. He knocks on her door and asks her why she is being mechalelet Shabbat. She says that all of her female friends gather to engage in lashon hara, and she thinks it's less of a sin to spin. I'm not condoning the spinning, but this certainly isn't a new problem in Jewish history.

Maidel said...

katrina, that shy agnon story is great!
its good to know (or is it) that some of the problems we face today arent new at all.
why is lashon harah so hard to overcome?
(btw, i realized something after reading the parsha where miriam gets tzarat for talking about her brother - lashon harah can be done even when youre talking frankly to your family! a lot of ppl think that there arent boundaries in what you say to your family members, but the chumash proves that boundaries exist even within the home!)
ok, the sem girl in me needs a rest! ttyl!

The Babysitter said...

I used to always sleep in and not go to shul because I always felt everyone would be looking at what I am wearing and I wasn't interested in dressing up all the time. But then I switched shuls and now I love going to shul. I never really think about the L"H aspect.

About the Mechitza, there's one shul where I loved their idea, they had the woman in a balcony with windows separating the men from woman, the windows on the woman's side were clear so you can see through, and on the men's side it was reflective so they couldn't see the woman. Sorta like tinted windows. So it was perfect, you get to see everything going on without them seeing you.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Children groups? I have never heard of these. Who invented them? when did they start? And Gossip isnt good so sleep in. If only I had that exscuse.

lvnsm27 said...

I don't need to look and know what's going on the other side. I just try to daven with kavana, and connect to the One Above.

I agree that there is a lot of talking in shul Unfortunatley. I think many people should work on fixing that.