Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Red Alert

Our split shul personality was in overload over chag. We decided not to go to the chareidi shul for the yamim noraim since it's quite far (it takes me about an hour, with pushing 2 kids up and down hill) eventhough the rest of the family davens there. My husband is connected to their community though, since he has a chavruta with their chief rabbi. When the rav heard we wouldn't be davening there, he was quite disappointed. So, as a compromise, we decided to daven there for one of the Sukot yom tovim.
I knew I wouldn't make it to the davening since it's so far and actually didn't really mind. The davening there is a little different than I'm used to, I like to sing along, which is definitely a no go there for women (even though they're up high on a balcony and are not heard by the men). I got dressed in the morning, avoiding one of my favorite dresses that I think shrunk a bit and now just hits my knee, taking in stead a nice length skirt and very tsnius top.
After the long masa I finally get to shul. The renewed it and now there is no longer a play room for the kids, but in stead a third beit midrash. I felt extremely uncomfortable and wasn't sure where to go. All the women were staring at the new comer and I decided not to go into shul since it was up lots of stairs and tfila was sure to be over soon. I joined a small group of women who went into the kitchen (the only place for the women to wait now) and sat down. As I took of my coat and looked around at the others, I suddenly realised my huge mistake. I was wearing... shock of all shock... COLOR! And not only was I wearing a color, it was borderline red. I felt terrible and suddenly realized that all the staring was maybe not solely because I was new. I contemplating putting on my safe black coat, but it was too warm inside. Then I started to feel silly. Why should I be embarrassed of wearing something I had previously never thought of as being untsnius, just cause these other women decided they want to live there lives as zebra's. I ended up sitting there, jacket less, a little uncomfortable but still somewhat defiant. And also a little resentful, for being made to feel untsnius when I really wasn't.
Any thoughts on this? How would you have felt and reacted?


  1. I think you handled it well. They'll get used to you.

  2. Thanks, I hope so. Now lets see if they'll also accept us.

  3. I know this comment is coming very late, but I think that you misjudged the women. They were "staring" at you because you were a new face. And if there's any place that you don't need to dress like a cookie-cutter image of the next person, it's the place you live and especially the kehilla whose shul you were at. (Few if any people there have a problem with red per se.)

    I hope you have since gotten more used to the community. :)