Friday, October 13, 2006

A New Meaning for Pigs in a Blanket

I'd like to tie these pictures to the idea of moret ayin:






These pigs present as tigers. So much so that the tiger may not be able to tell the difference. Those who know better are able to tell that the "tigers" are actually piglets wearing tiger suits. Does that make these pigs tigers? No. Kal v'homer* people who are wearing kippot in public, or long skirts and long sleeves are not neccessarily Orthodox, although they may at first glance appear to be. I don't want to stretch the analogy too far, but lets say that these pigs grow up, and continue to wear the tiger skins. Would a person be reasonable in basing their opinion of tigers on these pigs, or should they be responsible for doing some research before making an informed decision?

By the same token, if you keep kosher, it is your responsibility to check a restaurant for a certification of kashrut, despite who is eating inside. I might feel more comfortable eating somewhere if I walk in and see people wearing kippot, but that shouldn't be my criteria for picking an establishment. If you must remove the accoutrements of Judaism before doing something that could be considered breaking halakha, does that mean that I can't hug boys who are wearing kippot? After all, that transgresses shmirat negiah**.

I think that presentation should be irrelevant, as it reads differently in every situation. Let's take me for example: I was in my home state during the summer, wearing a knee-length skirt, and a shirt with sleeves covering my elbows. A man came up to me, congratulated me on my modest dress, and invited me to join a bible study group at a local church. To sweeten the deal he informed me that "there will be many young men there ready to help build the army of G-d." Oh goody. Just what I've always wanted. But seriously, should my presentation inform my action, or vice versa? Does no one else find that idea absurd? That idea calls to mind the rhetoric that girls who wear midriff-baring halter tops are "asking for it." Unacceptable.

* Kal v'chomer: this usage means "if so... then"
**Shimirat Negiah means to observe/keep the touch, and in practice is a set of halakhot which govern the relations between men and women in terms of physical contact

The real story behind the pictures is here.

6 comments:

DK said...

Annie,

Not sure this was aimed at me, but just to be clear, when I said in my post that girls in halter tops WHO ARE SHOMER NEGIAH were "asking for it," the "it" (as I explained) was a misunderstanding because of perceived mixed signals, not physical force or pressure of any kind.

Hope you don't think I am Yankel the Ripper.

Anonymous said...

In addition, if you believe you need to cover your head for a bracha and need to say a bracha before eating then you should cover your head whenever you eat in a restaraunt regardless of the kashrut status. Even if you have shrimp or a BLT(something treif by any standard of kashrut) there is no reason to add a second aveira by not saying a bracha or not covering your head for the bracha.

AnnieGetYour said...

DK- Don't worry, if we meet on a dark night in an alley and I'm wearing a halter top, I'll know that it's ok. Which actually (geographically) might not be so unlikely, because as your "Blogs of NY" link shows, you live not so far from me.

I understand your point, and the comment wasn't directed at you exactly, but the same type of "asking for it" reasoning.

Although in some ways I agree that you should "dress to suit others" (yeah Ben Franklin) I don't believe that your observance and dress should have to be conflated. I wear pants for ideological reasons, and because I dont' want to make the skirt statement, but wearing skirts would be more in line with my observance.

I think that there is a danger of conflating dress and observance in the opposite direction too. When people "dress down" while breaking halakhot it creates a connection between "dressing down" and transgressing halakhot.

harley said...

In related news, Mark Foley is not a Bad Jew, but he is a Bad Person:

http://jspot.org/?p=612
(Little Piggies in the House - A D’var Torah on Mark Foley)

Unknown said...

I jizzed

Unknown said...

I jizzed