Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whigging it at the Supermarket!

So, I went to the supermarket. Just to pick up a few things.

I heard an Israeli lady say (in Hebrew) "excuse me, lady?" (for all you Hebrew speakers: slicha giveret?)
(note: this convo will be loosely translated, as there are awesome Hebrew words - like cheshek - that just don't have a well fitting word in English!)
I looked around and saw the store manager.
"Yes?" I asked, curiously.
"I was watching you since you entered the store 10 minutes ago--"
uh oh! I was pretty sure I didn't shop lift anything. What'd I do?
"--and I just want you to know... your mitpachat (headscarf/tichel) is stunning! The way you tied it and added the flower is just so beautiful."

I blushed (well, not really. I'm pretty dark, so if my cheeks are's only due to artificial coloring ;)) and thanked her.
She went on. "You know, I used to have so many mitpachot. I used to cover all of my hair - like you do. But, over the years, I stopped."
I didn't want to tread on anything that wasn't my territory, but hey, this is Israel - we're all family. So, I asked "really? why?"
"I'm not entirely sure." She responded honestly. "Perhaps it just got too hard."
I was quiet and nodded.
"But you know what? Seeing you just made me want to cover my hair properly tomorrow. Yes, yes...I think I'll do it tomorrow!"

Now, here I was. A post partum mother, with barely any sleep, just looking to buy some necessities from the supermarket at 10 pm, and without even realizing - I was inspiring a fellow Jewish daughter of the Master of the World.
My decision to not wear a wig, and instead, to wear a beautiful crown, was one that moved someone (whom I never even spoke to prior to this conversation!) to cover her hair.

The koach of doing a mitzvah. The koach of doing something right.
The koach of standing up for what you believe, even if you're standing alone.

I hope this post doesn't sound self-righteous. That's not at all the purpose I'm writing this.
Rather, I'm sharing this incident with y'all because...well, it's so easy to get lost in society libertarian outlook. The "live and let live" kind motto. That's not at all a Jewish hashkafah.
Our hashkafah is: we're all in this boat of life together. Our actions impact the whole world - be it for the good or the bad.

The well known mashal goes that there's a man in a boat, who starts drilling a hole in his seat. His fellow passengers on the boat begin to freak out. "Yo man, whatcha doing?!"
he matter-of-factly defends himself "I'm drilling a hole in my seat, so I can feel the water. Mind your own businness! What do YOU care?"

If you were a passenger, would you care whats he was doing? Of course! Because his seat affects the whole boat being dry or full of water.

Either we're doing a kiddush HaShem or a chilul HaShem. There's no in between.

May we all be zochim to Lkadesh et Shem HaShem baolam hazeh! Shabbat Shalom :)

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