Open letter to Mr PigMansky

Dear Mr PigMansky

 

On Shabbat (shabbes to you) my sons walked past you on the street and bid you a Good Shabbes. You returned their greeting politely, probably because they were wearing white shirts and dress pants and velvet kippas and looked like they belonged in your neck of the woods, or perhaps you recognized them from a function we all attended recently. I was about ten paces behind them, walking in 4 inch heels slows me down sometimes.

 

As I passed you I said “Shabbat Shalom”. I saw that you greeted my sons and wanted to be polite. I also recalled being introduced to you and your wife not too long ago. I was brought up to show respect, which is why I wished you Shabbat shalom. You looked at me like you had a very awful taste in your mouth. How dare I, a mere woman (and a divorced one at that), talk to you, a MAN? The way you looked at me was worse than rude, it was disgusting. I do realize that there are men who don’t talk to women not directly related to them, but those men don’t look at other women in the street. They don’t sweep their eyes up and down the non-related woman, mentally cataloguing her clothes and her looks.

 

All I wanted to do was wish you well, after you were kind enough to greet my sons. In return you looked at me as if I was a piece of meat up for sale. I guess maybe I wouldn’t have minded so much, if while mentally undressing me, you had wished me a good shabbos. I mentally inspected my mode of dress, perhaps I was not tzanua…..but that couldn’t have been the problem. I was wearing a sheitel, my collarbone was covered, as were my elbows and knees. I was even wearing panty hose in this high heat – I had been to shul, and I always dress modestly for shul. It’s the right thing to do. I wasn’t even wearing bright colours. In fact, Pigmansky, I was very modestly dressed, and the way you leered at me was most unmodest of you.

 

After taking a few more paces, I risked a glance back at you, and you were stopped in the street, staring at my posterior as I walked away. With the same disgusted expression on your face. I had an epiphany. You weren’t disgusted with me, you were disgusted with yourself. You saw a beautiful woman, and you behaved like a pig. The depth of my beauty and inner spirit took your breath away so much so that saying good shabbes was a physical impossibility and you were totally ashamed at your inability to behave like a mensch.

 

So I guess, Mr Pigmansky, I should be flattered that I rendered you speechless. But somehow I can’t bring myself to really believe that. A little derech eretz would have gone a long long way.

 

Sincerely

Me

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9 Comments

  1. Gavi Kaufman says:

    I dunno – I try my best to wish a gut shabbes or shabbat shalom to everyone I pass on the street… regardless of gender. The only time I do not is if I feel that people will not appreciate my wishes. But when spoken to, I respond.

    The late Lubavitcher Rebbe, zatzal, used to greet every person he saw as he walked to his office at 770 – man, woman, and child, with equal joy and dignity.

  2. Gitty Levi says:

    Geez, what is wrong with people? Though I have to tell you Hadassah, you think it’s bad here? Go to New York. If you walk down the street and greet your fellow Jew with a “Good Shabbes” they will look at you as though you have antlers growing out of your head!! Now you go on with your fine self and keep rendering those Pigmansky’s speechless! I am so proud of you!

  3. mtl says:

    Ignore people like this – too many holier than though phonies, even in a great neighborhood. You know what’s right and true – stick with that. I’m sure you looked awesome :)

  4. Ilana-Davita says:

    I fear Mr Pigmansky won’t read this post. What a pity! Shame on him too.

  5. Ari says:

    There. Are. No. Words.

    Now, you might excuse him if he was having a bad day, or digesting a bad meal, but he did greet your sons politely. So, he won’t be let off the hook that easily.

    This is a disturbing trend. Just last week, a local “rav” exhorted his congregation to do the same in our neighborhood. Phooey. There is a name for this, and it isn’t Judaism. (Talibanism perhaps?)

    Clearly, the man isn’t familiar with Pirkei Avos and derech eretz, much less common courtesy. Chalk it up to a contagious disease and a public health problem called “holier-than-thou” and “chumra-of-the-month.”

    I’m afraid the condition is terminal if not treated early enough. Make sure your sons never contract it. Remember: prevention is the best cure.

  6. Liz says:

    I have always wondered why divorced women are supposed to continue covering their hair. Would you mind explaining this? Thanks.

    And that man was indeed a pig. How hard would it have been to say those 2 little words, “Shabbat Shalom”?

  7. Hadassah says:

    thanks for the support, guys, and i am making sure to bring up my boys so that they have derech eretz.

    Liz – a married woman covers her hair for many reasons, but we learn from Torah that when a woman loses her virginity she covers her hair (i believe it was the story with tamar) and in the case of a suspected sotah (an adulteress) she was made to uncover her hair. once women have been married they cannot reclaim their pure status……..

    i wrote a blog on it here
    http://www.hadassahsabo.com/?p=17

  8. anon says:

    I think Mr. Pigmansky lives in my neighborhood too…He’s the guy who blatantly ignored my kippah wearing boys when they ran ahead to open the door for him when he was leaving the pizza shop with his hands full.

    Liz – the hair-covering thing depends on which rabbi you ask. Rav Moshe Feinstein has a tsuva where he laid out conditions when it was permitted for a woman mine included) who will permit it based on those conditions. This is one of those ask-your-local-orthodox-rabbi questions.

  9. anon says:

    Sorry that came out weird.

    Anyway, Liz: The hair-covering thing depends on which rabbi you ask. Rav Moshe Feinstein has a tsuva where he laid out conditions when it was permitted for a woman to uncover her hair after being divorced/widowed. There are rabbeim (mine included) who will permit it based on those conditions. I gladly got that sheitel off my head before the ink on the Get had time to dry. This is one of those ask-your-local-orthodox-rabbi questions.

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