Judge not lest ye shall be judged

I try so hard to not judge people based on looks. We each have our own personal biases, obviously, but judging a book by its cover doesn’t really work. The most beautiful person could be really vacuous, and the most ugly person the smartest person in the world. Character is more than brains, but you get my point.

I frequent a local Jewish food establishment. I have noticed, much to my chagrin, that I get treated differently based on how I am dressed. When I walk in there with my sheitel on, long skirt and closed shoes I get excellent service, and when it’s Friday I get wished a Shabbat Shalom / Good Shabbes. When I walk in there as I did today in a bandanna which didn’t cover all my hair (shonda, I know…puhleeze), and flip flops, long gypsy skirt and long sleeved tee – the same person looked me up and down whilst serving me and seemed to decide I was not worthy of anything more than a shrug and a look that made me want to throw up.

Now before you all blast me and tell me the guy was having a bad day, it has happened many times with the same person, so much so that I started keeping track. Only religious looking women are entitled to good service? The more modern amongst us are nothing? I wished the guy a good shabbes (I usually say Shabbat Shalom) and he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. What, a modernishe veibe (modern wife) such as me actually can speak the litvish lingo?? Deplorable, unthinkable, unheard of….

I left the establishment with such a sour taste in my mouth. It’s a shame. There is another gentleman who works there who always has a smile for me, no matter how I am dressed. I love when he serves me – there is banter, back and forth. This other dude, if I showed up in cleavage baring shirt and low rise jeans – I wonder what type of service I would get, if any. Hmm, might need to test my hypothesis. Interestingly enough the two men are from different sectors of the Jewish community. I wonder if this has any bearing on the matter at hand.

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  1. Tzvi Haber says:

    my shrink friend tells me that we all have the need to put people in boxes. He calls it schema. The trick is not to be judgmental of the people in the other boxes.

  2. hadassahsabo says:

    depends how nice and pretty their boxes are…

  3. Mark says:

    Maybe he doesn’t recognize you? :-)

    Can you do good low-rise jeans and cleavage? It might be a good test … but if you do it, just do it right before leaving Montreal to avoid a long period of shunning.

  4. batya from NJ says:

    hey, he’s the one with the problem & sometimes it’s helpful when you know where you stand with ppl. hopefully you won’t be shopping there that much longer anyhow once you relocate although it’s not soon enough…one thing i will say is that you would NOT have that experience in my NJ community (that i have told you about) i assure you…

  5. ladylockandload says:

    “a bandanna which didn’t cover all my hair (shonda, I know…puhleeze), and flip flops, long gypsy skirt and long sleeved tee…” Perfect attire for Wesley Kosher on a friday certainly. All the cashiers are from gautimalla anyway and won’t be judgemental. And the chassidish workers are very helpful and friendly to EVERYONE! (like all Jews should be).
    On the other hand, there could be a number of reasons for the guys behavior, he could be bipolar, who knows ? A normal frum man should not be looking a woman up and down, he sounds rather strange to me and don’t take his behavior to heart.

  6. barnacle witchy witch says:

    Next week, wear your “Cher” purim costume to the store, and take a pic of his reaction to post on your blog. (cackle, cackle)

  7. frumgoth says:

    typical closed-minded,intolerant,judgmental attitude that is unfortunately increasing among the orth. people, in general. In this crazy world we need to watch each other’s backs, not criticize and judge one another due to differences in levels of religiosity

  8. Mark says:

    frumgoth, great comment, and unfortunately true in many areas! Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Lazeh.

    Shabbat Shalom everyone!

  9. shoshi says:

    What’s new about this?
    Is it the first time you notice, or what?

  10. Mottel says:

    Just a note: Hadassah, you do know the source of the quote in your tittle . . .

  11. hadassahsabo says:

    yes Mottel I do – but as a quote it has entered into the mainstream, so i felt able to use it. don’t read anything more into the title than the words used…

  12. Mottel says:

    I have no problem with the quote itself – though it would be interesting to analyze if and how it fits into traditional Jewish thought – I only made comment because many people do not realize the NT source . . .

  13. wdk says:

    Judge all men in a positive fashion – Avos (b’kav z’chus)… There is more in the world to know then there is to judge – perhaps this is something that needs to be internalized for 9 AV. This does not mean giving up judgment altogether, but it may mean being more empathatic… and less categorical….

  14. John Pruitt says:

    The only two possible reasons I see. He was having a bad day, which you have disproved via evidence. He’s a jerk. He treats you are either not jewish or you are jewish and you’re doing it wrong. I’d have treated you either as a customer or as a friend. Either way you’d get a smile and good service.

    Judge not lest ye shall be judged? Sounds like he judged first. It is your duty to judge back or you make a mockery of that statement! ooo it’s not even 9AM and I’ve used the word mockery. This is going to be a good day.

  15. Chanief says:

    That doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s a shame that so many people can’t see past the external to see the human being they are dealing with (regardless of their race, religion, looks. age etc) Sadly I find this type of judgmental behavior to be extremely commonplace within the Orthodox Jewish world.

  16. Ariela says:

    Several weeks ago, you wrote a long post judging people about their looks. It was the post that you got upset because unattractive people wear clothes that you deem immodest (are you also upset by attractive people wearing immodest clothing?) Since it seems that you do judge people by their looks – perhaps you can expect to be judged for how you look?

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