MK Yaakov Litzman walks out on girls' choir singing at some ceremony he attended as Gov't Minister. That makes the news and shows the rest of Israeli society that Charedim cannot be normal. Whatever that means. Or at least not Gerrer with their "Yiddishkeit." This is not the first time that it's happening either. Litzman is following Jewish law to the letter, yes, but is he really? and at who's expense is he doing it? Walking out on sweet little girls because they "attract attention" or "bring to impure thoughts" is perverted, at least in the eyes of the general public. We can debate what Torah thinks of that some other time. So some people would tell הרב ליצמן that if he can't deal with the responsibilities of what it takes to be a Minister in the Zionist Government, that maybe he find another job? It seems to me that even the Gerrer Rebbe's son-in-law, Reb Itche Meir Levin, z"l, a much-more learned and pious individual that RYL, seemed to carry himself better and did a better job at making a Kiddush Hashem than does Reb Yankel, and in the early days of the State that was no easy feat.
At the same time we have been seeing much of what happened when talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey sat down with the Ginsbergs and talked about what it means to be a Hassidic family. This was a first-look into the very "secretive" society that we are, they said. [I know, Lubavitch hogged all the attention, as usual, and no REAL Chassidim were represented... As if that would have ever happened, and hashem Yishmor if it would have.] I say that for at least two reasons. 1) is that it may look a lot better in pictures and film, but this was a sit-down with lots of talking, and some young adults were involved too. No Chassidishe Boocher'l would've sat there and answered her questions like "have you ever touched a וכו', or do you know who "Miley Cirus is." Mendel sat there and answered just as innocently, but he also spoke nicely and eloquently when asked "what it means to be a Hasidic Jew." Mendel, who might have been coached what to say if and when such a question arises, knows what to say because he's been going on מבצעים since he's, what? 11? or earlier? This is his life. 2) This family, despite the fact that their day to day involvement is with Boro Park parents (no easy task) are shluchim to the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. They're quite accustomed to dealing with questions such as Ms. Winfrey's, and they did quite a good job at it! I'd dare say that many people will become frum because of the Ginsbergs and how they made Yiddishkeit look all warm and fuzzy. and many people may even convert to Judaism!
Frum people may look at some of the questions posed her and wonder in amazement how she dared answer them. They're דברים שהצניעות יפה להם, and she should've politely declined to answer them. To that I say "puh-leez." They did an awesome job of answering the questions so that people get the idea while still maintaining the mystique of it all. Once they agreed to do the interview this was the best that could be done. Of course young children should not be allowed to watch this interview, and it was never intended for them, even if they are Lubavitchers! Now contrast that with some of the shenanigans that the frum chavrei knesset subject us to on an almost daily basis. I'll go out on a limb here and say that if the gedolei Yisroel who send them as their shluchim to the Knesset would see what actually goes on there, just watch unedited video clips, they'd reconsider. And I'm not talking about the statements of "kefiroh" made by the irreligious, I'm talking about the yelling and screaming and general chilul hashem that happens through the childish behavior that is a mainstay at Israel's House of Parliament. There's more to say, just very little time for it.