Be nice!

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  • #607587
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    My wife and I recently went on a small vacation to a resort. The resort offers kosher food, which is double-wrapped so it can be rewarmed.

    We were at dinner, and the waitress brings the food. We asked for a few things she had forgotten, and when she brought it back, she said, “Wow, you guys are nice! I usually get most of the guests here who keep kosher, and they’re usually pretty disgusting to me, but you guys are different.”

    I asked her, “Really? The people who order the kosher meals aren’t nice? In what way?”

    She replied, “They are always complaining about things, and get really nasty. No matter how hard we try, they always complain and say insulting things about us – straight to our faces! I’m glad you guys aren’t like that.”

    I don’t understand how a frum Jew could act like that. How could you be so nasty to a young girl who is just trying to do her job? She doesn’t prepare the food, she just brings it to the table. Even if she did, is that an excuse to make such a big chilul Hashem?

    It’s not one group. My wife and I saw Jews there with white shirts and velvet yarmulkas, chassidim, and MO wearing srugis. To have an employee tell us that most Jews she serves are nasty to her really put a damper on our evening.

    Remember who we are, and what we have to do. Don’t just learn Torah, LIVE the Torah. Make a kiddush Hashem. So your food wasn’t ready right when you came in, or she forgot to bring the sealed plastic cutlery the first time she came out. Big deal! It’s not a reason to make a chilul Hashem.

    #916542
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Bump

    #916543
    Chulent
    Member

    I don’t believe the waitress.

    #916544
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ouch

    #916545
    yytz
    Participant

    Very sad — I hope that’s not true, that it’s all in her head or something. But it sounds like she seemed sincere. Rachmana litzlan!

    Derech eretz precedes the Torah — how I think of that phrase is this. What is considered being a “good person” in a particular place, as long as it’s not against the Torah, then that’s a minimum floor — we each need to be a “good person,” and Torah is supposed to make us even better (refining our character traits as well as performing mitzvos). So Americans are generally a pretty nice and friendly people who smile a lot and stay positive most of the time, particularly with strangers. It may not seem like that in the big city but that’s how most Americans are. If we’re not like that too, people will c”v’s think of frum Jews as less moral than the average non-Jew, causing a great chillul Hashem. People should be nice like their life and the lives of others depended on it. It might:

    “Anyone with whom his fellowmen are pleased, G-d is pleased with him; but anyone with whom his fellowmen are not pleased, G-d is not pleased with him.” Avos 3:10

    “One who publicly humiliates his fellowman has no share in Olam Haba.” Avos 3:11.

    #916546
    uneeq
    Member

    The kids from the school bus went on vacation, what do you expect?

    #916547
    shinina
    Member

    if a goy tells u loshon horah, its still loshon horah, and u cant be mekabel.

    #916548
    Mammele
    Participant

    Opposite experience yesterday. A guy cleaning in a Manhattan shop was wearing a t-shirt with a Yeled vaYalda logo. Turns out he works there in the mornings – and he commented to my husband “your people are good to me”.

    #916549
    daniela
    Participant

    The only person lacking derech eretz is the employee. I would have left no tip and talked to management.

    I have no idea if she had had whatever discussion with some jewish-looking customer (who could have been anyone asking for kosher food, actually) and if so, whether the customer was right (I notice there was some mistake in your order, so she doesn’t appear to be the epitome of professionality), or whether the waitress was. Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that some customer was rude to her. This is no reason to call an ethnical group “pretty disgusting to me”. The lady would never dare making such a comment about African-Americans, would she. If she did, she would be made to regret it sorely — and she would fully deserve whatever unpretty consequences would be coming to her.

    #916550
    mylogic37
    Participant

    Why is everyone shooting down the messenger?? The issue mentioned above by the original poster we all know happens. We read about similar stories in the Yated and Hamodia after a chol hamoed or something.

    Yes there are good frum jews but there are unfortunately there are some frum jews who need to go back to derech eretz class.

    Instead of shooting the messenger will all of your reasoning s (loshon horah etc…) maybe take this to heart and try to improve yourself. If everyone tried to improve themselves then we will be a better society.

    #916551
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    daniela: I agree with you that an employee shouldn’t be saying things like that to other people. However, it doesn’t change the fact that there were Jews who did not act properly. That’s what my post was about.

    #916552
    oomis
    Participant

    Don’t be mekabeil L”H, but DO accept mussar if it applies to your own behavior.

    #916553
    daniela
    Participant

    Oomis, if some hypotetical jew deserves mussar for supposedly having been rude to a waitress who makes mistakes in orders (and whom we entrust with the kashrut of our food, because you surely realize that wraps and seals protect against ovens used for nonkosher food, against accidental mistakes, and against nonjews touching the foods they should not touch, but double wraps are helpless against deliberate actions, done out of hatred and spite), I wonder what is in store, for a jew who is told by a waitress “you are nice and different, but the rest of *you* are disgusting” and who not only promptly assumes that “bad jews” went to dinner there, but proceeds to post a rant on a website. I would not want to be upon his pedestal. Nor would I want to be upon yours.

    DaMoshe: did you see those hypotetical jews (actually, they could have been Muslims, vegetarians, buddhists, people that cut down on pork for medical reasons, people allergic to shellfish, people who like something among the kosher entries on the menu….) behaving inappropriately? I was under the impression you didn’t. If you saw the scene, and if it seemed to you those hypotetical frum jews were rude to the waitress, why did you not talk to them in a gentle manner? I was under the impression you only heard the tale of the waitress, which you promptly and unconditionally believe and report, despite the fact she did not get your own order right, thus it’s not far-fetched to imagine she made some “innocuous” mistake in other orders. Even if there was some unpleasant discussion, you have no idea what happened. Say the lady brought a dish of meat and then decided to “help” and unwrap it, accidentally touching it with her (hygienically clean) hands in the process? Say the jew made a scene in front of all the clientele, and of course had the meat thrown in the trash, lest it is served to the next unsuspecting customer, possibly some am haaretz or someone not-so-observant who nevertheless keeps kosher, but won’t check carefully the seals and will trust the waitress? Would that jew have been rude? When we sit down in a kosher restaurant which is not owned by G-d fearing jews, don’t we rely on the laws of the land, which don’t allow fraud and which the nonjews are and should be scared of? They must be afraid that any “innocuous” or “inconsequential” kashrut violation will wreak havoc upon their life, and if they are not afraid, we can’t eat in there, can we? Is that not the crux of the famous teshuvot in this regard, those we all rely upon? And, even to a nonjew it is forbidden to sell treif food presenting it as kosher.

    One last consideration. Maybe this waitress who knows better than judaism and better than Torah R”L will receive an order for kosher food from a table with not-so-modestly dressed ladies. She will go in the kitchen and ask, “is there by any chance some unwrapped kosher food? There’s an order, but they are not religious jews, so we don’t have to follow their stupid stringencies”. Suppose the customers are nonjewish and their clothing are none of our business, but one of them is severely allergic. What do you say?

    #916554
    rebdoniel
    Member

    We must always make a kiddush hashem and treat all people with the proper kavod and respect. All people are made b’tzelem elokim.

    Sadly, the waitress in question has experienced what many of us experience. I’ve worked so-called “goyishe” jobs in food service, retail, etc., alongside goyim, and even in a velvet kippah, tzitzit, a beard, long sideburns, I’ve been treated and spoken to rudely and abusively by other frum yidden.

    Part of the tav hayosher program is to ensure that in food service jobs, we treat our workers fairly and with dignity. It is not just the goyim who are mistreated; there are Yidden who do these jobs also, and we should also be treated equitably.

    I fully relate to and sympathize with the waitress, and I’d like to apologize. Like so many things, rachamana litzlan, the menuvals don’t represent all of us.

    #916555
    Bustercrown
    Participant

    I have noticed basic manners to be sorely lacking in many of of our brethren. I was sitting eating with my family in Glatt ala carte, a nice upscale restaurant, where the waiters and service are usually impeccable, classy, elegant. I cringed when I heard a man at the table next to me call the waiter over and say, “Get me a coke.” in hindsight I’m sorry I didn’t mention to him that a “please” at the very least, and at best, a total rephrasing of his demand into a request, was necessary.

    #916556
    Naysberg
    Member

    The waitress is an anti-semitic Jew-hater who was letting loose her anti-Jew diatribe in a “polite” manner.

    #916557
    shmendrick
    Member

    DaMoshe – “My wife and I recently went on a small vacation to a resort. The resort offers kosher food, which is double-wrapped so it can be rewarmed.”

    Did you ask a shaylah if this is muttar and not ma’ras ayin? People ca assume you are eating regular food of the resort and think it is okay to eat there!

    Please don’t tell me you assumed there is no issur because you saw

    “Jews there with white shirts and velvet yarmulkas, chassidim, and MO wearing srugis”!

    #916558
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    daniela: No, we didn’t witness the people acting rudely. he waitresses there are very good. She didn’t make a mistake with our order, we had asked for a few extra things (extra plastic cutlery, etc.) while she was running by. She stopped at our table a minute later and said, “I didn’t catch on of the things you asked for, can you please repeat it?”

    All the staff there knows not to unwrap the kosher food. We’ve never had an issue with that.

    Rebdoniel, don’ bring Tav Hayosher into this. The organization pretends to be doing good, but they use lies and mafia tactics to try and gain clients. They are not so yosher themselves. I’m all in favor of owners treating employees properly (R’ Breuer zt”l wrote a whole essay in favor of it), but it must be done properly.

    #916559
    shinina
    Member

    “Why is everyone shooting down the messenger?? The issue mentioned above by the original poster we all know happens”

    No body is shooting down the messenger,the problem is that the original poster was assuming that when the waitress said “I usually get most of the guests here who keep kosher, and they’re usually pretty disgusting to me” it was 100% true. Ya we all know that there r some people out there w/ bad middos, but im willing to bet u that the waitress was exaggerating, and automatically accepting what she says as a fact is also wrong.

    #916560
    rebdoniel
    Member

    As a working class frum yid, I care deeply about making the world a more equitable place. I yearn for the day and proudly work towards creating a world where all people enjoy the fruits of economic equity and are paid fair wages and treated with dignity.

    How many times do the neviim chastise us for mistreating the workers and the poor? And I also hope for a day when glatt yosher is seen as important an imperative religiously as glatt kosher.

    #916561
    daniela
    Participant

    DaMoshe have you run out of nice decent nonjews who know manners and who do their utmost best to be respectful, that you need to defend the indefensible? A racist waitress who unloads her hatred for the jewish people, especially those who insist on living like jews instead of entering the melting pot, upon someone (your family) who were particularly nice with her? And during work, no less? Yes, I believe what you say, that she was polite and nice to you and your family. Does it take so little to blind you?

    We all know educated, elegant, polite African-Americans who are successful doctors or lawyers, and I am sure we all at some point heard some of them elaborate upon how much they despise the african-american “culture”. Not the same thing by a far cry: the african-american mindset, where crime and prison is an adulthood rite, is unacceptable to decent humans of whatever skin color, while the frum culture is unacceptable only to antisemites. Yet, does that mean it’d be appropriate to say “Wow, you guys are nice! Usually African-American customers are pretty disgusting to me, but you guys are different.” Had the waitress said so to a table of elegant African-American upscale professionals who went to Ivy League colleges, what do you suppose would happen? how do you suppose they would react? Notice, this is regardless of the sad fact that there are plenty of criminals, addicts and bums among african-americans, which inevitably translates into prejudices.

    But I am more interested about how you would react. Would you find it acceptable, had you been out for dinner with a dark-skinned colleague (jewish or nonjewish, african-american or not; but dark-skinned and thus assumed to be an african-american by a waiter) and had your waiter spitted out the same rant about some imaginary or real rude afro-american customers? Or would you have been insulted and offended and enraged, despite your (I assume) white complexion? If your son were to tell your muslim colleague who comes for dinner “you are so nice, but the rest of Arabs are disgusting”, would you be proud of him? Is that how you teach your children? If not, if you teach them like all of us, that there are many arab terrorists (ie, not rude people who however pay premium $$$$ for their lunch, not even small thieves or pushers, but despicable beings who blow up or butcher R”L children and old ladies and pregnant women and then celebrate and dance) and yet this is no reason to insult our fellow human and they should be respectful — why is it suddendly fine, and actually, worth rebroadcasting in a positive light (!!!), when Jews are insulted?

    I also wonder why does the waitress who takes issue with kosher customers, happen to serve most of them? Do all of the “nice” waiters in that restaurant take issue with kosher customers and she is the most junior? Or is there another reason? Either way, an interesting tidbit to ponder.

    #916563
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    daniela: I actually asked the waitress why she gets most of the kosher customers. She said that she is in culinary school, and actually studied about different dietary needs – whether kosher, halal, vegan, gluten free, or others. Because of that, the resort gives her those customers, as she knows a lot of the rules for each.

    As for your comparison to African Americans, here’s the big difference. Let’s say she said something to a black person along the same lines. He would probably get upset. Why? Because to him, it’s an attack on all black people. This bothers him.

    When she told that to me, I didn’t take it as an attack on all Jews. I actually felt sad that she’d had bad experiences with frum Jews.

    Your refusal o believe anything bad about Jews is part of what leads to the issues we have these days, such as abuse. When people refuse to believe what they are told, it causes problems. Instead of trying to fix problems, they just ignore them. That leads to the problems becoming bigger. Take your head out of the sand and actually look around you.

    #916564
    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello Daniela,

    I do find what the waitress said to be offensive and stereotypical. I am troubled though for the same reasons by how you describe the African American mindset as one in which “crime and prison is an adult rite” and unacceptable to decent humans of any skin color.” I am actually unsure how this part of your post came through the moderation.

    The Coffee Room has at least one poster who is African American, per his story of coming to Orthodoxy from a Christian background. As offensive as your remark was to me as a Caucasian, I can not even imagine how offensive it would be to an African American person.

    Negative stereotypes based on ethnicity are not acceptable or tolerable, in the CR or out in the world, no matter which group is the subject of the stereotype.

    #916565
    Chulent
    Member

    DaMoshe: I see. It isn’t okay, to your way of thinking, to criticize Blacks or Jews as a demographic, but it is okay to criticize “frum Jews” as a demographic.

    What denomination are you?

    #916566
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    No, I don’t think it’s ok to criticize anyone. I just looked at how people react to things, not whether the criticism is ok or not.

    I happen to be a frum Jew.

    #916567
    yaakov doe
    Participant

    Not at all surprised by the waitresses comments. Too often our people forget that their actions positive or negative reflect upon all of us. We are to be a light unto the nations, not ones to cause a chillul Hashem.

    #916569
    shmendrick
    Member

    We are so quick to put down our own. If the waitress was talking about YOUR mother or father, would you not be offended!!

    Reminds me of the classic self-loathing Jew:

    A woman is riding a bus in the Midwest, when a man gets on the bus and sits down next to her. He’s wearing a black hat, long black coat, black slacks and shoes, and he has a long curly dark beard.

    The woman looks at him disgustedly. “Jews like you,” she hisses at him.

    He looks up at her, puzzled, and says, “I beg your pardon, madam?”

    She says, “Look at you. All in black, an unkempt beard, never take off your hat! It’s Jews like you that give the rest of us a bad name.”

    He says calmly, “I beg your pardon, madam, but I am not Jewish.

    I’m Amish.”

    The woman looks back and smiles, “How nice. You’ve kept your customs.”

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