March 16, 2010 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #591404
Walking down the street today, I encountered a young father shlepping up the steps a double stroller along side of him a young child who he was also trying to help up. Is it tznuis for me to help him up with the carriage?March 16, 2010 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #681561
Is that the same question as a man not helping a woman who’s drowning? I believe he is called a pious fool.
Tznius doesn’t enter into it. A Jew needs help, so you help him.March 16, 2010 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #681562
Good Heart: if you really thought it was the right thing to do, you would not have posted this question.
A couple of girls I know, once asked a certain Rabbi if it would be appropriate to hand out reflectors to boys/men they passed while driving at night. (If you ever drove down a dark street on a dark winter night and almost knocked over someone that was dressed totally in black, you’ll understand the need for this…) The Rabbi said they were right that the men should wear reflectors, but it would not be tznius for the girls to give them out.March 16, 2010 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #681563
That is a very good question.
All of our feelings aside, what is the Halachah? In other words what does Hashem consider the correct thing to do, as transmitted to us from our Creator in His Torah. No values from any other source have any relevance whatsoever.
I wouldn’t necessarily draw a parallel between saving a life and helping with a stroller.March 16, 2010 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #681564
Let me put it this way- A Jewish woman gets out of the subway in a station that normally has an elevator but today its broken and she has to use stairs or an escalator. She’s struggling with a stroller and some small children. There are two Jewish men walking up in the same direction that she is. She asks one if he could please help with the stroller. He declines to make eye contact and walks away. Or perhaps he curtly answers he can’t. Or maybe he politely states that according to his Rosh Yeshiva, it wouldn’t be proper. Still struggling with the stroller, she turns to the second man and asks for a hand with the stroller. He says gladly, carries the stroller up, doesn’t engage in any extraneous conversation or physical contact. When they get to the top of the stairs, she says thank you and he says you’re welcome. If its Friday he maybe adds in a Shabbat Shalom.
Which of those two men would you want for a son? Which of those would you want for your son’s teachers? For a shidduch for your daughter?March 16, 2010 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #681565
I once heard Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky explain the importance of chesed with a story/joke that went something like this-
A woman on a plane turned to me and said excuse me, could you be a good Samaritan and help me get my bag in the overhead compartment. I reponded no, I can’t be a good Samaritan, but I can be a good Jew and will of course gladly help you with your bag.March 16, 2010 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #681566
I would want a man for a son who follows the Halachah, with proper Derech Eretz. What is the Halachah in your scenario? I suspect it is to help her. But if it’s not, it’s not.
How the readers of the new york times would consider my actions is not my concern (unless the issue of Chillul Hashem is a factor in a particular case.) What we consider “nice” behavior based on the liberal american air we breath is not how we guide our actions. We guide them based solely on what HaKodeshBorchu desires and has commanded us to do.
That is why we are a separate People, a Holy people, the children of Hashem, His Avodim.
What is the Halachah?March 16, 2010 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #681567
Moderator 80- you make a good point about Chillul Hashem in particular cases.
In my scenario I believe the Halachah is to help. Do I have a source other than what I was taught by my parents and every teacher I ever had? No.March 16, 2010 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #681568
In my scenario I believe the Halachah is to help
Then you should, of course, help.
Personally, I would also help, then I would, as soon as possible, ask my Posek what the Halachoh is, for next time.March 16, 2010 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #681569
I would be amazed if the halachah was anything other than to help. I’d love for someone to find a source in either case.March 16, 2010 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #681570
I think you’re probably right haifa, I just think it is critical that we know how to make a cheshbon before doing any significant action, and that our Cheshbon be based solely on Torah, the Torah that comes from Har Sinai. Not the “Torah” that is distorted by outside values of whatever time and place we are currently exiled to.March 16, 2010 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #681571
So if I am walking along and a Yid asks for tzaddakah, should I not pass him money because it is not tznius? Or should I throw the dollar on the floor and make him pick it up?
This reminds me of one of the guys I dated who explained to me that he learned that you are not supposed to hold a door open for a lady because it is not tznius to walk behind a woman.March 16, 2010 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #681573
It is fact not Tznius to walk behind a woman. This is a famous and clear Gemorrah, and the Halachah. How exactly to apply it to holding a car door open I’m not sure.
As far as the Tzedakkah, if you wish to do the correct thing if this ever occurs to you, you should ask a Posek now, what to do. There are other issues, re Taharah between a man and woman touching via an object, that are more critical here than Tznius. You should ask a shailahMarch 16, 2010 9:08 pm at 9:08 pm #681574
There is not a source for every mixed scenario. By mixed, I mean a scenario that involves lots of different laws. There are laws concerning shomer negiah, laws concerning yichud and laws concerning chesed. I don’t see how shomer neigah or yichud are implicated here. I do see how chesed is implicated. I also see a possibility that chilul Hashem may become an issue.March 16, 2010 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #681575
Mod-80, shindy didn’t say a car door, just a door. It could be a door to a store.
As for the story with reflectors, I don’t get it. That issue can really be pikuach nefesh. I’d think it’s more of a reason to help than the stroller situation.
Years ago, I was walking home from yeshiva and an old woman asked me to help her cross the street, by holding her arm. I was a 14 year old 9th grader at the time. I told her that I’d be happy to walk alongside her, but couldn’t hold onto her. She said thanks anyway, and asked someone else. I was later told by a Rebbe that there was no problem with me holding onto her arm to help her across.March 16, 2010 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #681576
re Taharah between a man and woman touching via an object, that are more critical here than Tznius
Considering that this thread is not talking about a husband and wife*, I’m forced to ask what taharah issues are there? In the absence of the BHMK what Tumah/Taharah issues are relevant? Do you not take objects from your mother’s hands or the hands of your teenage/adult daughters? If there really were Taharah issues, then you would have problems with immediate relatives as well — which I *highly* doubt to be the case.
* And even with a husband and wife, the prohibition on handing objects back and forth while she’s a niddah has nothing to do with Tumah/Taharah, but rather as a harchaka so that they shouldn’t come to be intimate.March 16, 2010 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #681577
You see, you don’t see, I see, I don’t see, haifa girl supposes, shindy wonders.
No there is not a specific source for every scenario.
That’s why you need to find out what the Halachah is.
By asking a Posek.
If not before the situation occurs, then after.
Issues of Shomer Negiah certainly seem to be applicable here to me. Is the woman an aishis eish, or other Arayah?March 16, 2010 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #681578
What do you mean by “find out what the Halachah is?” When you ask your Posek are you looking for a yes or no? A source? An interpretation?March 16, 2010 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #681579
Mod-80, while over and over you will hear in drashos that the Torah way is not the politically correct or liberal or what have you way, in fact, the current norms of our society come from the Torah. I.e., the American way now is to be kind to all handicapped people. In the Torah we find that one does not call up a handicapped person to parshas hamumim (the requirements for a kohen) in order not to embarrass the handicapped person. Today, we have all kinds of euphemisms for handicapped people instead of older terms which were hurtful. This came from Jews and others who pressed over and over again for proper sensitivity. Remember that most non-religious Jews are liberal. They got this as a yerusha from their Torah-observing ancestors, even though they don’t realize it.
The common manners and menschlachkeit of day to day American society does stem from the Torah. Those rabbonim who put it down, are putting down the Torah. Clearly the proper thing to do here is to help without even being asked. The entire Torah is only about menschlachkeit.March 16, 2010 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #681580
I am looking to find out, in the absence of Neveim, and Urim v’ Tumim, what Hashem wants me to do, by asking a Talmid Chochum who has a much clearer and purer and vastly greater Chochmah , Daas, and knowledge of the Halachah than I.
I am not looking to show how clever I am, I am looking to please my Creator.March 16, 2010 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #681582
Mod 80- when you say “knowledge of the Halachah” what are you referring to? If your Posek says yes or no, will that answer your question?March 16, 2010 9:37 pm at 9:37 pm #681583
In Just-a-guy’s original example, the guy who “politely states that according to his Rosh Yeshiva, it wouldn’t be proper” is the one I would want as a son or son-in-law.March 16, 2010 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #681584
Issues of Shomer Negiah certainly seem to be applicable here to me. Is the woman an aishis eish, or other Arayah?
Granted, there *might* be issues with handling items back and forth in a non-contact situation, but, again, those aren’t issues of Tumah and Taharah, but issues of harchaka from an ervah.
The WolfMarch 16, 2010 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #681585
FWIW, as a parent of formerly little children, I *know* what it’s like to be stranded with a carriage and no easy way to get it up or down stairs.
I *always* make it a point to help people (of both genders) up and down stairs when they have little kids in a carriage. This happens quite often in the subway.
And yes, I have managed to do so without coming into contact with, let alone doing anything worse, with any of the women.
The WolfMarch 16, 2010 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #681586
the guy who “politely states that according to his Rosh Yeshiva, it wouldn’t be proper” is the one I would want as a son or son-in-law.
And I am grateful you are neither my father nor my shadchan. I’ll take the guy with the good middos.March 16, 2010 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #681587
And I’m grateful you are neither my daughter nor relative. I’ll take the girl who follows halacha.March 16, 2010 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #681588
So Volvie, what is the Halachah?March 16, 2010 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #681589
When all else fails, ask. So I did. And here’s the answer I got from my rav:
Of course a Jew should assist another Jew! I don’t remember any commentators saying that a man/woman is patur from the mitzvah aseh of azov tazov!
So I guess that means I get the guy who has good middos AND follows halacha. And volvie gets what?March 16, 2010 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #681590
Just-a-guy: I was going on your original example above, in which you already answered that. You said his Rosh Yeshiva paskened that it was assur.March 16, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #681591
And volvie gets what?
Volvie gets the one who is a baalas midos, baalas tznius, AND stringently follows halacha.March 16, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #681592
What if the Rosh Yeshiva hadn’t issued such a psak? What should the man do?March 16, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #681593
My original question was a girl helping a man up the steps with a carriage. Is it the same as a man helping a woman up the steps?March 17, 2010 1:53 am at 1:53 am #681594
To Good Heart,
I fail to see the shailah here. What does helping someone have to do with tzinus? There are two sides to a carriage. I find it very ironic that people here are saying they only do what poskim tell them -Didn’t they hear the Kol Koray against the internet?! There are two Yetzer Horahs -the frumme and the freyeh one. Don’t listen to either!March 17, 2010 1:59 am at 1:59 am #681595
I asked my hubby and he said that in this case maybe the woman should offer to help the young man with his child and not the stroller if it means she will be carrying the double stroller together with him.March 17, 2010 3:00 am at 3:00 am #681596
Honestly, I can’t believe people even have to think about this. I was actually using the subway today. I had a 19 month old in the carriage and had to carry him up 2 flights of stairs then transfer trains and change platforms, so up 2 flights and down 2 flights. Noone bothered to even ask if I needed a hand! What if I would have tripped? Does something have to happen to 1 child before people wake up? Either offer to take the carriage minus baby and let the mom/dad carry the baby or if you’re “not so frum” help them shclep it by grabbing one side of the carriage! Sometimes people try to be so frum and they can’t see whats right and wrong!March 17, 2010 3:17 am at 3:17 am #681597
Why don’t all you folks see the Rashi in Parshas Mishpatim on “Azov ta’azov imo”?
Rashi says “Pe’amim she’atah chodel, u’pe’amim she’atah ozer”. There are times you are supposed to help someone with a heavy load, and sometimes not.
Rashi gives two examples. Zakein v’aino lifi chivodo and beheimas oveid kochavim. An old man who passes someone with a heavy load weighing down a donkey, it would not be kovodik for the old man to help. Or if an akum is the one with a heavy load, the yisrael can withhold helping.
I think it is (and should be) pashut to any thinking, rational person, that if a woman was excluded from being helped (and vice versa) Rashi would have said so. You don’t need to ask shailos. You have a clear mitzvah in the Torah….March 17, 2010 5:33 am at 5:33 am #681598
The azov taazov was what I was trying to quote in my post which was removed . Apparently there are others here who agree with me, nevertheless. The bottom line is that people who are able to, should help someone they see in distress, and ask the shailos later.
EDITEDMarch 17, 2010 5:45 am at 5:45 am #681599
what if the shlepper of the carriage is struggling, clearly in distress? If he drops the carriage, harm may come to the babies.
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