My understanding of Shomer Negia
- This topic has 118 replies, 38 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 10 months ago by oomis.
July 26, 2013 2:05 am at 2:05 am #968628rabbiofberlinParticipant
nechoma: thank you-you are absolutely right about the j”S!
scientists= a troll? anyone using the word “shebang” is suspicious in my eyes!July 26, 2013 2:26 am at 2:26 am #968629YW Moderator-73Moderator
definitely suspicious. I can’t tell if it’s a Joseph.July 26, 2013 4:00 am at 4:00 am #968630
Well, this thread has certainly caused a lively discussion!July 26, 2013 5:36 am at 5:36 am #968631HaLeiViParticipant
Sam, it is better to slander one anonymous girl than to slander a group in order to feed a negative stereotype.July 26, 2013 5:37 am at 5:37 am #968632HaLeiViParticipant
It must be that she was carrying a blimp. How else would she suddenly land beneath her luggage?July 26, 2013 6:27 am at 6:27 am #968633
I have definitely been in situations in which I had two heavy, bulky suitcases and it was easier for me to wheel one in front of me (pushing) and one behind me (pulling). Therefore, if I were to trip and fall backwards, I could imagine the front suitcase landing on top of me.July 26, 2013 1:03 pm at 1:03 pm #968634
HaLeiVi: Meh. Once again, I didn’t see this as trying to slander “Yeshivah guys” in general. Hopefully no one is dumb enough to make assumptions about tens of thousands of people based on a small group in a certain area. And everyone knows that some people are jerks, so therefore some Yeshivah guys will be jerks. I saw this as someone venting about some jerks potentially using Frumkeit as an enabling factor to being jerks. And, as I said before, the CR is a fine place to vent about a nameless story that happened at an unspecified time.July 26, 2013 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #968635🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
I have definitely been in situations in which I had two heavy, bulky suitcases and it was easier for me to wheel one in front of me (pushing) and one behind me (pulling). Therefore, if I were to trip and fall backwards, I could imagine the front suitcase landing on top of me.
And if you were to roll onto your side it would fall off and you can stand up without too much effort. Also, how does one trip and fall backwards? Unless you mean slip…July 26, 2013 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #968636
It must be that she was carrying a blimp. How else would she suddenly land beneath her luggage? “
What’s the difference? She fell, she couldn’t get up unaided. The longer she lay on the floor, the more humiliated she was. What kind of HUMAN BEING stands by on ceremony and doesn’t try to help her and then CLAIMS it’s for religious reasons?????? Obviously there was no one else around her stepping up to help at that exact moment. Should anyone who has fallen (and could possibly be badly hurt (twisted ankle, etc) have to suffer needlessly while some yeshivah bochurim decide whether or not this is considered chiba to help her stand up and get her help? That is NOT the frumkeit my parents (AND ROV) taught me. B’makom she’ain anashim…July 26, 2013 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #968637
Oomis: Please. Most frum girls I know and have known would be much more embarrassed if the crowd of yeshiva guys did turn and look down at them lying on the floor and offer to help them up.July 26, 2013 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #968638rebdonielMember
That is my exact point, Oomis. Giving someone a hand up or helping someone is not lewd or licentious. The laws of negiah are intended to guard us from lewdness and licentiousness. Hence the fact that many poskim permit handshakes, which wouldn’t be in the category of the type of improper touch these halakhot guard us from.July 26, 2013 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #968639
It’s very simple. You could fall, pitch forward, the weight of the suitcase in front would push you back, then gravity and your weight would cause the suitcase in back of you to topple sideways and you would end up on your back with the front suitcase on top of you.
But this is just quibbling. We don’t know the exact physics of how it happened and we shouldn’t care. The bottom line is that the girl somehow fell and couldn’t get up immediately, and was embarrassed in front of a large group of men who, for whatever reason, chose not to help her. And that was wrong.July 26, 2013 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #968640yeshivaguy45Participant
Let’s say a bochur would have come up and held out his hand to help her up. She would think he’s meshuga! She would think this is a yeshiva bochur?! Bochurim in these situations probably are confused. Some might want to help her but they have no idea how to help. That’s why I said before, like feminist02, that they should have at least helped her by moving the suitcases around her so she have gotten up easier.July 26, 2013 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #968641
I believe it is a machlokes haposkim as to what the lomdus of “derech chiba” is. Some poskim (like R’Herschel Shachter and Rav Yitchak Berkowitz) hold that derech chiba is subjective so if the negiah creates hirhurim it would be assur m’doraisa and yehoreg v’al yaavor.
R’Moshe, however, holds that “derech chiba” is objective, meaning that there are types of touching that are asur and there are types of touching that are mutar regardless of the individuals internal thoughts. According to Reb Moshe in the case of the drowning woman, a man must save her regardless of the hirhurim both of them have because the touching of saving someone drowning, on an objective level (i.e. to the stam observer), is not derech chiba.
Each approach has nafka minos l’kula and l’chumra.July 26, 2013 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #968642
Ben: Interesting. Could you show me the Makor for that R’ Moshe please. (Also, that presumably doesn’t make sense as R’ Moshe was Machmir on handshakes; according to the approach you presented he should have been Meikil on handshakes.) I will grant that R’ Yehudah Hertzl seems to assume like the second approach you mention.July 26, 2013 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #968643
Unfortunately, I don’t have access to my notes (right now) from when I learned this sugya. Bli Neder, next time I am at home I wil look it up and direct you to the teshuvos.
R’Moshe holds that hand shaking is objectively “derech chiba” because the purpose of the handshake is to bring the two people closer (to create a bond in some fashion).
I should clarify that even according to R’Moshe improper thoughts from negiah that is not derech chiba are asur under Lo Sasuru (but they are not yehoraig v’al yaavor because Lo Sasuru is not abazrai d’gilui arayos).July 26, 2013 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #968644
Ben: That also seems like a very, very strange definition of Terech Ta’avah V’chibas Biah.July 26, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #968645
a man must save her regardless of the hirhurim both of them have because the touching of saving someone drowning, “
Really? He is saving her from drowning and he could possibly have improper thoughts about her???? Somehow, I imagine the only thing either of them is thinking of at that moment, is NOT DROWNING.July 26, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #968646
Oomis: Please. Most frum girls I know and have known would be much more embarrassed if the crowd of yeshiva guys did turn and look down at them lying on the floor and offer to help them up. “
Popa, we obviously know very different frum girls. Of course, they might be embarrassed – at FALLING down in front of others and being unable to stand, but they would welcome the assistance of ANYONE male or female, and the physical contact is very brief and for a tachlis. At the very least, the boys should have gone for help, and they could have ASKED her if she needed or wanted help. That would have shown they were not bulvanim.July 26, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #968647
Let’s say a bochur would have come up and held out his hand to help her up. She would think he’s meshuga”
If she is thinking clearly, she is thinking (and saying) “Thank you so much, I think I can get up myself..” (if she can)…”but I really appreciate your offer. So nice of you.” Menschlechkleit cuts both ways.July 26, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm #968648nishtdayngesheftParticipant
I find it telling how certain people are getting so worked up over a made up story. Any questions or complaints about these boys’ reaction should be addressed to the person who made up the story.July 27, 2013 1:51 am at 1:51 am #968649tryingtobeagoodjewMember
Ok thank you all for your input. It was definitely not my intention to cause any misunderstandings or hard feelings, however in case there were any confusions, I would like to first clarify the situation.
The girl, lets call her Sara, was traveling alone. She had two 50 lb bags plus a carry on suitcase weighing about 20 lbs as well as a 10-15 lb backpack. As Sara weighs 110 lbs, yes the bags together (weighing about 130 lb) DID weigh more than her.
Second, she was in no way harmed, however as she knew no Hebrew to ask someone for help with her bags (remember it was her first time in E”Y so how should she know that almost everyone knows English?) she was heading for some area where she would receive a cart to help her with her luggage. On her way there, she stumbled over one of her larger bags and tripped in the middle of a group of bachurim who not only refused to help her with her bags, but stared at her. Of course I cannot say I know the other side of the story because frankly, I don’t. But either way, lets assume she had been able to help herself up within a matter of 30-40 seconds, the humiliation she must have felt is out of this world… Either way in the end of the story, I believe a non religious man saw her struggling and helped her with her bags.
Again, I am no Rabbetzin, so please excuse me if my assumption is incorrect or if my concern is unnecessary.July 28, 2013 1:51 am at 1:51 am #968650squeakParticipant
This is just a new twist on the girl reminding the boys on the airplane to say yaaleh vyovo. She was hoping someone would come help her out (and her camels too) but struck out miserably.July 28, 2013 1:58 am at 1:58 am #968651springbok007Participant
Chusid ShoiteJuly 28, 2013 3:02 am at 3:02 am #968652
Popa, we obviously know very different frum girls. Of course, they might be embarrassed – at FALLING down in front of others and being unable to stand, but they would welcome the assistance of ANYONE male or female, and the physical contact is very brief and for a tachlis. At the very least, the boys should have gone for help, and they could have ASKED her if she needed or wanted help. That would have shown they were not bulvanim.
No doubt we do know different frum girls. (I actually know both kinds, or rather, I know the kind you refer to, but I know of the kind I refer to.) And no doubt that the kind you refer to would be pleased to be offered help, and more pleased if she thought it was because she was pretty. (Which is the usual reason that men offer to help women do random stuff like reach high things in the supermarket or carry their suitcases, btw.)
But you should be able to understand that yeshiva guys are more familiar with the type of girls I refer to. Their sisters would be mortified if the group of guys has come over and offered to help.
Can you understand that please for me? Can you accept that please for me?July 28, 2013 4:12 am at 4:12 am #968653
The language is “derech tayva” and “nehena m’kiruv basar” not “chibas biah.”
R’Moshe acknowledged that people disagree with him about whether handshakes are “derech chiba v’tayva,” but disagreed. I agree that it is hard to see how an ordinary handshake is derech chiba but that is what R’Moshe held.July 28, 2013 4:23 am at 4:23 am #968654
ben: I mean, it’s one thing to say that a handshake can be Derech Chibah. I think everyone agrees to that. But to say that it’s inherently Derech Tayva or Derech Chibah is very difficult to understand.July 28, 2013 4:50 am at 4:50 am #968655gitmeshigaMember
That’s because we are desensitized. Rav Moshe wasn’t. He has three or four teshuvos repeating that it is assur, and says about someone who held it was okay that “Perhaps they reasoned that this is not derech chibah and taavah – but l’maaseh this is difficult to rely on.”
And it is totally wrong to write (as above) that Rav Moshe “holds that derech chiba is objective, meaning that there are types of touching that are asur and there are types of touching that are mutar”. Rav Moshe writes that “Furthermore I don’t see any inconsistency at all with that which I permitted a person to travel on a bus because there – there is basically no issue of chibah.”July 28, 2013 6:25 am at 6:25 am #968656rabbiofberlinParticipant
gitmeshiga: I am not going to intervene in the erudite discussion that is being held by thev above posters but allow me to point out that you do not have an ORIGINAL source to say that the chazon Ish said it is “jaharog ve-al jaavor” to shake a woman’s hand. You quote Kreina Digrasa (a sefer I am not familiar with) and MOaidm Uzmanim that is by R”oshe Sternbuch.Neither of these are original sources. Please provide original sources for your assertion.July 28, 2013 6:55 am at 6:55 am #968657
Au contraire, R’Moshe teshuva, regarding riding packed buses or trains where touching members of opposite gender are inevitable, makes much more sense if you understand “derech chiba” to be objective.
Buses and the like involve bodies pressing together with a much greater likelihood of hirhur than a handshake. Af al pi ken, because on buses it is clear (to the objective onlooker) that the touching is not intentional, it is still mutar according to Reb Moshe. Ma shen kein, according to Rav Shachter and Rav Berkowitz it should depend on the attractiveness of the people on the bus and the self assessment of the individual.July 28, 2013 7:14 am at 7:14 am #968658
You quote Kreina Digrasa (a sefer I am not familiar with) and MOaidm Uzmanim that is by R”oshe Sternbuch.Neither of these are original sources.
If you aren’t familiar with the sefer, what do you know if it is an original source or not.
lolJuly 28, 2013 7:14 am at 7:14 am #968659ToiParticipant
ben- even acc to R moshe, he means that the etzem maaseh isnt ossur per say. if there would be hirhur that would make it yv”y.July 28, 2013 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #968661
Popa, I can certainly understand and accept your point of view. I simply and respectfully disagree with it. In the circumstances described, in the end, a person needed REAL and immediate help, and gender should not enter into it. If it does, then in my humble opinion, that is something that is difficult for me with the hashkafa you describe. It is not normal to see someone fall and not try to help them. We would do as much for a man’s donkey. Are we less choshuv than an animal?
Whether the girl was pretty or plain, she fell, she needed help, and as far as I am concerned there is not even a question of what the right thing to do would have been. I would do the same if a man fell in the street, and I wouldn’t hesitate a moment at the very least, to ask if he WANTED my help. If not, then I would look for a man to help him. Those boys did nothing at all, from what was described. That’s not the Torah I was taught. Al taamod al dam reyeicha. Maybe just the dam coming to the person’s face from embarrassment, is enough of a reason. But I do acknowledge your differing view.July 28, 2013 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #968662
No, not my point of view. I’m not asking you to acknowledge or understand my argument. Just the facts which are my premise.
I’m asking you to acknowledge and understand that the girls in my community would be much more embarrassed by the added attention of the boys coming over to help, than then politely ignoring her. Unless she was in real serious distress, which is highly unlikely in an airport with a couple suitcases.
And I happen to think that is a good thing.July 28, 2013 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #968663
ben: Yes, well, R’ Moshe’s T’shuva about the subways is strange enough in its own right. And he has a situation there where it’s Assur. So it can’t be objective. (See the T’shuvah. I think it’s Even HaEzer 2:12 or 2:20 or something.)July 28, 2013 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #968664
OP- You can draw 2 conclusions from the story
1. Your friends conclusion, that the “ultra orthodox” are horrible people and you should not send your daughter to Israel or
2. your friend is prejudice to the “ultra orthodox” b.c. on some level she realizes her group doesn’t keep shomer negia (some do but many dont) and that she has to speak lashan hora about torah observant Jews to justify her life style. In Psychology its called cognitive dissonance its easier to change your view of reality than change.July 28, 2013 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #968665
Anonymous1000, you are mamash making things up out of thin air.
1) Nowhere is the term “ultra Orthodox” mentioned in the original post (or the subsequent follow-up post). For all we know, the yeshiva bachurim could have been Gush boys.
2) Nowhere is any sort of conclusion drawn about any group of people except for the particular group of yeshiva bachurim who were literally involved in the incident itself.
3) Nothing was mentioned about the friend herself except to say that she told her the story.
4) Nowhere did she say that one should not send one’s daughter to Israel because of this.
5) Nowhere did the OP mention her friend’s affiliation with a “group” or the level of observance of shomer negiah in her social circle.
Look at the facts before you make assumptions about people.July 28, 2013 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #968666
I’m asking you to acknowledge and understand that the girls in my community would be much more embarrassed by the added attention of the boys coming over to help, “
I concede that perhaps that is so in your community. It saddens me, however, to think that ANYone out of a possible misinterpretation of “negiyah” would hesitate to ask for help or to offer it to someone who has fallen and is possibly injured and DEFINITELY embarrassed. But again, I understand your point completely.July 28, 2013 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #968667
It isn’t just the negiah that is the issue, you know. It is also the connection it makes between people when one person helps another out.
I don’t think it should be done in such a situation unless it really is absolutely necessary.July 28, 2013 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #968668
1. If they were identified as yeshiva bachurim its probably not because they were wearing jeans and tshirts. More likely they were dressed in black and white ie like yeshivish/ ultra orthodox do. Also if they weren’t then someone would have helped. But lets see what the OP has to say.
2.”I was discussing travel tips with one of my close friends whose daughter had already spent a year in israel” The story was said in the context of tips. What tip would you take away from a story trying to bash yeshiva bachurim?
3. Because someone yeshivish would have positive things to say about learning not just attempting to put down yeshiva bachurim
4.”I was discussing travel tips with one of my close friends whose daughter had already spent a year in israel.” So what tip would you take from the story? Don’t fall under your suit cases? pack lighter?
5. Someone who was a yeshiva bochur or part of thier “social group” ie “ultra orthodox probably would not have told the story in that context. havings said that they are the only group who as a general rule keeps shomer nagia.
btw- you didn’t tell me if you were yeshivish or ultra orthodox but I can with a high degree of certainty guess you are not. Am I wrong?July 28, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #968669
1. Bachurim from Gush also wear white shirts and black pants. They are not required to, but I know many who do so voluntarily. Furthermore, I don’t understand your assumption that Gush boys would certainly have helped this girl. Please explain how you came to this conclusion.
2. Most likely the conversation started out regarding travel tips and then took a tangent. Have you never heard of such a thing as a tangent? You obviously don’t spend much time in the CR.
3. So people who are yeshivish never have ANYTHING negative to say about others who are yeshivish, just like people who are modern never have ANYTHING negative to say about others who are modern? If someone does something that is genuinely hurtful and determined to be wrong (I am not saying the bachurim in this story are definitively wrong, but let’s just posit for a second that they are) and no names are involved, why wouldn’t a yeshivish woman tell this story? In fact, if popa is correct and this seminary girl would have been embarrassed had the bachurim helped her, she is probably pretty yeshivish. Obviously I am not advocating lashon hara, but sometimes you just need to vent about something and there is absolutely no way to find out who these bachurim are.
4. See #2. Also, I really don’t think she was advocating not sending girls to Israel. If she wanted her friend to take anything away from the story (which is not necessarily true) it could be to pack lighter, or to advise her daughter that Israelis DO speak good English and she should feel comfortable asking (a point alluded to in the OP’s subsequent post).
5. You don’t know who the person is or how she would have told the story if she were yeshivish. You don’t even know how she DID tell the story; you only have a secondhand account from the person who heard the story. You are mamash fabricating things. Furthermore, I am very, very much offended that you would so blatantly and incorrectly state that only the yeshivish keep shomer negiah. I do not personally identify as yeshivish and I am very careful not to use the term “ultra-Orthodox” because I find it to be denigrating to the yeshivish crowd. But I keep shomer negiah, and most of my community does as well.
I would appreciate an apology.July 29, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am #968670
It isn’t just the negiah that is the issue, you know. It is also the connection it makes between people when one person helps another out. “
You mean like the connection of her being GRATEFUL to someone for helping her in a difficult circumstance, and the other party feeling good about themselves at having been ABLE to help??? Are you opposed to connections that foster ahavas chinam and hakaras hatov? And how likely were these boys to ever run into her again anyway (and so what, if they did)? I suppose we can discuss this ad nauseum, but I will always be bothered by this story.
“I don’t think it should be done in such a situation unless it really is absolutely necessary.”
And how long should she be lying on the floor, humiliated and possibly injured before one deems it necessary to help her stand up? Would you feel differently if it were an older person, a mother with a small child, someone who has Cerebral Palsy, a young woman with an ace bandage on her foot or arm in a sling? Does that really matter SO much that anyone should stand idly by? And worse – to use religion as a reason for failing to act promptly? At the very least (and if this was a theoretical and not actual story), boys in that situation should RUN to get help.July 29, 2013 1:20 am at 1:20 am #968671
I also am not the biggest fan of the use of the term “ultra orthodox”. However the terms ultra orthodox and yeshivish are often used to describe the same people. In general the vast majority of such people where black and white etc. some don’t but the vast majority do. Now the same with Modern orthodox the vast majority don’t only wear that but some do. And there are shades of grey in between (or maybe shades of blue shirts) but anyways thats not the point.
From my experience its common for people who consider themselves to be modern orthodox/ YU/ left wing yeshivish/ whatever else you want to call it to show a lot of hostility towards the frum community. And although there are many in those more “modern” communities who are very makpid on halacha there are also plenty who are not, some perhaps only out of ignorance. It is not uncommon to hear the young people in such communities ask things like are you shomer? (referring to shomer nagia) Where as I haven’t heard that in other communities. So yes its possible im wrong but I’ve just heard enough similar stories from many people in person and these people like to bash on a regular basis. For example one person spits on someone and then all of a sudden its all the “ultra” orthodox who are horrible people.
I’m sorry if I offended you I did not mean to. Just as I was right about you not being “yeshivish” and you could probably guess with a good chance of being right more about me than I have writen, I think there is a good chance the person telling the story does not like “yeshivish/ultra/chareidi” very much. Again I am sorry if I have offended you.July 29, 2013 2:19 pm at 2:19 pm #968672ChaimyParticipant
oomis You are correct if it is a medical issue a medical professional should heip, not a teenager or just any person, if it is NOT a medical issue than someone who is Shomer Negia CANNOT offer direct contact. Yes the person can move a suitcase aside, but not physicaly give a hand. That is what shomer negia is. Let me tell you that when I have fallen or tripped I try to get up myself. We are not saying it was an elderly or pregnant person, that is a different situation.July 29, 2013 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #968673
Let’s stop with the labels. There are people who are more Shomrei Torah, and there are those who are less Shomrei Torah. We are all on the frum continuum, and Hashem Loves ALL of us. Now it’s time for all of us to love each other, despite our different hashkafos, or maybe even BECAUSE of them.
When we learn to be accepting of all Yidden, we have a greater opportunity for influencing those who are less observant, by setting good examples by our own behavior. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, and our bad behavior reflects on ALL of Yiddishkeit, even when done by only a few misguided people.July 29, 2013 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #968674
You mean like the connection of her being GRATEFUL to someone for helping her in a difficult circumstance, and the other party feeling good about themselves at having been ABLE to help???
Yes, that connection. Single yeshiva guys in Israel shouldn’t be making friends with single seminary girls unless there is tachlis involved.
And I’m willing to give up much more than having to carry a suitcase myself for that ideal.July 29, 2013 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #968675
PBA: Meh. You’re making too much of a big deal of simple things. I was once on a bus in Israel. A Beis Yaakov girl lost her phone. I helped her find it. I never learned her name, where she was attending BY, where she’s from, anything. I have never seen or heard from her in the 6-8 years since. And if I did see her, I probably wouldn’t remember it. There is no friendship or anything untoward created by doing normal niceties.July 29, 2013 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #968676
popa, how is this “making friends”, and how is it not tachlis?
Anonymous, thank you. I understand what you are saying; I just don’t like generalizations because they lead to inaccuracies, not to mention unnecessary negative judgments of people one doesn’t know. But you do make some valid points. Thank you for clarifying.
oomis, thank you for your many intelligent and well-reasoned posts.July 29, 2013 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #968677
Sam: Of course I would do the same thing there.
JF: I mean for marriage purposes.July 29, 2013 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #968678
PBA: So why would helping someone with their luggage be any different? (Now that I think back, I think I also helped a bunch of seminary girls pull their too-heavy luggage off the baggage claim thingy when we first landed too.)
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.