Too many pinocchios (nosy people)

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    There is way too much nosiness in our society,people constantly putting their noses where they don’t belong.

    I work in a Yeshiva very often when a bochur passes my desk he will look to see what I’m doing on the computer, mind you this is not a coworker, and very often when they are in the office (hangin out)before they leave they will do a full optical scan of the room including looking on peoples desk’s.

    The need to know what is going on is so great, what juicy informational chiddush can i find out about that i can pass along to the hungry masses.

    This is not to single out Yeshiva Bochurim this kind of intrusive behavior is rampant in our community

    Is snoopiness a Jewish trait ? is it a good trait?

    The reason i mention Bochurim specifically is because they spend the entire day delving in Torah, questioning every nuance of the Gemara. But once they leave the Beis Medrash they need to understand that not everything is their business.

    I welcome your thoughts


    The title of the thread suggests that people are lying.


    derech has a point, mods please rename the title to “too many Jimmy Durante’s”


    Nonjews are probably not like this because they have smaller families and specific social groups. Privacy is a highly valued commodity and it is considered extremely rude when you pry into other peoples business and if you do so you are treated with a cold shoulder and people get upset at you.

    Jews on the other hand have very large families in general, and then go off to dorm in a yeshiva where theres very little privacy. Theres also the fact that they could have parents that are very involved in different organizations and were therefore exposed to a much larger amount of private information that other people do not have and are used to knowing whats going on with everything.


    I think what goq meant by pinnocio, was people being “nosy”, not liars.


    Aussieboy, very interesting angle.


    When I read the title I thought it would be a rant about how little independent thinking goes on and how everyone is just a puppet. 🙂

    Also, pinnochio as a mashal for jews sticking their nose into a place it doesn’t belong feeds the stereotype of jews and big noses. There is an old megama song with a line “Its OK if they got big noses, as long as they are stuck in the 5 books of moses”.


    If you want to teach them something you can let them know that the things on your desk or screen are covered under the cherem of rabbeinu gershom and are assur for them to read.


    Seriously, keep the office door locked, and buzz them in as necessary. It will teach them that the office is not a hang out and that it is a private area for business only. When kids think that the office is THEIR lounge they tend to take liberties. When YOU show them that it is indeed a business office they will get the message.


    Four words: Ma tovu ohalecha Yaakov.


    Indeed, I find that many frum people are what we like to call Yentas. I think this is because we live in close proximity to each other and we have close knit communities, so everyone is interested in each others business. I think you will find the same is true in small towns all around middle America- it’s not exclusive to frum people.

    Also, especially in the situation you described, high school aged kids always want to be in the know. Machers are looked up to, so most teenagers are always looking for an interesting scoop to tell their friends and classmates


    I think people don’t truly understand the meaning of the words being “your brother’s keeper” or “kol yisroel areivim zeh l’zeh”. It doesn’t mean we are supposed to stick our noses into others business and pry, it means we are supposed to help when needed and be concerned about each other. But it has turned into prying and “HAVING” to know everyone’s business which is absolutely the opposite of being anov and eidel.

    The only way to stop others from doing so is NOT to give them information, NOT to listen to L”H, and NOT to give them anything to talk about.


    i don’t think this is too hard to deal with. cover things on your desk with a file folder and eitehr minimize your screen or get one of those privacy protectors on the screen.


    Is snoopiness a Jewish trait ? is it a good trait?

    no its not a Jewish trait.

    no its not a good trait.


    aries,I was also thinking about that fuzzy line between kol yisroel areivim and mind your own business!

    Coming from Canada,I must also say that New Yorkers are more forward in general.

    People have asked me some pretty insane questions!


    Its interesting to contrast the most recent comments on this thread, with the thread Major Mazel Tov.


    People are curious by nature. It’s not a particularly Jewish problem — it’s a human issue (and not necessarily a bad thing — although, like any other trait, it can be misused).

    The Wolf


    Remind them to get back to learning, especially Chofetz Chaim.

    Remind them that they should respect others privacy and space.


    Minding your own business, means whre it is SHAYACH to do so (not your beeswax what someone earns, or who comes to visit their home, or where they go on vacation. But if you see a potential for a Yid to be in a tzorah, you should NOT MYOB. Lo ta-amod al dam reyacha.


    In some frum communities, unfortunately, minding everyone’s business seems to be a way of life. I think this is because Jews are very curious and also opinionated. So if you combine that you have nosiness, which basically means you stick your nose into people’s lives and then salivate about it, chew it over, talk about it… It’s the Jewish kind of entertainment. If people get hurt in the process, well you only mean their good-they’ve got to hear the truth. The only people who don’t have a problem with this is are those that fit neatly in “THE FRUM BOX”. That’s because there is nothing to talk about them. And then everyone wonders why the frum oilim is basically dancing to the same tune, without independant talk or action (except on the web, of course).

    The only way we need to be carbon copies of each other is in living l’shem shmayim. But as individuals we don’t need to be carbon copies in the way we live our frum lives. But if you move out of line, you’ll be fodder for the Jewish entertainment scene.




    these aren’t high school boys, we’re talking Bais Medrash boys and Kollel guys, and to keep everything covered up isn’t practical i need to be able to get to the things on my desk


    Even more than living close together is the fact that we are a family. It’s a plain fact that we relate to each other much differently than anyone in the outside world. When amongst family, you behave looser, you ask more questions and give more advice. In a sense, everyone is everyone else’s Shvigger.


    Nobody mentioned or mentions Kol Yisrael Areibim as a reasoning to actually behave this way, it is the just naturally born from the kind of close knit relationship.


    If you act professionally toward, a bit removed and aloof, that will keep them away. I suspect that you do enjoy their company, otherwise they shouldn’t be allowed to hang out. If that’s true, you can speak to them more openly.



    “People are curious by nature. It’s not a particularly Jewish problem — it’s a human issue (and not necessarily a bad thing — although, like any other trait, it can be misused).”

    Well said.


    TheGoq I noticed this when i first became frum and joined the religoius, as you state about the trait of being interested in other’s affairs. (thats putting it nicely).

    In one conversation my husband had with someone, the person said something funny and true. IF/When you are ever new to a community and go to shul just hang a sign around your neck :

    This is my parnassa $ , how much I earn.

    THis is my yichus….

    And my name is….

    Thats’ all you gotta do to fill their wondering minds.


    I just want to clear up that I don’t think all frum Jews across the board are nosy. I just feel that Jews in particular are curious by nature-intellectually curious- which as Wolf pointed out, is not a necessarily bad trait. In fact I think it’s a wonderful trait for growth and spiritual developement. However, some frum people, and particularly in some communities, curiosity has led to nosiness and judgement of others.


    Phil -It has also led to L.H. and Motzay Shem Rah! So unless someone is so sure of themselves, they should stay away from this trait. It should not be different than the Din of Ahvack Loshon Hora!


    Mod80; There is a “Machlokes HaPoskim”, whether snooping or nosiness is a (Particularly) Jewish trait or not. I hold with the poskim who say that it is. Proof of that. Whenever you are in BM, (for example, Shabbos afternoon before Mincha) sitting in the last row, looking in a Sefer, all (Or most) of the passersby will peer over your shoulder, trying to satisfy their curiosity by seeing which Sefer you are reading. (No Goyim frequent the Shul on Shabbos before Mincha.) Further proof; I rent a small garage (In my neighborhood, BP). From all the passersby, those who will peek in (to see what’s doin’) will invariably be Yidden. L”H. Non-Jews will just walk by. A possible Psychological reason for that is, that Yidden feel “Heimish”, so they have a right to see what’s doin’ at your brother’s.


    Metrodriver: I totally agree with your comment. It is very true that the yiddish passerby will always peek to see what’s going on. I can’t stand it. Personally I try not to peek in anyone’s house or window because I don’t like it when people do it to me. Hmmm….I’m probably not heimish then, so what am I? :p

    Shticky Guy

    People have asked me some pretty insane questions

    Such as? Lets hear some. Give us an insight or a laugh


    yersl; You are Heimish, indeed. If I’m not mistaken, you used to live a block away from my house. But looking at the bright side of this particularly Jewish trait (Middah). It’s a sign of caring, and readiness to help when needed. There’s a famous story about a young couple who moved to a town whose residents were particularly nosy. One day, the husband couldn’t resist finding out what’s doing at his neighbor’s across the road. He takes a pair of binoculars that he purchased recently. Gets up to the window. What does he see?! His neighbor looking through a pair of binoculars, staring at his house!


    If you want their behavior to change, maybe you should directly challenge them. “What do you need?” or “is there something I can help you with?” or even better “What are you looking for?”


    sounds like a great idea.


    Yeah, so like I was saying two years ago…


    snoopy is a cartoon doggie


    Everyone has a different view of what constitutes nosiness (and Pinocchio is not a good example, because he is iconic for liars, whereas some very honest people can be nosy). I have a friend who feels people are being intrusive when they ask how her married children are doing. I think she holds a very extreme view. Some people find very ordinary questions (how are you, did you have damage from Sandy, is that a new dress?)to be very offensive. I think they have a problem. There is privacy and then there is Howard Hughs.


    It’s not true that Jewish or frum people are more snoopy than the general population. I saw online that 70% of people admit to snooping through other peoples stuff


    I can totally relate to this. A neighbor of mine knew i was pregnant before i did! Yup, she was Jewish!


    This goes to something I said in a previous thread about gossip. It applies here, as people are always looking for “info” on someone or something no matter how slightly out of of the ordinary

    “If you really want to get at the “heart” of the problem it’s this.

    Gossip in the “frum” community is the replacement for television and outside media.

    When everyone in a frum community is living pretty much the same lives and in close proximity to one another, any variation from the norm (no matter how small) becomes an item to be discussed and disected with little regard for how the information warps and spreads.

    Throw in the added element of believing you are doing the right thing by talking about people behind their back and all of the sudden the rules of Loshon Hara go out the window.

    If people just focused on their own lives and stopped looking at others for their “entertainment” maybe the problem would no longer exist.”

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit

    The two snoopiest neighbors that I have are not jewish. No jewish person I know goes through other peoples mail and garbage just to see what’s going on in other peoples lives…


    I think that even though we dont have tv and stuff like rhat, if magazines like mishpacha slashed their prices by a third, then it could partly solve the problem.


    This is very much a culture thing.

    In Israel, there is no such thing as privacy.

    Americans have a hard time getting used to sitting – say with a clerk – and having a strange person just walking up and not only listening in but even crooning their head over to see what you wrote in the forms (and sometimes giving you unsolicited advice).

    Or sitting on a bus and stranger giving you mussar on how you talk to your child.

    Israelis, on the other hand, have a hard time understanding how in America privacy is taken to such extremes that someone could be dying on the street and nobody would go help because it is “none of my business”.

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