Monday, October 15, 2007



Bringing Up Baby – Properly
by: Schvach Yid

At the risk of coming across as entirely inappropriate I just have to inform you. Last night I went to the local Barnes and Noble Booksellers outlet to do some recreational print browsing (my mouse is not my life). There it was, albeit on the bottom-most rack, but an attention-grabber all the same - Muslim Girl magazine, a tznius-pushing pictorial magazine for something - teen religious Moslem females.

Lots of photos of Moslem girls socializing and ‘doing their thing’, almost all in traditional attire. One pictorial was titled Aikido Angel, about Amira Mehter who takes lessons in the martial art of Aikido from her dad, Yousef. She, unlike her contemporaries featured in this version of Islam’s answer to Seventeen Magazine, but with a dominant religious theme, was not dressed in traditional Moslem garb, except for her head covering, or hijab; the rest of her was clad, as was her silver-bearded father, in the standard ‘fists of fury’ foot-to-the-opponent’s-jaw outfit, complete with combat stance.

Talk about a showcase for empowerment, and wholesome to boot – a young woman learning to assert herself with martial arts lessons from her silver-bearded father.

Another article challenged the reader to take ‘Our Ramadan Quiz’. And there was a lot more.
Here’s the link: http://www.muslimgirlmagazine.com/web/index.cfm.

At first I was amused. I found it to be both cute and quirky – a standard Western recipe with a novel (to me) application.

Then I saw the wisdom in this. I tried to imagine an analogous publication, in English, for Jewish kids, à la (not Allah) derech hatznius, published by a commercial publishing house rather than by a religious organization like Chabad, and whether we Jews have a young population that would purchase and use such a magazine. In my Bible Belt community Moslems out-populate Jews almost 4:1, and most Jews ‘down’ here are not Orthodox (no kidding).

We Jews do have Chabad Lubavitch and its worldwide network of Chabad Houses that provide for our youngsters, including programs for Jewish kids hooked on drugs and alcohol. I have no idea what goes on among the Moslem young. I don’t know if this magazine even sells, but I’m still envious.

7 comments:

Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H I gotta tell you that Jews have much more tha Chabbad. Furthermore, Chabbad, in my experience, is not so maqpid on separation between men and women. SOME of Chabbad rabbis' wives think they can tell men the halacha, and look down condescendingly upon any non-Chabbad or non-Haredi, as being unknowledgeable about Yiddishkeit. So that supposedly makes it OK for these women to dabble in areas which other frum groups of Jews do not feel is appropriate for women. Because, in their eyes, they're talking to children.

Tzni'uth is more than how a woman dresses; it's how she behaves.

I don't want want my daughters learning about tzni'uth from such women.

Schvach said...

Thank you Yaakov for the lesson. In fact, the rebbetzin at the Chabad House where I attend Shabbos services is in the habit of shouting out corrections and additions to her husband while he delivers his derusha
just prior to krias hatorah during Shabbos morning services.

Ben-Yehudah said...

WHAT?! You're kidding!

How many people, Jewish or goyim, would consider it appropriate shouting out corrections to a speaker during his speech?

I know of no one.

b'hatzlahah.

Schvach said...

Ben-Yehuda:
I didn't say I approve, only that is what goes on. The rabbi never objects to his wife's 'contributions'

Tamar Yonah said...

To your commentor Mr. Ben-Yehuda,,, Why do you think women wouldn't know something more than their husband? I also used to correct my husband (not on Torah, but in other matters like remembering what happened in a story) in front of someone he was talking to, however, after he told me it wasn't tactful to correct people in the middle, I stopped. I didn't realize my corrections were something to be embarrassed about. I am more tactful today and careful not to embarrass someone. This Chabad Rabbanit probably doesn't even realize that her shouting corrections might be embarrassing. - or is it just embarrassing because she happens to know more and be female? It's not an issue of snius, or male-female --it's an issue of 'tact'. Anyway, nothing to be ashamed of if a woman knows more about a certain issue. Even Hashem told Avraham to listen to his wife Sarah. :-) All the best, tamar

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