I never believed I would be from those to write to COLlive. I usually am from the silent reader type, not from the vocal ones to always offer an opinion.
Today, however, I feel I must write, as I am looking for someone to validate my feelings, wondering if girls my age feel the same or different.
I am a girl learning in a Crown Heights high school (I prefer to remain nameless). As the summer months come close, we were handed a booklet called “Piskei Dinim for a Yiddishe Summer experience” written by Chabad Rabbonim to Chabad girls.
I heard people mentioning this booklet with excitement because all members of the Crown Heights Badatz are in on this, but that does not mean much to me and my friends. My family isn’t into all that either.
Reading the booklet, different types of emotions surfaced. My friends and I discussed it – we were all feeling pretty much the same. However, we wish we knew the public opinion.
The booklet has detailed halacha rulings relevant to the summer time. It has scenarios like singing on a bus with a male driver, how to swim, proximity between boys and girls camps, davening with boys in a day camp, getting a ride with a male camp director and more.
On one hand, my friends and I thought it was a relief. Someone showing some backbone and directing us right from wrong.
On the other, we wished we would have been properly introduced to these topics and discussion in school, with someone we know (and preferably a female).
Everything is written in black and white. “Do or die” style. Which are the most important and crucial? What if we don’t have a choice in a certain scenario? Singing on a bus is compared to chilul shabbos? My friends and I have so many questions.
In the back of the booklet there is a guide on “How to call a Rov” which I’m sure is well intentioned. However, do they really expect me and my friends to phone them to discuss personal matters and dilemmas? Isn’t THAT not tznius?!
How do we navigate life according to halacha? What level is expected from us? Will being a chossid express itself in these standards? Is there someone to talk to who will listen and not lecture?
– A CH girl