18 Tishrei 5782 / Friday, September 24, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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SWAT Team, At Your Service    

SWAT Team, At Your Service

This world is full of dangers. If a person knew what was lurking in the dark, then he or she would be a lot more careful, especially during these crazy times…


Imagine that you are stranded in the most dangerous part of L.A for the night. Because of circumstances beyond your control, you find yourself renting a single room at a motel that you know also houses drug dealers and shady characters.


After paying your fare, you let yourself into the room and quickly lock the door behind you about to breathe a sigh of relief. But wait, what type of lock is that on the door? A hook and eye closure??


Are they serious? The hotel managers expect you to sleep easily with a flimsy hook and eye closure securing both the front and back doors of your room!?


Management refuses to change the lock to something better, so you shrink into the corner of your room and sleep in a crouched position, with your mace pointed in front of you, one eye open on the back door….


Honestly speaking, how many of us women would sleep at all that night? We would be nervous wrecks, hoping to make it to the morning in one piece.


What if someone started rationalizing with you: “Well, it’s a question if an intruder really will break in. And, if he does break in, maybe he’ll have thoughts of teshuva (repentance) at the front door and decide to turn around and go home. And even if he doesn’t have thoughts of teshuva, maybe he’ll just take a snack from the fridge and then leave.”


You would probably look at that person and say, “Yes, you could be right. But asking all those hypothetical questions is not making it easier for me to sleep tonight!”


Ladies, this is what goes on with the laws of modesty. G-d gave them to us to protect us. When we are properly fulfilling all the laws of modesty according to the spirit and the letter of the law, we not only have dead bolts on our doors, we have a SWAT team inside with guns aimed at any potential threat. These are the defending angels that we create with all our mitzvot of modesty.


The Maharal explains that modesty, which is an act of concealment and protection, effects the same response from Hashem, ensuring that the woman and her family are concealed and protected from harm. (Daughters of Dignity, p. 37). Hashem put amazing spiritual protective power into these mitzvot, what a gift!


However, if we are wearing clothes that are not so modest, either because they’re too tight, too short, etc.,is that not a hook and eye closure on the door meant to protect us? One swift kick by the robber and our flimsy lock is finished.


Rebbetzen Tehilla Abramov, a renowned speaker on women’s issues, emphasized in one of her Torah lectures that a woman harms herself when she steps out of the house immodestly dressed.


Why is that? Because any thoughts that men have about the woman are partially her fault due to her choice of attire. Therefore, she shares in their punishment. One shopping trip where a woman attracts men's gazes could result in her coming home with more than just groceries. These sins affect both her current world and the Next World.


Women rationalize with lines such as, “There’s so much immodesty in our culture anyway, what does it matter how tight my clothing is?” Or, “Why are you telling me what to wear? Tell the men not to look!” This is like asking hypothetical questions about the robber possibly changing his mind. We’re not really doing ourselves a favor by thinking this way.


Now, imagine a woman who is going through her life well versed in the laws of modesty. Everywhere she goes, she has a SWAT team of heavenly angels defending her from any potential threat. That’s a fortunate woman!


Happily, that SWAT team is available to all of us. We need only dress according to the spirit and the letter of the law to receive these gifts.  They are here for our benefit. May we merit to be surrounded with protective angels and see Moshiach arrive soon, amen!

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