Chile suffered a huge earthquake just a week ago. That got reported in the papers. However, since that time, every day, even today, Chile is trembling aftershocks with quake after quake rattling the ground.
My father, when he was already in his golden years, once went to Shoprite to do the Shabbos shopping. He came home white and trembling. His voice was a mere whisper and he went to his room, completely rattled. My sib who was there was really frightened. My father had already undergone a series of strokes, so we never knew what to expect. This time, he looked worse than the stroke aftermath. When he finally regained some color, she kept crying out, “what happened?”. My holy father explained how he’d been in Shoprite. The sweet woman from the Kollel community who stood before him in the checkout line, her snood firmly in place, was placing her order on the conveyor belt. While she had paid attention to Tzniyus by covering her hair, her idea of Tzniyus did not include ensuring her top and skirt came together firmly. In fact, each time she bent over her wagon she bared her back and midriff to all the store, including all the Jewish men out to do their shopping. My father abandoned his place on line and fled. What rattled him was the lack of sensitivity to Tzniyus that had become normal.
I remember years before; we hit our teen years and decided to get half-slips. My European-born mother hit the roof and brought my father into the fray. I could not fathom their outrage. “Half-naked,” is what we were told the half-slips would bring us to being. Snort, went this opinionated missy in her teenage dumb years. After all, wasn’t I fully dressed. So what if my undergarments only went half-way under it all?
When the Shoprite incident happened, I, no longer dumb teen, got what my parents had worried about. The old-time idea of being fully dignified and covered at all times had gone the way of so many of our parents’ generation’s kedusha- chased out by our “let it all show, let it all flow, let it all go” attitude.
Every rift in the ground creates aftershocks that rattle beyond the one rift. In fact, many a quake triggers more than just more quakes — it can trigger huge waves of destructive tsunamis.
If only we saw clearly the horrible tremors spiritually being caused by the lack of tzniyus…if only we saw the huge waves of tsunami facing our nation… perhaps, even I, would go back to full slips.
But, alas, we are blind.