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Poem: Behind Closed Doors

Mushky, a young Crown Heights mother, composed the following poem to express her thoughts and feelings on the Tznius issue facing our community, with whom she chose to share it.

Behind Closed Doors

Pictures, magazines, ads and flyers
On display for all the world to see
On display so it can be sold
On display so it can catch your attention

There’s something that remains hidden away
Only on special days and occasions does it get revealed
It’s not colorful in colors, it’s not loud in it’s voice
It’s not flashy or passed around like a popular toy

It’s a special scroll
Prepared in a special way
With special ink and parchment
Written by a special person with special lettering
Put into a specific kind of ark

It’s handled with extreme care
Carried in a loving and caring embrace
When it’s opened and revealed
All eyes gaze in its direction

This is the Sefer Torah
Our eternal treasure
It contains the exact same words from beginning of time
Till the end of time

We learn it
We keep it
We read it
We live it
We speak it
We dance with it

Yet the scroll remain “clothed”
In a mantle that covers it
Beautifies it
Protects it
Preserves it

In the Mishkan and Mikdash
In the Holy Aron they remained
Nowadays in an Aron Kodesh
They are put away

So the scroll remains hidden
Secured
Guarded
Treasured

Not because it’s old
Not because it’s new
Not because it’s big or small
Not because it’s not wanted

But because it is so special
Because it’s such a treasure
Because it’s so beloved
It is kept behind closed doors

It’s never forgotten
It’s never undesired
It’s just too precious to be left around
To be exposed
To be ruined

Our bodies are the same
Our bodies are so unique
A Jewish woman’s body
Is so precious and so holy

Don’t flaunt it for the world
Don’t let it be defiled
Don’t let it be exposed
Don’t let it lose its kedusha
Don’t let it become objectified

Let it remain protected
Let it remain your own
Let it be clothed and garbed
Let it remain private

Not because you’re invisible
Not because you’re unwanted
Not because you’re inferior
Not because you’re unknown

But because you’re Hashem’s daughter
Because you’re so precious and dear
Keep your body protected and holy
And watch as the blessings pour in

Keep yourself royal
Keep yourself beautiful
Keep yourself covered
And let the world see the real you

That special princess with unlimited qualities
That special princess with unlimited powers
That special princess who dresses with dignity
That special princess who’s admired and respected

“All the glory of the king’s daughter is inward”

Mushky

33 Comments

  • 6. Yudi wrote:

    Very nice and very true. But without true leadership in this community, I’m afraid nothings going to change in this regard. Lubavitch is way behind every other Frum community in the world matters of Tzniyus. And what a shame that is, being the only group that studies the true depths of Chassidus, in it’s loftiest form. Very sad.

    Reply
    • 8. plan? wrote:

      And what exactly will the leadership do? Throw their kids out of school? Put them in cherem and not allow them to come to shul? Where exactly are you going with this line of thinking?

  • 11. Amazing and Uplifting wrote:

    I would venture to say that in keeping with the awesome tochen of the poem, the authoress wants to remain in the background (i.e. tznius and therefore has no need to identify herself.) She wants the words to words speak for themselves.

    Reply
  • 12. wut wrote:

    the entire tznius debate is misunderstood. i understand from all these articles that tznius is viewed as an addition to a person. much like tefillin is an addition to a man; a mezuza to a door; and shabbos relative to the week.
    the reality is, however, that tznius is the ideal. (for this reason the laws of tznius are different depending on the location. no joke). the purpose of tznius is not to attract unnecessary attention. violating the dress code is “doing” something, whereas obeying the laws are merely being “normal”.
    the poet describes tznius as something we keep and learn. that isnt the case. it isnt kept, it’s just the ideal. likewise, is isnt learnt, which book contains the contemporary laws of tznius? indeed, they arent easy to find because there are no everlasting rules to tznius, because again, they can (and do) change with place and time.
    ps according to the above mentioned, one might think that the halachos can eventually become more lenient provided that the minhag hamedina changes. in fact, that is accurate (just look at pics of lubavitch girls in russia) and i implore on the residents of ch to unanimously decide to change the minhag to a more lenient approach.
    pps if tznius is a “struggle” it’s probably cuz the laws are outdated and therefore unnecessary.

    Reply
    • 13. Lets start learning. wrote:

      1. “which book contains the contemporary laws of tznius?”

      Incorrect. please see Kevudah bas melech.
      2. “just look at pics of lubavitch girls in russia”

      incorrect to use that as guiding post.some of those woman did not cover their hair either.

      3. “one might think that the halachos can eventually become more lenient provided that the minhag hamedina changes. in fact, that is accurate”

      iinccorect. I actually suggest you learn the sugyois of tznius

    • 14. To Wut wrote:

      There are several contemporary seforim covering the laws of tznius. Just ask for them at any seforim store (yes, even on Kingston)
      The actual laws have NEVER changed. The Entire main body, and the connected limbs – upper arm including the entire elbow, and thigh including the entire knee must always be covered with opaque material. Only the forearm and lower leg are subject to minchagim, and all contemporary rabbanim state that the entire lower leg including the foot must be covered, although there is debate about how thick the stockings (note: not the leggings) must be.
      The main halacha never changes and it is not outdated.
      To quote the Rebbe, if your sheitel is uncomfortable, your hair is probably too long, and once you cut your hair you will not have problems with your sheitel.
      You can also look up various sichos of the Rebbe where he spoke very strongly about the need for tznius, especially in our community.

      So please do not try to destroy the Holiness of Crown Heights just because you think you are not ready to be a Torah true Jew.

  • 15. Aidle wrote:

    Beautiful!

    Just as her poem states; the beauty within must be guarded and protected so to Mushky is choosing to protect what is so special to her; her privacy.

    You have the right.

    Good for you Mushky.
    You got your point across, you didn’t do it for the respect, the attention nor the honor it might bring. Your purity set forth in words so eloquently expressed.
    Kol Hakavod!!!
    We all have Nachas from your finesse – your tznius.

    Reply
  • 17. To oh please wrote:

    Please get a life.
    You can’t find anything untrue about the poem so you attack the pen-name? Really? Just so you can put damper on it?
    I really feel sorry for you.
    And I’m really proud of the author. She did a great job. And remember even Shlomo haMelech didn’t sign his real name to Koheles. But it is still part of tanach
    I hope to see many more fine articles about Tznius and Torah observance of this website.

    Reply
  • 20. Just a thought wrote:

    This issue of tznius is constantly being discussed and debated. How come the same doesnt apply to the men? I walk around CH and see all kind of clothing men are wearing that is not in a chassidishe manner and maybe even not a frum manner. Or for we could discuss about the beards/ non beards that use to be a staple in Lubavitch. It has gone as far as making flashy Kapotas. But my point is everyone needs to take a moment and ask themselves and look at themselves and see if they are acting like proper Frum and hopefully chassidishe yidden.

    Reply
  • 21. Fabulous - כל הכבוד wrote:

    How touching!
    It’s a winner!
    She’s modest #1 – she didn’t need to put her name down for honor and exposure just like a בת מלך. One knows she’s a princess so no need to advertise thru immodest clothibg

    Reply
  • 23. great poem wrote:

    refreshing to read a poem that is so clear and easy to understand not to mention the powerful message it brings out. Hope our pure innocent young children get to read and hear it. It may make a good children’s book!

    Reply
  • 25. jtjj wrote:

    honestly,
    I think that tznius issues come from anger at the parents and teachers who didnt do right by that person when they needed it. Sadly, they take the anger out of tznius instead of really dealing with it.
    misplaced anger I guess its called.

    Reply
  • 26. Just Saying wrote:

    When DAESH occupies a populated area, amongst other things, they distribute pamphlets outlining appropriate attire for women. The parallel is not unnoticed…

    Reply
    • 27. Hold On wrote:

      Isn’t DAESH the pejorative Arabic acronym for ISIS? Are you comparing the the CH rabbonim to a ISIS and Salafism? How could you!

    • 30. Dear kangaroo wrote:

      Your obsession with kosher food is unhealthy.
      Your obsession with WhatsApp is unhealthy.
      Your obsession with anything is unhealthy.
      However, making an effort to do what is required according to halacha, that’s the healthiest thing you could do.

  • 31. Yossel wrote:

    To #6…your point is sadly true. There is a lack of respect for leadership in our community, which unfortunately is the poison fruit of having 2 battei din that freely sent out nasty paskvilim over the years, against each other.

    Personally, I believe there are people hungry for money and power who are able to influence our Rabbonim (may they be well) to participate in their sick quests for said money and power.

    If our Rabbonim Shlita would only cast the troublemakers out of their midst and agree to a single harmonious Beis Din, you would see amazing respect (and Tznius) return to our community.

    However most people sadly look at our leadership as a joke because of all the fights that were aired in public (and our ineffective “community leaders” who cannot achieve anything from the city or the police.)

    Reply
  • 33. Stylish and Tznius wrote:

    We need a store in Crown Heights that would only carry clothing that are both stylish and tznius. There
    shouldn’t be any clothing that has a slit,short skirt, low neckline,short sleeves etc. Perhaps if someone would be willing to be a silent investor in order to keep the
    prices down, the women in our community would
    be encouraged to shop there and this could enable them to wear only tznius clothing.

    Reply

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