By Shiran Davidov, Shuvu Lod-Petach Tikva
Day 1: Nobody notices, no comments.
Day 2: Dad mentions that I look like a grandma.
Day 3: Mom wants to know why I am wearing a skirt that a crazy Chareidi would wear.
Day 4: Mom notices that I am wearing a Tzniut skirt and starts getting suspicious.
Day 5: Show down!
Dad and Mom did not take too kindly to my empty closet. No, not at all! A few days ago, it was cluttered with top name brand jeans and shorts. The combination of being an only child of wealthy parents and a teenage girl who loves shopping amassed into quite an impressive amount of clothes. I only noticed it when I began to clean my room for Pesach about a week ago.
My teacher had been teaching about Pesach for the last few weeks. One of the lessons kept repeating itself in my mind over and over. Morah Chaya had explained that Bedikas Chametz should be used as a spiritual checking and cleaning as well as the physical one. I knew that I was definitely making strides. Since I switched to Shuvu Lod in fourth grade, Torah and Mitzvot had been seeping in through osmosis. This year, when I entered Shuvu High School Petach Tikva, I felt ready to start keeping Shabbat. Now, though, mostly through the year already, I felt like tackling another challenge.
If I thought keeping Shabbat at home had been a tough tango, I was completely unprepared for the venomous response to my switchover to Tzniut would be like. With Shabbat, I was able to kind of inveigle them by cleaning the house top to bottom and cooking up a storm for dinner and lunch the next day while they were at work. When they came home, they were kind of charmed by it and were sort of willing to go along with it because they benefited from it.
To Dad and Mom, Tzniut was the epitome of what they stood for. The Zionist dream that they harbor is one where Jews have a homeland, but that it is reminiscent of Paris. On Show Down Day, I told my parents that I grew and that the clothes I tossed had simply gotten too small on me. They were skeptical and they were undeniably not pleased that I had replace my “small” jeans for skirts. They literally took to calling me names like Grandma, Crazy Chareidi and others. I tried my best not to rub my personal growth in their faces. Stockings, for example, would not be worn in my house. I would put them on after I left and removed them before coming home. When I went to Shiurim in the evening, I told them I was going to hang out with friends.
My wedding was a miracle. I mean, the fact that I was Zoche to marry a husband who learns in Kollel all day is something I thank Hashem for daily, but even having a fully Kosher wedding itself was something I would never have imagined a few years ago. My parents were very nervous about their image, but came through for me with flying colors. They could not imagine that anybody would be interested in coming to a wedding that had separate seating and dancing. They were shocked by how many guest came and stayed until it was over. Now, a couple of months later, we live in Ohr Yehudah and enjoy a great relationship with my parents.