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Sep 22, 2014

PSA: halachos of yichud are there for a reason

almost unbelievable, but I know who wrote it and sent it to me..

an anonymous guest post

We had some shipputzim done a year ago.  Recently we noticed some water seepage in the additions, so we called the contractor to check it out.  He sent his foreman, a charming Arab guy with whom we have a great relationship; he works well and is always very willing to help.  My wife was home to receive him, and he came in, saw the problem and identified what needed to be done to fix it.  They walked together out of the house (my wife had to go somewhere else), but on the path towards the car, something seemed to be bothering this guy.  He turned to me wife and said, "How about we do something together?"  She looked at him, clearly not understanding.  He explained, "Sex!"  Gobsmacked, my wife just said "No!" and ran to the car.

I'm still shell-shocked just having heard this experience second hand, to say nothing of my wife who was actually propositioned by a worker for whom we previously had nothing but respect.

Gentle reader, lest you fall into any convenient stereotypes, hear out the rest of this story.  My wife spoke to one of her friends later, just to process what had happened.  Her friend told her that it's happened to her on no fewer than three occasions.  And these guys weren't as hung up on consent as our foreman; two of them actually physically held her before she beat off their respective advances.  It happened once with an Arab worker, and twice with Jewish men who live in our neighborhood.  You read that right.  There are men who live in Ramat Beit Shemesh, wearing a kippa and tzitzis, who will brazenly proposition and physically molest a married woman.

The take-home message from this is: please, treat the laws of yichud very seriously, even beyond the letter of the law.  When the foreman came to our house, my wife very properly left the front door wide open, and anyway I was in the city at the same time - but for all her technical compliance with hilchos yichud, had he not been so "gentlemanly" about his advances, my wife would have had no defense.

Be safe, and may Hashem inscribe us all for a good and sweet new year.

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  1. ichhhh - does this mean they have such a lousy pickup style because it sometimes actually works?

  2. Why not publicize their names as a public service?

  3. For sure. Sounds shady - 'Jewish men who live in our neighborhood' are going around doing this, but we don't know who they are? Are there consequences for their behavior??

  4. name names or keep quiet

  5. There are a few precautions, that can be taken to avoid these issues.
    1) If possible, do not be alone with someone who comes to work in the house. Invite your friend around for a cup of coffee.
    2) My wife took part a while back in a course for women, to learn how to fix certain things in the house, like blinds, change bahroom fixtures, even electrical unit. That way, you don't need to call plumber, electrician etc, but can do it yourself. Now sometimes she does these things for her friends.
    Two points that could make a difference.


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