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From: rhendel@king.mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 18:58:42 -0400 Subject: Does the Torah Really Believe in Psychology--Version 2 I would like to add fuel to the recent discussions about slit skirts. Several readers still think that we have gone way to far. This is not true. Part of our belief in the coming of Mashiach is restoration of the Sanhedrin and it explicitly states, Rambam, Laws of Temple Entry, 6:11 and chapter 8, that a major preoccupation of the sanhedrin is checking priests for deficiency in physical appearance or lineage. This includes 7 disqualifications for "improper eyebrow appearance" as well as 16 testicle qualifications. Surely discussion of slit skirts is not inferior. I would like to suggest that halachah sees as its goal the "Torahization" of human impulses by raising them to a halachically discussable level. Towards this end let me quote a question by Kestenbaum who inquires about a girl who thinks her 3 inch slits attract all eyes in a 3 mile radius. Apparently this girl has problems whether she wears slits or not. I think we all agree with Kestenbaum (about the girls problems). So let me therefore refocus the discussions on slit skirts to discussions onhow to deal with Kestenbaums (hypothetical) girl. What does halachah suggest we do withsuch a person. There appear to be 5 answers. I invite discussion on them Answer 1) Ignore the girl...no dicussion canhelp her Answer 2) Women's point of view: It is her dress; let her do what she wants Answer 3) Men's point of view: Don't wear dresses because it arouses wrong feelings in men. Answer 4) Psychologists point of view: Don't impose values but do discuss. Allow subject to become aware of differing viewpoints on dress and form her own viewpoint on how to deal with different situations. The psychologists role is to help guide her into this self discovery. Answer 5) TOrah point of view(?): Impose values AND recognize needs. Inform her that sometimes Torah encourages her to attract(e.g. wearing jewelry) and sometimes she must abstain from arousing men. Lead her thru sources so that she will know the proper way in each case as well as where there is no 1 answer Which way is right? I invite answers from parents, psychologists,and Torahites. Russell Jay Hendel, rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu