Another one from Rose, who knows what’s what, including elbows.
Every week we had to memorize a hundred Hebrew words for our Safah quiz. In the beginning, I tried to. I remember the time it was body parts. I couldn’t remember the word for “elbow” so I wrote in “ervah.” She wouldn’t give me the point, even when I went over after and argued.
This story is from Rose, who now realizes that tznius is about keeping the inside inside.
In ninth grade we all had to make Eretz Yisroel scrapbooks. Our Safah teacher was about ninety years old and a little bit strange. I once used my inhaler in class and she kicked me out for that.
She gave out directions for the scrapbook in just Hebrew and never bothered to explain them. Each page was supposed to have a quote and something. Lots of people just turned in a former student’s scrapbook.
According to my Big Sister, “nobody” made their own. But I was idealistic and decided to make my own. I did it all myself and had my brother do the lettering and help me with the Hebrew. I wasn’t doing so well in Safah so I wanted to get something right.
Over the course of a few snow days I made a gorgeous scrapbook.
I handed it in. Other people handed in old ones from previous years and she recognized them and they had to do it again. I got an aleph plus for presentation and aleph minus for content.
The most offensive content in my scrapbook was a 1″x1″ image of a soldier sticking out his tongue. She defaced my beautiful scrapbook by actually circling and crossing out the tongue. Twice.
I was pretty happy with my grade, but I went over and asked why she crossed out the tongue.
She looked up at me and started yelling “zeh lo tznius!”
“The tongue! Zeh lo tznius!”
She went on for a bit while I sort of gaped. I had never heard THAT one before.