Monday, 21 May 2012

Day 23: Control Your Home Environment

Part 1/3 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

by Miller, Rabbi Zvi (See all authors)

"My wife and I make a solid effort to make the environment in our home Jewish, but I never thought of this in light of Shmirat Einayim."

If you are an employee, you probably have little control over your work environment. Short of requesting a respectable dress code, there may be little you can do that will influence the entire company.

Several years ago, a popular anti-lashon hara campaign included desktop placards that warned, "Don't even think of telling me lashon hara." It stopped gossip-mongers in their tracks, at least in the immediate vicinity of the people who put up the sign. Without being obnoxious or "holier-than-thou" about it, you can convey the same distaste for immodesty. Simply walk away silently when inappropriate jokes or pictures emerge. Fairly soon, your co-workers will get the message and will not bother including you in that kind of "fun." You may even find that they respect you more for the sincerity of your Jewish integrity.

Your home can be a spiritual oasis, free of improper sights and full of Torah study and mitzvot. The kedushah and purity of such a home nurtures the souls that live in it. It radiates with the special love of Jewish parents and it is the very foundation of Klal Yisrael. This home will abound with blessings of peace, happiness, and closeness to Hashem.

When you were first married, this was what you wanted. But over the years, laxness creeps in and standards change. You may have lost sight of the goal. No matter what the ages of your children - even if you do not have children - you can start now to make your home the spiritual oasis your family deserves.

What can you do? First, set a good example. Do you dress with the same modesty inside as you do outdoors? Do you behave in a modest fashion? Is your language clean?

What sort of influences do you allow within the four walls of your home? Without our realizing it, immodest images appear daily in store circulars and unsolicited mail. Be on the alert for these, and eliminate them from your environment.