Why are YOU Eating THAT?
But the wife's parents always kept kosher.
And the non-Jewish guy, who has known them since eighth grade, developed respect for their way of life.
When he meets other Jews, he's always shocked if he sees they don't keep kosher.
And he has something to say about it.
"Hey, you're really not supposed to be eating that," he'll say to a surprised Jew. Or, "Why are you eating those together? That's not allowed."
He's not rude about it, just genuinely taken aback.
And you know what?
GOOD for him!
That's part of what any good non-Jew should be doing.
When people who aren't Jewish remind Jews of their most basic laws (NOT nitpicking about things they don't understand, but true-blue basic halacha -- like the 10 Commandments), they're actually helping themselves because when Jews do what we're supposed to be doing, everybody wins.
(Also, an errant Jew tends to find non-Jewish reproach less offensive than when it comes from a fellow Jew.)
How is That Modest?
I chose to join the modern Orthodox (which was a mistake on my part, though I didn't realize it at the time; the Chabad community was wholly frum and possessed all the positive aspects of Chabad without the problematic aspects found in some other communities and I would've been much better off had I joined them).
Anyway, I felt that one of my favorite skirts to wear to work was tsnius enough, even though I realized that it was a very lenient form of tsnius. It barely covered my knee (if that) when standing and I wore ankle socks (sporty & cute!) with it, leaving lots of bare calf.
(Note: Despite my youthful cognitive dissonance, that kind of skirt is totally forbidden by Jewish Law.)
The pretty non-Jewish woman training me was old enough to be my mother and she was a refined, soft-spoken woman whom I liked a lot.
She had a lot of respect for core Jewish values. She told me of a Jewish-Catholic couple she knew in high school, whose parents (on both sides) objected to the relationship. She spoke with admiration at how the couple broke up out of respect for their parents' wishes.
She felt it was the right thing to do, focusing more on the honoring of the parents rather than the Jewish prohibition against intermarriage.
And I felt really comfortable with her.
One day, she gently asked me about the difference between Muslim modesty and Jewish modesty. I explained what I knew at that time. Then she pointed to my exposed calves and softly questioned why this was okay and how exactly was this modest?
I was very uncomfortable, but not offended (because deep down, I knew her point was totally valid) and I stammered some kind of explanation, which out of her innate and lovely tact, she didn't argue with.
But back at home, it all got me thinking.
And I felt she had a point.
I don't think I made an immediate change (maybe I started pulling down the skirt to cover more knee or started wearing full stockings? can't remember exactly), but it did influence me to take tsnius more seriously and start getting real about what was really permitted and what wasn't.
Even without immediate change, it was a productive part of the process.
And her questions were really good, thoughtful questions from a sincere heart.
WHO is Throwing Rocks?
I tactfully broached the subject with my mother-in-law, who was born, raised, and married in Morocco and had her first 3 children there too.
"Yes, there were Jews who transgressed Shabbat," she said. "Just a couple of people though." Then she held up her palm and said, "But only in the house! Never on the street. Never publicly. They did it quietly."
She emphasized that they themselves had no desire to bring their chilul Shabbat to the street. She also seemed to find it bewildering that they even wanted to transgress Shabbat.
"What would happen if they'd transgress Shabbat where people could see them?" I asked.
Her eyes widened in alarm and she froze for a moment before saying, "No. They would never do that."
"What would happen?"
Her eyes still wide and her mouth making a small "o", she said, "They'd get rocks thrown at them."
Now my eyes widened. "Really?" I said. "The Jews of Morocco threw rocks at Shabbat transgressors?"
Now she looked both alarmed and confused. Then, wagging her finger back and forth, she said, "No. Not the Jews. Why the Jews? The ARABS would throw rocks at them."
But if non-Jews want to give a friendly heads-up to a Jew who is definitely ignoring or ignorant of a very basic and obvious prohibition (like eating a ham sandwich or driving on Shabbat or dressing like an I-don't-want-to-say-what), that seems to be a beneficial thing.
(And it makes for a cute anecdote.)