tznius question

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  • #607340

    just me
    Participant

    This is a serious question. Please don’t answer by ranting about untznius Flatbush and 5 Town woman.

    What is wrong with long skirts (ankle lenght) and what is wrong with denim? I really can’t figure it out.

  • #912709

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Those 5 towns and brooklyn women who wear long denim skirts and do it specifically to be machshil men and are the biggest problem in judaism, and the reason for all the ills we have and the shidduch crisis, and they do it in the street with no busha and they teach their daughters to do it also, and don’t they care about their own sons who have to go outside every day into that same world which they are polluting with their pritzus and long sheitels and skirts and long heels and long nails and long sleeves.

  • #912710

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Please don’t answer by ranting about untznius Flatbush and 5 Town woman.

    Oh oops. You should have said that first.

  • #912711

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Oh oops. You should have said that first.

    Oh oops. You did say that first.

    oh well.

  • #912712

    candy613
    Member

    So there is nothing wrong with an ankle length skirt if it really only goes to the ankle anything longer can sometimes give that flowy effect which can be attracting in the wrong way. Denim also if it is dark denim that is not frayed and ripped really is not wrong even though many still don’t wear it. The ripped, washed out frayed denim with pockets in the back can be attracting wrong attention as well… That is what I always learned. But even though I happen to not wear denim, I do not wear my long skirts duty length. I totally get the question so just letting you know this is what I happened to have learned. There may be other opinions.

  • #912713

    Josh31
    Member

    This has nothing to do with tznius, but with which community you want to associate with.

    These long denim skirts are the hallmark of serious Religious Zionists in Israel.

    I do want to be associated with such a community.

  • #912714

    shmendrick
    Member

    See R. Falk in Oz V’Hadar Levushah where he discusses that long skirts are a problem.

  • #912715

    Whiteberry
    Member

    So, rav falk is advocating, short skirts?

  • #912716

    Curiosity
    Participant

    I never understood why it is acceptable for women to walk around all day with their calves showing, (sometimes even exposing their knees when they sit), but frum guys will almost NEVER walk around in shorts! Isn’t tzniyus supposed to be MORE critical for women than for men? If you ask my opinion, I think ankle length skirts are the way to go, as long as they aren’t tight or dragging on the floor.

  • #912717

    plonis3141
    Member

    Both are considered a more “sporty” and less refined look. They are trying to encourage a “regal” look – something more formal.

    It is not that there is something that is halachically wrong.

  • #912718

    just me
    Participant

    Thank you, Popa and Whiteberry, that gave me well needed smile.

    Shendrick, you are assuming that I own that sefer.

    Plonis, why is a long skirt “sporty”? If we are trying to look “regal”, something, I have never heard before, why is corduroy ok. It isn’t regal.

    So what has been said here so far, is that there is nothing wrong with it. Right?

  • #912719

    As a man, I assure you that long skirts are less tzanua than ankle-length skirts. Ankle-length is absolutely the best, and that is the only type my wife (and most really frum women/girls) would ever wear.

  • #912720

    R.T.
    Member

    It seems that denim has a very attracting quality which is possibly why in some communities (e.g., Satmar), denim is completely discouraged.

  • #912721

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    That isn’t why. The reason to not wear denim is because it was invented by Levi Strauss for men to wear in mines, and therefore it is kli gever.

    The reason why long skirts are bad is that in scotland the men wear long skirts so that is also kli gever.

    I’m glad to help.

  • #912722

    Nechomah
    Participant

    From what I heard in a shiur given by Rebbetzin Samet, not wearing denim has nothing to do with it representing any zionistic group, but the fact that denim is know to be a material worn by the working class doing menial work. As b’nei melochim, we try to rise above that.

    I think that the biggest problem I have found with long denim skirts (and maybe corduroy as well) is that they are very NOISY when walking in them. But as far as covering all necessary parts, they do the job just fine.

    I have read on some of the more halacha-oriented posts here on the CR that there are some poskim (perhaps the Chazon Ish) who did hold that ankle-length skirts are best, but I think the ultra-chareidi (is that like a chumra on a chumra?) circles usually want skirts that are 4 in below the bottom of the knee because this is not a length that is affected by fashion. I do know plenty of very frum women who do wear their skirts to their ankles, so I don’t know.

  • #912723

    Josh31
    Member

    “denim is know to be a material worn by the working class doing menial work. As b’nei melochim, we try to rise above that.”

    How “royalty” dress vary from generation to generation.

    Pick two of the most successful business men of the present and see how they dress. (Hint: AAPL or GOOG)

    How those who are forced to do menial work dress also varies from generation to generation.

    Bottom line: In 2012 denim is not a hallmark of the “lower classes”.

    If we want our daughters to be treated like B’nos Melochim, we better make sure our sons have the skills to get good jobs at the most successful companies.

  • #912724

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Some bnos melachim wear denim. They almost all wear floor length gowns to any formal occassion. The ceo where I work wears denim to the office, he is neither low class or performing a menial job.

    As for the menial jobs in my office building, most are performed by those wearing polyester uniforms.

  • #912725

    just me
    Participant

    Josh 31, I disagree with you. If we want our daughters to be treated like bnos melachim, we need to teach our sons how to behave to a wife. Or to people in general but that is another story.

    So from what I understand here, there is nothing wrong with long (ankle length is also long) skirts except that certain communities don’t like them.

  • #912726

    OneOfMany
    Member

    Curiosity: You can’t really compare the concepts and obligations of tznius for men and women – you’re trying to put both groups on one ladder, when really there are two. Also, making logical comparisons like that won’t really work, since tznius for the most part a matter of cultural sensitivity. It doesn’t necessarily “make sense.” And I find that when people try to make sense out of it (like they are here on this thread with the regal attire and whatnot), they usually trip themselves up.

  • #912727

    mewho
    Member

    why do so many women and so many stores buy and carry ”pencil” skirts…they are body hugging skirts.

    also those kiki riki tops are very form fitting. yes, they are supposed to be for under a jumper or sleeveless dress but many wear them as their main top covering. not tznius at all

  • #912728

    Wisey
    Participant

    You should also consider that women care more about their own looks more. You can’t expect them to be white and black all the time.

  • #912729

    Josh31
    Member

    “If we want our daughters to be treated like bnos melachim, we need to teach our sons how to behave to a wife.”

    Being able to support a family in an honorable manner is an important part of that.

  • #912730

    HaKatan
    Participant

    Josh, the executives of Google and Apple are not “royalty”. Do you daven in casual clothes? Maybe I shouldn’t ask.

    Would the Queen of England wear denim? Would the former Ms. Middleton, now Princess Kate, wear it?

    The world, not that long ago, wore hats, jackets and ties as standard formal-wear. That’s what anyone looked like on their typical commute home from work. Forget royalty. Look at old pictures; it is plain to see.

    Even today, some sections of society still do wear dress coats and hats, such as the armed forces. Are they more regal than you, a ben melech?

    What if the world switched to bathing attire, or none at all? Would that standard also apply to us, when Chaza”L tell us that Hashem despises nothing more than those who are holchim arumim like anshei barbaria?

    Nor, for that matter, are even our Presidents considered the benchmark for royalty, though some are closer than others. Take any recent (or current) President and a Yeshiva guy in Hat and suit, and put the two in front of the Queen of England and her husband. To the eyes of someone who does not know any of the three, the one who would look least like they belong is the POTUS.

    In truth, we are binei and binos milachim, regardless of how the world dresses. (And your implied disdain for Kollel/Chinuch life is wholly irrelevant to this topic. )

  • #912731

    Josh31
    Member

    “to bathing attire, or none at all?”

    I never advocated nakedness. A Religious Zionist woman in Israel with the long skirt is fully dressed as a Bas Yisroel.

    3 generations ago a man wearing a hat meant that he was a solid bread earner and not a bum.

    ” implied disdain for Kollel/Chinuch life”

    Klei Kodesh have to dress in a manner to enhance respect for their professional roles in the community.

    Having every Bar Mitzvah boy dress as Klei Kodesh undermines respect for real Klei Kodesh.

    If I wanted to undermine respect for the medical profession, I would dress up teenage boys as Doctors with white coats.

  • #912732

    Whiteberry
    Member

    The former Ms. Middleton still wears denim, at the appropriate occassion. You can, if your filter allows, find such pictures online.

    In Brazil, appropriate attire is interpreted differently than in England, for men and women. Cultural norms certainly do play a role, that much is clear from halacha. These “how to” books such as Rav Falks do not take that into consideration, nor can they, as they offer a one size fits all approach.

  • #912733

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Both are social / fashion choices, not halachic choices.

    And there are plenty of frum men who wear shorts. Though, I’ve never seen a yeshivish man in shorts (I have seen a chasidish man in shorts).

  • #912734

    HaKatan – I think defining tznius based on what the Queen would wear is a bit strange, she’s 85 so should all women wear floral-print dresses and floppy hats to look like a bas melech? And as for the Duchess of Cambridge, does she wear denim? In a single word, yes. Besides, as a benchmark for tznius I wouldn’t really look for someone who caught the eye of their husband-to-be by wearing a see-through dress.

    “The world, not that long ago, wore hats, jackets and ties as standard formal-wear. That’s what anyone looked like on their typical commute home from work. Forget royalty. Look at old pictures; it is plain to see.”

    Yep, and not long before that they wore high-heeled shoes and wigs. And that was the men. Should we?

    “Even today, some sections of society still do wear dress coats and hats, such as the armed forces. Are they more regal than you, a ben melech?” They have dress swords as well. Should we?

  • #912735

    just me
    Participant

    Bottom line seems to be that halachically there is nothing wrong with ankle length skirts or denim. Saying “dress like a bas melech” is like saying people should all dress like chassidim since the men dress like the royalty in 18 century Easter Europe. Not that I am saying they are wrong, chalila, but that is the example many people here are giving.

  • #912736

    2scents
    Participant

    Denim, I dont know .

    Long skirts in my opinion is as if the person is not really dressed.

  • #912737

    jmh – wait, men don’t wear heels and wigs any more? No wonder they looked at me funny in yeshiva…

  • #912738

    R.T.
    Member

    “The reason to not wear denim is because it was invented by Levi Strauss for men to wear in mines, and therefore it is kli gever.”

    That may be true, but that would apply to pants, not necessarily to skirts.

    Nevertheless, one can not deny the fact that a denim skirt and a plain black skirt (same size, same length) are equally attractive.

    Or, put it a different way; a young man wearing a tight denim jean will catch *more* attention than tight black slacks, IMHO.

  • #912739

    Health
    Participant

    PBA -“long sheitels and skirts and long heels and long nails and long sleeves”

    Yes, plenty in Lakewood also dress this way. What I don’t understand is they get dressed in the morning like they’re going to a Chasuna, but how does the denim skirts fit in? Denim is casual and the rest is like they’re going to a photo shoot. Where did this style in the Frum community come from?

  • #912740

    Health
    Participant

    just me -“Bottom line seems to be that halachically there is nothing wrong with ankle length skirts or denim.”

    There definitely can be something wrong with it. Tzinius requires that the woman doesn’t stand out.

    I think this would be more of a problem in Lakewood or BP than in Flatbush or 5 Towns – where lots and lots dress like this – so you wouldn’t really stand out.

  • #912741

    kollel_wife
    Member

    There are different aspects to Tznius.

    1.The first and foremost is that parts of the body that are required Halachically to be covered, should be covered. Clothing that is tight no longer covers, but accentuates and is also considered Halachically not allowed. Ask your Rav or Rebbetzin for better guidelines in this area. Also, clothing that halachically covers must not be skimpy so as to no longer cover during regular movement.

    2. Rabbonim among them Rabbi Falk discuss the idea of looking refined and not casual. Not being casual does not mean one can’t relaxed and comfortable, but casual shouldn’t mean being too open, too friendly towards those of the opposite gender.

    When my mother and grandmother grew up, women didn’t wear pants. Men wore suits, and women wore dresses or blouses and carried a pocketbook. If you look at black and white pictures in the early 1900’s or 1930’s, people looked more dignified, and the boundaries between men and women were more defined.

    Today, goyim want around half dressed with everything showing, in the summer wearing flip, flops, all’s ok, all’s allowed. The media, television all send this message.

    Being refined might refer to tucking in clothing, not having hair hanging down or looking shlumpy. Because this look often is one that sends an improper message. I once tried to contrast this for a group of girls. I showed them a picture of a seductive looking lady with jeans and high heels versus a nurse wearing a nurses uniform – both wearing pants, but sending a very different message. Professional versus available. The halacha of not wearing pants is not enough, there’s a message you send when you present yourself that must be correct as well.

  • #912742

    kollel-wife – The problem with using terms like ‘dignified’ and ‘casual’ is that they are very much subjective. What you might call dignified I might call dowdy, what I might call stylish you might call casual. And referring to how people dressed in the 1930s is extremely arbitrary, why not how they dressed in the 1920’s (which believe me was far from tzanua…), or even how they dressed in the 1830s? Should men wear wigs and high heels? After all, the dignified nobility of the late 17th Century did. Should women wear tall canonical hats with veils? The dignified nobility of the Middle-ages did. Rav Falk, major Talmid Chochom though he is, is by no means the sole arbiter of what is casual or dignified. He isn’t even the sole arbiter of what is or isn’t tzanua, plenty of Rabbonim do not agree with him on many things.

  • #912743

    HaKatan
    Participant

    jmh, her (KW) point is well taken.

  • #912744

    HaKatan – What on earth is that supposed to mean?

  • #912745

    iced
    Member

    You can disregard virtually every Rov and virtually every Sefer with your dismissive attititude of he isn’t the sole arbiter and there are others who disagree.

  • #912746

    Sabzi
    Member

    yea curiosity, you can’t have them on the same ladder… its dangerous to wear a skirt while climbing ladders!

  • #912747

    OneOfMany
    Member

    just my hapence +1

  • #912748

    Whiteberry
    Member

    I go one step further than the dismissive attitude expressed above. I dont even care to know that those other opinions exist or what they might be. As far as I am concerened, the first and last word on any matter is that of my Rov.

  • #912749

    oomis
    Participant

    In the olden days, all frum women wore ankle length skirts. ALL women wore ankle length skirts. Today, some people feel that it calls attention to the woman, in the same way that a short skirt would. I don’t get that reasoning, especially since it was tzanua in the past.

  • #912750

    Curiosity
    Participant

    Sabzi, that is a great point. I don’t see how you can ever, ever, EVER say a short skirt is more taznua than a long skirt. If we lived in a society where people wore no clothing, would you say a bas Yisrael shouldn’t wear clothing because it would call attention to her? Clearly not. How can revealing more, be more tzanua?… Boggles my mind…. and I’m not even arguing the fact that there are plenty of goyim and Jews alike that sport ankle length skirts/dresses. I personally think it’s just an excuse made by women who prefer showing more skin.

  • #912751

    iced – What I am disregarding is your imposition of a Rav on me. I have my Rav, you have yours. I am not dismissing Rav Falk, but simply saying that there are other Rabbonim who don’t agree. I am not saying he is categorically incorrect, just that he is not categorically correct. It seems that every time anyone brings any kind of tznius issue into a thread someone will come along and say “Rav Falk says…” or “Oz V’Hodor Levusha…” as if that was the end of the story. And this is what I am objecting to. I have a Rav, he has no objection to wearing denim or long skirts. In fact his daughters and granddaughters wear them. To say, therefore, that they are ossur because Rav Falk said so is as dismissive, if not more so, of my Rav than my saying that Rav Falk’s opinion is not the only one.

  • #912752

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Some like to play the “my rav is greater than your rav game”.

  • #912753

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    You know, the first 4 posts on this thread were good, but then it just got dumb. (and untznius)

  • #912754

    kollel_wife
    Member

    I guess my point was understood and misunderstood. I cannot define for others the words refined and casual. And I don’t want to. What I was trying to say is a person should look at what she (and he as well) is wearing and see what sort of message it sends to others around them, especially those of the opposite gender. This requires honest introspection. That is a part of tznius as well.

    I’m not making a defintion or discussing a long skirt, but trying to explain why some might feel the long skirt or the denim skirt is not appropriate. What message does the clothing convey. And this will differ based on the community. Walking in to Meah Shearim with certain clothing may be flaunting and unrefined, whereas in Flatbush the same clothing might not turn any heads. But it behooves us all to ask ourselves the question of what message I am conveying with my clothing even if it covers me as it should.

  • #912755

    kollel-wife – The problem remains that ‘the message it sends to others’ is also subjective.

  • #912756

    kollel_wife
    Member

    Yes it is. I don’t disagree with you.

    I’m not 100% sure what mean by subjective. If you mean the viewer, you have to take into account the norms of that community. If you mean the wearer, although it is subjective, it isn’t helpful to throw up your hands and say this is subjective. It’s more helpful and empowering to say we should all try to sensitize ourselves in this area.

    Loshon Horah is also subjective. The words I say, with the tone of voice and facial expression can make a statement a very positive one or a serious aveirah. But I am still obligated to watch my words and my facial expressions, etc.

    So instead of trying to give rules here about length and style of skirt, when dealing with a diverse group of people, I am just trying to make the point that there’s halacha, and there is also a message I’m sending, so more people will use their head and pay attention to the message and improve in these areas.

  • #912757

    kollel-wife – I am still at a loss as to ‘the message’. For example, the message I get from the way my wife dresses (that she takes herself and the way she looks seriously) is different to that of one of my sisters (who gets ‘the message’ that my wife is ‘stylish’) and different to that of my sister-in-law (who gets ‘the message’ that my wife is ‘modern’). So, when she is getting dressed, which ‘message’ should she ‘pay attention’ to that she is ‘sending’? How should she ‘sensitize’ herself? And to whom? And what on earth do you mean by ’empowering’?

  • #912758

    R.T.
    Member

    And that is also what I am saying: A denim/jean skirt could be the right length and cover the knees (when the person is seated) and still attract attention versus a simple black skirt of the same dimensions.

    The argument applies to sheitels, IMHO.

  • #912759

    kollel_wife
    Member

    I’m sorry. It’s not easy to discuss these subjects so openly on a public website.

    A lady should evaluate whether her clothing is sending an inappropriate message to a man that is not her husband. No I can’t predict the thoughts of every man, but I can know if I am dressed in a provocative way or an understated way or somewhere in the middle. In all cases the clothing is covering the parts required by halacha and is not tight, but for example long hanging hair, swinging in and out of her face, very high wobbly heels, heavy makeup are very likely to send an inappropriate message.

    That is the message, the inappropriate message that I am speaking about.

    What I mean by empowering, is instead of dicatating to others don’t wear this and this and that, focus on YOUR OWN IMPROVEMENT AND SENSTIVITY. People feel good about themselves when they look within themselves and have chosen on their own to improve instead of because others are criticizing them.

  • #912760

    A lady should evaluate whether her clothing is sending an inappropriate message to a man that is not her husband. No I can’t predict the thoughts of every man, but I can know if I am dressed in a provocative way or an understated way or somewhere in the middle. In all cases the clothing is covering the parts required by halacha and is not tight, but for example long hanging hair, swinging in and out of her face, very high wobbly heels, heavy makeup are very likely to send an inappropriate message.

    That is the message, the inappropriate message that I am speaking about.

    What I mean by empowering, is instead of dicatating to others don’t wear this and this and that, focus on YOUR OWN IMPROVEMENT AND SENSTIVITY. People feel good about themselves when they look within themselves and have chosen on their own to improve instead of because others are criticizing them.

    This is worth repeating. Ladies should not look like they are “available”. Simple as that (and yes, you cen be dressed “Tznius” even according to R’ Falk and still look “available”. It is a message being sent via clothing.)

  • #912761

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    This makes no sense. Everybody knows that denim is being used as a code word for linen, and that linen is definitely not tzanua. So why is there argument about it?

  • #912762

    kollel-wife – Long hair, waving in and out. How long? Is anything longer than a short bob too long? Anything longer is likely to wave. Wobbly high heels. How high? I know some females who have physical discomfort wearing low heels. Heavy makeup. How heavy? Anything more than a light dusting? More vagueries. I’m sorry, but you aren’t making yourself much clearer.

  • #912763

    shmendrick
    Member

    Whiteberry – “These “how to” books such as Rav Falks do not take that into consideration [Cultural norms], nor can they, as they offer a one size fits all approach.”

    Rav Falk is a posek, he knows EXACTLY how and if “cultural norms” impact halacha. When appropriate, he incorporates them into his sefer. (e.g., Women diving a car or riding a bicycle is dependent on cultral norms etc.).

    It is an ultimate chutzpah to say that a possek is giving a “one size fits all” psak. That interprets into the equivalent of saying that the posek is incompetent!

    Get a copy of R. Falk’s Oz V’Hadar Levushah!!

    just my hapence – “Rav Falk, major Talmid Chochom though he is, is by no means the sole arbiter of what is casual or dignified. He isn’t even the sole arbiter of what is or isn’t tzanua, plenty of Rabbonim do not agree with him on many things.”

    Can you name ONE single Rav/posek who disagrees with Rav Falk on THIS issue??? I don’t think so!

    As frum yidden it bothers us to admit when we fail to keep halacha. Instead we sweep it under the carpet and say that we follow “other” shitos.

    Better to come clean and say we are weak and followed our yetzer, one day hopefully we will do teshuva for it, but let’s not try to give our shortcoming a hechsher, and no need to feel guilty or seek teshuva, and spread to others our poison, being machshil others by saying it is mutter, as the Conservatives and Reform do.

  • #912764

    R.T.
    Member

    “…denim is being used as a code word for linen…”

    Really? Code? Secret code? CIA? Are we talking espionage? I am at a loss. Please clarify.

    “…linen is definitely not tzanua…”

    How do you account for Mishlei 31:22 (It’s actually Eishet Chayil that is intuned Leyl Shabbatots) Where the meforshim appear to ascribe the coverings as linens?

  • #912765

    kollel_wife
    Member

    Thank you Gavra at work. You got my point.

    (and yes, you cen be dressed “Tznius” even according to R’ Falk and still look “available”. It is a message being sent via clothing.)

    Just my hapence – I think you’re just being difficult. I think what I’m saying is well understood by others.

  • #912766

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    “…denim is being used as a code word for linen…”

    Really? Code? Secret code? CIA? Are we talking espionage? I am at a loss. Please clarify.

    CIA? Who said anything about CIA? Have you never heard of any codes besides the CIA?

    It is a normative social standard to refer to certain things by “clean” names. Do you say “bathroom”? Is it a room with a bath? Does it always have a bath? Are you in the CIA because you don’t say toiletroom?

  • #912767

    R.T.
    Member

    I know about codes. Are you making gematrias of linen and denim? Let’s see d=4, e=5, l=13, etc… Doesn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I don’t see how you account for the pasuk in Mishlei noted above, if you’re saying that linen is not tzanua.

  • #912768

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    The problem with hilchos tznius is that every community defines things differently. My Rabbi holds that the collarbone is not an issue and can be shown. So a man who is sensitive to collarbones (especially if they’ve lived in communities where its always covered) may see my shirt as “suggestive” even if its not. Many people read into what they want to see or are used to.

    KW example of high heeled shoes – my friend has strange arches and finds high heels way more comfortable than flats.

    So while what KW writes is nice, its not all encompassing.

    Minhag hamakom is not always easy to define – according to my Rabbi, Brooklyn (for example) has no minhag hamakom because of the diversity of the population.

    So, in random conclusion, men should keep their eyes off women, women should stop judging other women and everyone should dress appropriately according to their shitta and weather.

  • #912769

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Let’s see d=4, e=5, l=13, etc… Doesn’t seem to work for me.

    Well, no wonder it doesn’t work for you. L would be 12, not 13. 🙂

    The (23)(15)(12)(6)

  • #912770

    R.T.
    Member

    Thank you wolf. I stand corrected.

  • #912771

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    You don’t need to make fun

  • #912772

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    You don’t need to make fun

    I wasn’t making fun of RT. She(?) made a joke (A/B ciphers for denim) and I simply went further with it.

    If it came off as making fun of her, then I humbly apologize. It wasn’t my intent to do so.

    The Wolf

  • #912773

    R.T.
    Member

    R.T. is a he (No Machloket there).

    Wolf — Not to worry, no offence taken whatsoever.

  • #912774

    kollel-wife – I’m sorry you think I’m being difficult. I’m not, I’m simply trying to point out the difficulties of using vagueries and generalisations. I’m trying to show how almost anything you pick is subjective. Halocho is covering knees, elbows, neckline (to whatever degree your Rav holds necessary). After that, it’s all subjective. Sure, women can wear clothes that conform with the letter of halocho and are nevertheless totally inappropriate, but that cannot be defined in any real way. So using terms such as long hanging hair or wobbly high heels is not particularly helpful to the discussion. You are attempting to define the indefinable, and, however hard you try, that just isn’t going to happen.

  • #912775

    shmendrick – I can name many Rabbonim who disagree with Rav Falk on this issue. There is one in my kehilla who told me personally that he, and I quote, “do[es] not allow Oz VeHadar Levusha in [his] house, and if it was up to [him] [he] would not allow in it in any house” [sic.]. Just because Rav Falk is a posek, that doesn’t make him infallible – he’s not the Pope, we aren’t Catholic. And unfortunately, he doesn’t know the norms. His dislike of denim is based on how denim was perceived in 1930s. He feels that because denim was primarily worn by people who were considered lower-class in those times, it is unfitting for a Bas Melech. This is, and has been for many years, not the case but Rav Falk still holds to the belief that it is. And you say he knows the norms?

    You disavow “one-size fits all”, yet that’s exactly what Oz VeHadar Levusha is.

    And there is no need to do teshuva for something that is not an aveira.

    In return for your free advice, may I humbly offer some of my own to you. Stop jumping on every thread trying to shove your own view down everybody else’s throats disguised as basic Yiddishkeit. Stop starting threads whose sole purpose is to push forward your latest random chumra. And listen to other people. Who knows, you may just learn something…

  • #912776

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    His dislike of denim is based on how denim was perceived in 1930s. He feels that because denim was primarily worn by people who were considered lower-class in those times, it is unfitting for a Bas Melech.

    I’m not aware linen was ever used by the lower classes. His dislike of it is for the obvious tznius reasons, that I need not spell out.

  • #912777

    Popa – What “obvious tznius reasons” are there for disliking denim? And why do you presume to know better why Rav Falk dislikes denim than, say, someone who actually asked him (in this case, myself)? He associates denim with what miners and the suchlike wore in the 1930s, which was often denim due to its durability and toughness.

    Unless I am reading your post wrong and you were being facetious. In which case, I apologise.

  • #912778

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    because you don’t even know that he’s not talking about denim. he’s talking about linen! As anyone who is familiar with tznius knows!

  • #912779

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “That interprets into the equivalent of saying that the posek is incompetent!”

    I am not his/her lawyer (Rav Falk or the user you are disagreement with), but what whitecherry wrote was interpreted differently by me than the way you interpreted it. Rav Falk is a posek, probably a first class posek (I dont know him, or the sefer mentioned), but a posek can only answer a question, to the one who asks it, otherwise, all he can give, are the general rules. Unless of course he has ruach hakodesh and his sayings and writings contain the answers to every eventuality.

  • #912780

    Popa – Thanks for clarifying. I apologise again, most profusely, for not spotting you facetiousness…

  • #912781

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “He associates denim with what miners and the suchlike wore in the 1930s, which was often denim due to its durability and toughness.”

    Why doesnt he associate denim with its 2012 wearers?

    “Unless I am reading your post wrong and you were being facetious.”

    Have you ever seen PBA NOT facetious?

  • #912782

    Halocho is covering knees, elbows, neckline (to whatever degree your Rav holds necessary). After that, it’s all subjective. Sure, women can wear clothes that conform with the letter of halocho and are nevertheless totally inappropriate, but that cannot be defined in any real way. So using terms such as long hanging hair or wobbly high heels is not particularly helpful to the discussion. You are attempting to define the indefinable, and, however hard you try, that just isn’t going to happen.

    Halacha also includes Tova’as B’shuk / Vered. See Kesubos 72B. We all agree that there is no one answer as per what that includes, but we can also agree that it means dressing like a Zona. What a Zona dresses like can be up for discussion.

  • #912783

    gavra – I think you said what I meant.

  • #912784

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Can you name ONE single Rav/posek who disagrees with Rav Falk on THIS issue???”

    what is “this” issue?

  • #912785

    notasheep
    Member

    Just to put in my two pennies worth – this discussion began with talking about long skirts and denim.

    Long skirts; I used to wear floor-sweeping (denim!) skirts as a teenager, but that was a phase I grew out of and from an outside point of view I can say that it really doesn’t look good on someone who feels they should be presenting herself as an ambassador for royalty. However, this is floor-sweepers I am talking about. Ankle-length is fine and many women in my community wear skirts on or just above their ankle (please don’t make any comments about ‘just because everyone does it’ – JMH knows where I live and would completely agree with me).

    Denim; stonewashed/faded denim looks very, very casual and highly unrefined – as someone once pointed out to me, it looks as though that part of the outfit has been worn away, especially when it’s on the seat area. However, darker colours of denim are absolutely fine, it really depends on whether the skirt in question is a jean skirt or just a skirt that happens to be made out of denim. Jean skirts can be extremely figure-hugging…

    On a final note, there is a certain trend recently where ladies and girls wear tunics with a pencil skirt underneath, or dresses that have a very straight style skirt. The problem with these is that many of these skirts and dresses are made of materials that ride up when sitting down, even if the skirt itself covers the knees perfectly when standing. And I know of many people who fall into this mistake, and one can see three inches above their knees once they sit down. Not kidding. And the other problem, tunic-wise, is that these people are buying the pencil skirt to make the tunic more tzanua! Go figure it out. Maybe instead of ranting about long skirts we should be hearing tznius talks about tunics…

  • #912786

    shmendrick
    Member

    just my hapence – “I can name many Rabbonim who disagree with Rav Falk on this issue. There is one in my kehilla who told me personally that he, and I quote, “do[es] not allow Oz VeHadar Levusha in [his] house, and if it was up to [him] [he] would not allow in it in any house” [sic.].”

    After reading your entire comment in which you claim “I can name many Rabbonim who disagree with Rav Falk” I searched your comment and did not find that you NAME even one rav or possek that disagrees with Rav Falk on this issue!!

    I ask you again, from my earlier comment to you:

    “Can you name ONE single Rav/posek who disagrees with Rav Falk on THIS issue??? I don’t think so!”

    As a godol once said, “A dannof is not someone who CAN steal, but one who actually steals. A lamdon is not someone who CAN learn, but one who actually learns.” Likewise, if you CAN name “many” rabbonin but fail to actually name even one, you have proven that you have failed your assertion.

  • #912787

    shmendrick
    Member

    apushatayid – “Can you name ONE single Rav/posek who disagrees with Rav Falk on THIS issue???” what is “this” issue?

    Long skirts (ankle length)as asked by OP, considered a tznius problem per Oz V’Hadar Levushah by Rav Falk.

  • #912788

    longarekel
    Member

    The fact that this type of clothing is being discussed, already indicates that it is not tzenius.

  • #912789

    OneOfMany
    Member

    Let’s have a discussion about pleated skirts.

  • #912790

    notasheep
    Member

    I will for once reveal a few private details. I live in Gateshead. Rav Falk’s own daughters wear skirts that reach to a couple of inches above their ankles, as well as many other women and girls from the most respected families here. The ‘long skirts’ that Rav Falk says are not tznius are those that go below the ankles and sweep the floor, as I mentioned earlier.

    The only problem that I have personally with OVL is that it is very much ‘one size fits all’ and as I have said many times, it is so easy to follow those guidelines when a girl has no figure to speak of whatsoever. However, someone like me, if I were to follow the exact inch-for-inch guidelines given, would end up looking like a bin bag (I am not joking). That’s all I have to say on OVL

  • #912791

    shemdrick – You asked me if I could, not if I would. I can. I mentioned in a previous post that my Rav disagrees on this issue, however it would make no difference to name him as a) you do not know him as you do not live in the same city as me (or even the same country), though he is well known to those who live (or have lived) here; and b) you would not believe me because you are intent on pushing your view on others. So why name names you wouldn’t recognise or accept? Hence, I simply responded to your querying my ability to name with the affirmative. And your last piece of illogic (what’s a ‘dannof’ btw?) literally left me speechless. If a lamdam is, at any point, not learning does he cease being a lamdan? Did the Great Train Robbers lose the title ‘ganavim’ when they were asleep?

  • #912793

    iced
    Member

    The decription you give denotes an Avi Weiss type rabbi gave you that response, jmh.

  • #912794

    iced – You have no idea of the Rav in question yet you have no qualms about slandering him?! He is far from left-wing, as anyone who knows him could tell you. But he disagrees with you, so he must be on Avi Weiss’ team, and therefore (probably) an apikores too. You really sicken me. Honestly, you really do.

  • #912795

    YW Moderator-007
    Moderator
  • #912796

    Mod-007 – Ta.

  • #912797

    plonis3141
    Member

    happenstance – KW never said she was trying to be specific. You keep trying to force her to be, so that you can nail her on something.

    She is correct. There is a spirit of the law here. A woman has to be careful to be within the letter of the law and also to be within the spirit of the law.

    SJSinNYC – It is hard to believe that an Orthodox rabbi claims that collarbones are not one of the things that the halacha dictates has to be covered.

    In terms of this whole discussion about Rabbi Falk’s Oz V’hadar Levusha – Rabbi Falk speaks about cultural norms in most yeshivish/kollel-type communities. I don’t think he is addressing what is culturally accepted in other types of communities. His p’sakim that refer to what is “accepted” should probably be taken in that context. It is difficult for people who do not come from those types of communities to relate to things he has sensitivities to. Also, he does make distinctions throughout the book between those things that are Shulchan Aruch and those that have to do with being “refined”.

    And those who discussed Rabbis whose daughters/granddaughters don’t do certain things – there are many instances where a Rav can believe that something is halacha, and yet their daughters and granddaughters do not conform. That does not indicate that the Rav “holds” that way, it indicates that the girls involved may have a hard time with it.

    And back to the original point of this thread the OP was asking what is wrong with denim and very long skirts – when I said “regal”, I meant the same thing as “refined” or “bas melech” or however you want to put it. We don’t always need to be formal, but we don’t want to look like we are basically walking around in our “house clothes”. (Please don’t start on ladies walking outside in housecoats or robes – I don’t personally think that is acceptable either.) The fact that people walk around that way nowadays doesn’t make it recommended.

  • #912798

    plonis – First of all, I think you may want to rely a little less on your predictive text thing ;-). It’s ‘just my hapence’, not ‘happenstance’.

    Second, I know KW was being general. That was my whole problem. I wasn’t trying to get her to be specific, I was showing her that in trying to say what people should and shouldn’t wear based on what is and isn’t ‘regal’ you would need specificity (THIS is regal, THIS is not) which is impossible. I know there is the ‘spirit’, but that’s just it, a ‘spirit’, an abstract, an indefinable ‘something’. To try and make overly general statements like ‘long hanging hair’ really misses the point. The ‘spirit’ of tznius is one of the those things that you cannot say exactly what it is, but you can see it when it isn’t there. (I know that sounds a bit paradoxical, but I think you understand what I mean…)

    Third, as regards to Oz V’Hadar Levusha, Rav Falk may make distinctions between ‘halacha’ and ‘refined’, but it still not really appropriate to try and define ‘refined’ in the first place. See above.

    Finally, if my Rav would have a problem with denim, I can assure you that his daughters and granddaughters wouldn’t wear it. He isn’t that kind of Rav to not say anything to them if he didn’t like it, they aren’t the type of daughters and granddaughters to do it if he didn’t like it. I have enough inside knowledge of the family to say that quite categorically. Besides, I have asked him outright if he has a problem with it. The answer was a resounding ‘no’.

  • #912799

    apushatayid
    Participant

    There seems to be a machlokes between shmendrick and notasheep regarding the definition of “long skirt” according to Rav Falk.

    According to shmendrick “Long skirts (ankle length)as asked by OP, considered a tznius problem per Oz V’Hadar Levushah by Rav Falk.”

    According to the non sheep “The ‘long skirts’ that Rav Falk says are not tznius are those that go below the ankles and sweep the floor”

    Unless of course shmendrick refers to women whose ankles sweep the floor?

  • #912800

    notasheep
    Member

    Plonis – please don’t insult my intelligence. I already said that I live in Gateshead and so I know who and what I am talking about – have you ever been to Gateshead? The entire community has certain standards and with exception of one or two families (who are by no means related to any choshuv rov of any sort) every single family here keeps to that standard which makes Gateshead what it is.

    And again, with all due respect, the same goes for shmendrick – I know what I am talking about.

  • #912801

    notasheep – I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick, plonis was referring to a comment of mine about my Rav and his daughters and granddaughters. Not to daughters or granddaughters of rabbonim in Gateshead.

  • #912802

    plonis3141
    Member

    correct, I was referring to hapences’s comment about daughters, etc. (This time I got the “name” right.)

    And I have no idea who hapence’s Rav is and I was not trying to imply anything about him or his daughters and granddaughters. I was just making a point that what someone’s progeny wear or don’t wear should not be taken to mean that that Rav approves or not. Of course, if you asked outright, that is something different. I don’t think anyone believes that denim is assur in halacha, it is just “not done” in some communities. That is what the original post was about.

    notasheep – I was certainly not trying to insult your intelligence. If you think I was following exactly who posted what on these two pages, you are wrong. And I don’t even know what I said about Rav Falk being from Gateshead that could be insulting. I am agreeing with you that there is a certain standard there that everyone adheres to, which is what I assume he is basing his opinions on. (I have actually never been there, but it sounds like a pretty frum place.)

  • #912803

    Josh31
    Member

    There appears to be those who define modest dress as a requirement to exhibit piety.

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