How Much Below the Knee Should a Skirt be?

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    But what if the girl does not plan to sit down?


    That is, what must be covered must of course always be covered, but who says that only a garment which is capable of that must be worn?

    The poskim do. Can we close this thread now?


    Now where’s the halacha that says that “covered in any position” is the appropriate measure?

    [Paraphrase: What must be covered must of course always be covered, but who says that only a garment which is capable of that must be worn?]

    A question which I don’t think would have been asked in

    earlier times due to the garments in question not being

    acceptable by the prevailing standards of tznius anyway.


    I think I was misunderstood. I was primarily trying to point out the difference between factual occurrences and halachic psak. If halacha (hypothetically) says that every women may not go out in the street wearing any clothing that does not guarantee complete coverage in any circumstance, it is still up to the individual to determine whether indeed that coverage is happening. “4 inches” or 17 inches notwithstanding.

    The lesser point I was trying to bring up is what does halacha say regarding women dressing? I read through oz vehadar levusha (which seems to be the only recent “scholarly” quasi attempt at defining the rules)and found it nearly devoid of persuasive halakhic authority on the exact limits. It is full of emotional rhetoric and while perhaps inspiring to some, I feel strongly that it does more harm than good.

    Some halachos of tznius are flexible depending on the minhag of the place and a few are not. Which are which? I’ve seen this discussed before here and elsewhere, and I’m bringing it up because instead of everyone announcing whatever plops into their head about how others should dress, shouldn’t they learn and know something first?

    Lior-obviously, when a person keeps saying “obviously” without it being obvious, the person has lost the argument. 85% no, but 99.9% yes? If the issur is one of lifnei iver how far must one go crazy? Is this maachilo beyadayim? Why aren’t veils required at all times for the few people who will have bad thoughts? Lifnei iver could only restrict a person so much… What other issurim are there?


    Are any of the actual sources directed at women? All the sources I’ve learned were directed at men, telling men exactly what they are not allowed to see but not telling women what women are allowed to show.


    We had a good discussion regarding these issues here as well.


    Maybe all men should be forced to wear those blinders that they put on horses and other animals, to prevent them from being distracted by things they might see. Since the problem is apparently in THEIR nature, perhaps the solution also should be on them. (JK)


    fny: You think that not going out in a mini-skirt “only” because of lifnei iver!? What source is there that going out like that is not okay?


    Lior: I don’t understand your question. Is it okay to wear a mini skirt? I offered no halakhic opinion.

    Any act by a female with the intent of causing ossur thoughts by men would likely be lifnei iver (perhaps even if no such thoughts occur). If the intent is not there it would likely depend on the degree of certainty and control as to whether the assur thoughts would occur as per societal norms.

    These are my preliminary thoughts, and I welcome discussion focused on the process I used to arrive at my conclusion. Disagreeing with my conclusion because it is “obviously” wrong will get us nowhere.


    Why do you assume that lifnei iver depends on intent?


    I don’t assume that intent is necessary. I did assume that intent is sufficient. The reason for my assumption probably has to do with how the words of the posuk are phrased. “Lifnei iver” always makes me picture something like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown-

    a deliberate act of cruelty. It just seems to be the penultimate way of causing another to sin. It’s hard to imagine that the guy who deliberately e.g. puts treif candies out at a kiddush isn’t over even if no one eats. Mainly a feeling. You disagree?


    Why wouldn’t putting out treif candies for the purpose of the janitor eating them (but knowing that your friend might) equally be lifnei iver?

    Can you propose a case where intent makes a nafka mina whether or not a violation occurred?

    (Also, why would it be second to last?) πŸ™‚


    Dy: perhaps if it isn’t maachilo beyadayim. For example if one hosts one who isn’t religious at a wedding and they don’t bentch. If you had no intent there’s no issur as you had no control over the assur part of the behavior people have choices. However, if your purpose in inviting this person is so that he won’t bentch, I’d think you are over. No?


    Do you have a source?

    Sure, there’s always Rachamono liba boi, but I’m not sure how that affects the actual aveirah.


    I have to look at reb moshes tshuva again. Haven’t seen it in a while. Not offhand. And yes, that means that so far, if this conversation implies anything, it implies no issur (and ask a lor for practical guidance).


    I lost you there.


    I have no source offhand. Thus my conclusion of chumra is unsubstantiated. I am being consistent with my position on mixed gyms.


    This has nothing to do with chumra/kula, you just made a chilluk between a case of intent and a case of no intent.


    The chiluk is only relevant lechumra.


    The knee should not be visible even while sitting. (The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

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