Short Skirts

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  • #2009541
    ujm
    Participant

    How can our communities correct this untziusdik catastrophe?

    #2009617
    Kuvult
    Participant

    How about you mind you own business?
    Ever hear the story about the Rebbe and Talmid in the street and an untznius woman walked by? The Talmud ran and put his face against the wall while the Rebbe kept walking. The Talmid came back and asked his Rebbe how he could keep walking. The Rebbe said, “Better to see an untznius woman and think about a wall than to see a wall and think about an untznius woman.”
    This shows you have the problem. Get help.

    #2009629
    philosopher
    Participant

    Kuvult, you are blaming the victim in this case. It is an assault on men to wear short skirts, period. And I’m not a male so don’t tell me to get help.

    #2009630
    Lostspark
    Participant

    Once you wear a short skirt, you are no longer a part of the “community”. Thus there are no short skirt problems in our communties. A lack of tznius in that high of a regard is an automatic opt out if frumkiet.

    #2009631
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    While I agree, once again, with the creepiness factor of this being brought up by a man (and always the same man ), I hope you two aren’t actually disagreeing. This is a real problem, one that floored me when I saw how gutsy young girls could be while considering themselves shores mitzvos.

    I don’t and would never take that stand against an individual who dresses that way, I do not judge people’s choices and hope for reciprocity on that. But after a handful of influential people jumped in, and it became more “acceptable” than I ever would have imagined, it becomes a problem for all of us trying to raise young girls.

    #2009644
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    How can our communities correct this untziusdik catastrophe?

    Tell them to wear shaitels which cover their ankles.

    #2009651
    koltov7
    Participant

    Every neshama is chelek elokah mmal mamesh. The eibishter wants the mitzvah of every single yid – regardless of dress. Chag sameach and may we all be together in yerushalayim tekaf umeyad mamesh right now.

    #2009661
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    How can our communities correct this untziusdik catastrophe, Yes I was once watching the st. patricks day parade and could not belive the size of the kilts the bagpipers wore

    #2009666
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    If someone is sure about herself, doesn’t have to show off her body.

    #2009667
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Koltuv – Hashem wants their mitzvos but also does not want their aveiros. Hashem wants the mitzvos of mechalelei shabbos, ochlei nevelos, and even murderers; that doesn’t give us the right to pretend that the mitzvah that is hardest for women shouldn’t be regarded such, or that it is any less of a “bor bershus horabim”.

    I don’t see why it’s creepy for men to discuss their displeasure and spiritual plight when they want s safe atmosphere in say, shul, chasunos, or just walking around in a frum neighborhood. We try to avoid times square for that very reason, and bnos yisroel hakedoshos have a responsibility, not to actively save men from being nichshal(aside from their husbands) but to passively not be a walking michshol for others. Chazal say this in many places, comparing it to leaving your door open in front of a ganav.

    Of course, the visceral, unthinking response of “mind your business” “don’t look if it bothers you”, only underscores the depth of the miseducation and ignorance even in the yeshiva world. The chofetz chaim chastised his granddaughter for merely walking around the house back and forth in the presence of esteemed rabbonim(even though they couldn’t see her) saying “do you think we’re malachim?” – this story is in vehair aynaynu and many other shmiras aynayim seforim. See peleh yoetz on tznius where he says clearly that women will be punished first for the sins of men if they were the cause thereof.

    No one’s saying men shouldn’t protect themselves and practice shmiras aynayim, but those who make their lives painful and difficult at best and sinful at worst, are definitely responsible.

    Men pointing this out is necessary because it is us who feel the pain every time a woman flippantly makes an untznius decision in the department store, choosing to flout the will of Hashem in order to look a certain way “for themselves” (read, to get attention).

    Syag – do you feel the same way about all personal choices? What is the difference between someone who cheats the government, makes a chilul Hashem and by so doing hurts the community…someone who chooses to go to work and shul when sick with covid, and a woman who hurts her community by dressing against halacha? The first two are a physical infliction, snd the latter spiritual; you can’t have it both ways…either you’re libertarian at the expense of others or you agree that there are individual choices that affect others and need to be acted upon.

    What communal action would help? Revamping our tznius clothing stores, removing offensive “flattering” styles, running campaigns to make tznius “cool” and fashionable, with apps and such that appeal to younger women

    It would take a lot to change our system, but bais yaakov changed the face of female jewry; it can be done. The first step is abandoning the “you do what you do and I won’t judge” mentality. We’re all in the same boat regardless of how directly or indirectly our actions affect others; I’m sure you’re aware of the mesilas yeshorims moshol of the ship and the passenger who made a hole in his cabin, saying “it’s just my cabin!”

    As the mesilas yeshorim writes in the hakdama, in proportion to the simplicity and pervasiveness of the knowledge of his main points in the sefer, so is the lack of knowledge thereof…people say things like syag and forget what they learned in yeshiva all those years ago.

    #2009668
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Someone who wears short skirts should see herself as not being spiritually vaccinated which can hurt others.

    #2009687
    mobico
    Participant

    Refuse to consider Shidduchim for those who do not dress the part. Both families / Bachurim and Shadchanim.
    Obviously, there are some communities where these regulaer breaches of Halachah are “acceptable”. I’m talking about those who are making inroads where it is not yet the norm.

    #2009702
    Mindful
    Participant

    When there is extreme on one side, it causes extreme on the other side. When girls are taught in BY schools that their worth is dependent on how unattractive they make themselves, and there are teachers who walk around with rulers and measure girls skirts, it causes many to rebell and to hate the idea of tznius.
    When girls see teachers who are dressed with complete lack of personality and color, all black and same stiff wigs, it really backfires on many girls.

    #2009697
    ujm
    Participant

    Ironically, before marriage they excuse their behavior with that they need to dress like that for shidduchim. After marriage they excuse their behavior with that they need to dress like that for their husband.

    While in Bais Yaakov I don’t think you’ll find much of this problem. It often starts (among those with this problem) after graduation.

    #2009700
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Gadol – why get married only to have a chiyuv to divorce a wife for breaking hilchos tznius without getting a kesuba? That’s the din…

    A marriage built on pritzus isn’t going to last; tznius provides the bedrock foundation for a healthy married life. I agree that discounting eligible women is wrong, but would you consider them eligible if they were not shomer shabbos? What about if they binge watched all day on their phones? Halacha determines these things, not our western-washed minds.

    Or is it just a “personal choice”?

    Why are we told to “look in the mirror” when it comes to tznius issues which impact us directly, but you don’t mind being the “chilul Hashem” police when it comes to publicly shaming people who are dishonest with the government, or men who supposedly hold their ex wives prisoners (not only the men, but innocent family members who live with them)?

    Either we “look in the mirror” and don’t oppose anyone who violates the Torah, or we understand that despite our imperfections we do have a responsibility to give tochacha when applicable and at the very least arm ourselves with whatever tools we can against any and all breeches of Torah.

    The Torah isn’t yours to defend when you please and turn away when it’s a mitzvah that you don’t particularly care about.

    #2009701
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Also, it’s painful to have to repeat it over and over…the mesilas yeshorims moshol; please try and listen and suspend preconceived notions for just one moment….what one person does affects all of us and is not “none of your business”

    We all learned this in 7th grade. Please people; give the sefer another go, it’ll be worth it. The mesilas yeshorim is a life changing sefer, it truly is.

    I’m reminded of a shmuz given by rabbi bentzion shafier. He spoke to a group of women and tried to deprogram them of the notion that they should change their husbands and make mentchen out of them. After the shmuz, he received emails saying that they loved his speech, but how then can we change our husbands?

    Many, many women there completely missed the point. He was trying to change the perspective; unravel decades of neurological pathways – this was to little avail.

    Same here – when it comes to tznius “don’t look!” Is so hopelessly ingrained that one might need a lobotomy to remove it. Or a good session of mesilas yeshorim, for about 2 years everyday.

    #2009712
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    When girls are taught in BY schools that their worth is dependent on how unattractive they make themselves

    They are not being taught that.

    They are being taught to value their p’nimius, and to respect themselves.

    #2009723
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    A spring when pushed to much will retract, similarly the girls or women.

    #2009733
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Avira, the mashel of sinking the ship is mentioned by the Kli Yakar, 100 years before the Mesilas Yesharim, in Parashas Kedoshim on lo siso alov chet. It is a Midrash Rabba Vayikra (4,6).

    #2009734
    Yserbius123
    Participant

    I’m with @SyagLchochma on this one. This is a woman’s issue and should be addressed in the Bais Yaakovs, Seminaries, and women shiurim. I don’t know what constitutes a short skirt in the minds of everyone here and I’m not enough of a Talmid Chacham to say what length is considered halachically tzniyusdik. So I suggest we continue to learn, daven, and set good examples for klal yisroel and, if you’re a woman, continue to dress and act in a way that other woman would want to emulate.

    #2009750
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    They say the skirt should be long enough to cover the knees.

    #2009786
    ujm
    Participant

    To add to AviraDeArah and Philosopher’s points:

    Would you find it objectionable if women critiqued a behavior of certain groups of men who were acting incorrectly in public? Such as, say, if some men made a habit of walking barechested past your house everyday on their way to the pool. You wouldn’t object if a woman started a thread here (or a conversation on the lawn in the bungalow colony or at a shul kiddush or at a community gathering) complaining of such unkempt and improper behavior.

    How much moreso when severe halachos (discussed above in this thread) are being violated by the perpetrators themselves — as well as causing thousands of more innocent bystanders to unwillingly violate halachos themselves by even inadvertently seeing them. לִפְנֵי עִוֵּר

    Nor do I think you’d object if a woman complained about the men’s sports team being too wild or noisy in the neighborhood. Or a woman complaining about some Kollel guys loafing in the street rather than learning in the Beis Medrash.

    Furthermore, as everyone knows and surely often heard, rabbonim can and often do directly discuss this (and related) issue of women’s tznius from the pulpit. And at Shiurim, drashos and mussar schmoozes for men (as well as for women.) And the last I checked most Orthodox rabbonim, other than those affiliated with Avi Weiss, are men.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Halacha itself (see the Gemora, Shulchan Aruch, Rambam, sh”ut, and the Seforim Hakedoshim throughout the ages) clearly and unambiguously state and stress that the obligation and imperative to enforcing and insuring compliance with Hilchos Tznius are the direct responsibility of every husband and father regarding their wives and daughters. He is halachicly required and deputized to insure its compliance.

    The previous points made by AviraDeArah and Philosopher are just as important and are in addition to what I just added.

    #2009792

    > While in Bais Yaakov I don’t think you’ll find much of this problem. It often starts (among those with this problem) after graduation.

    I think we often missing the logical links in such cases. If the above statement is partially true, then it is obviously a problem with educational system if the problem starts after (as Mindful explained). Similarly, for MO school graduates that do not take tefiling to college, the problem started at school.
    A longer view – when we blame “Reform”, we sometimes do not consider that something in the Jewish community made Reform an attractive alternative at the time.

    #2009793

    Mindful, what is the explanation given for the preference of black? I could not get the theory if it out of my daughters.

    In Gemora, black was for those who wanted to go sin and would go to a different city. True, there were inappropriate colors (the Rav who assaulted an inappropriately dressed lady at the shuk who turned out to be non-Jewish and he gladly paid the fine). And it is cultural (I think an appropriate present for an Israeli lady is linen clothes, while for Babylonian – colorful).

    But what is specific explanation for black v. any other reasonable colors?

    #2009827
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    AAQ – black wasn’t only used to disguise one’s self; the gemara means that you should minimize the chilul Hashem if someone chas veshalom is going to sin – the black is to not stand out and be recognized, not a sign of a sinful person or even a sign of mourning/somberness (although i wouldn’t be surprised if one of the meforshim says so on this part)

    If black were the color that sinful people would wear, the gemara wouldn’t say to wear it, if the point is to minimize chilul Hashem or even if it were to impress the severity of what he is about to do

    #2009834
    flyer
    Participant

    It’s all being done with approval from men.
    Girls don’t all of a sudden start wearing short skirts.
    If fathers would be involved and say they don’t like it then ladies wouldn’t buy it for their daughters and the same with the husband’s.
    But the ladies with the short skirts have the husband’s that are wearing these tiny tight pants that hardly go past their knees. So it goes hand in hand. And the tight shirts
    They are just as disgusting even if not officially untziusdik.

    #2009847
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    “Would you find it objectionable if women critiqued a behavior of certain groups of men who were acting incorrectly in public?”

    No, but in reality, womens’ complaints about the appearance or behavior of men are typically met with either total silence, dismissed out of hand or rationalized as not technically being problematic under halacha. In their relations and interactions with women, these ehrliche yidden are always living under self-styled chumrahs but in relation to their own behavior as perceived by women, it is mega kulahs that govern.

    #2009859
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Gadol, i don’t think ujm was making the case for moral equivalency of that particular issue, as tznius is more severe for women than men, yet you’re agreeing to his argument that had the gender of the complaint been reversed, it would not bother you – that’s a bias and a clear indication that you agree that one gender can criticize another as long as that gender is female.

    #2009861
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Also, i don’t believe if ujm’s case of men walking shirtless would happen that people would dismiss or minimize it; it’s a big pirtzah, much more so than men wearing tight pants, which while a different discussion, is halachikally forbidden because of chimum, but that obviously isn’t as apparent. Men with supposedly self styled chumros (no television?) who you’re describing don’t wear tight pants.. That’s something the “cool” chevra in yeshivos do, much to the dismay of the hanhola

    #2009875
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Avirah- chill. You have a great way of explaining halachos, histories, and perspectives without frequent mudslinging but your “read” of people’s motives and thoughts seems to be lacking. Stick with your strength.

    #2009878
    Just Shteig
    Participant

    Don’t judge others just because they sin differently than you…..

    #2009879
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    “Would you find it objectionable if women critiqued a behavior of certain groups of men who were acting incorrectly in public?”

    some women in my neighborhood went to the 4th of July parade and the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums marched and the women were shocked at leanth of the kilts

    #2009897
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Syag, thank you for the compliment; i appreciate it, and i do try to avoid ad hominem; i was in a certain mood last night and looking back on the last thing i said, i think i was channeling someone else who posts here

    #2010140
    ujm
    Participant

    Clearly wearing a short skirt is even worse than wearing pants. Those with skirts that don’t cover the knees (even when sitting, bending, in a car, etc.) would be better off wearing a pair of pants.

    #2010145
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    UJM – i disagree; while of course you’re right that more ervah is shown by short skirts, and that will he a bigger michshol for men, i think the harm that wearing pants does to a woman’s perception of yiddishkeit and the tzurah of a bas yisroel might outweigh that factor – i think it would take a gadol b’yisroel to decide such a thing. Pants are a pirtzah in that they are a different category of attire altogether foreign to the Torah’s paradigm of jewish femininity; with a shorter skirt you can always change to a longer one. From the perspective of a man trying to avoid shmiras aynayim pitfalls, this is irrelevant, but let us not forget that tznius impacts women as well, being their defining characteristic, as the gra explains in his famous letter.

    If a rov would advise women who were unwilling to lengthen their skirts that they’re better off wearing pants, the results wouldn’t be longer skirts, it would be the birth of a completely new pirtzah , along with all of its roots in feminism and its own unique tznius issues (i.e. form fitting pants) that heretofore were not an issue. Do we really want to internalize a new nisayon for our already battle weary bnos yisroel? “Miri wears pants…her rabbi said she’s better off doing that than wearing short skirts…must be pants aren’t so bad” will be the sentiment of many, many young women.

    It can also be argued that the actual gain that men would have from this proposition wouldn’t be that much, since they would still encounter short skirts, as thus proposition will be no less enforceable than our current guidelines…

    So a shailah posed to a gadol would be, which is more important? A possibly significant – although hard to predict – mitigation of erva for the benefit mostly of men, or the core change and corruption of the values of jewish dress, kedushah and identity on the part of the women? As my tone implies, I believe the latter.

    #2010152

    this sounds like a silly argument, bordering on inappropriate – Avira preferring short skirts and UJM – pants … As to the answer to your hypothetical question, it well may depend on who is asking. Avira clearly thinks of someone from his community and he has a point. Someone from a different community might have a different attitude depending on her environment. So, maybe there is no one answer here. Teiku.

    #2010223
    ujm
    Participant

    Avira, I find it difficult to see any Godol B’Yisroel giving a public response to which is worse in such a tradeoff. That would be akin to paskening whether it’s worse to eat a McDonald’s cheeseburger or chazir mamish. I could say that if someone IS going to do one or the other, and there’s no way to stop them, the cheeseburger is less worse. But a posek can’t make such a public ruling, even if it’s true, because it might give license to the uninitiated to think that somehow a cheeseburger isn’t so treif.

    Same with short skirts versus pants.

    I think your secondary argument that this proposition wouldn’t be that much gain is very very shvach. ANY quantity reduction in the extent of the problem has a huge impact on lessening the issue for the victims. Just because the terrible issue isn’t entirely alleviated doesn’t dispute that any improvement will be keenly felt.

    Your opening argument has merit. Not to necessarily agree that it is persuasive over my argument, but it certainly is a point that needs to be considered. But even if society or segments thereof went with your shitta, in principle short skirts are more pritzusdik than pants, in my view.

    #2010288
    ujm
    Participant

    To understand the severity, the Chazon Ish went so far as to declare that he was convinced that if at the time of the Sanhedrin a woman would have appeared in public in pants, she would have been brought to Beis Din and executed for behaving with gross indecency.

    #2010306
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Ujm; do you have a source for that?

    #2010342
    ujm
    Participant

    Avira, it is brought down in Maaseh Ish. Years ago I posted the volume and page number on a thread on this site, but I can’t locate it at the moment.

    #2010407

    R Ovadia Yabi’a Omer 6 YD 14 answers exactly this question and says if this is a binary choice, trousers are better

    Others add a couple of considerations similar to ones Avira is mentioning:
    1) trousers might be OK in some community, but should not be worn in those places where they are not acceptable
    2) skirts might have become a symbol analogous to the kippah – this is how Jewish ladies identify themselves as observant. My projection from the use of kippah analogy: you could and should use it generally in friendly atmosphere, but OK to avoid when you are in non-friendly environment

    #2010412

    There seems also to be a difference of opinion what R Chisda means by “shok” in Berachot 24:
    Hazon Ish thinks it is a lower part of the leg, Mishna Berurah and Moshe Feinstein – upper.
    Hazon Ish reasoning – nobody in their wildest dreams (pardon the pun) would walk with revealed upper leg, so R Chisda obviously means “lower”. This is, obviously, cultural, and R Feinstein had different environment starting w/ 1960s … Not sure about Radin.

    Do we know what was typical hem line in 3rd century Bavel? That would resolve the shok machlokes.

    PS economists claim that the length of the hemline is inversely proportion to GDP growth rate ..

    #2010420
    ujm
    Participant

    Chacham Ovadia Yosef zt’l also advised certain Yeshivos not to accept families where the mother wears trousers.

    As far as a skirt bring an identifying attire of Jewish women, a short skirt (specifically) is no more Jewishly identifying than trousers are.

    The Yabia Omer you cited appears to agree with my premise regarding trousers versus short skirts.

    #2010750
    charliehall
    Participant

    Why are men looking at women other than their wives long enough to measure their skirt lengths?

    #2010780
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    I don’t know if rav ovadia would have said that regarding a charedi neighborhood, as AAQ pointed out earlier; in sefardi communities, levels of religious observance among those who refer to themselves as orthodox vary quite a lot. For such a community, I agree that pants are a better choice, as this isn’t corrupting others or bringing in a foreign nisayon into the minds of women.

    #2010832
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    So they have something to contribute to the Tzinius Broigas which is ranked as No. 2 on the CR thread rankings, only to the Shiduch Crisis, with variations of Trump Derangement Syndrome and Techeles coming at a close tie for third. Fish and game wardens drive around with pickup trucks with long rulers built into the truck hatch for measuring the allowable catch. The Taliban and Revolutionary Guard “morals police” walk around with walking sticks/batons with metric measurements for measuring skirt lengths Maybe UJM and some of his really ehrliche chevrah can buy some of these essential tools on ebay so they are equipped to administer arbah makos to those pritzusdike women they confirm are in violation (perhaps with a few cm safe harbor leeway like the police use when ticketing for speeding violations)

    #2010902
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Gadol, i think you meant 40 lashes, which are in reality 39

    #2010905
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Also, we used to use 3 braided whips, not sticks, for makos – but rest assured, recalcitrant husbands would be beat up as well when they are obligated to divorce but refuse

    #2010914
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The gemora says, how great are the hachamim who said forty means thirty nine, but we don’t find the same expression by sefiras haomer where fifty is forty nine? I heard, that by lashes it is specially great how they showed mercy on the individual when possible.

    #2010972
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Thank you to our resident scholars for so elegantly explaining the finer points of how the chumrah police will enforce their vision of tzinius for bnos yisroel.

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