Tzinus – Both Views are Correct
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- This topic has 34 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 6 months ago by cmamma.
August 17, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #588035mdlevineMember
In other threads there has been debates regarding tzinus and women should do such and such and men should not do such and such.
Both those who say that women should not dress and act in ways to attract men and those who say men should not look are BOTH correct. We learn this from the last paragraph of Shema.
In the last paragraph of the Shema, the Torah tells us “…and not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray…” the order seems to be reversed. First the eyes see something and only then does the heart desire it yet the Torah tells us the heart and then the eyes.
I heard on a tape from R’ M.M. Weiss that the reason for this is that the first time you see what you should not see by accident (e.g. someone stepped in front of you) you are not held liable for seeing, however, if your heart desires and you take the second look or go back at other times for hoping to see inappropriate sights, you are liable. Naturally, a person cannot try to fool themselves and claim they saw by accident when in their heart they looked on purpose.
Women should dress and act appropriately so as not to allow eyes to see them in the first place in an accidental non-tzinus situation.
AND equally as important
Men should train themselves to not explore after their hearts and to stop themselves before looking a second time no matter how she is dressed.
We see from here that both views are correctAugust 18, 2008 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #622439JosephParticipant
Thank you mdlevine. Could not have said it better myself.August 18, 2008 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #622440feivelParticipant
both ways are demanded by the Ribono Shel OlamAugust 20, 2008 3:38 am at 3:38 am #622441ujmParticipant
mdlevine, Emes! Though I haven’t seen anyone here be mechalek on the second type you mention.September 21, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #622442
Where does tznius come from? Who says?September 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am #622443
Give Me a Break,
Stop while you’re ahead! (You’re not really ahead anymore but stop non-the-less!)September 22, 2008 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #622444
I didn’t say it’s not true. I’m just interested in ascertaining the source.September 22, 2008 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #622445Thinking out loudParticipant
Regarding the hilchos tsnius currently in print: There seems to be some confusion due to its level of kedusha.
Current trends have led to the publishing of these sefarim. However, Tznius is a multi-faceted thing. There are basic halachos that need to be kept (specific areas that are ervah). There are some variant determinations by rabbanim about the exact definitions of those areas. One needs to ask their Rav.
In addition, there is a whole other area, that is extremely dependent on the situation. This area requires sensitivity and judgement. Girls are supposed to be taught judgement. When people are given black and white rules about things that require thought, eventually it can backfire. Not only do they dismiss judgements that they don’t understand yet, they also can chas v’sholom come to dismiss the basic halacha R”L.
In plain english: they can get confused by yiddishkeit, chas v’sholom.
There are communities that deal with all issues by making more and more rules. Chasuna Takanos, Shidduchim Takanos, etc. For some people, this works. They know what to do, what is acceptable, and they do not have to make their own decisions. Hopefully the personal avodas H-Shem or Yiras Shamayim of these people will be enhanced.
However, there is a huge price paid by those who do need to think for themselves in order to effectively be ovdei h-Shem. They may quickly be labeled rebels, for not accepting these extra – sometimes arbitrary – rules. And once someone considers himself a rebel, nothing matters any more.
The rules of tznius have not changed, and the sensitivities and judgements that need to be learned, need to be taught in every generation. The “simple solutions”, where there is a “short list” of acceptable clothing… or a uniform… have short term gains, but long term losses. When a generation of frum girls seem to be clueless, it is apparent that the problem is not because there aren’t enough rules. It’s because they have stopped listening. Why?
In the zechus of the efforts of the many people who are trying so hard to restore kedusha to klal yisroel, may we be zoche to merit teshuva shelaima, bifrat u’bichlal.
zochreinu l’chaim, Melech chafetz b’chaim.September 22, 2008 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #622447mdlevineMember
Here is a source:
Avraham and Sorah were on their way to Egypt. Avraham said to Sorah “See now, I have known that you are a woman of beautiful apprearance…” (12:11). Rashi wrote: Avraham was not aware of the beauty because of the extreme Tznius of both.
When they were crossing the river on the way, HaShem caused Avraham to see a reflection of Sorah in the water, this was the first time that Avraham noticed her beauty. (I heard this on a tape from R’M.M. Weiss)
Besides this being a source, if not the source, it also provides (additional) support for the position I wrote above.September 22, 2008 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #622448
But how does that prove the CHIYUV of tznius?September 22, 2008 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #622449Pashuteh YidMember
GiveMe, there is a mishna in Kesuvos 72a about Das Yehudis and also sources in Brachos regarding Ervah for krias shema and davening. Aside from the basic halachos, there are additional medrashim which praise various aspects of tznius. However, some of these may be extra-credit, and not m’ikar hadin.September 22, 2008 9:37 pm at 9:37 pm #622451
If you feel that it is a nice thing to refrain from eating meat etc even though we are specifically encuoraged for this… Then you can also believe that you have to have tznius if there are many ways to inference tznius.September 22, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #622452
With all due respect to Rashi, without whom we could never learn Torah properly,the fact that HE infers from Avraham’s words that he never before noticed that Sora was beautiful, does not mean that a) Avraham never noitced his wife was beautiful or even b) that we have to take that interpretation literally. Avraham could have meant any NUMBER of things by that statement, one idea being that he had taken her beauty so for granted (as SO MANY HUSBANDS often do), that it was not until he looked at her through the eyes of strangers, that he realized just HOW beautiful she was. Or he might have meant that looking at her objectively, he realized that there is a potential problem when deaaling with a corrupt society which objectifies its women. which could result in danger to him. I do not really feel that it is likely that Avraham Avinu never looked at his wife. Ha-Shem did not create us to be like that. We are supposed to enjoy the beauty of this world, that HE created, not abstain from it. The mitzvos are meant to enhance our pleasure of this world, while reminding us that the Borei Olam also wants us to follow His Torah. But we say V’chai Bahem, when referring to those mitzvos. There are entire brachos that we are supposed to say when we see the beauty of this world, a great ocean, a beautiful scene of nature… Tzniusdig behavior is meant to prevent us from abusing that pleasure, not to refrain from it altogether. Those who do that are called ascetics, and that is not a compliments to them. Remember the nazir may be holy, but it is because he is incapable of controlling himself that he has to become a nazir in the first place.September 22, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm #622453
intellegent: i dont agree with Give Me a Break, but he specifically said all he wants to know is where the makor mideoraiysa is. and so far no one here has been able to answer him legitimately. siting meforshim, medroshim, and speeches by rabbi weiss is all nice, but not legitimate. he is asking how do we know we have a chiyuv, and that it is not just a nice thing. pashuta yid is the only one who has answered on the very basic terms of tznius, al pi ervoh.
the real answer is that it is from Micha. the pasuk says “hatzne’a leches im elokecha”, which Rov Elazar Bar Tzadok in meseches sukkah (daf mem tes amud bays)connects to tznius in both dress and charachter. the passuk in micha is perek vuv pasuk ches.
now i am no lamdon, but 3 minutes googling got me this information. this is the entire makor, and that technically makes tznius not one of the 613 mitzvos (besides the fact that it is not listed in any of the lists of the 613 mitzvos that we have from different rishonim).
now that we go that out of the way, everyone can argue!!September 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am #622454
mdlevine:maybe im nuts, but in your first post, you sort of start of claiming both sides are correct, yet dont give the 2 true sides of the argument. the argument is how much covering is needed to be tznius, and what colors are or are not acceptable.
your statement, while correct, is whether the onus of tznius is on women to not dress a certain way, or for men to not look. as jews we believe both, that is why we dont do like our muslim cousins and make our wives wear burqas (except hose few nut balls in bet shemesh).
the truth is that in any argument in halacha, as long as both sides are leshem shomayim, and have what to stand on, both are divrei elokim chayim!
(intelligent, on more thing, your inferring the meat eating to tznius doesnt make much sense. one is a feeling he has, the other would be a commandment he is trying to know the source of. no similarity at all)September 23, 2008 3:00 am at 3:00 am #622455Thinking out loudParticipant
Regarding my post above… my apologies! I apparently posted it in the wrong “room”!! It was intended for a different tznius discussion!!!
Ksiva V’chasima Tova to allSeptember 23, 2008 9:02 am at 9:02 am #622456
Thanks for the makorSeptember 23, 2008 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #622457workinmomMember
You can look great and still be tznius. Who cares (!) what the mekor is minhag yisroel = kehalacha. Is it not? Anyways I cover my hair and dress great – and tznius. I work in a professional environment and manage very well…
Anyone interested in great places to shopSeptember 23, 2008 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #622458
workinmom: you clearly have not read teh thread that was this ones predicessor. im sure alot of people on this site would consider what you wear to not be tznius, hence the question as to wha the true makor for tznius is altogether. and it does make a differance if it is a deoraysa, or just a minhug of sorts. a minhug would mean that differant cultures would look at it differantly, a deioraysa will mean there is no discussionable gray matter. since its makor is in micha, and the gemora uses it as a baseboard for tznius, then it can be argued that tznius is a very “gray area” halacha, one that a person, with direction from a rov, may differ very differantly from another, and still be on teh same level of judaism.September 23, 2008 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #622459
According to Rashi “Kedoshim Tiyhu” is an all encompassing “Assay” regarding Arayos.
According to the Rambam the Lav of “Lo Sikrivu Ligalos Ervah” is all encompassing as well. I suppose Lifnei Iver would apply here as well.
R’ Moshe Z’L Paskened Limaaseh that “social dating” even when all parties are properly dressed, falls under Lo Sikrivu Ligalos Ervha. Acting and dressing in “untsniusdik manner” cant be far behind, can it?September 23, 2008 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #622460devorah1Member
to oomis115 Chutzpah how do you talk like that about Rashi it doesn’t matter what you think could be or that it doesn’t have to mean that- if that is what Rashi says that is it unless you have another Rishon that says different than RashiSeptember 23, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #622461
jphone, dont go and make assumptions from a tshuva of rav moshe. the only basis for tznius in terms of dress is from sefer micha. this is not me saying it, its the gemorrah. (check my previous post as to the makor of tznius.)September 23, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #622462
devorah, youve mistaken oomis15’s point. i can see how. she was in no way attacking rashi, chas vesholom. she was saying in his repsect, just because he wrote something, doesnt mean that he couldnt have meant something other then the way some rebbeim in 3rd grade explain it. the other explanations as to what the rashi may mean actually make alot more sense then what i was ever taught. it never made any sense that after 80 years of being married, he never knew what sora looked like. the 2 explanations fit very nicely with the words of rashi, and it wouldnt be the first time rashi should be taken in a non literal sense.September 24, 2008 2:48 am at 2:48 am #622463
Thank you Mariner. You are correct, and Devorah misunderstood what I posted, because she did not really read what I wrote. She read what she THOUGHT I wrote, and it is for this reason many Jews have machlokess with each other. Right away she called me out for my “chutzpah” without first ascertaining if she understood me correctly. There are shivim panim LaTorah, and each word, each letter, can teach us something important. Ramban OFTEN totally contradicts what we understand Rashi to be saying. Would Devora say he is full of chutzpah, too? I LOVE learning Chumash with Rashi. He was a brilliant, insightful tzaddik,without whose sage peirushim, we would never have the comprehension of Torah that we enjoy today.However, there are different ways of understanding not only a pasuk in the Torah, but also the meforshim on that pasuk. I stand by my first statement – I think that Avraham Avinu was really being forced to confront the fact that not only did he find his wife beautiful (something that was taken for granted by him because his love for her was based on way more than physical appearance), but the danger was that his enemies might take notice of her, as well, something he had never before had to consider. The potential danger opened his eyes to something that he took as a given.
To take this idea away from the Avos and Emahos, how many of us really notice the beauty of nature around us? We take beautiful sunsets for granted, the spring flowers, or autumn leaves, and maybe we only really notice it when someone razes the forest and the fields in order to make room for the building of condominiums and malls. Ok, the analogy is not 100% complete, because the real estate developer is not caring about the beauty he is about to destroy, but it often takes the actions of another, to make us aware of things that we take for granted.
Devora, I assure you I meant no disrespect to Rashi whatsoever. I do not agree with the interpretation of that particular Rashi, that would have us believe that Avraham did not notice his wife was a beautiful woman. Ha-Shem created us to recognize beauty and appreciate it.September 24, 2008 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #622464SarahMember
Personally, I usually say “I don’t understand” rather than “I don’t agree” when it comes to Rashi or similar. I prefer not to give the impression (even to myself) that my own perception and understanding is sufficient to “agree or disagree” with Meforshim.
When Meforshim state opposing views, I learn them both. I still don’t assert my own perception of logic to state my “agreement” or otherwise, and when I am unsure of an interpretation of a Meforash, I ask a Torah scholar who has better understanding of what the Meforash intended, not to get his “logic” on whether he “agrees” with Rashi or not. If he did offer his “logic” to disagree with Rashi, rather than provide his understanding of the interpretation of Rashi, I would know I had the wrong address.
I say this not to give criticism, but to offer an alternative manner of expression, as perhaps this might resonate with you. I know you meant well.September 24, 2008 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #622465
Sara, you also mean well, but one may accept or not accept any and all peirushim. I did not agree that what Rashi was actually conveying was that Avraham Avinu first noticed after decades of marriage that his wife was a beauty. That is not the same as saying I think Rashi was mistaken, though being human, that is always a possibility. As I stated previously Ramban and Rashi are often at odds, and they cannot both be right if they have opposing viewpoints. yes, we do learn both viewpoints, and one may resonate (to use
your own word) with us more strongly than another. That does not make us wrong for feeling that way. It happens that the idea that I expressed did in fact come from my chumash classes during my yeshivah educational years. I had a rov who even asked the class that very question on the Rashi cited. We agreed that our own understanding of the Rashi could be structured in a less literal way. He explained to us that Avraham Avinu was not merely concerned with the physical aspects of life, but that his spirituality superceded it, and it was only when he realized that there are others who would not look at his wife with spiritual admiration, but rather only raw physical lust, that he needed to take precautions.
Thank you for your comments. Have a gebensched and healthy new year.September 24, 2008 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #622466
Mariner. Dont make assumptions about a Teshuva of R’Moshe Z’l without having seen it. When I get home later today, I will bli neder get the exact siman of the teshuva. He discusses at length the general Lav of Lo Sikrivu Ligalos Ervah and all it entails in a very practical day to day setting and how it applies to both males and females. The Teshuva is found in the Yad Moshe index under “social dating” because that was the subject of the specific question asked, however the answer covers that, and a lot more.
I think a lot can be learned by what he says. I am not concerned about what he does not say or what people want to infer or not infer.September 24, 2008 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #622467
jphone, the teshiva talks about dating, not about color of clothing! YOU have decided that an inference may be made, not rav moshe.September 24, 2008 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #622468
I remember learning that even if 2 meforshim say the exact opposite, they are both correct in a way we don’t really understand. Correct me if I am wrong.September 24, 2008 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #622469
Actually the Teshuva addresses social dating, but in addressing social dating R’ Moshe covers the Lav of Lo Sikrivu. I’m not asking you to believe me. All I am asking, if you have this wish to jump down someones throat, is to READ the teshuva prior to doing so.
Did I mention the color of clothing? You infered that from my message. The very thing you are all over me about, you are guilty of.September 24, 2008 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #622470
Intelligent. You probably mean the concept of “ailu viailu…”. When it comes to halacha, you cant follow two opinions, unless you take the chumros of both 🙂
Find a Rav and follow his psak.September 24, 2008 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #622471
I wasnt talking about halacha. I was talking about a meforesh on tanach. You cannot always follow both opinions but they are still both right! There is even a concept about havaros that when the torah was given it sort of branched into 12 tubes and each shevet heard it with a different havara. Also, wouldn’t Hillel and Shamai be a good example? We are told to follow bais Hillel but Shamai was not wrong.September 24, 2008 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #622472SarahMember
I was not discussing your position, but a more nuanced manner of expression. Whether or not a Moforesh resonates with us is not a determinant of its truth. When Meforshim disagree, we, as beings considerably less endowed with Torah and Kedushah than these, don’t generally feel qualified to determine which position is more correct.
If I understand correctly, you were attempting to *understand* Rashi, and to explore additional commentary on the Pasuk. If so, we agree, and I was simply offering a more nuanced expression of your comments.
All the best.September 25, 2008 2:22 am at 2:22 am #622473
That was it exactly,Sarah. Have a good Shabbos.September 25, 2008 2:26 am at 2:26 am #622474cmammaMember
mariner: Minhag ha-ir defiantly plays a role in tsnius. There are many poskim that discuss this. The socks vs no socks minhag in most communities it is considered un-tznius to go without socks. However in certain communities even the families of rabbonim go sock-less and it is acceptable to do so- if you live in such a community. The nuances of tznius are not hard stone halacha but what is considered accepted in that city/community.
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