Home › Forums › Decaffeinated Coffee › tznius question
- This topic has 94 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 5 months ago by Josh31.
December 9, 2012 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #607340
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.December 9, 2012 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #912709
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.December 9, 2012 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #912710
Please don’t answer by ranting about untznius Flatbush and 5 Town woman.
Oh oops. You should have said that first.December 9, 2012 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #912711
Oh oops. You should have said that first.
Oh oops. You did say that first.
oh well.December 9, 2012 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #912712candy613Member
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.December 9, 2012 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #912713
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.December 9, 2012 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #912714shmendrickMember
See R. Falk in Oz V’Hadar Levushah where he discusses that long skirts are a problem.December 9, 2012 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #912715
So, rav falk is advocating, short skirts?December 9, 2012 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #912716CuriosityParticipant
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.December 9, 2012 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #912717plonis3141Member
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.December 9, 2012 8:53 pm at 8:53 pm #912718
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?December 9, 2012 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #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.December 9, 2012 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #912720R.T.Participant
It seems that denim has a very attracting quality which is possibly why in some communities (e.g., Satmar), denim is completely discouraged.December 9, 2012 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #912721
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.December 9, 2012 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #912722NechomahParticipant
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.December 9, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #912723
“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.December 9, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #912724
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.December 9, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #912725
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.December 9, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #912726OneOfManyParticipant
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.December 9, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #912727mewhoParticipant
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 allDecember 9, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm #912728WiseyParticipant
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.December 10, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am #912729
“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.December 10, 2012 1:08 am at 1:08 am #912730HaKatanParticipant
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. )December 10, 2012 4:39 am at 4:39 am #912731
“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.December 10, 2012 5:07 am at 5:07 am #912732
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.December 10, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am #912733SJSinNYCMember
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).December 10, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am #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?December 10, 2012 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #912735
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.December 10, 2012 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #9127362scentsParticipant
Denim, I dont know .
Long skirts in my opinion is as if the person is not really dressed.December 10, 2012 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #912737frummy in the tummyParticipant
jmh – wait, men don’t wear heels and wigs any more? No wonder they looked at me funny in yeshiva…December 10, 2012 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #912738R.T.Participant
“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.December 10, 2012 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #912739HealthParticipant
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?December 10, 2012 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #912740HealthParticipant
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.December 10, 2012 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #912741
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.December 10, 2012 8:08 pm at 8:08 pm #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.December 10, 2012 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #912743HaKatanParticipant
jmh, her (KW) point is well taken.December 10, 2012 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #912744
HaKatan – What on earth is that supposed to mean?December 10, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #912745icedMember
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.December 10, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #912746SabziMember
yea curiosity, you can’t have them on the same ladder… its dangerous to wear a skirt while climbing ladders!December 10, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #912747OneOfManyParticipant
just my hapence +1December 11, 2012 5:14 am at 5:14 am #912748
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.December 11, 2012 5:44 am at 5:44 am #912749oomisParticipant
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.December 11, 2012 6:22 am at 6:22 am #912750CuriosityParticipant
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.December 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am #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.December 11, 2012 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #912752
Some like to play the “my rav is greater than your rav game”.December 11, 2012 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #912753
You know, the first 4 posts on this thread were good, but then it just got dumb. (and untznius)December 11, 2012 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #912754
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.December 11, 2012 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #912755
kollel-wife – The problem remains that ‘the message it sends to others’ is also subjective.December 11, 2012 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #912756
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.December 11, 2012 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #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’?
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.