tznius question

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  • #912758

    R.T.
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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.
    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.

    “…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
    Participant

    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.
    Participant

    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.
    Participant

    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.
    Participant

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

    Wolf — Not to worry, no offence taken whatsoever.

    #912774

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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

    just my hapence
    Participant

    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
    Participant

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

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