Tznius Standards

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    I’m new here but see that there is baruch hashem a lot of interest by people to keep the tznius standards. One thing that was not yet discussed is HOW we women should do so. So I think this would be a good opportunity to review some of the basics:

    * One’s appearance must appear refined and respectable. Unrefined, dirty, or otherwise unfit clothing is immodest.

    * Bright colored clothing or clothing that otherwise attracts attention are not permitted.

    * A woman’s knees, elbows and collarbone must remain covered. One should make sure that one’s garments do not reveal these when one sits, raises one’s arm, gets into or our of a car or any other normal activities.

    * Skirts may not have a slit, even if it remains below the knee.

    * Clothes must be loose fitting.

    * A married woman must cover her hair. All her hair must be covered, only the slightest amount (a tefach) is permitted to remain uncovered and many authorities are stringent even concerning this.

    * An unmarried woman’s hair should be short or tied back, such as in a braid.

    * Makeup and perfume is intended to beautify a wife for her husband, beyond this it should be used scarcely if at all.

    * A woman’s singing voice is a very intimate part of who she is, and is not appropriate for the public.

    The Big One

    Now were talking tachlis (instead of theory).

    Thank You!

    lammed hey

    suraschier has been declared the first female Posek! 🙂

    Seriously, please state which Posek you got this list from, or mekoros in seforim. (Not to say that you are wrong, but others will say that you are without a Mekor)


    A tefech is about 10cm, which seems like a lot of hair.


    Welcome. I just think that the practical thing is to know what is permissible and not.


    These are just the basics. Many poskim hold of additional stringencies than listed here.


    UJM: Your right for once. I would add to the list that women should never be seen at all.


    Where do I get my burqa?

    Will Hill

    The oldest trick in the book for the purveyors of pritzus is that when a man talks about tznius laws they yell its not tzniusdik for a man to talk about the tznius laws, and when a woman talks about the tznius laws they yell that shes not a posek. So either way they must be off the hook.


    ChanieE, When someone starts comparing tznius, which comes from the Torah, to the Taliban, burqas, etc. it sure shows what they think of the Torah.

    Which posek disagrees with any of these very basics of tznius? And which of these core basics, pray tell, is even disagreeable about?


    ujm – let me tell what I think of the Torah: I think Hashem gave us an incredible blueprint for life, but even something that perfect is not immune to being hijacked by the Taliban.

    Pashuteh Yid

    UJM, Please provide sources that

    1) Bright-colored clothing is not permitted.

    2) Skirts may not have a slit even if below the knee.

    3) Unmarried women’s hair must be short or tied back.

    4) Makeup and perfume is intended to beautify a wife for her husband, beyond this it should be used scarcely if at all.

    Also, please explain the gemara that says a father is mechuyav to buy his daughter clothing and accessories that will make everybody jump on her. (Marry her right away.)

    bas kol

    I don’t know if the slit thingy has a mekor or not but let me explain the point:

    It doesn’t matter if the skirt is perfectly tznius and the slit doesn’t come over the knee..the point is that it’s ATTRACTIVE nontheless. It attracts the movement of the legs.

    Same with the other issues you bought up. perfume – if someone is heavily perfumed no doubt about it, ppl in the street will turn around for another glimpse..

    And bright colored clothing easily catches the eye.

    Just like in Mitzrayim the yidden were saved bezchus the nashim, same holds true for the upcoming geula (may it come speedily). Women have such a special tafkid and chiyuv..why r we arguing about mekoros?? When it comes to laws of tznius, not everything is written in black and white. You need to use a good deal of judgement. Besides there ARE plenty of books with excellent mekoros out there..



    Now I understand the admonishments not to partake in using the Internet. Regrettably I, in a momentary lapse of judgment, failed to follow my own convictions in participating in an online activity.

    Now I really understand the Rabbonims strong response against the Internet. Even so-called kosher sites.

    Even on a purportedly frum site, it is filled with folks against the most basic Torah concepts. And they brazenly and unashamedly brag about it publicly!

    Whats next, is someone going to demand to know which posek prohibits a tight red miniskirt with a slit?

    Obviously the Internet is filled with shady characters under the guise of Judaism, since the true ehrlich people do not go online, giving full-throttle to this hefkeiros.

    I for one, will happily put my few online days into the dustbin of history and continue serving Hashem in the real world.

    Be well everyone. And if you too are an Eved Hashem, I strongly encourage you to also end your Internet narishkeits.


    UJM said:

    “ChanieE, When someone starts comparing tznius, which comes from the Torah, to the Taliban, burqas, etc. it sure shows what they think of the Torah”.

    Another Torah tzenius basic for you: A man should not address a strange woman by her first name.

    bas kol

    Kudos to you suraschier


    “Even on a purportedly frum site, it is filled with folks against the most basic Torah concepts. And they brazenly and unashamedly brag about it publicly!”

    it’s enough to make you cry


    you have described the essence of this place very accurately.

    it is very disheartening as it reveals what ignorance, foolishness, and Sheker resides within the minds of people who think they follow the Torah.

    i have been trying to completely discontinue my involvement here but find i have been somewhat addicted, even though it brings me disappointment and sadness.

    you have given me chizuk and i hope to do better

    thank you

    lammed hey

    Guess she couldn’t find a Posek or Mekor.


    “Be well everyone. And if you too are an Eved Hashem, I strongly encourage you to also end your Internet narishkeits. “

    i think you are unknowingly a Shliach Hashem sent to rescue my Neshama.

    dont feel your few online days were wasted.



    I accept your tochacha and publicly thank you for giving it to me.

    But how should I have addressed her here?

    PS Another thing I agree with you is that she is “a strange woman.”

    Pashuteh Yid

    Suraschier, Whereas your list is a very beautiful and meaningful set of guidelines, a valid question is whether it is the same as the Torah that Moshe gave us. Because there is a halacha that a slit above the knee is a problem, you have decided that a slit below the knee is also a problem. Because there is possibly an inyan that red color is a problem, you have decided that all bright colors are a problem. (BTW red may possibly be some sort of gnai for men, also. See Rambam hilchos tefillin who says that the back of the retzuos can be any color, but red is not recommended, since if it reverses, people will see the red and it is a gnai. However, I am puzzled by the fact that in Anim Zmiros [which the yeshivish don’t say] it says that the RBSH’s clothes are red.)

    Let me ask you, is white also a problem? White is the brightest of all colors, as can be easily measured by a reflectometer.

    Maybe since the Torah forbid pig, cow is also assur. They are both 4-legged animals. Maybe since wool and linen together are forbidden, wool alone should also be forbidden. The Torah doesn’t seem to like wool that much. But the way we pasken is according to the Torah that we have, not according to our own imagination.

    Chazal were very careful not to add issurim which make things extra hard on people. One amora said that if the prices don’t come down, he will pasken that the hadas shoteh is ok (not meshulash).

    You are totally allowed to wear a burka, and there is one type which has special mesh so even the eyes can’t be seen. But you cannot make up a halacha that all women are required to do so. The Torah did not require it. Nevertheless, there is a famous frum family that does wear burkas–their name is Berkowits.


    to cherry..we assume ,in this cae, you are kidding,thats the signature used by the person…could even be ‘moishe’



    you gotta be kidding! UJM wasn’t calling ChanieE by her first name but by her screenname, which may or may not be her real name. How else can he respond to her? Its not at all the same as calling a woman in real life by her first name.

    suraschier (or for cherrybim’s sake, Mrs./Miss schier),

    If you can’t understand the difference between wearing a bright red miniskirt with a slit and a single girl wearing hair which is not so short, then you are the one who needs help.


    I’m confused:Is this actually a “debate” on Tznius issues being applicable to daily life?

    So far as I know,the Torah has thus far, not been “hijacked by the Taliban”& Tznius is an absolute necessity.

    Those who advocate bright colored clothing and slits as being permitted as well as clothing that “fit”along with other leniencies bearin mind that such practices and those who perprtrate them are considered as being “machtee” those whose eyes they attract.

    An appropriate thought as we approach Chodesh Ellul,y’mai haRachamim & the Yomim Noraaim.May we all be zocheh to true,inspired Teshuvah.

    May HaShem Yisborach inscribe All of K’lal Yisroel with a Kesivah vaChasima Tovah& may we all merit a Shnas Geulah viYeshuah.


    I agree with suraschier.

    The frum people online have lower standards than the Klal, since the frummer someone is the less likely he is to be online. So the silent majority is not represented (since they don’t come to blogs) and the lowest common denominator dominates the frum forums.

    So much of what we read here (be it tznius, be it dress, etc.) represents a lower standard than what the frum Klal represents.


    People hae totally lost the consept of tzinues!

    We now make it into a book of rules like we do most things in our life, so if it doesnt say, it isnt, which is so not the jewish way of looking at things! its an attitude, its sensativities.

    You just have to understand y we were created and keep trying to be better, not just obey by the rulebook, learn to understand the mitzvos, how special they are, and you should want to do them for yourself.

    Maybe she shouldnt have wrote it as halacha, but people should have come to these understandings and sensativities themselves, but for those who have not, she gave them to us to have places to strive to reach.


    UJM: I’m surprised. You’re a holy Jew. If you can’t find a way to do something l’chatchila, so don’t do it. What you had to say to Chanie wasn’t a Yarog V’al Yavor issue. No one was going to die if it was left unsaid.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Bored, Bogen, Klmn, I am really sorry, but in my opinion, one who adds nonexistent issurim is just as bad as one who violates existing ones. Kol hamosif gorea. When you make yiddishkeit more difficult than it already is, you force kids off the derech. They say we can’t possibly keep all of this, so we will chuck the whole thing out the window. You may keep personal chumros yourself, but don’t ever dare insist that the masses have to follow them, or you will destroy much more than you will build.

    The Big One

    suraschier is absolutely correct. Too many people here denigrate the Torah when they don’t like what it says. (Usually in very subtle terms.)


    Who on this forum is “against the most basic Torah concepts”?

    Disagreeing with one interpretation of tznius does not mean that I disagree that we (and by that I mean all Jews, men and women) are required to conduct ourselves in a tzniusdik manner. To the contrary, BECAUSE I believe that we are required to follow the halachos of tznius, I object to your classification of certain minority chumros as halacha.

    The original list does NOT represent understandings or sensitivities that we should strive to reach. You want to, go right ahead. But how dare you insult my frumkeit because I (in accordance with my posek) have no intention of cutting or braiding my daughters’ hair.

    Chuck Schwab

    Gee, nowhere did suraschier say that one must wear a tichel, opaque tights with seams, or shave their hair. Apparently some people really don’t have ANY basic standards if they take issue with the few basics here. No wonder the Rabbonim constantly need to call Tznius Asifas and establish a Vaad Hatznius. Without them rampant pritzus would continue to pervade our kehilos.


    feivel (page 1),

    I feel the same as you and I would like to follow in your footsteps.


    Well, I have to add my “apikorsheshe’ opinions to Pashute Yid. Most of you advocate certain concperts of znius that are prevalent in your communities. This does not mean that it is halachacillay correct. Pashute Yid is abolsutely correct in saying that adding chumors is as ossur as gving wrong heterim.

    To write: Birght colors are frobidden’ is adding a chumro that the Klal cannot live by and should never be advocated.

    To make single women wear a certain hairstyle is a chumro that the vast majority of the Klal wil not live by.

    Asc far as I know, only MEN are prohibited from wearing strong perfume (yes, look it up).It says nothing about women. Hence, another chumro that the Klal will not live by.

    It is not clear at all that legs below the knee must be covered and the slits at that level cannot be ossur if the leg does not have to covered.

    The question of “Kol isha” is a lot more complicated than making it a blanket prohibition.

    Lastly, R’Moshe zz’l was the one who maintained that married woman’s hair could be uncovered up to a tefach! Check his teshuvos!

    Yup,I know, they will call me an apikoros again-but I’ll live….

    Feif Un

    rabbiofberlin, you mentioned a woman singing is not simple, I’ll even give an example: R’ Tuvia Goldstein zt”l held that if a family usually has women (wives or daughters) who sing at the Shabbos table, and you have guests over for Shabbos, the women were allowed to sing! I heard this from my uncle, who learned under R’ Goldstein zt”l for years in Emek Halachah. He told guests that was R’ Goldstein’s psak, but didn’t want them to be uncomfortable, so he would check before giving his daughters the ok.

    Yes, I confirmed this psak with other talmidim of R’ Goldstein zt”l.


    loose fitting does not necessary mean 3 sizes too big! Just not too small. You must have a couple of inches of extra material around you. Yes, this is a rule, NOT a stringency. Unless you don’t dress that way, you have no idea how DISGUSTING it looks when people wear tight fitted clothing. I want to throw up! Even if you are fully covered, you see every pimple on the body and you look so exposed!

    Bright colors means BRIGHT COLORS; this does not mean you can’t wear beige, pale yellow (not bright), pink (not hot pink), peach, green, lavender. there are so many colors you may wear, just not BRIGHT COLORS!

    Why does everyone have to stand on the exact wording that was used????

    Suraschier, are you referring to Sara Shnerir??


    I just want to say that I love everyone on this board and every other Jew as well.


    Tznius is sensitivity AND halacha. It seems that some of you think it is JUST sensitivity. what if you are not so sensitive, you will wear anything? and some think it has to say straight out in the tora, “Thou skirt must reach below thy knees.” Getta life!


    Sometimes I just wonder to myself if Ha-Shem Yisborach is not kivyachol shaking His head from side to side, saying, “You foolish people – That’s NOT what I meant!!!!!”

    Too often, people accept chumros upon themselves (as is their right) and start to believe that those chumros are halacha l’maiseh. Then when they see other frum people who have a different (not better or worse) hashkafa and derech, they look down on them as not being frum enough. It’s true, kol hamosif goreah (and isn’t it interesting that the Torah itself admonishes us not to add or subtract from the Torah). If all one can say about what they believe to be halacha is that they don’t know the makor, but they are SURE there is one, there is a problem. That is how some people go off the derech.


    I know of a heter factory that can find all sorts of heterim for all that need.

    Shatnez? No problem!

    Pritzus? Bon voyage!

    blue shirt

    To intellegent and all others who have turned their brains into pretzels trying to figure out what a bright color is. I happen to know a little about color. The number of color combinations that can and are manufactured is almost infinite. What we call color is really a combination of three different properties, hue , saturation and brightness. There are many thousands of combinations that create the colors we see every day. Discussing whether pink is ok, but not hot pink, pale yellow but not bright yellow is a waste of time and has nothing at all to do with halacha. If someone thinks that a certain garment is not tznius, don’t wear it. Telling others what colors are mutar and which are assur is ridiculous and smacks ofgaivah. Unless you find a halachic source that defines what a bright color is for tznius, stop making believe you can determine it.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Intellegent, Sorry but you have not defined bright colors. White is the brightest of all. Are you saying it is assur for kallahs to wear white dresses any more? Is this a new halacha or minhag in the Jewish marriage ceremony now?

    Since you can’t define it, better not to and leave it to people’s good tastes, rather than legislating some brand new arbitrary guidelines that somebody just made up on the spot and calling it yiddishkeit.

    There is no halacha against looking nice or attractive (even niddos are obligated to do so), and the downside is that if frum women are forced to look shlumpy, then their husbands may look elsewhere and cause shalom bayis problems, as gemara says over and over shelo tisganeh al baalah.


    intelligent, please bring a mekor for not being able to wear bright colors? i can bring mekorim that bright colors were worn all the time throughout jewish history, especcially those in the davidic family, who wore bright royal colors. bright blues and purples, etc. are you saying that they were un tznius? tznius technically changes with the times, otherwise women would get nose rings and not finger rings for engagement, as women used to not wear rings, as it was beged ish, and was not considered proper for a women to wear one. (back then rings were used as signets.) women wore open toe sandals. there is no way you will be able to convince anyone that only jews in teh middle east had shoes hundreds of years before their invention in europe. they either went with leather sandals, or barefoot. hair covering, while my wife does, i definately undersatnd where certain rabbonim feel that it may not be mandatory any longer. remember, hilchos tznius is never brought down until late rishonim, for the simple reason that it is not black and white as you and others suggest. it s changing thing. yes, we dont believe time changes halacha, but here the halacha is that it changes. that is what was built into the halacha. as far as form fitting, that is also arguable as to what is considered too form fitting. you may be disgusted by what my wife wears, and i will think that you look like you are wearing left over clothing from 1984. as long as we dont judge eachother, god will love us all. as long as you dont push your chumros, and that is what they are, on someone else, then we will all get along. noone believes you want to throw up when you see a tight fitted shirt, that is ridiculous. because what the goyim wear should make yuo so sick, you will need to be hospitilized. it bothers you, but tough. you have no right to tell other people what to do. their rov does, and it is his obligation, and his alone, to do that, as he may know more about those people then you. maybe the clothing the women you are seeing is actually teh most that women will go to be tznius. maybe she used to wear more revealing clothing, and this was her compromise for now. how dare you judge! how are you to know the level of that womens yetzer hora, and how she is fighting it day in and day out, and her schar at the end of the day will be far greater then yours, since you clearly have no problem wearing clothing 2 sizes too big. not knocking you, but you are definately not in the norm. i think most women out there are just trying to get by in life, and do the utmost to be tznius. is there room fro growth, of course! but you have no right to mock or denegrate other women for the so called “lack” of tznius. i am sure if i studied your life in one day, i can mock many of the things you do. just stop, and learn to love a fellow jew(ess), and to be dan them lekaf zechus.


    I have been reading on and off the book Modesty an adornment for life by rabbi falk from england (i believe, I don’t have it in front of me). I try to use this as best as I can to bring my tzinus standards to. It is a heavy read and I have found can turn some people off. There are many of us who work daily at trying to improve our tzinus in every are from dress, to speaking to our families, people we get frustrated with, etc. It is an on going process.


    “Why does everyone have to stand on the exact wording that was used????”

    That’s because if you are talking about halacha, you ought to be very sure you are being accurate. The entire Torah is about exact wording. Every letter of every word means something.


    Pashuteh: “There is no halacha against looking …attractive”

    Inside the home. Outside the home a woman most certainly should not be looking “attractive.” Attracting is for her husband only, and that is accomplished inside, not outside.

    mariner: “it s changing thing. yes, we dont believe time changes halacha, but here the halacha is that it changes. that is what was built into the halacha.”

    What is your mekor for that?

    mariner: “you have no right to tell other people what to do. their rov does, and it is his obligation, and his alone”

    And if you see someone being mechallel shabbos, you say that too?

    malkylamm: “Modesty an adornment for life by rabbi falk.”

    HIGHLY Recommended. A great Sefer.


    Our religion is a matter of inches, and the measurements of the chachomim are exact. 40 saah minus a thimble is not a mikva. One inch out of the techum you may not return (acc. to the chachmim). If they say a bird hops 50 amos, it does not even stick a toe past that. If you don’t believe this, you have no right to be in a beis medresh and should be kicked out!

    This is why generalities are not halacha (i.e. “Bright Clothing”), only specifics (Red).

    Then there are chumros and mussar, which deal with generalities.


    Blue shirt and mariner,

    I don’t see why you (mariner) feel so threatened by what I posted. I was just stating my opinion on the matter. I was not DEFINING bright colors. I was just stating what I thought was obvious. I have no problem with people having lower levels of tznius as long as they know that there is a higher level out there. Everyone thinks their level is right but of course it is not. Believe me, I live in Yerushalayim and I wonder why Meah Shearim people think there is an issur against looking nice.

    Also I definitely do NOT go around telling people how to dress! I have some very close family members who wear things that I do not consider tzniusdig and never tell them anything. I also wear things that people who have a higher level of tznius probably do not consider tzniusdig.

    I’m sorry if I came out too strongly. I did not mean to antagonize anyone. I was just saying that I think tight clothing is really untzniusdig and people don’t always realize that. I should not have said I feel like throwing up. That was an exaggeration.

    Everyone should not push their chumros on eachother. But it is really worth your while to really think about what you wear and make sure you are doing the right thing. I ask that you don’t attack me for stating my opinion just like you don’t want me to attack you for stating yours.

    Blue shirt, You continue wearing your blue shirt, just make sure it is not a bright blue!

    Pashuteh Yid

    Joseph, can you bring any mekor that women had two sets of clothes, one for inside the house, and the other for the outside. Have you ever seen a minhag where when the woman comes home, she immediately changes into something much nicer than what she was wearing all day? I am not familiar, but please tell me if this is true.

    When the gemara says that before yontof one is supposed to get his wife a nice dress, is that only for in the house and she is not allowed to wear it outside? Also, why does gemara talk about all the jewelry women had and how they were likely to take it off to show their friends in the reshus harabim, if they should not have been wearing it in the reshus harabim in the first place?

    Do you really believe women must dress ugly when they go out?

    The Big One

    Dear intelligent,

    You wisely ask what mariner and blue shirt feel so threatened by in your benign posting. A good question indeed. It is from what is known in the medical community as an “inferiority complex.” They suffer from a condition that impels them to malign anyone, and any thought, that brings to a negative light the actions they live. Should they ever sense someone other than themselves behaving in a manner more consistent with certain societal norms, in this case Torah norms, they will immediately and impulsively respond with a barrage of negativity and criticism intended to boost their low self-esteem by, what they think, knocks down the good deeds of others that they feel threatened by.



    The posuk in Tehilim 45:14 says “Kul kevodo bas melech penima, mimishbetzos zohov lvusho. This means “The prestige of the Jewish princess is her privacy – she stays within the confines of her home; she dresses (at home) in delightful clothes.” Note that this posuk, which refers to modesty of Bnos Yisroel, mentions two points: First, the tznua is predominantly at home, not in the public areas (see Rambam, Hilchos Ishus 13:11). Secondly, while at home she dresses delightfully. Although she is a great tznua, she nonetheless attaches importance to her appearance in the presence of her husband.

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