"Where Are the Men"-Article in last week's Mishpacha

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    A husband’s opinion has a major effect on the clothing the wife chooses to wear. If he complements her on borderline tznius things (ultra long shaitels, skirts that are too fitted, a lot of make-up) than that is what she’s going to strive to wear. I think men need to pay attention to what they’re admiring and complementing (so too, peers/ friends, mothers).

    It is sticky when a father comments on his daughters mode of dress (to notice that she isn’t dressed tznuah is to also notice her as a woman and not just his innocent child). I think if parents question their daughters mode of dress, it might be more effective to offer to take (or in the father’s case, send) her (with mom) on a shopping spree for new clothing (and n the process, guide) (obviously, this depend on finances).

    The time to educate is when kids are young. I think telling a 16 year old that her mode of dress is unacceptable (when she attends a school where her peers are doing it or is exposed to it firsthand) is a recipe for rebellion. Teenagers are first recognizing their own beauty and begin to equate self worth with it. They don’t see where their choices will lead and how it can spiral out of control.


    If they know they are dressed against halacha and still dress that way, they should still be told it is incorrect. Just as if you saw a frum woman sitting in a McDonalds with a cheeseburger.


    “Someone who can do so B’Nachas, without making the person upset or looking down on them. Just like any other tochacha.”

    In the case of ones daughter, it is not tochacha, it is chinuch if stated the right way. whatever is said, it better be something that both parents agree on. In the case of a married woman, she ought to be open to a comment from her husband if said the right way. All couples interact differently, no cookie cutter answer.


    No, silence is not good, but as soon as people acknowledge that teenagers and spouses are not under robotic control as in Horses Mouth’s perfect world, the input we do have will be more effective.


    Having just read the article by Rabbi Kelman which can be read on Mishpacha website (use their search tool to find the article), I commend him for a well written article.

    He wonders how those who seemingly learned their lessons well 5 or 10 years ago, suddenly regress in this area as a mother. He wonders why the men are absent in this subject, yet do not hesitate to take charge when it comes to the level of kashrus in the home, (he could just as easily have written, the shul the family davens in, or the Rav the family asks its questions of).

    Towards the end of his article he writes the following, “Fathers must become involved in all aspects of their home. We must set the standards for for kashrus, tznius, home entertainment, internet and cell phone usage”.

    Does anyone disagree?

    He concludes “Only when we add this missing ingredient fostering consistency between messages being delivered at home and in school, will our girls imbibe clear lessons. And perhaps even the wives and mothers will retain their girsa diyankusa, the lessons they learned in their youth.


    I totally agree with Rav Kelman. The matzif is horrible. He is so right. Too many girls who were totally tznius before marriage feel marriage is a license to discard them. That is a large part why we have this big problem in our public sphere.


    “The time to educate is when kids are young. I think telling a 16 year old that her mode of dress is unacceptable (when she attends a school where her peers are doing it or is exposed to it firsthand) is a recipe for rebellion. Teenagers are first recognizing their own beauty and begin to equate self worth with it. They don’t see where their choices will lead and how it can spiral out of control. ”

    Mommamia is right. When I was about 14-15, I was going through a rebellious phase and the clothing I wore was not tznius. My father told me numerous times that the clothes I was wearing was too short, too tight… It only made me worse.

    After a while, my father began to realize that it wasn’t helping, so he gave me his credit card and told me that for every shirt/dress/skirt I threw out, I could buy 2 more. So I emptied half my closet and went shopping 🙂 It was that that helped, not the mussar.

    So I guess that if the mussar is given in the right way, in a way that will help (in my case, a shopping spree) then it might be okay for a father to do it. I still think that relaying the importance and beauty of tznius is primarily a mothers job. (Me and my mother didn’t get along back then so she was not the person to give me tochacha.)


    Hashem gives a child to BOTH a mother and a father, as a responsibility;

    and He makes BOTH parents responsible for the child’s upbringing, which makes it important for BOTH parents to know the correct Halacha.

    Instilling the correct values in a child is easier when it’s started as early in life as possible.

    If the child is over Bar Mitzvah or Bas Mitzvah age and persists in violating the Halacha, even when the parents do their best in trying to teach the correct Halacha;

    then ulimately, that child will be held responsible for the sin; NO EXCUSES. Rebelliousness is not an excuse. Not liking the way that the parent reproves is not an excuse.

    Eventually, that child will grow into an adult and will be held responsible for his or her actions, because that person deliberately did not want to observe the Halacha correctly.

    If the punishment is not received in This World, then C”V it will be received in the Next World, which is much worse.

    Jews must be aware that Hashem is watching them every second and must act and dress in the modest ways, established by Chazal.

    “Shivisi Hashem L’Negdee Tamid.”

    “I keep Hashem before me, always.”

    The Yetzer Hara tries to get us to sin and to rationalize the sin.

    It is our job to fight off the Yetzer Hara.


    Your father is a master of Chanoch LiNaar Al Pi Darko. Not a master of mussar.


    Husbands and fathers are responsible for their families and must also learn the Halochos of Tznius. They are also responsible in ensuring their wives and daughters dress according to Halacha.

    How can a Jew consider himself Torah-Observant if he does not correct his wife or daughter if her method of dressing is immodest and violates the Torah, as established by Chazal?

    Especially if he sits and learns Torah all day.

    Believing in the One G-d is a Mitzvah of Yiddishkeit. Keeping Shmiras HaLoshon is a Mitzvah of Yiddishkeit. Keeping Kashrus is a Mitzvah of Yiddishkeit. Keeping Shabbos and Yom Tov are Mitzvos of Yiddishket. Keeping Taharas HaMishpacha is a Mitzvah of married Jews. Covering the Head is a Mitzvah of married Jewish women. Keeping the Mitzvah of Tznius is a Mitzvah of a Jewish woman. It’s all a package deal.


    “Only when we add this missing ingredient fostering consistency between messages being delivered at home and in school, will our girls imbibe clear lessons. And perhaps even the wives and mothers will retain their girsa diyankusa, the lessons they learned in their youth.

    Problem being, is that when the teach actual Halacha in the schools (instead of what is the current trends), then the girls will have a clear message to follow. I have already had to teach (others) that certain things learned in school is not in any way shape or form Halachicly correct.

    Same old Chava touching the Eitz HaDa’as problem.


    I’m not sure what point he’s trying to make. He says that there’s something missing in women’s education vis a vis tzenius. Then he says you can’t make someone do something by merely teaching them.

    Then he says what’s missing is involving men in matters of tzenius by educating them… so that they can teach their daughters.

    Sounds a bit circular…


    GAW. My wife made a similar point. Her point being, her girsa diyankisa is different than what is being taught today, she cant give a unified message along with the school, if what she learned and what is currently being taught is different.


    I think what he is saying is chinuch involves several partners (school and parents at the basic level) and while the school can teach something until they are blue in the face, if it is not reinforced at home, or worse a contradictory message is given at home, then it is a partnership doomed to failure. He seems to acknowledge that mothers should of course be reinforcing the message taught in school, but since they are not (can not?), fathers/husbands who also have a responsibility for the kedusha of the home, in fact the primary role, (and as it relates to their daughters, an obligation of chinuch) need to step up to the plate. He wonders why they are not.


    Pardon my ignorance, but what makes a long sheitel untznius? Stylish and Tznius are not mutually exclusive. There is no halacha that says that frum women have to look nasty in the street.


    If you want to nitpick the article, take it up with Rabbi Kelman 🙂


    I think there must be a distinction made between informing and controlling. It seems (though I didn’t read the article) that the message was that men should have more information about the halachos of tznius, and if they would, there would be less violations of their women and daughters. While this is an interesting point, this should not be confused with control. A subtle yet most important distinction must be drawn (when dealing with teens and adults) between “I don’t let” and “I believe your behavior is wrong”. Especially in a spousal relationship. Control is sickness and abuse. Additionally a successful parent and a respectful husband who says “I believe your behavior is wrong”, will be much more successful in positively influencing behavior. The pervasive mentality of control one can witness among many frum parents is one of, if not the, largest factor in the kids at risk. One who tries to control other adults’ behavior is foolish and arrogant, and should get counseling or the like.


    I don’t think it’s a father’s place to tell his daughter something she is wearing isn’t tznius. In fact, I think it’s not tznius for the father to do so. If he notices he daughter wearing something unacceptable, he should tell his wife and she should tell their daughter.


    Part of the problem as I see it, is that the notions of what type of clothing is tzniusdig and what is not, DO tend to change from generation to generation, in spite of what many on this forum believe. There is a minimum level of what is agreed by all to be modest in dress. For example, the neckline and elbows must be covered, the knees must be covered, even when sitting down or getting in and out of a car. The clothing should not be too tight, or too flamboyant, so as not to attract undue attention.

    What attracts attention, however, DOES often change with the times. There are people who hold that wearing a skirt that is floor length, is not tzniusdig. There are people who feel certain colors are not tzniusdig. There are people who only wear stockings with seams, or it is not tzniusdig ENOUGH.

    If a woman were to cover her head ENTIRELY with a white or black turban, do you think people would not stare at her? Do you think that women wearing BURKAS are not being stared at? I find that to fit the definition of “attracting attention.”

    I think we get so caught up in the minutiae, that we forget that some things are not a matter of lack of tznius, they are simply a matter of not looking so different from everyone else (within limits, of course), that everyone else is staring whenever we walk by. A pretty woman will attract attention, even when dressed in the most modest way she can. Should she NEVER go outside? (That will make it really hard for her hubby, the Kollel Guy, who needs her to go out to earn a living, so he can sit and learn).

    And if a girl is “plainer” and less confident than other girls, should she never dress in a way that makes her feel a little more confident (again, within limitations), so that when shidduchim ARE redt to her, she feels attractive, thus enabling her to be more outgoing and personable on the date?

    Not everything is untzniusdig. Twenty, thirty years ago, the concepts of tznius were a little different from those of today. Forty years ago, women who were ALL considered frum, wore short-sleeved blouses (some even wore short skirts). Sixty years ago, women whose mothers wore bun-shaitlech with tichlech on top, had daughters who wore cap sleeves. Their fathers could even have been rabbonim. No, not all girls did that, but girls who were considered unquestionably frum did so.

    Our feelings about tzniusdig clothing have evolved somewhat, and we are more into covering up than those previous generations were. But what we are seeing today, is more of a reaction to the shmutz around us, than to the actual concept that the clothing is not so tzniusdig, IMO. If it were not like this in today’s society, maybe the rabbonim, like those of yesteryear, would not be so vocal about it as they are now, and attiribute all the ills of the Jewish kehillah, to lack of tznius. This is just my observation. I do believe women (and MEN) should dress and always act in a tzniusdig way.


    Oomis: What is wrong with cap sleeves?

    Think first

    Think about it, a father is on “the other team” so him telling a daughter “that’s not tznius” won’t be effective. A mother telling it to a daughter will be much more effective since she has the same sensitivity towards “appearance” and “dress”. Yes it is his responsibility to make sure the women of his household adhere to tznius standards but a mother is the one to acctually implement it to her daughters.



    Oomis: What is wrong with cap sleeves? “

    Nothing, apparently 60-70 years ago. Nowadays, it is looked upon with disfavor by some people, as being untzniusdig, even when there is another long sleeved shirt under it, so I am told. I happen to wear Kiki Rikki type shirts under top shirts that have shorter sleeves. I have no problem with it, and neither does my LOR.



    I see nothing wrong with cap sleeves. I see nothing wrong with sweaters that have hoods. For some odd reason, schools & camps have forbidden them. Unfortunately, forbidding things that should not be forbidden make some girls have a disrespect for tznius guidelines and ridicule even things that really are untzniusdig.


    Think first

    Or maybe, men have a better understanding of what is untzniusdik because of the nature that Hashem put in us with regard to desiring the opposite gender?


    WIY: It is inappropriate for a man to pay attention to how his daughter is dressed to check if she is dressed in a way that is acceptable. In fact, I would say it is disgusting.

    If he notices something obvious, he should speak to his wife who should then speak to his daughter. If his daughter consistently doesn’t dress appropriate, he can speak to her about the importance of tznius. He can also compliment her on dressing tznius.

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