August 2, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #604402
Excuse my ignorance but if a woman is wearing tights what is the source that the skirt has to cover the knees. And if it is based on minhag bnos yisrael then how does the custom develop. Surely in the time of the gemora woman wore dresses which covered the entire leg so is minhag flexible ???August 3, 2012 3:16 am at 3:16 am #1022228
Above the knee must be covered according to Jewish Law, by every female (when not in private) at all times and for all natural positions and movements (walking, going up stairs, in a wind, in a car, etc.)
It is not merely a custom or a rule that lacks universality.August 3, 2012 3:56 am at 3:56 am #1022230
Choppy: You misunderstood her question, which is a very strong one indeed.August 3, 2012 4:20 am at 4:20 am #1022231
Wait, the OP was asking why can’t a woman wear ONLY tights and NO skirt. That’s absolutely assur. You cannot show the form of the legs.
Mishnah Berurah OC 75:2 – up to and including the knee has to be covered by a skirt at all times. (In all positions – walking, sitting, etc.)August 3, 2012 4:25 am at 4:25 am #1022232
The OP clearly stated that the knee is being covered but not nessasarily with a skirt.August 3, 2012 4:54 am at 4:54 am #1022233
The source is the Mishna Berura (75:2). This is actually a kula. The Chazon Ish says that she must cover all of her legs until the ankles. Anything less is peritzut and any minhag is invalid. Even according to the Mishna Berura, her upper legs (and arms) must be covered in all positions.August 3, 2012 5:05 am at 5:05 am #1022234
Thank you choppy for your insight. Square peg requested a source.August 3, 2012 9:45 am at 9:45 am #1022235
Re: the mishna brura. With tights the legs are covered. And i did not suggest no skirt which would show the whole body form. Just if the leg is covered whats the difference if skirt below or above knee. Is it just minhag?August 3, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am #1022236
on the ballParticipant
No, it’s not just minhag because the entire upper leg above the knee needs to be covered and here comes the crucial point – the definition of ‘covered’ in the context of tznius does not only mean covering the surface but also concealing the form.
So if the skirt is above the knee, the leg is ‘uncovered’ even if tights are worn.August 3, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am #1022237
I hope this comment isn’t taken offensively, but when girls wear tights with short tight skirts… That look is definitely something you would expect on a “street corner girl”, Not on a bas Yisroel. It’s a shame that some girls look for excuses to dress that way instead of celebrating their own tznius. I don’t think we need a source for why tight clothes are less tznius than loose clothes, even if they’re completely opaque. It’s kind of common sense, but not to say their isn’t a source.August 3, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am #1022238
Wanting to know the sources for halocha is perfectly valid. It is not helpful when people answer without citing the sources. Even citing some sources while leaving others out is not beneficial. Perhaps someone who has researched the topic thoroughly can post the entire range of sources from all major poskim.August 3, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #1022239
Square peg: I believe the source is the Minhag, but that doesn’t mean it’s just Minhag. Minhag is a very, very powerful source.August 3, 2012 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #1022240
The source is a Shevet Halevi (Rav Vosner), who says that Pants are inherently a Beged Ish. L’cheorah tights are included in this as well, as the form of the “pants” does not make a difference (as per the Shevet Halevi (chelek 6, siman 118).
P.S. Rav Vosner says in the same Siman that Snowpants that are specificly worn to protect from snow are allowed to be worn (are not Assur) by a woman witout a Skirt. Ayin Shom.
Are you looking for a source that “shok” includes up to the knee?August 3, 2012 1:31 pm at 1:31 pm #1022241
Square peg, above the knee is an erva according to all opinions. Therefore, it must be covered in a way that does not show it’s form. Thus tights, see-through, etc. are out. Below the knee is a machloket as I posted. If noon-covering of the lower leg is allowed then tights are allowed. If not, not.August 3, 2012 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #1022242
If the hemline is above the knee, it is almost the same as if she is wearing no skirt at all, just tights. Your argument would be the same. Why does she need any skirt at all if she is wearing tights on her entire legs. Can’t she go outside in tights-only and no skirt? The problem is she is showing her form. It is the same problem if she has only tights and no skirt at all or if she has tights and a skirt with the hemline that is above the knee. In both cases (no skirt and short skirt) she is showing the form of her legs above her knee, and that is not permissible.August 3, 2012 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #1022243
Square Peg – according to your reasoning, if a woman would wear a full length body suit covering her from head to toe (ala’ Blue man group) it would be OK?August 3, 2012 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #1022244
Therefore, it must be covered in a way that does not show it’s form.
Source? Rav Vosner disagrees.August 3, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1022245
Rav Vosner mentions a different reason why it is assur. But he doesn’t disagree with this reason as well.August 3, 2012 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #1022246
Square Peg – according to your reasoning, if a woman would wear a full length body suit covering her from head to toe (ala’ Blue man group) it would be OK?
Why is it not? Source!August 3, 2012 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #1022247
One the ball and Avi K: You are not correct. An Erva doesn’t mean that its form must be covered. It means the skin must be covered. That’s Mefurash. Look in Siman 75 again. Not showing the form is a much later distinction that the Poskim came up with when women started wearing pants. And no, it’s not an Erva to see a woman in pants. It’s still not allowed, but it’s not an Erva.August 3, 2012 5:41 pm at 5:41 pm #1022248
GAW: some argue on R’ Wosner with this. My Rosh Yeshiva told me that years ago, the first women who wore pants were not allowed to because it’s a beged ish. Now, however, there are pants made specifically for women, and it is normal for women to wear them. Therefore, it is not a beged ish anymore. He said it is a problem of tznius because women’s pants are made to accentuate certain body parts. However, he said that theoretically, someone could make pants which don’t show off the body, and they would be 100% ok for a woman to wear.August 3, 2012 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1022249
oot for lifeParticipant
but if someone makes pants that aren’t form fitting wouldn’t they just be men’s pants?August 3, 2012 6:39 pm at 6:39 pm #1022250
GAW: some argue on R’ Wosner with this. My Rosh Yeshiva told me that years ago, the first women who wore pants were not allowed to because it’s a beged ish. Now, however, there are pants made specifically for women, and it is normal for women to wear them. Therefore, it is not a beged ish anymore. He said it is a problem of tznius because women’s pants are made to accentuate certain body parts. However, he said that theoretically, someone could make pants which don’t show off the body, and they would be 100% ok for a woman to wear.
I am aware of this, but most of the Yeraim Olam is Noheg/Paskens like Rav Vosner.
P.S. “Showing off the body” needs its own source (IMHO, it is Das Yehudis and included in “Vered”, which is dressing or acting in a manner that shows the girl is “available”).August 3, 2012 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #1022251
R’ Ovadia also says that women are allowed to wear baggy pants.August 3, 2012 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #1022252
No, because it is made especially for women. Take something like culottes. I know frum women who wear them.August 3, 2012 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #1022253
Sam2: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21434&;st=&pgnum=212 , If form isshowing I dont know of a shittah who says it is not assur.August 3, 2012 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #1022254
The point is a very good point. From a halacha perspective, a man would not be able to make a bracha in front of a woman with a ankle length skirt with no socks, because “shok b’isha erva”. But if it the knee covered at all(in Satmer it needs 50 – 70 den), than the “erva” is covered and a man can make a bracha.August 3, 2012 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #1022255
With all due respect to R’ Wosner (I mean it); 1) there is no such thing as something which is “inherently beged ish” in relation to any practical Halacha; and 2) pants are not beged ish.August 3, 2012 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #1022256
I’m going to step on my soapbox here for a minute.
Have fun, hopefully you won’t be nichshol anybody, read at your own risk… – Interrupting Mod
See, my question is – where does it say a woman has to wear anything at all? The answer is really nowhere. The only thing you’ll find is the fact that a woman dressing in an immodest fashion is grounds for divorce, but it doesn’t say anywhere “a woman is obligated to cover any area which is called erva.”
The discussion of erva in Halacha is about what causes men to become sidetracked and focus on certain thoughts, which one must avoid during kerias shema. This discussion is a good indicator of what is or isn’t modest for a woman to show, which is how it got caught up in the whole tznius sugya. But the truth is that the erva sugya is not about a woman covering up, and nowhere in that discussion is it mentioned that a woman is obligated to cover up.
A Jew dresses modestly. Modesty means developing your inner self to the extent that you don’t need other people’s validation every second of the day. Drawing attention to yourself by flaunting the physical side of you and playing on people’s base desires is the opposite of modesty. A truly modest person doesn’t need to dress that way. Modesty is something which enters into every area of life, of men and women. This is just how it pertains to dress, and particularly the way women dress.
Tznius is not about what is technically called erva (assuming there is such a thing). The sugya of erva was never meant to be brought into the tznius discussion as anything more than a conceptual comparison. Tznius is about the motivation behind what you are doing, and how it will be taken by others. It is very subjective, lechumra and lekula.
(And people who give specific, technical guidelines for tznius, and say that they are not subject to change, are machshil the community.)August 3, 2012 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #1022257
i havent read what everyone else wrote this is the halacha not sure who says it:
from the knees and up you cannot even see the form that means your tight/leggigs or whatever you want to wear…abpve the knee has to be covered by a skirt and then from the knee and down its not assur to show the form therefore we are allowed to wear tights/ leggiings etc.
and the four inches below your knee IS NOT halacha its just something ppl take on bec if your skirt is four inches then your knees will definatley not show!
i hope everything is clear now!August 3, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #1022258
Sam2: If you’re going with Rav Ovadia, we need to at least be consistent. Make sure she only wears a snood, and never a sheitel. He says that too.August 5, 2012 3:09 am at 3:09 am #1022259
Choppy: True enough. He does Asser Sheitels.
Sam4: I don’t see your point. That’s not dealing with if there’s a skirt over the pants/leggings. I don’t know anyone who clearly says that seeing the form of the knees and a bit above is a problem. In fact, the way my Rebbe explained it was that the issue is that pants show the separation of a women’s legs.August 5, 2012 7:21 am at 7:21 am #1022260
Sam2 : after all the irrelevant posts about no skirts and pants etc. Thank you for clarifying my original point.August 5, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm #1022261
What about Daas yeshudis?August 5, 2012 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1022262
That was part of my question. das yehudis seems to depend on minhag so is it flexible and can it evolve like it has since time of gemora where everyone wore dresses to the floor?August 5, 2012 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #1022263
Even IF (and I stress “if”) it could “evolve”, so what? You have to do what the minhag is here and now. You can’t decide you’d rather follow some new lenient interpretation.August 5, 2012 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #1022264
Yeah, but Daas yeshudis is measured by Jewish women. Not by the non Jewish world.
That in part explains why wigs were assur prior to the war, however after the war when Daas yehudis is no more shayich for wigs since all the Jewish women had their own hair. The sefardim on the other hand still have to deal with the Daas yehudis issue.
The fact hat Jewish women do not go with pants, makes it Daas yehudis.August 5, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #1022265
Sam2, Yitay…, Reb Moshe writes that only tights without a skirt is not enough as a woman “dressed” that way still causes hirhurim. Btw, look up Brochos 20A about pritzus.August 5, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #1022266
Yitay, a woman is obligated to be dressed tzniusdic so as not to cause men to stumble as far as hirhurim( and histaklus) are concerned.August 6, 2012 2:24 am at 2:24 am #1022267
mdd – Please don’t write in bold, it comes off as harsh. And I do not disagree that a woman may not dress in a way that will certainly cause men hirhurim assurim. But regarding this halacha it makes no sense to say that a specific area is by definition not tzniusdig, because it’s common sense that what causes hirhur is very subjective and can be different in every community. That was my point – that it’s all subject to the community norms (IOW what people are used to seeing), lechumra and lekula.
About the story in Berachos, again, of course there is such a thing as dressing in a way that is pritzus. My point is to say that there is no such thing as something being inherently not tznius. What is or isn’t tznius by definition takes into account the motivation and the way it is received.August 6, 2012 3:27 am at 3:27 am #1022268
Most Poskim hold and any regular man understands that certain parts cause hirhurim even if many women are accustomed to reveal them.
As far as your “common sense” svorah goes, look in Brochos 24A and in Rashi there — it is befeirush not like you said.August 6, 2012 4:33 am at 4:33 am #1022269
No it’s not. If Rashi meant what you think then eyes would also be not tznius to reveal, because the same pasuk says ????? ?????. The Gemara is not trying to say that something inherently causes ????. The pesukim are asmachtas.
But now we are touching on the debate of whether there is anything inherently “ervah,” where I didn’t want to go. Suffice it to say that not all poskim are as sure as you that the Gemara means to say such a thing. For example there is the opinion of the Aruch Hashulchan that berachos may be recited in the presence of a married woman’s uncovered hair even though she is obligated to cover her hair; his reasoning is that while she is certainly still obligated to cover her hair, but since it is normal for people to see the hair of married women it has effectively lost its status of ervah.August 6, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1022270
Yitay, a woman is obligated to be dressed tzniusdic so as not to cause men to stumble as far as hirhurim( and histaklus) are concerned.
Source?August 6, 2012 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #1022271
yitay: Re: The A”H. Covering hair is not erva by an unmarried woman, hence the difference between covered hair (by an eishes ish) and something that even unmarrieds should cover due to erva.August 6, 2012 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #1022272
yitay: Re: The A”H. Covering hair is not erva by an unmarried woman, hence the difference between covered hair (by an eishes ish) and something that even unmarrieds should cover due to erva.
This is completely incorrect. The determining factor is whether the girl is still a Besulah, and has nothing to do with Keddushin. Hence a woman who gets married in many communities does not cover her hair during the wedding itself.
Source: Chelkas Mechokek (also Bais Shmuel) SA AHZ 21:2.August 6, 2012 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1022273
GAW, Rabbeinu Yonah, off hand.
Yittai, do not go there. I know all the reid you are going to say — most Poskim do not hold like that. So, stay in YU and tell the ladies there to get dressed.
P.S.: I do not wish to enter here into a full-blown discussion of the sugya — the cr is not the place for it for a number of reasons.August 6, 2012 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1022274
Yittai, please, stop confusing the olam here with the shvere das-yechid/minority shitta that we do not pasken like. You may be causing people to be nichshol.
Generaly speaking, we had this discussion already. In many areas of Halochah, you can find shvere shittos (lenient or strict) that we do not pasken like. You can matir 3/4 of the Shulchan Aruch like that.August 6, 2012 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #1022275
Yittai, also look in Sotah 3A, Rashi there on the shitta of Rabi Akiva. He explains that if someone hates pritzus, it means a spirit of purity entered that person. Ehi ratzon you should be zoche le’kach.August 6, 2012 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #1022276
gavra: Your point is unrelated to the point I made.August 6, 2012 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #1022277
GAW is right. i kn ow a quack in the old city who makes all girls who eat there cover their hair. quack.
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