Tznius Support Group PLEASE WOMEN ONLY, even reading
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- This topic has 170 replies, 32 voices, and was last updated 13 years, 7 months ago by SJSinNYC.
October 16, 2009 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #590598
Ladies, we all know that this is one of our special mitzvos and it is not always easy. This thread is meant to encourage and inspire ourselves and others in this challenging area. So please share your struggles and triumphs with us, whether it’s a huge step, like deciding to cover your hair or a small step, we want to hear about it!
Please everyone – only positive comments! The whole point is to encourage, not to discourage. And the mods have agreed to this, as well. Thank you for your cooperation regarding this!
May this thread be only for the benefit of the klal.October 16, 2009 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #665119YW Moderator-80Member
Although the Moderators cannot ensure this, we would request that only female members post in this thread, even if you feel you have a relevant comment.October 16, 2009 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #665120smalltowngirlMember
Hey NY Mom – way to go!!!
As I have said before, I firmly believe that teenage girls need to be told that very often their choice of attire is simply not attractive. What is the purpose of dressing a certain way? Meaning am I trying to get negative attention? Or am I trying to get ANY attention?
Oh how I wish those girls could hear what the boys that they try to “show off” for are saying…
Dressing stylishly is ok with me – I also take a certain pride in how I look. The difference being I am not wearing very form fitting clothes, or flashy styles. Other areas of tzius, well I am a work in progressOctober 16, 2009 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #665121
Thank you, smalltowngirl.
OK, I guess I’ll start with an example of my own:
While I usually wear socks or stockings when I go out of the house, I was in the habit of making a few exceptions. An example of this was when my son’s bus would come early in the morning, picking him up from my house to take him to school. I would never go out in a robe, even early in the morning (while in some neighborhoods in NY this might be acceptable, I am not comfortable with it), but I would sometimes save myself some time by skipping the socks/stockings even though I was completely dressed in every other way. I rationalized that no one was around that early in the morning…well, almost no one…And the bus driver wasn’t noticing my ankles anyway, epecially since I usually wear long skirts…
Well, before Yom Kippur, I resolved to always wear socks/stockings even if it is only to step out of the house to take out the garbage or to walk my child to the bus. I know this is something small, but I think it’s a step in the right direction!October 16, 2009 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #665122
good job NY MOM! that’s really a ‘step’ in the right direction! A small piece of advice for anyone who is looking to buy something new- ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPRESS THE SHECHAINA OR THE SHECHINA?October 16, 2009 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #665123tzippiMember
Anyone know the missing words? (I can sing, we’re all women here)
Tznius, it is our battle cry
Tznius something or other do or die
Tznius, don’t show your kneeus
Or you feet or your ankles or [upper legs]October 18, 2009 1:30 am at 1:30 am #665124
The Yated had a nice article about tznius on page 48 in the “Parsha For Those in the Parsha” column. It’s called “Dating Tznius”. If you get the Yated or can pick it up I thought it made some nice points. If you can’t get the Yated I will summarize the main idea.
Basically, the author, R’ Yoni Posnik who together with his wife does shidduchim, says that sometimes when they set up a date it comes out that the boy “did not feel comfortable continuing to go out with someone who displayed a lack of sensitivity in the area of tznius – whether accidentally/unthinkingly or not.”
He also cites the Gemara in Maseches Sotah (quoting R’ Yitzchak Goldwasser) where it says, “They pair a woman with a man according to his deeds.” On the words according to his deeds, Rashi says, “A tznuah to a tzaddik and a prutzah to a rasha”. The point being that “the determining factor for women regarding their virtuous standing or lack thereof is their meticulousness in this crucial area of tznius.”
The author ends by saying, “According to our level, that is the partner we will marry and the kind of home we will build. In the merit of our tznius, may we merit partners of the highest caliber!”
This information is obviously valuable to all of our singles and to any parents whose children are “in the parsha”.
Tzippi: “Tznius, it’s either do or die”October 18, 2009 2:37 am at 2:37 am #665125
Thank you NY Mom!
Okay, this is my story: I took upon myself (bli neder) to not leave the house unless I am wearing tights. (The reasons are not relevant.) At times, (usually Motza’ei Shabbos when I’m in my robe, or when I’m in “shluchy” clothing – like on Sunday) my parents will ask me to take out the garbage, help unload the car…. and I’ll answer (though it’s hard to admit) “but I’m not wearing tights”. So then they’ll get very upset at me and say, “you have no chiyuv to wear tights, go put on some socks/ it’s fine, your robe is long enough to cover your ankles……”
How should I be responding to such a situation?October 18, 2009 2:49 am at 2:49 am #665126
plonisalmonis, how would your parents react if, when they asked for your help, you answered, “I’d be happy to do it, please wait a moment while I put on tights”?October 18, 2009 2:50 am at 2:50 am #665127
maybe don’t take off your tights until you are going to sleep?October 18, 2009 2:56 am at 2:56 am #665128abxParticipant
Firstly, Kol Hakavod!
Secondly, Would you wear tights/socks the whole day, this way if you have to go out for a minute or answer the door, you can?
One thing which always bothers me is when people’s chumros are a strain on other people, or even on other ruchniyus areas of the machmir himself.October 18, 2009 3:04 am at 3:04 am #665129
plonisalmonis: Have you discussed your kabbalah of wearing tights with your parents? I mean, are they aware of what you have taken on for yourself? If not, then I would talk about it with them first.
But if they are not sympathetic to this, then I would say this to you: The mitzvah of kibbud av v’aim is a d’oraisa, and what you have taken on yourself seems to be a chumrah. IMHO, if it comes down to a conflict between the two, I believe that listening to parents takes precedent over your chumrah. However, you know that it is not necessarily a one-or-the-other proposition. The real issue is (get ready for a dose of emes and if you don’t want to hear it, stop reading right here) you feeling lazy and then using your kabbalah as an excuse not to do what they want. So if you want to keep both, I would take the advice of SJSinNYC, ames, or anon for this, above.
Hope that helps and you’re still “talking” to me after this!October 18, 2009 3:25 am at 3:25 am #665130
Wow! Thanks everyone for your kind and loving responses. 😉
SJS – I usually don’t. I was referring to the times that I didn’t put on tights in the first place – like on Motza’ei Shabbos when I’m just wearing a robe and anklets because we didn’t have company on Shabbos and I didn’t plan on leaving the house.
anon – I believe I’ve tried it, and still got the same response.
I’m confused about the whole thing anyway. In my family, when we (the girls, obviously) turn three, we start covering our elbows, knees, and ankles. So I’ve been covering my ankles basically since I was three. So when my father tells me that it’s fine to go outside in my anklets (which, contrary to what they sound like, DON’T cover the ankle), it makes me a bit confused.
Ames – I’m talking about when my parents ask me to go outside right now, and they’re not giving me time to run upstairs and put on tights. It’s not the putting on that’s the problem, it’s their response to me when I say “one sec, I’m just going to put on tights”.
NY Mom – it’s okay, I’m still “talking” to you. (You can resume breathing… 😉 You are right, kibuv av va’eim is one of the things I have to work on, and in part, laziness is also a problem. But like I said above, lets say I say “one second, I’m just running upstairs to put on tights” and I get flack for that too?October 18, 2009 3:33 am at 3:33 am #665131
Ames: Wow! I am so happy that I asked you to call your Rav!
But think about it, you clarified things for yourself and now you will be doing as your Rav has paskened, and you were also mechazek others in this inyan. What a tremendous zechus for you!October 18, 2009 3:40 am at 3:40 am #665132
plonisalmonis, thanks for explaining. It’s seems that your parents feel that you are criticizing their tznius standards, so it may be best if you avoid discussing this issue with them. Perhaps it would be best if you try to anticipate when you will be asked to go outside to help–say, if you know that someone is going grocery shopping– and put on tights before that. You could even throw out the garbage without being asked, if this is possible, or go outside to help with the groceries as soon as the shopper returns home. That way your eagerness/ willingness to help would not be questioned.
If you are asked to go outside unexpectedly, and need to put on tights, it may be best if you do not frame the issue as a tznius one, but instead say, “I’m more comfortable wearing tights”.October 18, 2009 3:45 am at 3:45 am #665133
Plonis, it may be time to have a conversation with your parents and explain that you want to help them AND maintain the tznius standards you are choosing. Talk to them about how it seems contrary to what they have taught you to run out like that.
Also, perhaps keep a pair of tights on the main level of the house for easy access.October 18, 2009 3:48 am at 3:48 am #665134
Anon – thanks a lot! I’ll try it and see what happens….October 18, 2009 3:49 am at 3:49 am #665135
Missed the edit window–but if you are unexpectedly asked to go outside to help, and you’re not wearing tights, maybe you could say, “it’s freezing, I just want to put on something warmer”. If your parents don’t feel that you’re slacking or criticizing their standards it’s less likely that they’ll mind.October 18, 2009 3:57 am at 3:57 am #665136
Ha! I clicked on my edit button, but then when I finished typing it told me my post was too old. So much for gloating…. JK.
Thanks again for your advice, but it’s been an ongoing problem – your last suggestion wouldn’t work in the summer.
BTW – I don’t know if you’re reading me wrong. My family is yeshivish, my father is in chinuch… but I guess sometimes frustration takes over, and when I’m bedieved tznius (like if I take tiny baby steps, you won’t see my ankles under my robe), then they’ll get upset if I tell them I want to put on tights.October 18, 2009 4:02 am at 4:02 am #665137
Plonis: Glad to hear it 😉
If you are asked to go outside unexpectedly, and need to put on tights, it may be best if you do not frame the issue as a tznius one, but instead say, “I’m more comfortable wearing tights”. To add to this, maybe instead just say, “I’m coming right away! I just need to go to the bathroom first!” You don’t have to necessarily tell them it’s to put on your tights!
But I also think what SJSinNYC says makes sense, too. However, that kind of conversation really should be a private one between you and your parents, not in front of others. And you have to really be careful how you speak to them. Don’t make it sound like you are putting their standards down or that you are better than them. You will just get an angry or defensive response from them. The emphasis needs to be on working things out between the two issues. For example, “Ma, Ta, can we talk about this? I really want to help you and I also really want to keep this kabbalah that I made. How can we work this out?” A respectful tone will also be important in that type of conversation.October 18, 2009 4:10 am at 4:10 am #665138
NY Mom – I’m not comfortable speaking to my parents about it. But I like the bathroom idea….October 18, 2009 4:21 am at 4:21 am #665139
Plonis: Great! Let us know how it ends up working out.
Ames: Have you ever read the book “Outside/Inside: A Fresh Look at Tzniut” by Gila Manolson?
It really goes into the “Why” of tznius, as in hashkafa. It’s been a while since I read it, but I remember being really impressed by it, as she digs deep into reasons for tznius and why it is really beneficial on a logical level, as well.
Has anyone read it? She is also the author of “The Magic Touch”.October 18, 2009 4:25 am at 4:25 am #665140kapustaParticipant
plonis, first I’d like to say I have so much respect for what you’re trying to do, and I wish you lots of hatzlacha in doing it!
Maybe you can “plan”. Like if you hear someone oulling into the driveway, either go put on tights or just get out of sight so you wont be the first one whos asked and only go out when you’re wearing tights. Not sure if you’re comfortable going out in knee socks and a long skirt, but maybe always keep a pair in an accessible location for “emergencies”.
NY Mom, this thread is a wonderful idea! Theres lots of talk about tznius, but no one actually does anything about it.October 18, 2009 4:28 am at 4:28 am #665141
The new tznius book – Six Diaries that just came out is FANTASTIC!!! I think it’s a must-read. It had me (who went to a VERY yeshivish high school and always thought of myself having no tznius problems) watching myself more carefully.October 18, 2009 4:35 am at 4:35 am #665142
I was not inspired by The Magic Touch so I didnt read Inside/Outside.
Plonis, I think its very important to get the dialogue open with your parents. Maybe start with your mother if you are uncomfortable talking about tznius with your father?October 18, 2009 4:37 am at 4:37 am #665143
Thank you, kapusta. But I can’t take all the credit, because Ames was really the one to suggest it.
I actually started the other tznius thread because I was inspired by a recent shiur, where the Rebbetzin was brave enough to speak about this in such an open and honest way, but with great respect to the women listening. She wasn’t yelling or accusing, she just spoke about how great Jewish women are and what a tremendous mitzva tznius is. She even asked mechila from everyone a couple of times during the shiur. It was that shiur that inspired me to be more careful about socks/stockings.October 18, 2009 4:39 am at 4:39 am #665144
SJS – I have to sleep over it.October 18, 2009 4:44 am at 4:44 am #665145
plonis, can you voice your reasons for not feeling comfortable talking to your parents? maybe we can help you with that too!
I actually could use some help. Shortly after I got married, I had to stop covering my hair. I was getting pounding headaches to the point of vomitting/nausea and getting ready to pass out. I never realized it would affect me so much because I never wore hats or anything while single! Anyone ever dealt with this before?
It has nothing to do with how tight my hats are – even loose it hurts. Even doilies hurt my head! Right now I only wear hats to shul and try randomly when I am feeling up to it. But its not often…October 18, 2009 4:52 am at 4:52 am #665146haifagirlParticipant
plonis: I would tend to agree with NY Mom that the mitzva of kibud av v’em overrides your chumra. But I’m not a rav. Do you have an LOR you can discuss this with? He might be able to clarify things for you.
As an interesting side note, I once had a sefardi roommate who told me when her family lived in Sudan her father would not let her wear tights because there it was considered not tznius. I must admit I was quite surprised at that.October 18, 2009 4:58 am at 4:58 am #665147
I wasn’t pregnant at the time. My hair wasn’t too tight etc…
I do get massive headaches wearing hats to shul, but it gets worse the longer something is on my head. So I can stomach the first few hours, but after that I can’t.
It gets really hard when I’m working in power plants and take my hard hat off all the time!
EDITEDOctober 18, 2009 5:02 am at 5:02 am #665148BemusedParticipant
Have you ever mentioned this to your physician? This sounds medical in nature, and should be addressed as such. Unless, as ames suggests, your hair was tied too tightly; I’ve experienced that.
Hatzlacha!October 18, 2009 5:04 am at 5:04 am #665149
SJS, have you tried the pre-tied snood/ tichels? They are much looser than most hats, & if they are touching your head at a different spot they may work better at not triggering headaches. But if doilies don’t work than they may not help…October 18, 2009 7:27 am at 7:27 am #665150
SJS-have you consulted with a rav? hair covering is a deoraisa! Much hatzlacha to you!October 18, 2009 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #665151
SJS: First, I must say that it was incredibly brave of you to bring this up. I totally admire you for this.
Secondly, I would definitely speak to a doctor about this. Did this ever happen when just wearing a hair accessory like a headband or barrette?
I know one other person who has told me that she began covering her hair when she first got married, but got headaches and consequently decided not to continue. She is a relative who is also modern orthodox and whose husband really didn’t care either way. I don’t know if I feel comfortable calling her regarding this, because we don’t really keep in touch except maybe once a year. But if really want me to, I might consider doing it, because she is really nice.October 18, 2009 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #665153rwndk1Member
why does my seminary, and all the Israeli seminaries for that matter, insist that my stockings be of the transparent type? Is revealing my legs considered more tzanua? I asked the head of the seminary and did not get a clear answer. My father tells me “you are right it makes no sense, your cotton socks are more tzanua, but I recommend you do as they say and don’t cause problems.” My mother is a model of tznius and she only wears black stockings. Any insights?October 18, 2009 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #665154
rwndk1: This does sound confusing to me, as well. All I can say is, I assume they asked their halachic authority regarding this issue, if they have made a specific policy about it.
Whatever answer you received, which you state was not clear, maybe the “head of the seminary” can further clarify to you or to one of your friends, and answer specifically whose psak this is, as you are confused about it – especially considering that your father concurs with you. This, of course, should be done with respect and deference.
If this can not be clarified, I would agree with your father, and not make waves about it, because your motivations may be misconstrued, which would cause you unexpected troubles from the hanhalah.October 18, 2009 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #665155haifagirlParticipant
I once read in a tznius book that it is better to wear light-colored stockings than dark-colored, because with dark-colored, you know when you see the light patches you are looking at skin, whereas with the light-colored stockings it all looks the same. Of course, that particular section of the book did not mention totally non-see through, or “bullet-proof” stockings.October 18, 2009 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #665158
hi im new to the thread i got this as an email and i thought it gives some food for thought….
The day pencil skirts were created, I laughed.
From my perch in Paris where I direct the Designers, I laughed.A laugh of approval.A laugh of deception.A laugh of cruelty.The evilest of evil laughs.Why did I laugh?Because I realized I’ve got them.No, not the weak ones.Not the ones falling between the cracks.But the best of the best..Only THEY can help me.They’re the ones I can feed off of.The weak have nothing to offer me.The strong ones are the ones I need.Yes, the best of the best.The “Benot Yisrael”So she’ll do her daily mirror check.Pearl earrings
in place.Button down.Black tights.Skirt covers knees.A true Bat Yisrael.I watch from afar.And I continue to laugh my evil laugh.Just wait till she sits down.I’ve tried in the past with the collarbone, but theres no fooling them. They’re too strong for me. with the elbows, there’s no
way.Thatleaves me with only one solution- the knees. Covered when they look in the mirror, and so -they innocently think- covered the whole day.True, there are those few moments here and there when she notices, soshe’ll tug on her skirt a bit but I’m not worried
because there will be plenty a moment when she won’t notice.But fortunately, the Rabbis in front of the classroom do.And so do the weak girls.And so does G-d.Even for those who do realize perhaps this skirt is too short, there’salways the black tights excuse to help me out.Thankfully, they don’t seem to realize that black knees are still knees.Oh I’ve educated them well.Secretly, slipped the word “Duty-length” into their
vocabulary.That did it.They’re more defensive about it than anyone else.If they buy a skirt that by
mistake is “duty length” I watch proudly as they run to the seamstress to chop it off to just below the knee.The stronger amongst them will say a little longer below the knee, but they also don’t realize that that won’t help them very much when they’re sitting.Then there are those who do scare me because they really are trying to do the right thing. So when they sit down, they’ll tug on their skirts and pull it over their knees. Or so they think. I just hope they’ll be
sitting with one leg on top of the other and then they think their knees are covered but in actuality, only one is.Thank G-d, they don’t take their leaders too seriously when they encourage them to go for four inches below the knee.
I’ve succeeded in getting them into defensive mode when it comes to these things.I’d worried way back that they would realize that their relationship with G-d
is ideally that of agood marriage, and their leaders merelytheir husbands close friends coming to tell them what they’re husband REALLY likes.Because if they would realize that, they would RUN to buy the “Duty length” skirts. Because when you truly love your husband, you
run to prepare whatever it is he likes.But then I would be out of business.Thanks to my hard work, that’s not the case.Seems their marriage is a bit shaky after all.And to my credit, their “Husband” watches them sadly thinking is thatall our marriage means to you? All you can give me are skirts that JUSTcover the knees. Is our marriage merely an obligation to get over within the easiest way possible? Is that how much you value me?And I laugh.With much appreciation to all those who’ve assisted my cause over the years,And with gratitude to all those who’ve provided me with many good laughs,The Satan Editors note:Yes, he has got us in more ways than not, and yes it’s so easy to thinkI’m a good Bat Yisrael girl so what are a few inches anyway?But just recently, we were forced to see that when it comes to the aim of a gun or a rocket, a few
inches really DO matter.And we witnessed Hashem being SO careful with His inches, so manyrockets JUST missing their aim.Maybe
we can show our “Husband” some well deserved love.And be careful with our inches too.October 18, 2009 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #665159yoshiMember
I am not claiming to be the most Tzniot individual out there, but I’d like to express my opinion on the matter. Women are intelligent beings, but they are human as well, so you can understand how dressing Tzniot can be a challenge.
The intellectual part of us asks;
Why dress in this specific manner, What are the reasonings to do so, How should one know what is permitted and what isn’t?
Our materialistic instinct suggest;
But this outfit is so cute, If She can dress like that so can I, But this outfit compliments my figure so well.
People need to be educated in something before they can commit to it. There should be Tzniot classes that offer a wider spectrum of “levels.” You can’t have a former Bais Yaakov student learning at the same “speed” as someone who never learned their Aleph Bet. When they hold these Tzniot meetings, most of the women who should be going don’t because they are afraid of the reactions they might get when stepping into a room full of very Tzniot clad women. Most of the women who know the rules and reasons are getting REeducated, while those who don’t attend, don’t even have the step to guide them into Modesty.
(p.s. There are several women from Bais Yaakov backgrounds, who are starting from scratch as well).October 18, 2009 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #665160tzippiMember
Funny how the short pencil skirt wearers (always dark skirts) wear opaque same color tights, which was assur a few years ago in sem….October 18, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #665161
why are/were opaque tights assur?October 18, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #665162sunflowerMember
rivakles, thank you very much!October 19, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am #665163mybatMember
Aren’t opaque tights for the cold?October 19, 2009 12:57 am at 12:57 am #665164
rivakles: Welcome to the CR and thank you so much for your post!
Yoshi: Thank you for your thoughts. I agree with you that everyone has their own level of tznius, and many of us need to be re-educated on much of the halachos and hashkafos of this very important mitzvah. I just hope everyone will feel comfortable posting their own individual struggles, no matter where on the spectrum they fall.October 19, 2009 4:44 am at 4:44 am #665165
Gezuntheit why are/were opaque tights assur?
they are not asur it just a matter of what type is accepted in different communities. i know that from experience from when i was in manchester sem it was considered modern to wear black and back at home in us its frum. i asked my cousin in israel where this idea came from so she said its because when one wears black opaque for intance it shows very clearly where the feet are, two black sticks that strike out while sheer are not at stark the definitions where the lines are. i myself wear both types but this is just why some dont like the opaque look. if one is in a place where it is not the norm to wear dark
opaque then its better not to wear it but if one is in a place where its accepted then it is fine it is not a tznius issue thenOctober 19, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am #665166rwndk1Member
rivkales: do you really believe that seeing “two black sticks” indicating the toes is worse than sheer where you can see the flesh itself?October 19, 2009 2:08 pm at 2:08 pm #665167
I heard that there was an asifa in Lakewood for women about tznius a while back, and one of the messages was that if you are wear flesh colored pantyhose, then it needs to be of a color that it’s obvious you are wearing stockings – not a color which is so close to skin tone that it is hard to tell.
I even heard that the next day the stores were overwhelmed and didn’t have enough pantyhose in stock for everyone who was coming in for the ‘proper’ color stockings.
Anyone from Lakewood know if this is factual? Was there anyone at the asifa?October 19, 2009 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #665168
One other thought about buying stockings: Please be aware of the not-tznius pictures on the packaging. I keep my unopened packages in a bag in the drawer, then when I open them up I make sure to dispose of the packaging in a way that my husband or boys wouldn’t be able to see it, even if they went to the garbage can to throw something away.
Why put an unintentional stumbling block before them?October 19, 2009 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #665169
i already said that i dont go by that opinion gezunteheit wanted to know where the idea came from. i think its fine to wear nude tights but it should be obvious that your wearing something
nymom- i do the same thing with the covers of the tights!October 19, 2009 4:11 pm at 4:11 pm #665170mepalMember
NY Mom: I’d like to precede by saying, that although I may have come across feeling otherwise, I definitely agree with you that there are problems with the tznius standards these days. We have dulled our senses.
One of the hardest parts for me by far, is shopping for hours and coming home with… a pair of socks. The reason being, that nothing else I liked was ‘tznius enough’. It makes me so upset. So yes, maybe I know Hashem is proud, but it doesn’t help me feel any better. And then the things you do buy, that you feel is tznius enough, isn’t “kosher” for others and they let you know that in rather not-so-nice terms…
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