Zumba=Not Tzanuah?

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  • #931210

    dandelion
    Member

    gavra_at_work –

    I heard a chasuv rosh yeshiva in E”Y say that tznius is for women like what Torah is for men. Torah is not the end all be all, but then again, it kind of is actually. Tznius is not “just a woman’s mitzvah” like lighting Shabbos candles is, it’s much bigger than that. And it should be treated as such.

    It’s hard for us women to get into a halachic/gemaric discussion and debate, because we’re just not qualified, but, in my humble opinion, that is not how women tend to approach mitzvos anyway, particularly the mitzvah of tznius. How much of tznius is actually halacha anyway? Barely any of it. Cover yourself, no pants, nothing too tight. And all the rest is up to the interpretation of each woman. Tznius is not about how important the gemara says it is, it’s about the sensitivities and *personal* feelings toward the mitzvah, and respecting yourself as a princess of Hashem. We don’t look at these theoretical gemara concepts in order to figure out our view on the subject, as men might, we look at them in order to get chizuk and the desire to grow in our tznius. So in that vein, if one reliable person tells me that tznius is a crazy powerful mitzvah that can have a huge effect on the world on the klal and individual levels (and conversely hurt it if not abided by), I’ll take that and use it in my life to help me in my everyday tznius. Just like there can be more than one set of “al shlosha dvarim haolam omed”, the fact that one idea might seem to contradict another does not mean they can’t both be 100% true. You can’t go wrong when trying to pump up tznius and make it look amazingly special, but you can go wrong trying to go the other way. In my unlearned woman’s opinion, at least.

    #931211

    sam4321
    Participant

    Gavra at work: I just want to be clear, when I sourced that page 382 I was not saying anything I was just quoting the page I think he got it from.

    #931212

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    dandelion

    What you heard from some “Rosh Yeshiva” is an actual statement made by the Vilna Gaon that said something similar, but different. Your anonymous Rosh Yeshiva then stole the Gaon’s statement for himself, and misquoted him! (or you are misquoting). If you would see the actual statement of the Gaon, you would understand it. I myself have quoted it a number of times on this forum.

    I have no problems with the rest of your Megillah. It is not halacha, or an attempt to address the issue at hand (The gemorah or the Choftez Chaim). If your Megillah is for the OP, then you are being more maikel than myself, but you are entitled to your opinion (even if you think that you are not).

    Sorry to rip into you, but you are making the same mistake as those before you in the thread. Don’t take anyone’s word for it, insist that you see the source inside, even if you are a lowly female. (cyn)

    #931213

    seeallsides
    Participant

    gavra at work – your point is well taken but the shemira is what we desperately need to avoid tragedies – look at the tzaros that happened because of the shemira that we lost with the three tzadikkim that we lost-and please everybody, stop saying it is just because we have more people, and quicker access to information, to have a leiby and r’ abuchatzera tragedies.we have to learn from those tzoros and not say it’s derech hatevah,…we desperately need and have to merit shemira, and tznius is women’s v’haya machanecha kadosh, and Hashem is kadosh, and if we want Him in our midst, in these terrible times with rampant pritzus, we have to go the extra mile.

    #931214

    a mamin
    Participant

    WOWW!!! How many of you are stating your opinion without even SEEING what zumba is all about??? Well I went to see it with a friend. It is just as bad as everyone says if not worse. The people in this class needed to get out all their negative energy. Is it in line with Kol Kevuda Bas Melech Pnima?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Those moves are for nightclubs and thats where they are doing it too. Not everyone but some of them….

    Pushate Yid: You can not compare this to the way some bucherim are dancing.Even though they might be out of hand, this is not comparable!!

    Dandelion: GIT GEZUKT!!

    Shrek: Women can exercise, it is healthy and needed, BUT it can be done with in halachos of Tznius!

    #931215

    Jothar
    Member

    The Oz Vehadar Levusha is not a reliable source , according to my Rav, as it completely misquotes the teshuva of Reb Moshe ZT”L. furthermore, it was not written for the american mentality. For instance, it says it’s a lack of tznius for women to wear sneakers. Maybe in Gateshead but not in America.

    #931216

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Jothar: My Rosh yeshiva told me that book is a good way to scare girls away from tznius. He said it contains almost every chumrah known and presents them all as basic, mandatory, halachah instead of as chumros. He said he advises people not to read it.

    #931218

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    How many of you are stating your opinion without even SEEING what zumba is all about???

    Me (Boruch Hashem). I also don’t need to see dancing with a pole to know a Bas Yisroel shouldn’t do it with more than one person around (Ask your LOR for extreme circumstances).

    #931219

    Shrek
    Member

    a mamin:

    how can you say that women should exercise? Has anyone asked a shaila to a Gadol about this? Has anyone gotten a hechsher for any particular type of exercise? Has a Gadol paskened the proper attire for women who wish to exercise? The proper amount of time women should spend on this activity?

    Until there is a clear psak on this issue I don’t know how you can say this so definitively. Even if you consider it a medical/health issue, surely one must ask a Rav just as one would ask a Rav before consuming medicine that might not be kosher.

    #931220

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    gavra at work – your point is well taken but the shemira is what we desperately need to avoid tragedies – look at the tzaros that happened because of the shemira that we lost with the three tzadikkim that we lost-

    So you are sure THAT is the reason why they died?

    I apologize, I didn’t know that I was dealing with a Navi. 😉

    Seriously, the shechina also departs due to Ga’ava. Or maybe it was their time. Or maybe the Arayos we have to work on is that with molesters, not women. Or maybe….

    Of course we should work on Tznius, but don’t pretend that it is the end all or the final answer.

    #931221

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Jothar: Oz Vehadar Levusha is not meant to be a halacha sefer (as per Rav Falk himself). One must ask their own Rov what to do. The book (as I’ve pointed out before) is Rav Falk’s idealized opinion as per what is the ultimate Bas Yisroel. Nothing to do with Halacha (he is more maikel in his actual SH”UT).

    #931222

    HaKatan
    Participant

    I think “a mamin” made an excellent point.

    A poster further back said “as long as its only women, who cares what they do”? There is a clear lack of thought that went into that statement? What if they had pole-dancing classes, women only? Is that okay, too? Obviously not.

    To be blunt, dancing like a zona is 1000% assur even if nobody is watching. It’s even worse if others, particularly men, are watching. But it’s still 1000% wrong even in total privacy.

    But as someone else wrote, anyone (regardless of gender) who condones this terrible lack of tznius is clearly lacking in sensitivity to what it is to be tzanua.

    To spell it out further, if you participate in immoral dances “with women only”, you’re guaranteed to be overall changed by this and, therefore, in front of men, too, you will also (to some extent) FOR SURE, dress/behave/act inappropriately (to some extent).

    As to the ridiculous comment about tennis and house-cleaning, tennis is not intended to highlight the body and is not inherently non-tznius even if *might not* be advisable to play in front of men. On the other hand, Zumba and Latin American body dancing are clearly intended to highlight the body, which is completely antithetical to tznius.

    #931223

    seeallsides
    Participant

    gaw- so just a cute aside – my friend was driving south on rt 9, and a yeshiva guy swerved straight into her from the side st – so she was telling him that he almost killed her and that at her levaya they would have said that everybody would say we have to be tznius, and nobody would have said that you drove like a maniac…..

    #931224

    oomis
    Participant

    Zumba is exercise dancing. It is meant to be done in all-female groups. Hence the inyan of tznius is less problematic, unless you consider it to be untzniusdig for women to exercise to music, in which case, you are correct. Is it the fact that they enjoy it a problem?

    #931225

    MCP
    Member

    Shrek, it sounds like you are just looking for an excuse not to exercise – the Gemara (and many other reliable sources, unlike Oz Vehadar “Lebusha”) make it very clear that a woman has to make herself attractive to her husband. Granted, each man has a different idea of what’s attractive, and if you/your husband has a thing for 300lb behemoths, good for you. Sarah Imeinu was blatantly beautiful completely naturally, so she didn’t need to play tennis c’v. The rest of us would like our wife to be in decent shape – I’m not saying a size 2 is necessary, although it certainly is nice ;)- but at the very least she should be in shape.

    The same goes for the so called “untznius” dancing. If the girl is not doing it in front of any men, not including her husband, there is nothing wrong with it. Where is there a halacha against a girl having a nice body, if she uses it only to please her husband? Please find it for me, I would love to see it.

    #931226

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    gaw- so just a cute aside – my friend was driving south on rt 9, and a yeshiva guy swerved straight into her from the side st – so she was telling him that he almost killed her and that at her levaya they would have said that everybody would say we have to be tznius, and nobody would have said that you drove like a maniac…..

    Made me smile. So true.

    #931227

    Belev Echad
    Participant

    this is really funny! im usualy the one defending all the dance stuff-i do hipp-hop type dance and am forever defending the funky beats and everything…

    so i find it really amusing that people are defending this so passionately. do you even know what zumba is?

    the dances are by definition (look them up!) designed to be provocative, sensual dances that are all about certain parts of the body arrousing….

    so that’s the definition. now i think everyone needs to clear up whether or not its ok to dance like that if there are no men around.

    but please. dont kid yourself that its just “excercize dance class for women”

    #931228

    a mamin
    Participant

    oomis:You are way off!!! Zumba dancing is disgusting even only in front of women!!! There is a sensitivity lacking here!! Without that sensitivity you cant possibly understand what I am saying!! You either have it or you don’t!!This is a major problem in todays society!!

    #931230

    essy8
    Member
    #931231

    essy8
    Member

    dandelion: while its true that all exercise machines may use movements that are not tznius (hence the separate gyms) the attitude and feeling is not in rebellion to the hashkafa of tznius. even swimming is not comparable to zumba where the eyes and body are losing sensitivity.

    “only women…” it has nothing to do with women/men, it has to do with the harm you are causing your own world view

    #931232

    essy8
    Member

    i believe it has a lot to do with attitude. for example with regard to dancing at chasunas, when i got married (i’m persian) i refused to have even sephardic sounding hebrew music because i believe that the way those in my generation (i’m in my 20’s) see that type of dancing is as a chance to be provocative, rebellious, and cool. however i have gone to events and seen pure, pure rabbis and rebbetzins dancing sephardic with no provacativeness, and none of the trief feeling–it even looks refined.

    #931233

    oomis
    Participant

    oomis:You are way off!!! Zumba dancing is disgusting even only in front of women!!! There is a sensitivity lacking here!! Without that sensitivity you cant possibly understand what I am saying!! You either have it or you don’t!!This is a major problem in todays society!! “

    A mamin, I sincerely hope you did not just tell me I am lacking in sensitivity. What you consider disgusting ain’t necessarily so. It is not being done in front of men, and if it were, then one might see a problem, as the moves are somewhat provocative. I have seen Zumba exercises, and they look like a lot of fun, and are very motivating to women to do them, as a result. Don’t get so excited. Maybe you object to women belly dancing in private, also.

    #931234

    WIY
    Member

    1. The people who are pro these types of things are forgetting the concept of shivisi Hashem lenegdi tomid. Hashem is everywhere and sees you even when you aren’t in public and aren’t in front of men. There are certain ways that Jews may not act in even when in private even in solitude!

    2. The way you act influences your essence (Sefer Hachinuch- He was a Rishon)

    If you act immodest even in private or not in front of the opposite gender in short order you will be acting immodestly even in public. The things we do, EVERY thing we do effects who we are and what we become and acting immodestly allows the midoh of pritzus to take a hold in our personality.

    #931235

    old man
    Participant

    After all these angry posts against women who are enjoying themselves and trying to stay healthy, it needs to be said again:

    Women, do not listen to the people who claim to state halachah while admitting they are incapable of reading a sefer halachah. Do not listen to those who define tznius or yiddishkeit for that matter, by what THEY do, or what THEY have heard. Decide for yourself. If you need guidance, get it from someone you trust.

    And “zumba women”, do not worry. It is not because of you that bad things happen, and don’t ever let anyone make you think that.

    #931236

    What ever happened to Tebo? (teebow? Tybo?) You know, the kick boxing exercise routine. Would that be considered more tznius that Zumba? Is punching and kicking more refined than wiggling?

    #931237

    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Yes, there was a “Old King and a Fool” who said to do the same. Do what you want. Don’t worry. Nothing bad is consequence for your actions and don’t ever let anyone make you think that. No Judgement no..

    I am truly glad the the majority of my Yiddishe Sisters who love HaShem, know what He truly wants from us. No – you’re not going to find this in any sefer. They didn’t have this in times of chumash. But those who love HaShem, who are in line, in sync with him, know what He truly wants. Wasn’t there a poster that said women are more closer to Ratzon HaShem? Did anyone hear of the concept naval birshus HaTorah? This is an exact example.

    #931238

    old man
    Participant

    I’d like to reiterate my point, ladies.

    Those who say “I know Retzon Hashem, after all, I’m in sync with Him and you are not”,may be comfortably ignored. Just ignore them. They claim to know, but they don’t. Don’t let them get to you, even if their mommy told them so.

    #931239

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Did anyone hear of the concept naval birshus HaTorah? This is an exact example.

    I agree (as I did earlier, assuming it is similar to dancing with a pole). However, don’t say the word “Assur” in connection with this (granted you did not, but others did).

    Edit: To add, this has nothing to do with women, and really not much to do with Tznius the way the term is usually used. IMHO (and others will disagree) yidden should not glorify their sexuality in public, even before the same gender. It is not “Tzanuah”.

    #931240

    miritchka
    Member

    I’ve been chalishing to try zumba out. just never had the time. after reading all this, maybe i wont.

    I understand why some of you would feel that certain types of excersize might be untznius even in front of women, but to go ahead and say that all excersize is questionable?!

    I used to go to the gym all the time. Now that b”h i have my own family, i dont have time. But i can tell you that the few times i wake up extra early to go to my basement and do excersize, you cannot imagine the energy it gives! For me, its much easier to do excersize in a group as opposed to a machine or on my own. So please, dont bash those women who excersize until you’re the one who takes care of all the responosiblities that a mother does.

    #931241

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Some not so random thoughts reading different comments:

    What might be considered provocative in one culture is considered a normal every day activity in another.

    Some seem (of course, I might be completely misunderstanding them) to be making the leap that forgetting the “shivisi hashem” principle is somehow equated with a lack of tznius.

    Most exercise routines involve the movement of certain body parts one should refrain from doing publicly. In fact, bending down to touch your toes or doing jumping jacks (which my daughter does in her typical BY school with the “exercise morah” 2x a week) involves such movements as does ballet. Why the particular brouhaha over Zumba?

    #931242

    Toi
    Participant

    apushitayid- my wife exercises regularly. i asked her what zumba is, cuz i aint got a clue, and she replied “yuch, its shaking parts of your body you should be embarassed to do in private.” i guess its not like regular exercise.

    #931243

    a mamin
    Participant

    Oomis:: What makes you think that women can do UNTZNIUSDIK things in front of women? You shouldn’t even do it when you are alone!! The reason as such is because you are never alone, Hakadush Baruch Hu is always with us… hopefully?

    This thread is getting sickening, I made my point for those of you who care to listen…

    #931244

    Feif Un
    Participant

    apushatayid: Probably because some “askan” who has a problem with it, went to some Rav who has no idea what zumba is or what it looks like and completely misrepresented it to him, trying to get is banned. Unfortunately, he succeeded.

    #931245

    a mamin
    Participant

    Feif Un: I am NOT A RAV and I didn’t ban it BUT GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

    #931246

    Feif Un
    Participant

    a mamin: I never said that you banned it, and I never said you were a Rav. Unfortunately, there have been many things recently which were a result of things being misrepresented to Rabbonim by people with an agenda. I believe this is one of them.

    #931247

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    In my gym the zumba class didn’t seem provacative (I watched them but didn’t actually do it). The ladies would be very sad if zumba was cancelled. The teacher plays music without words and does not do provocative moves.

    I think the step class and aerobics class is worse because they play music with words. Sometimes the words are so bad that I ask the teacher to skip that song. revolting.

    #931248

    a mamin
    Participant

    Feif un: I think your screen name says it all…. no need for further comment.

    #931250

    WIY
    Member

    A point that may or may not have been mentioned. Based on my experience with exercise and having some experience with weight training exercise dieting…I can’t imagine any high impact women’s dance class that burns a significant amount of calories as well as works the whole body as being Tzniusdig in any way. To burn calories you need to put in a lot of effort so automatically that will require all kinds of crazy contortions of the body which aren’t tzniusdig.

    If you want to burn calories do Tae-bo or some other kicking martial arts type workout. Most dance workouts are just not Tzniusdig, and if you are serious about losing weight do treadmill or elliptical or jump rope because they burn the most calories.

    #931251

    goldenkint
    Member

    zumba is based on latin dance moves which are intended to be very sensuous and provocative. that said it is possible to dance without being provocative if you stick to the steps and moderate the other moves. certainly the dances as danced originally are not tsnius but that doesn’t mean that you can’t dance them in a tzniusdik fashion. you can do the same with nearly every dance. yes ,it is proper to raise the sensitivity of a bas yisrael and avoid dancing in a provocative way ,and this includes all dancing. years ago i used to see girls at weddings dance in a very “prust” way and i never understood it. it doesn’t matter if you’re only dancing in front of women. its unbecoming to a bas yisrael. i think the classes should be renamed “kosher latin” and go out and have fun. just like we’re allowed to use parve milk with fleishig and fake bacon and shrimp, we should be able to dance fast to latin music albeit in a kosher way. and yes eliminate the unacceptable lyrics.

    #931252

    pet peeve
    Member

    i am not defending or advocating zumba here, but i really think it is out of place for men to be commenting on this thread and telling women what is counted as tznius or not re: dancing. men just cannot understand all the aspects and sensitivities involved, and some people here are just coming across as judgmental.

    #931253

    HaKatan
    Participant

    “pet peeve”, I think you’re wrong.

    Men, who have spent many years learning halacha and other areas of Torah are quite capable of expressing an opinion on this matter, though there should always be sensitivity.

    Back to the topic:

    Again, Zumba is “sensual” in nature. You simply cannot argue around that and it is therefore not justifiable for anyone no matter who they are or are not in front of. For other types of womaen’s dances/exercises, too, there’s no reason to use perverted motions and/or non Jewish music.

    There’s no reason you can’t do fast dances, to fast Jewish music, that exercise your entire body in a dignified manner befitting a bas melech without resorting to disgusting animalistic imports from the land known for this particular form of pritzus.

    I did not see anyone discouraging exercise for either gender, and that would be a mistaken notion if anyone did. But find a way to exercise that fits with kol kevuda bas melech penima, not to mention simple kavod haAdam and don’t resort to the many impurities from the street.

    I’m curious how many defenders of this disgusting practice would feel if they heard the Queen of England takes Zumba lessons. Would they not think it’s at least tacky? Why is a Bas Melech not given *at least* that much chashivus?

    #931254

    Feif Un
    Participant

    HaKatan: so what if it’s sensual in nature? Sensuality has a place in Judaism. A woman can take what she learns in zumba, and use it appropriately. I’m sure the husbands would appreciate it.

    #931255

    bpt
    Participant

    Not my place to comment on Zumba per se, as it is geared for women. But I can see the draw it has. Be it for excercise or self-expression / release, it works wonders. True, any sort of aerobic excercise will give you the same results, but the key is motivation, and to stay focused on an excercise regiment takes real commitment and motivation.

    Zumba’s motivation speaks to an emotion that gets motivated with little effort, hence the huge following.

    Madison Ave knows it, now 13th Ave knows it too. And what better way to disguise the emotion by calling it “excercise”. Who could find fault with that?

    Funniest of all? I have chassidishe neighbors who are avid Zumba dancers, who go to classes in their turban, housecoats, and # 70s. If they only knew to whose “tune” they were dancing to.

    The Yezer Horo outdid himself this time. Hard to believe how many ways he can package the same product, and keep finding customers.

    #931256

    apushatayid
    Participant

    We recently hosted a woman well above 60 who told us she is a certified Zumba instructor. I dont know what goes on in her class, but if she is any indication, sensuality and provocative movements shouldnt be on anyones radar screen. She could barely lift herself out of her chair to wash netilas yadayim.

    #931257

    bpt
    Participant

    “shouldnt be on anyones radar screen.”

    yeah, thats while she was sitting at the Shabbos table. But when she puts on her turban, housecoat and # 70s.. watch out!

    #931261

    HaKatan
    Participant

    Feif Un:

    That might be true, except that it’s *inappropriately* sensual. Sensuality cannot contradict the Bas Melech essence. I don’t want to bring other hypothetical examples to illustrate the point, but HaMeivin Yavin.

    Besides, even if Zumba were as you propose, it would be highly inappropriate to publicly engage in physical sensual marriage-enhancing activities. Marriage is private, and public Zumba, even in your perception, is therefore a gross violation of tznius to turn most anything to do with marriage into a group activity (certain types of lectures not withstanding). Again, I don’t want to bring other hypothetical examples, but HaMeivin Yavin.

    #931263

    Feif Un
    Participant

    HaKatan: For your first point, sorry, but the Rambam disagrees with you. He said that anything which enhances a marriage is holy and permissible (provided it isn’t against halachah).

    As for your second point, I disagree with you. Yes, obviously the intimacy in marriage is private. A Zumba class is not part of that. There is nothing wrong with women dancing together. The fact that it can be used within a marriage does not mean the thing itself should always be private.

    #931264

    tahini
    Member

    Where I live in a heimishe suburb it might shock you to know my local orthodox shul hosts zumba classes for ladies, the majority of whom are modestly dressed, snood or sheitel wearing mothers and daughters, the music is latin instrumental, no words and the moves are I guess watered down conservative interpretations of true Latin dance steps mixed with traditional israeli/jewish folk dancing.

    I do not go but plently in my kehilla do.

    many years ago when I married my sephardi sister in laws taught me how to dance, it was a revelation to see how graceful and lovely their dance steps were, at sephardi simchas if any ladies have the chance to see the dancing they will see refined examples of dance and happiness. Less big jumps and heavy footwork, more feminine gentle movements

    Feif un you have made a very good point, one not thought of enough these days , marriage needs to be worked upon and treasured. Many women dress to please other women and fit in, nothing is more tznius than being modest when out and about but glamorous for one’s husband in the home.

    #931265

    oomis
    Participant

    I would point out that a good exercise workout probably does MORE for tznius, because it enables women OR men to get rid of their excess energy and channel it into a healthy activity.

    #931266

    Think first
    Member

    Fein un—- why don’t you just pick out a source like abaya or rava and pasken straight from the gemora? You can probably find a shita that holds u can drive a car on shabbos. Since the rambam there has been something called “shulchan aruch” and the rambam himself is not happy with you if you follow his view when the shulchan aruch says we Dont pasken like rambam. You have a little thinking to do about the way u pasken.

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