During these days of reflection on our priorities and current state in galus, I feel the need to bring to light something that has been bothering me for quite some time. I am not here to preach as many others do about the connection of such and such an issue to our current state surrounded by countless tragedies and crises. That is not my position and surely never will be. As Rav Avigdor Miller once said, “use caution when driving on icy pavements,” in response to an individual who upon the news of a terrible fatal car accident sought out the spiritual lessons to be learned in the wake of such a devastating blow. However, oftentimes we witness obvious compromises to our Halacha/Hashkafa values that are truly black and white issues. I feel that these issues simply require awareness, as the excuses upon learning about these issues will be hard to come by.
The subject of Women’s clothing and tznius is always a touchy issue. People become defensive and seek sources citing the origin of particular accusations of breeching Halacha. The schmooze of tightness in clothing is a topic unto itself, and I am clearly avoiding that issue. There lacks a clear line of demarcation as to what is too tight and what is simply fashionable, hence I will not go there. I am bringing the length of skirts to the table.
Correct me if I am wrong, but when I was growing up 10-15 years ago, skirts clearly above the knee (no I am not referring to those skirts “flirting and attempting to break the plane of the knee”) were reserved for your modern orthodox cousin Jennifer, or Aunt Sally. I consider myself “normal” (I hate that word) by the standards of this audience. I was brought up in a regular bala batish environment, exposed to fashion and trendy dress, yet was never exposed to the degree of prevalence that short skirts have been accepted and looked away by these same bala batish communities. Look around (or perhaps don’t), it’s utterly embarrassing!
The reason I am bringing this to discussion is because we are dealing with a clear definitive issue. No if, ands, or buts. The crowd I address knows I am correct, and if you are reading this scrunching your nose saying “get a life, we have bigger fish to fry” then it is precisely you I am talking to! This issue takes minimal effort to correct, and perhaps a little shame in knowing that it is being realized by men and women alike will assist in reverting to the ways of only a few years ago.
I am not being “Taliban,” as some enjoy saying to dismiss various issues brought to the table, just a fellow Jew pointing out an obvious irrefutable issue.
May we be michazek ourselves with the issues that are so well within our reach.
A Concerned Yid
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.
Why is this “Not Just Another Tznius Letter”? It sure seems the same as all of them.
Please G-d: Let this not become a whole debate- Lets just say the truth THE WRITER IS COMPLETELY CORRECT. MAINSTREAM CHAREDI CIRCLES NEVER IN HISTORY SAW SUCH STYLES!
If disenters do speak up, it should be obvious to all readers that they are Modern Orthodox. In those circles, women sometimes dont cover their hair, sometimes wear pants, short sleeves etc. Obviously, they would have no concern about an inch or two (or thre) above the knee.
If, still, readers of YWN actually defend the open-knee style, all should know that they are MOs in charedi garb!!!
I am full fledged with you that tznius (or the lack of) has gotten out of hand… i have one critic to this letter though. you write “This issue takes minimal effort to correct, and perhaps a little shame in knowing that it is being realized by men and women…. ” this is outright wrong… every step a person takes to better themselves takes a tremendous amount of effort and should not be taken lightly. the way a person dresses is the way they want to portray themselves to others. any change even as slight as to closing the top button of their shirt takes a tremendous amount of effort. it takes a lot of effort and self control to go about any change in appearance because the person feels a change in themselves and they are afraid of how people will look at them now.
kol hakovod and hatzlacha rabba to anyone that has the strength to fight their conscience and peer pressure.
To Add To this letter…
Tznius is not limited to being ONLY about skirt or sleeve length and clothing snugness.
It relates to MEN as much as women, and is about dressing MODESTLY.
What IS modestly?
I would like to suggest that while we do not have to walk around in burlap sacks, – anyone, female OR male, who buys, selects, wears clothing and/or jewelry for the “wow” factor is transgressing the halachos of tznius.
What is the “wow” factor?
If a woman or a man buys an item of clothing or a necklace or even a watch so that other people will see it and go “WOW! THAT is georgeous! That looks amazing! Where did you find it?!?!?!” – L’fi aniyas da’ati, that, by definition is not tznius. To call attention to yourself, to make yourself stand out and be noticed, is the antithesis of what tznius is about.
No, I am NOT suggesting burlap bags, but a nice, refined, non-flashy, modest appearance is what tznius is about.
I’m quite sure that HaSh-m is not impressed with designer labels, and I don’t think we should be either.
I grew up in the 60’s when mini skirts were the rage and long skirts were unheard of (as opposed to now, when everything goes). I would argue with my very tsniusdik mother for every 1/4 of an inch to make my skirts as short as possible and still meet the tsnius guidelines, because I didn’t want to stand out as a frump.It was also almost impossible to buy long enough clothes where I lived because there were no heimishe stores and everything I bought had to be lengthened. But, now when it is so easy to be tsniusdik, I am appalled by the way so many of our community’s women dress, even “choshuve” women from very well known frum families.When I was young it was much more of a nisayon than I perceive it to be now, so why are so many women dressing this way?
It is embarrasing to go in a public place and see women who are supposedly frum and maybe even consider themselves Heimish wearing skirts that definitely go above the knee when they sit down. Do they expect men to walk around with thier eyes closed? We are also human and the yetzer horoh tries to entice us as it is. By women dressing to kill, they are bringing upon us and themselves utter destruction. It is because of this that we have so many problems in our community. PLEASE, try to dress normally.
It is quite sad that the length of the skirts and dresses today have gotten shorter to the point that when sitting the skirt has to be pulled down as the person sits down just to make sure that the knee is covered.What is it about the styles?Wouldn’t we be better by having a full length going closer to the ankles or about 3 inches above the ankles.Why are the woman today so into making sure that the new styles are with lower standards.I was at a simcha recently and there were woman that literaly had to pull down their skirts when they got up as their dresses shrank up the legs when they sat down. It is disgraceful and should not be the way a true aishes chayil should dress and certainly should not allow her children to dress that way either.
The girls today are following their mothers habits and it is extremely embarrassing to say the least.
I’m a little confused-why are people so much into Tznius. I think that we are in Golus because of Sinas Chinam and because men cheat in Business (and I am a man)causing Chillul Hashem -not necessary blaming the women.
Women may have more time to do teshuva by going to seminars etc but “Bzchus Noshim Nigalu”, so if these people would stop looking at women and take care of more pressing issues-maybe we would be better off.
mR BLOGGERMAN- You asked: ‘why are people so much into Tznius?’
Did you ever hear of gilui atayos?? Its on eof teh 3 Cardinal Sins in our religion. One needs to give up his life for it, and the Rama says that includes avizrayhu (related prohibitions).
Does that answer your question?
#8 – The Chasam Sofer stated that “The last golus will be worse than all the others…In previous exiles there was no immodesty…Immodesty is worse than all the other sins of the Torah”.
It is unrealistic to assume that “people would top looking at women”. That’s the point of tznius. It is the nature of people to take in the world around them, how much more so the sight of an erva, as is the case with pritzus.
The Zohar’s loshon is much stronger in sefer Braishis, parshas Vayeshev. By all means, read it and see for yourself.
Sorry – its Gilui Aryaos.
Additionally, We will soon vlo yihyeh becha ervas davar veshov macharecha.
Not having Kedusha in Klal Yisrael – which is what tznius preserves – causes Hashem to remove his Shechina from Klal Yisrael. Thats a pretty serious matter!!
I think this is absolutely the biggest breach in tznius to discuss this issue on a publicc forum like YWN. This will accomplish absolutely nothing and only contribute to antagonism, (and also improper thoughts to readers). If anything constructive about this can be done, then its only possible if awareness is conveyed to women by other women mechanchos/speakers, and NOT through men, since men are nogea b’davar and are criticizing from their own perspective/feelings, instead of giving women the understanding and insight into the chashivus/benefit of being more tzanua. As far are as men are concerned, Hashem has given them bechira to control their thoughts/benefits regardless of their ‘proclaimed’ nisoyanos; its absolutely NOT the domain of men at all to comment/suggest/criticize on women’s tznius issues!
Tznius is a very sensitive topic and I don’t think anything will really be accomplished by posting such letters. Proper tochachah has to be given in a very loving and nice way in the right time.
In my VERY humble opinion….I think that husbands who are bnei Torah should tell their wives in a nice way, listen honey, your skirt is a little too short, your sleeves don’t cover your elbows, the wives would want to listen to their husbands to make them happy. What happens sometimes is that some men may give their wives compliments on clothing that is not tznius, thus encouraging them to buy MORE clothing like this. Not saying it’s all the MAN’S fault, but how they can help the situation.
May Hashem bring the geulah soon and we should feel close to the shechinah and be able to fight all nisyanos, especially Loshon Horah, sinaas chinum, and tznius.
Being exposed daily to women from the “frum” community, I can’t help notice that the skirts have gotten shorter and the clothes tighter than just a few years ago. Some of these shaitel wearing woman are now wearing clothes so tight, I wonder how than can breathe. Everything may be covered, but their tight flashy clothing is not tznius.
By the way,being a man, I am distracted by them.
Men have their ways to bring the geulah closer and women have theirs. Tznius of women (dress, behaviour, etc.) is DEFINITELY important. every man and every woman needs to point to themselves and say, “what can I do to bring the geulah closer?”
#8. You are confused? Well, take some pills.
bloggerman2 is spot on. many people don’t realize that the reason why the beis hamikdash was destroyed and unfortunately currently not rebuilt is due to sinas chinum. the gemara says that every generation the beis hamikdosh is not rebuilt it’s as if it’s destroyed through that nation. while the lack of tznius from both men and women is indeed a problem and must be fixed sinas chinum is a much more pressing problem that must be fixed
Bloggerman2, you are confused a little more then a bit. There is just only 1 holy torah, & one can not mix & choose, what he likes. No one is arguing, the points you brought up are very important, & yes Bzchus Noshim Nigalu, however men have their Nisyonos & women have theirs. Anyone going against the Shulchan Oruch, even on 1 halachah isn’t any better then the reform jews. The reform claim the Shulcan Oruch was for ancient days & not for modern days, & today it’s important to be a jew at heart (& pay membership to the temple).
If people have nisyonos on certain halchos & fall through, as long as they know they sinned, they will end up doing tshuvah. However if they deny their wrong doing, they will end up chas v’sholom like the reform.
“The girls today are following their mothers habits and it is extremely embarrassing to say the least.”
Girls have always learned from their mothers. That is not embarrassing. What is embarrasing, are the things that they are being taught, or not taught.
how about the Baal T’shuva or Tinooch Sh’nishba who made the decision to be Observant and then see the same things in our communities they saw in their secular communities.
Women’s dresses is one issue… men’s behavior in business is equally another.
People return for many reasons, but one of the major one’s I hear is midos… to strengthen our midos as Yiddin… and then for them to see us fence walking in regards to what our Sages had to say… ummmm…
We are better than this… we are definitely smarter than this… debating issues we all know the answers too… come now
“I’m a little confused-why are people so much into Tznius. I think that we are in Golus because of Sinas Chinam and because men cheat in Business (and I am a man)causing Chillul Hashem”
If there were as many “open letters” about honesty in business (and other money matters) as tznius letters, there would be a lot fewer chillul hashems. However, it is very easy to blame women and skirt lenghts because it is quantifiable. Either it does, or doesnt cover the knee.
While the issue of skirt lengths is there, what about men running around in shorts? (I am a man) How can a husband tell their wife that they’re not dressed tzniusdik if they aren’t? Then again these husbands probably encourage their wives to dress the way they do. Tznius isn’t just a woman’s issue but men as well.
While were on the topic of conforming to halacha, why is it when you walk into shul noone most of the men don’t wear a hat and jacket?
for those of you accusing the ‘MO” for breaches of Tznius, please walk around Flatbush for a day and Teaneck for a day and you will see a lot tighter clothes and shorter skirts in Flatbush than you will in Teaneck,
Please dont go looking at others for your shortcomings.
Just look in the mirror.
Everyone and their cousin Jennifer can reflect and come up with some narishkeit. Reflection is not about blaming others but rather attempting to correct ourselves especially these days (Sanhedrin 18A). Apparently the perfect writer found nothing in that area. The anonymous writer is not only covering up his(/her) identity but also the fact that many men also do not dress and behave properly and that little boys do not wear short dresses.
I just would like to add that Tznius is not just for women. As a Jew each one of us are responsible to dress and talk appropriately. I always wondered why tznius drashas and lessons were only taught and lectured to women and girls- but perhaps it was because we women were the ones that were challenged the most with tznius. However, as I look around today at some of the young men and boys in our community- i think it’s time that the men learn about how tznius applies to them as well. it’s not only the women wearing tight fitted clothing the trend today it seems is for many (not all!) boys to wear tight fitted pants, shirts, and suits- this is not a tznius look
Please! Bezchus Nashim doesn’t mean the fact that they existed. It means because of their actions. Therefore, this author is trying to correct their actions here too. If the Nashim of today will surpass the men in good deeds than the same will be true for this Geula.
13 – shindy, I think your second point answers your first.
To add to #4, while this letter writer is 100% correct, living a life of tznius goes way beyond the way women dress. It includes the cars we drive, the houses we build and live in and the chasunas we make. And yes, I know how much money these people give to tzedaka. Thats not a carte blanc heter to gouge everybody else’s eyes out. I am by no means suggesting that everybody go drive a 69 Chevy and rent a 3 bedroom apartment. There is a happy medium to live comfortably without being gaudy.
As a strong point of reference, see the Klei Yakar on this week’s parsha Perek Bais Pasuk Gimel and you will see how he feels about living ostentatiously in Galus….and that was hundreds of years ago. I cant even imagine what he would write about today’s frum lifestyles.
Just as a side point, tznius is not only about covering what needs to be covered, its being refined. Many of the styles now may cover the elbows, knees, and collarbone but are extremely unrefined.
get a life, we have bigger fish to fry
I agree with all above that tzniyus is a major problem in some neighborhoods (sorry Long Island-just because you have moved out of Brooklyn does not mean you take on the pritzus dress codes-or lack thereof)My pet peeve is that there are no frum magazines for women that show women how to present themselves properly by showing pictures of role models-Rebbitzens, Baal Cheseds, Bikur Cholim ladies so that we can show our daughter-see this is how a Bas Yisroel dresses and presents herself. Sometimes when you ban something people feel the need to be seen by flashier clothing.imho.
Are knees and elbows so provocative that they need to be covered? If men can’t control themselves at the sight of knees or elbows, then the problem is with the men, and to require women to overdress (in the heat) because of their knees and elbows seems crazy. What is some men are attracted to hands, should the women be forced to wear gloves all the time?
#32 – halacha is halacha. If knees and elbows are considered erva, that means that they must be covered, period.
Let’s just review what that great enemy of Jews, Bilaam, suggested to King Balak of Moab, as a sure way to destroy the Jewish people:
Get them involved in immorality! G-D hates immorality, and anything connected to or leading to immorality.
If we, as a people abandon our carefully-crafted rules for avoiding immorality, and anything that might lead to immorality, we will alienate G-D from our midst and place our people in grave dnager, Heaven forbid.
As Bigjosh writes above, “There is just only 1 holy Torah, & one can not mix & choose, what he likes.”
Certainly, we should not practice Sinas Chinam, and certainly we should be honest in business. This is part of keeping the Torah.
It is also part of keeping the Torah to be Tznius-dik, modest. Unfortunately, the immodesty that I have seen is not limited to one particular neighborhood. I have been on buses where women sit with their legs crossed, so their skirts ride up, and their knees and part of the thighs are exposed. I have also seen the too-tight clothes, too-flashy clothes, too-short sleeves, too-short skirts, exposed painted toenails (some of them Red), red fingernails, and ankle chains. I have seen the word, “Juicy,” across girls’ backs. I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you what that means.
Hashem tailors the specific details of each Mitzvah to the Neshama, so when C”V an elbow or a knee or a collarbone is exposed, your Neshama subconsciously knows the difference.
We are also supposed to speak in a refined manner and avoid Lashon Hara and dirty language, which damages the mouth of the Neshama and prevents our prayers and Torah learning from reaching Heaven.
The writer is aware of the fact that there are countless issues that need adressing for the betterment of klal yisroel. He was simply stating an obvious issue that needs chizuk. Why is it that every time an issue is brought up, we start going crazy about how this is not THE most important issue. Just because there are various issues, we shouldn’t take the time to adress any particular one? The writer clearly was not bringing the association of galus/geula/bais hamikdash (read first paragraph) and this issue to the table.The writer stands corrected on the fact that the issue does NOT take minimal effort to correct and is a life altering undertaking. The issue was brought to light by a woman herself, and the writer is reflecting the views of men and women alike. And yes the writer understands that tznius should not merely be synonomous with women alone, but the ranting about how people always acuse woman to be the breechers of tznius and “what about the men?” while all true, is clearly a front in avoiding the issue at hand. The writer was clearly not going into the many specifics of tznius issues at large, rather just this particular issue so that perhaps some awareness can be gained. Why cant we just take the message for what it is?
I will glady correct the poster as he requests. You may only be remebering 10-15 years ago, go back and look at family and event pictures from the 70’s and you will see that the skirt length then was approximately what it is now. Maybe it got longer in the 80’s and 90’s amd now it’s getting shorter. So basically it appears that stylrs are reverting back and that the longer length had nothing to do with tznius (it wasn’t preached in the 80’s like it is now). If everyone would go and take care of thier own family first and then leave the mailbag letters and kol koreh’s to the Rabbonim maybe something could be improved.
31, I think that’s a bit of a straw man. There are several large productions a year, e.g. Bnos Melachim, just for women, featuring women; there are other live gatherings – speeches, dinners (even a bikur cholim dinner, I’m sure); there is one’s rebbetzin and other community members.
“Why is it that every time an issue is brought up, we start going crazy about how this is not THE most important issue.”
Why does it seem that Tznius is the ONLY issue brought up?
because the Possuk says that it is the ONLY avairah which the shchina says “I’m going”, when we sacrifice shchina for shechainah [neighbor] we get treeted as if there is no shchina … just read the headlines of YWN each and every day … Refuah Shlaima … Boruch Dayan Emes …. Prison … cuts …. recession …. spies … heart attacks … and the list is endless
veshov meiachareche is ONLY applicable to lack of tzenius!!
#39/APY: I don’t know in which remote corner of the world you are in, but there are discussions and shiurim on MANY MANY issues. Tznius is just one, and in fact one of the least discussed unfortunately.
to flatbushed – maybe knees and elbows aren’t attractive, but, the Torah considers them as erva and therefore they have to be covered. Tsnius is not a matter of uncovering or displaying only attractive body parts, but, whatever the Torah asks us to cover.
As far as mothers setting bad examples for their daughters, all I can say is that I know many fine women of my generation who dress very modestly, yet their daughters are all into the trendy tight, short clothes. They did not learn this from their mothers.
Tsnius today is a very big issue and we cannot ignore it, that’s why the topic keeps coming up. There should be a lot more tsnius awareness asifas, in the community for women and men, and in the schools. Even little children should begin learning at an early age about the concept of tsnius. It bothers me very much when I see a young innocent 6 year old girl wearing red nail polish and very short sleeves and a very short skirt. I am sure her mother bought the clothes for her and put on her nail polish. At that age children are very impressionable and it is a good time to teach them about tsnius. Even in the playground, I see little girls who are not wearing tights do all kinds of monkey business on the gyms, exposing their legs and underwear. When I was a child doing that was a no no, even goyim didn’t show off their underwear like that. (pardon me for being so blunt).
As one who grew up close to 40 years ago, your letter is appreciated and timely YET not stating ‘an unusual event’. In the 60s & 70s the majority of Torah women (wives of Rabbanim, RY, Rebbeim, etc. included) wore the mini skirts. Unfortunately this was a global issue, take a look at the graduation photo of BY of Yerushayalim in the 60s and you will be in utter SHOCK.
Nevertheless you are right and skirts should be longer and covering the knee is the accepted halacha.
bloggerman2 & #17 – how do you know the lack of tsnius today would not be cause for a galus? true the current galus is because of sinas chinam but who says that if we were not in galus and sinas chinam was corrected that the lack of tsnius could not cause another galus?
The Gemorah says the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of a lack of tznius — i.e. eye shadows, makeup, etc.
#43- bklynmom “In the 60s & 70s the majority of Torah women (wives of Rabbanim, RY, Rebbeim, etc. included) wore the mini skirts”
That’s just blantly FALSE! Not ONE frum woman that I knew when I grew up in 60s and 70s [for surely not wives of Rabbonim] wore mini skirts! Not sure where you grew up, but no where where I was did that occur.
To state such a blanket statement about our previous generation is terrible.
40,41 and 45. I was referring to all the open letters that appear on YWN and letters to the editor. Ever see an open letter about kashrus, bittul torah, lasho hara (I have to admit the CC Heritage Foundation has that one pretty well covered, so why bother going there), laitzanus or sinas chiman? And no, the gemara does not say the bais hamikdah was destroyed because of a lack of tznius, please dont distort gemaras.
#47/apy: See the Gemorah in Shabbos 62b that says that a reason for the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash was women used excessive cosmetics.
I was in High School during the 60’s when the mini skirt was in full fashion. It was impossible to buy a long skirt unless you shopped in boro park. I learned to sew and made skirts for all the females in my family. We were/are modern orthodox Jews. We modern orthodox Jews of the 60’s also covered our knees and elbows. We might have worn sandals, but our skirts and sleeves were long and loose.
I come to Brooklyn every couple of weeks to shop and visit family, and until the last year, I never noticed how women dressed.
The first time, I could not figure out what was wrong, but the “look” just wasn’t right. It took me awhile to realize that many women wore skirts that were too short/tight with slits above the knee in the back. I couldn’t figure out how these women sat down and felt comfortable. Now women seem to buy short sleeve/low cut blouses and “fill in” with skin tight tops underneath, again I cannot figure out how covering a body with something that totally reveals the shape of the body is modest? I was taught that modesty was to dress in such a way that the body was not the focus of attention.
I (a modern orthodox Jew) started to feel more uncomfortable in Brooklyn, than I do in my own community on Long Island. In my neighborhood the orthodox women do not wear short/tight skirts. The ultra-modern might, but the run-of-the-mill orthodox woman dresses with more care than some Brooklyn women. I wonder why/how this “revolution” ocurred. And I am truly saddened that Frum women see themselves as fashion icons, rather then representative of their faith.
I am shocked about the people that are talking so high and mighty about this issue.
First of all, this should be a women’s issue and not a men’s
Also, as I mentioned it mentions NOWHERE and NO recognized POSEK(not R’ Elyzshiv,R’ Wosner or any Dayan) that says that the only reason people should be going crazy is TZNius. It definitley wasn’t the cause of the churban.
I see many Jewish men causing World wide scandals in Medicaid Fraud,Mosering on others,whole Rabbinic dynasties fighting in public. If people would stop looking at yenem’s property and Yenem’s woman MAYBE we have a chance for Moshiach to come.
I am really sick and tired of only tznius campaigns and not Shidduch Campaigns. What happened by the Rubashkin rallies was an anomaly but a happy anomaly. May we only have and continue to have Achdus
#50 bloggerman2: I’m with you on the tznius issue as I posted on #12; tznius is definitely solely a women’s issue/mitzvah, and men should deal with the issue of self control PRIVATELY within themselves together with THEIR own mitzvah of limud hatorah.
However you mention: “I am really sick and tired of only tznius campaigns and not Shidduch Campaigns”; maybe instead of critcizing the klal, you can attempt to do yourself some fundraising on behalf of the many established shidduch organizations whom are desperately struggling financially to keep up with their minimal budget to help the klal in this most crucial area???
#50 — Tznius WAS a cause of the churban. See comment #48. And two wrongs dont make a right. If there are other problems, it does NOT excuse the pritzus problems. And it is EVERYONES business. Areivim kol yisroel zeh lzeh. We are all responsible to our brethren when they sin.
And we DO have reminders, shiurim, and articles on other issues. In fact tznius discussions warrant MORE discussions, talks, shiurim, etc. considering the comparitive prevalence and seriousness of this issue.
To #51- How do you know that I am not active in Klal work?
I just hate that anything goes wrong and people right away blame tznius-what about Chilul Hashem that I am embarrased to face goyim about?And Chilul Hashem and Gezailah ARE Meakev the geulah
That source has nothing to do with tznius and the meforshim only quote Sinas Chinam which is applicable to all -whereas Tznius (the context that people are talking about)is applicable to women only. Except where it says “Vehatzneia Leches”-we should have simple houses and simple cars etc
bloggerman – the gemorah itself I cited says the churban was a result of pritzus and using too much cosmetics.
#55: The bayis rishon, not the bayis sheini. The Gemorah states bayis sheini was destroyed exclusively because of sinas chinom. And, while not delegitimizing the great importance and chashivus of the mitzvah of tznius; I will reiterate that for a ‘Man’ to criticize/interfere in the woman’s mitzvah of tznius, this borderlines on the issur of sinas chinom which definitely caused the destruction of bais hamikdash. If you are in fact a women then I suggest you (and other women posters here) find a different forum to discuss tznius issues with other women, other than YWN.
#56 — that’s hogwash. We are each responsible for each other, and that includes insuring others Jews don’t sin. Tochocho is not only a mitzvah, but an obligation.
I’m glad that someone has spoken up about the skirts.
When I grew up, it was very challenging to get skirts
to cover the knees. We would look at all hems and figure
out if they would be long enough when let down, before
buying. Also, teachers in Bais Yaakov would stand in the
hallway and watch the girls pass by. If anyone’s skirt did
not cover the knee, they would be called out and spoken to
in no uncertain terms. We knew they meant business.
Finally, long skirts came into style, and we breathed a
sigh of relief. Since the 1970’s both short and long
have been available. Therefore, it is so painful to see
certain women today, simply wearing short skirts when they
can get any length and be totally in style and trendy.
There is no reason, whatsoever, to uncover knees today.
When I grew up, it was very challenging to get skirts that
covered the knees. Before buying clothing, we would check
the hems to see if there was enough to let down. Also,
teachers in Bais Yaakov, would stand in the hallway
and check the girls’ hems. If anyone’s hem would not cover
their knees, they would be spoken to in no uncertain terms.
Since the 1970’s short and long have been in style. There is
no reason at all, to uncover the knees. It does not make one
more trendy, just immodest.
To me its irrelevent wether this is a correct or not.
What I want to know is, why whenever something bad happens is it because of womans tznius issues? there is a heck of a lot of problems that the men are doing/not doing…
correct me if i am wrong…but tznius is not just a “nice minhag”. it is halacha. as such i fail to see why anyone would, or could be opposed to this letter. many of the arguments against are that “oh its a woman’s problem not a man’s, so keep it off this forum”. ridiculous. it is a man’s responsibility, because if lack of tznius is encouraged by men, women will not dress with the modesty they should.
another argument “this topic has been covered so many times so stop talking about it already”. this too is stupid. supposing i started killing children in boro park, and i did this for 5 years, would you then say that people would stop looking for me, and stop talking about it because it’s been five years? if anything the correct response would be to talk about it more. every year that passes that this problem persists simply makes the case for more people to talk about it. if everyone talked about tznius…every single Jew…we wouldn’t have this problem now would we…i rest my case.
argument #3 “there are s0 many other topics, why are you playing frummie about one issue while disregarding the others?” really. really? are you kidding me? okay. fine. that’s what you want? i doubt it! if someone took the time to actually make an all inclusive post about all the problems that need changing in our community, YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO READ IT! so please stop with this ridiculous argument, this issue is an important one, and just because you don’t feel like changing does NOT mean that tznius does not merit discussion!
with this question i hope to close this discussion.
do you believe in the Torah and therefore believe that we must adhere to the halachos of tznius? or not?
if yes, then the discussion is closed. take the letter to heart and make all necessary improvements in your life.
if no…get off this forum.
#32 flatbushed says: “Are knees and elbows so provocative that they need to be covered?”
You are obviously a woman (and if not you should have a refuah shlaima b’karov). The answer is an absolute YES. This is a concept that is unfortunately almost impossible for most women to understand because it isn’t their nisayon. The Torah classifies elbows and knees as erva. This is not a chok, it is because it is a part of the body that causes hirhurim. (as an aside, even if it was a chok you still have to follow it) If women understood this clearly it would be much less of a nisayon for them to keep them covered. You know that a loaded gun is dangerous and will therefore be extremely careful if you had one in your possession. A 4-year-old who does not understand the dangers completely will not be as careful with it but the adults around him will go crazy when they see him playing with it. So too here, many women are like the 4-year-old when it comes to tayva, they just don’t understand its effects and dangers to men. The men will go crazy and make a big deal out of it while the women don’t understand what the big deal is. Fortunately, there are many women who are makpid on tznius and who do make a big deal out of it and try to teach those that just don’t get it.
to #32 flatbushed
you mamish don’t understand the extent that one must go to protect themselves from this terrible sakana which is infecting the world. nebuch, there are many people like you in the velt.
While I agree with the fact that Tznius is very important I have to say that I disagree with the way it is being brought across, firstly I think there is an agenda behind the men bringing it out where they might be feeling guilty on looking when they shouldn’t be and therefore blame the woman so as to assuage your own guilt. Secondly , growing up in a Bais Yaakov upbringing anytime they discussed anything we had to work on it came across as the most crucial Mitzvah in the Torah – bringing quotes like many of you are bringing about this issue- the truth is we don’t know what’s considered the most chamur in Hashem’s eyes and what’s not so we should approach all Mitzvos (i.e. being honest in business- isn’t that one of the questions they ask you the second you get up there,) or anything else for that matter as very Chamur. That being said I hate to break it to you, Tznius is not enough to bring Moshiach- we all know that Ahavas Yisroel is what is needed and if everyone is putting down or feeling hat in their heart towards women who possibly don’t know any better or do but can’t control their Yetzer hara on this issue, then Moshiach will definitely not come. Worry about yourselves, stop looking at the women and let them grow in tznius because they feel accepted and not rejected by the more right winged chareidim.
I find this whole forum to be a bit upsetting… As Yom Kippur has just ended a few hours ago, I know that I spent much of the day doing some personal reflection. The whole issue with tznius ia SO personal to each person. All these generalizations about “Brooklyn” and “Teaneck” are just that… generalizations! There is definitely some women that perhaps have not connected to the reasons that they are meant to dress a certain way and have stretched that line and found loopholes to make it work for them. This is definitely a problem… but the real problem is that we all need to look at OURSELVES and make sure that the way that we are dressed and they way that we act are truly tznius – regardless of what our neighbors, friends, aunts, etc… are doing. Maybe if each woman would look onto themselves and make those changes because it is what’s right for them, then maybe it will catch on! I know this is a bit idealistic, but I know that each person has the internal strenght to make positive changes for themselves – not becuase their husbands make comments on what they are wearing, not because of harsh comments or pressure from peers, and certainly not from forums like these – simply because they want to better themselves and make a closer connection to Hashem! It’s definitely NOT an easy thing to do – I grew up in a much more “modern” community where as a young girl, short skirt, pants, and tight cloths were the norm… I had to make a decision for MYSELF to make changes, and not let any other pressures make them for me.
So, I hope that as we are starting a new year and we have all left Yom Kippur feeling a little more inspired, maybe all the women out there who have this nisayon of tsnius being something that is difficult for them, should have the inner strengh and insight to make those positive changes for themselves!!