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The Rebbe’s Call for Summertime Tznius: ‘Shameless Clothing Styles’

“Every year before the summer, generally at the Yud Bais Tammuz Farbrengen, the Rebbe would speak about Tznius,” says Oholei Torah Mashpia Rabbi Michoel Seligson. At his suggestion, CrownHeights.info presents a new weekly feature for the summer months: a short thought of the Rebbe on tznius, as compiled by Rabbi Seligson.

A little background: Late 1969 much focus was placed on a new dress style. On Simchas Torah the Rebbe had already addressed the issue of tznius at length. When the N’shei Chabad mid-winter convention took place in Adar, the Rebbe set tznius as the prime theme of the convention. In Iyar, when the Rebbe spoke to the assembled N’shei Chabad, tznius was the topic.

The following is the continuation of a letter to N’shei Chabad from the 7th of Adar I 5730/1970, Rebbe’s Igros volume 26 page 324 (free translation from Yiddish):

“There are those people, who as a result of their lack of Torah knowledge in general, and on the topic of tznius in particular, assume that the laws, regulations and customs relating to tznius, diminish the Jewish woman from her social privileges [is considered different from others –editor’s note] or affect her dignity, and the like.

This is a false assessment. The truth is exactly the opposite. Our sacred Torah and our sages OBM have stressed numerous times the dignity and beauty of the Jewish daughter and woman. Many regulations were instituted exclusively to protect and preserve their honor and importance. Related to this, the well-known verse ‘The glory of a princess comes from within’ (Tehillim 45:14) is often quoted. The Torah describes the Jewish woman as ‘glory’ and ‘princess’, but requires this should express itself in a manner of ‘inwardness’, tznius.

But even from a logical perspective, we see, especially in these last years, what the collapse of tznius has led to. The shameless styles in women’s clothing, aimed to provoke the low class traits of the animal soul, express the downfall of the modern world, as far as the basic foundations of morality are concerned.

The hefkerus and pritzus, rachmona litzlan, of a large part of today’s youth has brought about shocking tragedies in many homes. It is definite that if these young people would have been raised with the foundations of tznius in accordance with our holy Torah, many tragedies could have been avoided, and many young lives would not have been destroyed.

In light of the above, I am of the opinion, that the matter of tznius needs to be established as one of the main features on the daily agenda in Jewish circles.”

(To be continued)

6 Comments

  • 1. Chaim wrote:

    The [new] Shulchan Aruch says that your allowed to be immodest if you are doing the ice-bucket challenge.

    Reply
  • 3. they really should start the do-a mitzva-challenge wrote:

    not very tznius all these women posting videos of this especially pouring water over themselves…..and then posting it for all to see???!!! They mean well but being not tznius is not the way to help someone who needs a refuah sheleima

    Reply
  • 4. Chaim wrote:

    It’s not only the woman.

    What about all the shirtless, short wearing men?
    No Kipa and Tzizit?

    What about those that give their eight year olds to drink a beer before doing the IBC?

    One Mitztva bring to another….one sin brings…

    Reply
  • 5. one more wrote:

    one more point:
    you can say what the Rebbe said, but you can’t dress these women yourself.
    I have no issue with tzanua and I try to keep that high standard.
    So the question is: if we talk and talk and those with a tzanua issue keep going, then what do we have left??
    we have left what WE can do:
    IF WE DRESS TZNIUS, THEN WE MUST MAKE ALL OF OUR LEVUSH “TZNIUS”:
    NO RECHILUS
    NO LOSHON HARA
    NO AVAK LOSHON HARA (if you don’t know what it is, learn what it is, its very important)
    CHESED TO THOSE WHO SEEM NOT TO “DESERVE IT”. DECENT HANHAGA TO OTHERS.
    and more.
    THAT
    IS
    WHAT
    WE
    CAN
    DO.
    get it straight. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE NEXT PERSON. AS MUCH AS WE’D LIKE TO, WE WERE GIVEN OURSELVES TO PURIFY. Those with tzanua issues have their cheshbon. i don’t like it to be so open and publicly seen, but that is not what I have control over.
    HOWEVER, I CAN….I CAN:
    CONTROL HOW MUCH AND WHAT I SAY AND DO, AND THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. IF YOU BELIEVE IN HASHEM, THEN KNOW THAT THIS WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. ITS THE WAY THAT HAKODOSH BORUCH HU MADE IT. WAKE UP TO THE REALITY AND START MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
    DON’T BE SELF RIGHTEOUS….as in “well, I dress tznius and they don’t, so I can stare at them or I can berate them”. REALLY?? what does that really do to them. Create yieras shomayim??? LOL.
    wake up and make a change.

    Reply
    • 6. VERY WELL wrote:

      you can add on the list of Tznius all the latest fashion ,the 5 carat diamond,the lexus,the italian furniture,,, etc etc is all part being tznius

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