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Op-Ed: Tznius Is Not Just About Clothing

“We are so focused on the clothing aspect of tznius that we may be missing the forest for the trees,” writes a member of the Crown Heights community in this op-ed shared with

by Anonymous

We are so focused on clothing when clothing is a detail (an important one) of tznius that we may be missing the forest for the trees.

Tznius is about true inner self expression, when we are working on enhancing our relationship with ourselves, our children, our spouse, and people around us in a way that is real, honest and sincere, and most importantly our relationship with our creator, We can easily be lead astray.

To make sure we do not get trapped or sidetracked by our natural desires of respect/fame or unhealthy attachments which can be a severe impediment and damaging to our real relationships, because then we are not expressing ourselves but rather expressing what other people desire to see in us, connecting in an unhealthy way which is not true to ourselves – which is the total opposite of a real relationship. And this is where tznius comes in – to remind us to focus on honest and true connections that can only come as an expression from within.

Tznius is for everybody (as stated in Shulchan Aruch), and men are just as responsible. And when people say “what can we do about tznius?” As always, we need to start looking at ourselves and seeing if we are focused on fitting in (even a chassidisher click) or are we working on more amesdik hiskashrus with torah, and by definition the people around us.

We all understand that we need to feel good about what we wear, and realize what is healthy and what is not.

May we all have success in finding the inner strength we possess, to climb higher and reach heights that we cannot even imagine.


  • 1. Av wrote:

    This is incredibly badly written and actually is guilty of the exact crime it is trying to speak against. The forest in the case of a jew is halacha. The trees are the feel good inward pointing self esteem raising parts.

  • 2. Mendel Kohen wrote:

    Let me paraphrase:

    Davening is not just about prayer

    We are so focussed on prayer when using the siddur is a detail (an important one) of davening that we may be missing the forest for the trees.

    Davening is about true inner self expression, when we are working on enhancing our relationship with Hashem in a way that is real, honest and sincere.
    We can easily be lead astray.


    Davening really IS about prayer and the siddur…

    Mitzvos really are about doing…

    The relationship and deeper meaning ENHANCE and beautify the basics but do not and cannot replace them.

    • 3. Good One! wrote:

      Enjoyed your comment. Shows the stupidity of the article.

  • 4. Agreed wrote:

    Tznius is much more than clothing, Just like shabbos is much more than not switching on a light switch. However – נעשה – doing comes first. followed by the נשמע – Understanding, depth, relationships etc. We dont wait till we embrace the depth and beauty of Shabbos to keep it – Let us increase in action and learn to love that which Hashem demands of us!

  • 5. The kangeroo wrote:

    You will never satisfy the Ayatollas in the not waste your emotions an time trying to explain.Do the right thing let the Shulhan Oruch be your guide.I have no cat in this fight.

    • 6. Av wrote:

      Yes let’s not follow asey licha rav vihistalek min hasofek or lo soser yamin usmoel. That sounds like a great idea, or maybe not really yiddishkeit.

  • 7. Citizen Berel wrote:

    Oh enough already. Women are sensitive to public opinion. Thus the gnashing of teeth. Don’t presume to tell US what to do. RG set the standard for his school. More power to him. And it’s about time.

    The world has lost it’s mind, and provocative trash is the new normal. Our woman have no idea. They aren’t aware the emotive evocations of short skirts and stiletto heals. They believe they’re just pleasing to look at. What so wrong about that. They aren’t goikes, they’re just really naive.

    The goikes are goikes, our woman lehavdil are just going with the flow. It’s time to change the direction of the stream, to be a little less shy. BUT WHO ARE U TO TELL ME HOW TO DRESS! Ignore me. If you can. Much as I am forced to ignore you.

    This isn’t rocket science. If we’d just cut out skin the short and the tight, we would be all good.

    I won’t look. I don’t look. But you are a public nuisance.

  • 9. bracha wrote:

    Men go to Miami and wear tee shirts or loud flowered shirts and bathing suits while the women next to them are expected to wear long sleeves, long skirts and keep their hair carefully covered. Then men take off the shirts, walk into the water and wade around with others while the women stand making a huge scene on the edge of the water trying to get their legs in the water up to their ankles or knees while every person on the beach is staring at them. Though not tzenus because they can’t show their skin they would be not be noticed wearing a overly modest one piece black bathing suit and wading into the water quietly next to their husbands.

    Part of tzenus is not drawing attention to yourself and when you are on the beach fully clothed ankle deep and everyone is in a bathing suit everyone looks.

    I live on Miami Beach and you can see this all the time from the boardwalk. The response is that “men don’t have to worry on Tzenus only women”

    You can say “don’t go to the beach” but the truth is many do and then men seem to feel it doesn’t affect them the rules affect their wives.

    There is something wrong all around with this thinking. If you are drawing attention to yourself then there is an issue and I’m pretty sure considering how the other 99.9% of the women dress on the beach the men should not be there for numerous reasons.

    This applies to malls and amusement parks while the women are shritzing under the noonday heat the men are wandering about not looking like chasidim or frummies. This reminds me of the couples you see in Walmart where the men look like an every day dude and their wives are wearing extreme coverings of the Arabic kind.

    Just being honest as I see it all the time.

    I also think we should stop obsessing on whether a woman’s legs below the leggings are covered with socks in the depth of winter when it’s cool enough to wear them. Obviously a man is not so on the derech if he is spending all his time staring at women’s legs, ankles and worrying on if a girl of 7 years old is properly tzenus. Perhaps men should spend more time in public saying memorized verses of Torah and looking up at the beautiful sky vs watching every woman who passes to see if her denim skirt is too tight.

    In today’s world most women work hard in our community to cover their elbows, knees and collarbone as well as their hair when everyone else is wearing tank tops, flip flops and short shorts. Women in the frum community who attempt to keep tzenus should be applauded and respected not criticized because their nail polish is too bright or the skirt is denim vs a black loose skirt

    These articles have been distributed in the main media and this is becoming an embarrassment to the frum or modern orthodox community that this is all men seem to have to worry on in today’s world… the fabriic of a woman’s skirt that covers her knees. Please……….

  • 10. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    Unanswered question??? Is there not a standard for men as well or is it just dump upon women chauvanism???
    #4) You are right, you have to be true to yourself in the way you best understand what is required via the Shuhan Orach and what you have been taught. Because you never can please the world.
    #5) You can switch always channels.

    • 11. Chana wrote:

      Modesty in dress applies to men as well. See SIchas Shabbos Parshas Teruma 3 Adar 5742 where the Rebbe says that even if no women are present, for a man to wear shorts is sheer ignorance of Halacha. People, you don’t have to have an opinion about everything. Just follow Halacha and you’ll be safe.

  • 12. The author of course agrees, just adds Pnimius to the Halacha... wrote:

    The Rebbe Maharash was not present at the wedding of his son, the Rebbe Rashab, which took place in Ovrutch, the hometown of the kalla, Rebbetzin Shterna Sara.

    After the wedding, when the new couple traveled to Lubavitch, the chosson suggested to his kalla that she ask her father-in-law to give her the brachos she deserved, for had he been at the wedding, he would of course have bensched them under the chuppa.

    In response to her request, the Rebbe Maharash replied, “Of course – on condition that you cut off that feather.”

    She was wearing a hat decorated by a prominent feather, as was the style at the time. She cut it off, and the Rebbe bensched her.

    (שמועות וסיפורים ח”א ע’ 78)

  • 13. The men also need to be tznius wrote:

    I agree
    We all need to be tznius
    Machshava Dibbur & Maaseh
    May HAshem give us the strength to do it

  • 14. You said nothing wrong wrote:

    Guys, slow down. She is addressing WHY people are struggling to keep these basic halachis. Being that just following the laws isn’t working anymore- the authors is adding the inner aspects to consider in addition.
    Yes, we need to Daven with a siddur- now what about all those who have stopped davenning altogether. Will they begin because they’re told to- unfortunately not so true anymore.
    We just read how the Rebbe ‘bribed’ girls with dimes to light Shabbos candles!
    Good Shabbos everyone and may we all merit siyata D shmaya to fulfill all mitzvos b hiddur

  • 15. no one special wrote:

    After days of articles and opinions there are 2 opinions that dominate the topic.
    One: Women want to be attractive.
    Two: Men are unable to control themselves so they
    must control the women.

  • 17. Amazing wrote:

    Ignore the above nasty comments. that was a beautiful article and kol hakavod for it.

  • 19. Moishe pipek wrote:

    Enough talking about this stupidity! Current Lubabs is a ship of fools.The ship’s name isTitanic.

  • 20. shlomo wrote:

    russian opportunistic way.99% written by Russian)))
    very effective way to oppose. it’s just harm especially in CH where you can see a woman with sheitl, but in skirts shorter than my underwear. and now they can say OOO it’s more important in pnimius, than hiconius.
    so common among soviet jew((( “It’s not matter what I do it’s a matter what inside. G-d know what I’m real.”
    good way but complitelly not jewish
    just naase venishma


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