The Matzav Shmoooze: Enough With the Made-Up Tznius Obsession


 Dear Editor,

            There is a phenomenon of publicizing made-up letters to the editor addressing so-called “tznius” concerns in certain media outlets. Editors love these letters, as it increases readership and creates buzz. These made-up letters – yes, they are completely made-up – usually don’t harp on a certain halacha of tznius that is lax, but rather focus on a made-up chumrah or some extreme made-up scenario. These letters are fabricated for the sole purposes of creating conversation. The letters are sheker.

            Not only do these letters insult the intelligence of the frum community, but it gives fodder to those who mock our way of life. In the age of social media, they get picked up fast and go viral, giving people their daily dose of “a crazy thing out of [Name the Frum Community].”        These posts and letters are nothing more than click-bate disguised by using tznius-related content. None of these made up chumros have rabbonim who signed off on them.

            There is no bigger lack of tznius than taking our modest way of life and publicizing made-up – meaning fake – tznius awareness for personal satisfaction.


A Concerned Yid


  1. I’m not a member of those communities, and the standards my wife and daughters adhere to (sheitels are OK, driving is allowed, and so on) would probably be considered insufficient by them. Nonetheless, I respectfully disagree with the letter writer – some communities are more makpid on what constitutes tznius and they have every right to ask others who come to their community to respect them.

  2. We need to talk about it. Do you realize what’s happening in our heimisha communities. Let’s not walk around with blinders. So many so called heimisha young women both married and single are going with short skirts that only ten years ago was not so widespread. I see it in flatbush,crown heights and other areas. Williamsburg not,but the younger women are wearing tighter outfits than their mothers. We must stop this apedemic.

    • Yes, there are issues in our communities. But I agree that the answer is NOT to make up more and more chumros.
      The issue is that our daughters are not taught about tznius in the proper way. They are teaching them that the reason for it is so that men don’t have improper thoughts. They also threaten fire and brimstone for those who don’t follow their rules. Lastly, they present all the extra chumros as basic halachah.

      Girls should be taught that tznius applies in and of itself, not because of men. If there are no men around, does that mean you don’t have to be careful? Obviously not. I told my daughter that Hashem created our bodies b’tzelem Elokim, in Hashem’s image. Therefore, our bodies are special, and have holiness.
      We take our fancy silver, polish it, and show it in our breakfront, because we want to show how nice it can look. We treat it properly to maximize its beauty. We should also maximize our body’s beauty. How do we do so? Hashem gave us rules, the halachos of tznius. When we follow that, we maximize the holiness and beauty in our bodies the proper way.
      It has nothing to do with men and their thoughts. It has to do with showing your holiness. Adding chumros just takes away from the perfect rules that Hashem gave us.

  3. The Lubavitcher Rebbe urges women to wear Sheitelich. One of the reasons he have for this is that a tiechel can always ” move back” thereby exposing hair in front. When we see pictures of women in the media (especially of the “dati” wpmen in Israel) we see how right he is. It unfortunately has become the “style” to expose a bit of the hair in front of the head, which is totally against Halacha.

      • No he doesn’t. The tshuva allows somebody else to say Kriyas Shema in the presence of a lady with only a small amount of exposed hair and is quite clear that such a woman is still halachicly in the wrong.

  4. I’ve been around since the 1960’s, and I’ve never seen a greater concern for and observance of tznius than exists today. Those who say that tnius observance is deteriorating are mistaken. The only explanation I can give is that because our current standards are so high, any slight breach is more noticeable.

    There are always people who say the “good old days” were better. See Kohelet 7:10. But this is an error.

  5. I would take the writer’s point as online not being the proper forum to discuss these things as sensitivity is part of this discussion. That being said, I still disagree on his point as far as the level of tznius he implies is right and how much is to far. I won’t continue as to what I do think is the right level as I don’t think blogs are where our feelings and information for tznius should be coming from.


  7. tznius is not limited to clothing. behaviors, such as loud speech and rowdy conduct is part of tzinius and required of men as well. screaming signs do not promote modesty. there are ways to explain our way of dress and behavior without offending the public

  8. I am an young ‘old timer’ what one would call a senior citizen – sadly i am appalled at what is occurring in the Haredi communities – it is the ‘chumrah’ of the week – Our parents and grandparents especially those who lived in Europe lived in communities, ran businesses and dealt with all types of people.
    What I believe has occurred a Failure of INDIVIDUALS to monitor themselves, they blame the women, the media, anything else but themselves. IM AIN ANI MI_LI
    Some of those people who dress IMMODESTLY – have spending power, perhaps if one of these people are Jewish by birth and not frum – maybe if we are nice to them they may come around.
    There is a Camera store in Manhattan attracts all kinds of customers – THEY DO NOT HAVE SIGNS (At least I didn’t see them)
    Perhaps people should be their own shomers

  9. This letter writer must be living under a rock. The state of tznius today is faaaar beyond chumros. Secondly, how come I never anyone complaining about the endless (rightfully so) campaign against Loshon Hora, speaking in shul, etc.

  10. What a pity that more than half of your respondents can’t write English. Maybe they should limit themselves to Yiddish. I literally could not understand many of the responses. I’m all for tznius, but if your readers are going to write in English, I wish they’d first learn the language!

  11. Wow Taking stupid to a whole new level. Thank you for wasting my time. Most pointless and dumb article and empty I’ve ever seen.

  12. But if you like tznuis, why not discuss it? It is the proper.

    Wise to ever never conclude that Hashem is the King who is VERY PROPER. He WILL manage any soul and family well when ALL Tznuis is acclaimed and taken right.

    Why discuss that any society other than Jerusalem’s right women and men are correct. We ARE the world to see. It is Torah and we are the society of all to know by priesthood.

    Touch not your wrong mind. There is Tznuis and this is a good article. We will not strengthen our daughters with immodest wear. They may do wrong and their kosher impact will not be winning faithful full.

    It is right.

  13. Absolutely unbelievable that there are people who think the level of tznius is good and we are too machmir!!! I am a woman and I cringe when I see MOST women! Short, tight clothing, clingy fabric, super long sheitels – no way are any of those things permissible in any shape, size or form. Okay, in the 60’s and 70’s we had to deal with the mini and all too many frum women wore short shirts, but the 80’s were wonderful. The 50’s and early 60’s also sported long, wide clothing. (Regarding women whose hair shows too much past their haircovering – I was told that Rav Ovadiah, zt”l allowed some hair to show, did not allow sheitels, and well, some allow too much hair to show, but rabbosai, is that worse than allowing your knees to show? Neither are right.) Yes, it has to be taught and talked about, because it’s been going on for OVER TWENTY YEARS!!!, so the younger generation has no idea that they’re doing anything wrong, and the older ones have mostly forgotten.

    • To food for thought
      Your comments are on target.
      Drive by crown heights and flatbush let alone five towns and parts of monsey. The younger generations have skirts above the knees. It’s insane. Where are our leaders. Even in the communities like williamsburg,Boro park and chassidisha monsey areas there is a downfall to n tznieos among the young women. It’s not a joke. Yes we all see chassidim with short trimmed beards and taller streimels with the ring of fur crowns on top but the wives are not afraid or embarrassed to come to Simchas sporting short skirts. In the winter they say it’s ok because they are wearing thick tights so it blends with their shirt skirts. Then you have this outrageous leggings all over flatbush where their ankles stick out. In the 1970s the shiksas wore them. It was a low class look. Now the so called heimisha young women are running around in them. We need strong warning to parents who dress wrong and infiltrate the school systems. It’s not enough to have a control on the parents cell phones but the way they dress must be regulated. You can’t expect the kids to wear dresses four inches below the knee while their parents sport skirts four inches above their knees. Wake up.


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