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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Misdirected Intentions

Was tipped off to this article by Treppenwitz. I am SO annoyed by the article.

Okay, so the Jerusalem Post is probably, maybe, and hopefully a bit biased in their reporting, but, honestly, I don't get it, for so many reasons.

First of all, if the issue is with how women are dressed, then why on earth was the gathering to discuss this dress held for men? Why are the men responsible for how their wives and daughters dress? Don't the women themselves have any sort of responsibility for the clothing they put on, and don't they deserve the respect of being entrusted to pick out their own clothing and following the laws? Women are supposedly so much more naturally spiritual, so don't they also have such natural desire to follow the laws in spirit as well as letter?

"Each and every father and husband has an obligation to vigilantly ensure that his wife's and daughters' dress is in accordance with the laws of modesty."

Um, if my father or husband were to "vigilantly" deprecate and nitpick each piece of clothing I picked out, I would go crazy and rebel without regret in a second. It's this type of attention to the minutiae of external trappings that leads to people being driven completely away altogether. What's important here? The fact that a woman ensures that her shirt is "10 centimeters longer than the edge of the skirt along the waist so as to cover [the midriff] during all movements" or the fact that she is happy and comfortable with herself? The attention to these tiny details specifically expresses to women that it is NOT what is inside that matters, only the outside. And if you ask me, that is completely antithetical to Judaism.

In addition to women not being invited to this lecture, singles were also not welcome. I guess it doesn't matter what they do. I suppose single women (at least those who aren't carefully inspected by their fathers before leaving the house each morning) don't matter, don't tempt the men with their short skirts and low necklines.

There are so many problems in Israel, I just don't understand how wigs that are too long are what is being chosen to focus on. Let's start talking about the huge rift that exists between religious and secular, and between the different streams of religious people. Let's talk about the issue of agunahs, of the rising rate of divorce or the huge numbers of people who aren't getting married to begin with. Or poverty and lack of education. Those are all real issues, and they are going to affect the future of Israel in a huge way. I'm sorry if I can't get so worked up because my skirt is an inch too short, it just seems to pale in comparison.

And, if you have a problem with what I am doing, then I think it's just respectful to address it to me. Because I would hate to shoot the messenger :)


  • Great critique. When I first read about it via Town Crier, I didn't read it carefully and notice that it was only for the men, or how it was worded.

    Personally, I was too busy laughing at the "modesty tailor" idea.

    Ahh, Judaism. Whatever happened to you?!

    By Blogger Ezzie, at 11/20/06, 11:24 AM  

  • you are right, there are serious problems which need solutions and those are pushed aside.
    The issues oyu listed should definitely get priority.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/20/06, 11:54 AM  

  • As a friend of mine said, "Taliban!"

    By Anonymous aishel, at 11/20/06, 1:03 PM  

  • I think this is the most blogged about topic today and if I had a blog I would also be blogging it. So many things wrong with the whole concept, but I don't think I have anything to add that has not been said by Treppenwitz, you, Ezzie, OrthoMom, Shifra, etc.

    By Blogger SaraK, at 11/20/06, 3:04 PM  

  • It is all ridiculous.
    But I would lik eto point out that whenever somebody does not like what the Rabbis and committees call for, they tend to often fall back on this exact argument - is that the most important thing they can find to pick on?

    You know what, it does not matter. Are the Rabbis only supposed to discuss the "most important" things? And who decides what is the "most important" anyway? Maybe they feel this is!

    No issue is mutually exclusive of any other. If they are negligent in dealing with other important issues, call them out on it. But criticize them for dealing with a different one that you consider less important??

    NOTE: I feel they are wrong as well and the method is ridiculous. I also feel that if you want to criticize that aspect of it go ahead. But I feel that to assume they can only deal with certain issues to the exclusion of others is incorrect and should not be argued. They should be dealing with those issues as well as this issue (seeing how important they find it).

    By Anonymous former yeshiva guy, at 11/20/06, 5:56 PM  

  • Ezzie -
    Thanks, and thanks for the link in your post.

    Prag -
    I agree.

    Aishel -
    LOL. Miss you guys. Give Hadassah a kiss for me.

    Sara -
    I didn't even realize that it was the hot topic when I wrote this - darn! I hate that.

    FYG -
    You do have a point that any problem is a problem that should be addressed. However, I think they would spend their energy in better ways if they were focusing on big issues rather than small details, which is what condemning sheitels that are too long is doing.

    By Blogger Shoshana, at 11/20/06, 9:25 PM  

  • i got nothing to add... good post!

    By Blogger ~ Sarah ~, at 11/21/06, 6:37 AM  

  • i don't agree with the wording. it makes the husband/father sound like the tznius police. we want people to do things out of love, not fear or forcefulness.

    that said, tznius IS very important.

    By Blogger Maven, at 11/21/06, 7:00 PM  

  • "a group calling itself "The Guardians of Holiness and Education"

    sounds like something out of Borat...lol

    By Blogger David_on_the_Lake, at 11/21/06, 9:24 PM  

  • You do have a point that any problem is a problem that should be addressed. However, I think they would spend their energy in better ways if they were focusing on big issues rather than small details, which is what condemning sheitels that are too long is doing.

    Ah, but that's exactly it. The other problems are too big, too scary. They do not lend themselves to easy or even realistic solutions. What, then, is a body of important people to do? Why not pick something small to focus on, so at least they can be seen to be doing *something*.

    And this highlights the distinction between a person who is in a leadership position (as these people are) and a real leader.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/22/06, 3:04 PM  

  • Maven -
    I agree that we want people to do things out of love rather than fear. However, it seems that it's often not the way it works.

    LT -
    Your last line is absolutely on the mark.

    By Blogger Shoshana, at 11/24/06, 6:26 AM  

  • Great post. I agree with everything you said.

    By Blogger Knitter of shiny things, at 11/24/06, 1:51 PM  

  • Just came across your blog.
    Me likes. Continued hatzlacha.
    And I agree.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/27/06, 9:47 PM  

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