Tzniut? Hardly.  

Posted by inkstainedhands in , ,

One of the things that annoy me is when mitzvot become simply for show -- when people do not understand or appreciate the mitzva, but make a big show out of keeping it, as if that makes them holier.

When you are not in touch with the spirit of the law, of Torah, how can you honestly say that you are a frum Jew? When you do things just because everyone else does and your school or your parents expect it of you, how can you appreciate Judaism and feel convinced that what you are doing is right? What happens when you graduate, when you move out of your parents' house, and it is time for you to make your own rules and decide how you want to live your life? Will all the things you learned and implemented over the years be discarded because you never actually believed in them and only did them to satisfy others? Or will they be such an important part of who you are that you will not want to leave them behind?

As I was taking another walk to the library (only because a book I had put on hold was waiting for me), I saw a Jewish girl walking in front of me by herself and looking back over her shoulder.

Now, I know this girl. She is a few years younger than me, and she comes from a family I would call ultra-Orthodox. At any rate, they are more to the right than me. That is why I was shocked when I saw what she was wearing. The fact that her skirt was not covering her knees was not really what bothered me. I mean, you don't want to cover your knees? Fine, why should I care? It is none of my business what you want to do and what you don't, since it does not involve me. What did bother me was that part of her outfit were warm-looking black knee-socks -- the kind that you often see ultra-Orthodox girls wearing even in the unbearable heat of the summer. That in itself should not have bothered me much either; it was the combination of the short skirt and the knee-socks that irked me.

Is that not a bit hypocritical? To be wearing knee-socks in order to be tzniut, when your knees are anyway revealed? Would it not be better to wear a longer skirt, cover your knees, and ditch the knee-socks? After all, it is not as important to cover the leg below the knee as it is to cover the knee itself.

I am not the tzniut police. I do not care whether you are tzniut or not. What I do care about is that people have almost no common sense nowadays. As Voltaire said, "Common sense is not so common."

I hate the hypocrisy of people who think they are oh-so-frum just because they put on a pair of knee-socks. Please, girls. A pair of knee-socks does not make you a religious Jew any more than a wizard hat makes you a wizard. If you think tzniut is only about putting on a pair of knee-socks and pulling your hair up into a ponytail, you need to educate yourself a bit more.

Make Judaism real for yourself. Make it your reality. Don't make it into just a show, a masquerade.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 31, 2009 at Friday, July 31, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Bad topic to cover IMO. Now i don't expect to find here many replies that i would I appreciate (though i do appreciate the point made in the post itself). But anyway that's Flatbush were kids get too much of bad influence from everywhere.

July 31, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Dammit! And I thought the hat was just broken. Are you sure?

August 2, 2009 at 3:40 PM

@Moishe - I assume you're talking to me. What should I be sure in?

August 2, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Nah, this stupid wizard hat aint working. I want my money back.

August 2, 2009 at 4:10 PM

BTS --
"But anyway that's Flatbush were kids get too much of bad influence from everywhere." -- It's not really about bad influences though. It's about being hypocritical and thinking you're frum just because you wear something that other Jews wear. Any girl can put on knee-socks -- it won't make her more frum if that is not who she is. Just like any guy can put on a hat. What matters is what is under that hat -- what is in the heart and the mind, and whether the person is true to the Torah.

August 2, 2009 at 11:52 PM

It takes time to realize things. I think for BTs it's easier because it's our choice, but for FFBs it's harder because it's not their choice. It took me a while to put on, take off, put on and again take off the hat myself (and I have nothing against hats and I wish I will be wearing hat once again one day!) so I wish you can judge that girl more preferably.

August 3, 2009 at 1:14 AM

Any girl can put on knee-socks -- it won't make her more frum if that is not who she is.

Finally we agree on something.

Have a great trip.

August 3, 2009 at 10:57 AM

Quite possible the girl left home in a long skirt to appease the parents, and changed later to a shorter one.

August 3, 2009 at 9:54 PM

BTS -- My opinion of her still stands.

Thanks, mlevin! And yes, it is a surprise that we can actually agree.

SubWife, when I saw this girl, she was passing by her house. She was walking along her own block, so I don't think it is possible that she changed. But, following your way of thinking, if she would change into a shorter skirt, what stopped her from changing to ankle socks too?

August 4, 2009 at 4:45 AM

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