While custom can further bind what areas of the body need to be covered, when it comes to dress, is there a line that separates clothing that is tzniut from clothing that is not? For example, does clothing need to cover from the shoulders down to the knees in order to qualify as tzniut? This essay (page 10) states:

"According to the Mishna Berura, that which law (as opposed to custom) requires to be covered does not lose its erva status even if all women uncover it, whether or not hirhur is present" (emphasis mine).

With these things in mind, what areas of the body are erva according to law, regardless of culture and custom?

  • Are you asking besides genitalia? It's not clear there are any others.
    – Double AA
    Sep 9, 2021 at 18:26
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Of course there are others. For example, a married woman's hair, and a woman's upper arms (Kesubos 72a-b). And the shok (Berachos 24a).
    – Meir
    Sep 9, 2021 at 20:45
  • @DoubleAA Yes, I'm trying to know what areas of the body must always be covered regardless of custom.
    – The Editor
    Sep 9, 2021 at 20:53
  • @Meir To use the wording of the essay cited in my OP, would a married woman's hair be considered erva by custom or by law?
    – The Editor
    Sep 9, 2021 at 20:56
  • @TheEditor By law. The Gemara there derives the requirement to cover it from a verse in the Torah, and explains that on the level of das Moshe (Torah law) a basket (קלתה) would be a sufficient covering, but that on the level of das Yehudis (the customs accepted by Jewish women) something more is needed.
    – Meir
    Sep 9, 2021 at 20:59


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