Questions tagged [tznius-modesty]

Questions about the Jewish laws and customs of modesty in dress, speech, and behavior.

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39
votes
23answers
9k views

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

Say you're a man in a professional setting, and a woman who isn't used to dealing with observant Jews stretches out her hand to greet you -- but your practice is to avoid shaking hands even in ...
33
votes
4answers
6k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
28
votes
10answers
11k views

Men: how do you control your reactions to women in immodest dress if you can't avoid them?

A question on The Workplace from a man uncomfortable with the dress of some of his new, female coworkers got a highly-voted answer saying that you get used to it and he should just wait it out. That ...
28
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4answers
5k views

Shaking hands with the opposite gender?

What's the story: Can a man shake hands with a woman (or vice versa) in a business setting?
25
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4answers
946 views

Maintaining Tzniut in Uncomfortable Social Situations

How can a teenage girl, who recently started practicing the laws of tzniut as well as feasible, balance those laws with the prohibition against embarrassing her family members, who are embarrassed to ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the original halachic source for a woman covering her collarbones out of modesty (tznius)?

Many contemporary instructions on women's modesty (tznius) say that necklines have to be high enough to cover the collarbones. I can certainly accept that if this is the communal standard, it should ...
20
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4answers
1k views

How does an outsider know how to dress for a particular Orthodox community?

Standards of dress (at least for women) aren't nearly as consistent within Orthodoxy as we might wish. Wearing exactly the same halachically-correct clothing I have been under-dressed in some places ...
20
votes
1answer
529 views

The new TSA airport scanners and tznius

Is it OK as per Halacha to go through the new TSA scanners where they see you as if you are naked?
19
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2answers
3k views

Can you see your wife unclothed?

I think someone in another question here (or on another site?) said he was told by his "chassan teacher" not to look at his wife unclothed. It seems like this is not the real halacha to me, or at ...
19
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3answers
742 views

What's with Rus sleeping over with Boaz?

This question concerns Rus chapter 3, q.v. Why did Rus have to meet him in such an immodest fashion? Specifically: at night, alone, throwing herself at him (spread your cloak...) Why didn't Boaz send ...
17
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4answers
2k views

May a man become a gynecologist?

Is there any discussion among the halachic authorities as to whether or not a man can choose to pursue a medical career in gynaecology? The issue that I would presume exists is that unlike other parts ...
17
votes
1answer
691 views

Is it ok for spouses to touch in public?

Are spouses allowed to touch one another in public (when the wife is not a niddah) or is this a violation of tzniut? I am asking specifically regarding touch that is not in any way sexual or even ...
16
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4answers
801 views

Standing up at the Chuppa when the Kallah passes by

Last night I was at a wedding, and when I stood up as the bride was passing by on the way to the Chuppa, a fellow in all seriousness told me "It is not proper and a lack of Tzniyus to stand up for the ...
16
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4answers
1k views

The practice of (not) printing pictures of women in magazines and newspapers under religious auspices

I was reading a My Encounter the other week (not available online) which had an interview with the editor of The Moshiach Times. In it he described how the practice of other religious magazines at the ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

Mixed swimming in a pool?

What are the issues with mixed swimming, from a tzniut point of view? Does it make a difference if the swimmers are or aren't Jewish? For example, are there issues with me swimming with my wife and a ...
15
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7answers
9k views

why do jewish women wear so much black?

Usually, the color white is associated with purity (as indicated by the kittle). I don't know if the opposite color in the spectrum represents the opposite of purity (yes, I know it's not technically ...
15
votes
3answers
9k views

Why do divorced or widowed women still need to cover their hair?

I was recently reading the latest edition of Halachically Speaking. It says: A woman who is a widow r”l or divorcee still has an obligation to cover her hair. But why is this so? Why should they ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Why is hair sometimes considered *erva* (nakedness) but sometimes not?

Why do people say that the hair of a married woman is considered as nakedness, but not the hair of a single woman? Isn't hair just hair? What if a man grew his hair long - would it also be ...
15
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3answers
2k views

The laws behind the separation of men and women

In Israel there is a hot debate because of instances on some communities where extra steps are taken to separate men and women in every day life. For example in some bus lines women seat in the back ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the halachic boundaries between a brother and sister?

Can they touch each other? Hug? Are they allowed to expose their legs, arms, etc., in front of each other? Can they swim together? Dance together?
15
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5answers
2k views

What is the source that forbids indecent dress by women?

I have been hardpressed finding a source for something that would seem to be such a well known Halacha. I (and most other too probably) have been brought up with the belief that it is forbidden for a ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Yaakov Kissing Rachel

In Parashat Vayetzeh, Yaakov goes to Lavan's house, but prior to his arrival he meets up with Rachel. Shockingly, the Pasuk says that he kissed her and cried (29:11). How exactly are we to understand ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Can a Sheitel be made out of one's own hair?

Suppose a married woman is able to create a Sheitel that is entirely made up of her own hair (detached, of course). Does that satisfy the requirement for covering her hair?
14
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5answers
3k views

Is a mechitza required for dancing at Jewish weddings? Why?

If the men and women aren't dancing together, is it strictly required that there also be a mechitza between them? If so, why? What guidelines would this mechitza have to meet? Or is it simply a smart ...
14
votes
1answer
919 views

Definition of mini-skirt in Yabia Omer YD 6:14

In Yabia Omer YD 6:14, Rav Ovadia Yosef ruled that it is preferable for a woman to wear women's pants than to wear a "mini-skirt" (חצאית-מיני). He writes that a full skirt is preferable to both. In ...
13
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5answers
1k views

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah?

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah? Is it strictly prohibited or just inadvisable? (Obviously I am not talking about deliberately seductive songs.)
13
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3answers
1k views

Why can men wear pants if pants are immodest?

I have a question from another post here. If pants are considered to be immodest garments in general, aside from the issue of them being a male garment, why are they permissible for men to wear? Are ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it against halacha for a woman to play a musical instrument in front of a man?

I'm a BT and have gotten my bachelor's and master's in percussion performance. I started becoming observant during my master's and now I'm wondering how the future will be playing music and being a ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Couples showing affection in public

Is there any specific prohibition that forbids showing affection with one's spouse in public? For example kissing on the forehead or holding hands, not more extreme affection actions of course.
13
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4answers
3k views

Woman's hair covering in the home or in private

Trying to sort out my question, I came across this one, which is closely related, but it is not an exact duplicate. According to those who say a woman must cover her hair, not just her head (those ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Male tzniut: Swimwear

Seeing as summer is coming, I thought I'd clear up a few questions about male tzniut with regards to swimwear. Namely, my real question is: what is required? I live in southern California, so outside ...
13
votes
1answer
191 views

How to determine common practice for halachos that are impacted by it

Certain halachic issues are informed or even determined by the social standards of the (non-Jewish) society in which one lives. Examples include what falls under the prohibition of cross-dressing (see ...
12
votes
2answers
851 views

How can I determine if someone is Shomer Negiah?

I am not Shomer Negiah. However, I have been in mixed social situations where I was unsure if the person I was meeting was Shomer Negiah. I don't want to offend anyone, so I'm wondering if there is a ...
12
votes
7answers
707 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the conceptual definition of tzniut?

When the concept of tzniut is discussed it is defined as 'modesty' and used overwhelmingly in regard to sexuality. However we know there are other uses for the term such as from the gemarah (Megillah ...
12
votes
6answers
584 views

tznius in the bathroom

It recently came up in a discussion with a friend about the halachos that say that you have to take care only to expose minimal parts of your body while going to the bathroom. Personally, I was ...
12
votes
1answer
339 views

Is it halachically acceptable to discuss Torah concerning sexual conduct in a forum like Mi Yodeya?

The Mishna in Chagiga 2:1 rules: אין דורשין בעריות בשלשה One may not expound the laws of forbidden sexual relations before three people The Gemara in Shabbat 33a writes: א"ר חנן בר רבא הכל ...
12
votes
1answer
658 views

Is it proper to supply a picture of a girl prior to dating?

My daughter recently started dating, and a Shidduch (match) was suggested. The boy's family requested a picture prior to deciding if they want to proceed. I felt that this was inappropriate for ...
12
votes
4answers
536 views

When and why did the custom that a Nidda hides from the public that she is a Nidda start

I understand that in the past it was not hidden from the public that a Nidda was a Nidda, as they wore special clothing. As we see the רע"ב's explanation in the Mishna in Kethubot 7:6 ...
12
votes
1answer
938 views

Married woman covering hair

Is it strictly necessary for a married woman to keep her hair covered in the following situations? If not, how important is it? 1) When alone in the house 2) When alone (or with husband) in the ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
12
votes
1answer
853 views

May a woman with artifical metal legs wear a short skirt or pants?

May a woman (or a man) wear immodest clothing over an artificial part of her body? (Lets assume that beged ish is not a consideration) i.e. if she has artifical legs, may she wear short shorts? ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What's an elegant way to avoid social contact with untzinius or attractive women?

There's times when women I'm attracted to visit our home or are friends of my wife and I don't feel comfortable completely ignoring them or telling my wife to not invite them. I'm not sure how my wife ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How to tell someone about Shomer Negiah

As I'm sure that many of you have had to "break it" to a coworker or friend that you're Shomer Negiah, have you found a strategy or choice of words that seems most effective? As I wasn't raised frum ...
11
votes
8answers
988 views

Is there any source that says that women should / should not get drunk on Purim?

The prevalent מנהג is that women do not get drunk on Purim. I assume this due to tznius (modesty) concerns. Is there any ancient or recent source that explicitly discusses women not/yes drinking on ...
11
votes
2answers
764 views

Halachic Considerations for Women in the IDF

For a religious girl going into the IDF very soon, there are a few questions that are often asked: Especially in active units, wearing a skirt while on base can be a problem: While crawling, ...
11
votes
3answers
936 views

Which authorities approve/disapprove of mixed events for singles?

Some weddings have mixed seating at the reception; some have separate seating. Some organizations and communities encourage or at least allow mixed events for singles; some discourage or forbid them. ...
11
votes
1answer
486 views

Religiously sensitive guidance on when to tell your child about human reproduction

A boy in cheder who has no internet at home, no tv, etc, is not exposed to human reproduction in the way that others are. It's therefore up to the parents to explain to him how children are born. ...
11
votes
3answers
874 views

How do you explain tzniut to a little girl?

Some Jewish schools have attire guidelines starting in first grade. What is the best way to explain the concept of tzniut to a very young (say first grade) girl without explaining sexuality? Please ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

Tznius In Regards to Covering Elbows

Are there sources that say women do not have to cover elbows? Because I've seen Orthodox women not covering them and I want to be able to say that there are sources that support their actions.

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