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Tznius is an issue, but threatening letters are just as bad

tznius-stalkersJacob Da Jew has an important post about the state of Tznius in the frum community, the problem is not that people aren’t adhering to the laws, the problem is in the form of random notes distributed by random people in scare tactic form to get them to adhere to a stricter sense of modesty.

I understand that tznius means quite a bit to people, although, I have stated before that it is never the women who are complaining and always the men, I thought you are supposed to control your desire for women wearing red, denim and sexy sheitles.

While I was in Silver Spring I learned of a serious “tznius stalker” case in which one family got a note about the wife dressing more modestly or else, I thought that this was one of the reasons for a community Rav.

Why can’t people work on themselves before they start throwing their wrath around?

Besides, a little ankle never hurt anyone…

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • veebee June 29, 2009, 9:00 AM

    The Tzniut Stalker in Silver Spring is possibly one of the funniest moments in Jewish history.

    The writer, who in the letter describes herself as a woman and a neighbor — and who addressed the victim by name — accused her of dressing immodestly while attending shul.

    The letter continued: “My personal feeling, when I saw you in KMS, and how you were dressed, you have exhibited yourself as a kosher prostitute, that you are really a punk and the scum of the earth.”

    As a result, the letter goes on to say, “you should be taken out in front of a firing squad and shot to pieces …” and “… you should be thrown down from a stairway of steps, that your whole body should be so smashed that no one should even recognize you — that’s what I am cursing you.”

    It adds: “And if I don’t see a change in your dressing in shul … I want to warn you, I’ll damage you, legally and anonymously in all of Silver Spring, that you wouldn’t be able to walk out in the streets, and you’ll never marry off your children. So I beg of you, no one is reading this letter, only you. But if you become stubborn and continue your behavior, I’ll damage you in such a way that you’ll regret the day that you were born.”


  • David June 29, 2009, 9:19 AM

    We get letters sent to our HOME!!! As Bob Grant used to say. “It’s sick out there and getting sicker.”

  • Anonymous June 29, 2009, 10:03 AM

    Women are hot stuff. Nothing will change that. Maybe these shmucks should learn to smile a bit more and be gratefull for hashem’s fairer creation instead of hiding women away.

  • M June 29, 2009, 10:19 AM

    I wouldn’t mind receiving a threatening letter. Kind of hot!

  • i got eyes June 29, 2009, 10:35 AM

    David: Your wife must be thrilled that somebody noticed! Think how she’d feel if she dressed provocatively and no one noticed. There’s a reason that some women dress as they do.

    • Anonymous May 18, 2010, 2:00 PM


  • lawschooldrunk June 29, 2009, 10:39 AM

    “…it is never the women who are complaining [about tznius] and always the men…”

    I don’t understand- women can abuse the tzniut halachos in more ways than men. Further, these transgressions are more prevalent among women than men. Thus, more men complain.

    Don’t get me wrong- I think women should look attractive when trying to find a husband or for their husbands. But there are ways to do this following the letter and spirit of jewish law…

    To address the main issue, yes, people should definitely work on themselves before initially giving rebuke to others.

    And “Community rav?” Don’t get me started on the withering quality of daas torah.

  • N June 29, 2009, 10:41 AM

    M assuming you’re a woman, start buying clothes a size to small and on the tight side and maybe the letters will come. Maybe the men will too

  • Lena June 29, 2009, 10:45 AM

    Lawschooldrunk – It is women who complain because the laws of tznius, in almost every religion, are made and controlled by the men.

    The concept is this: that women must cover themselves to whatever acceptable degree because men can’t control themselves when they see a small piece of female skin or when they hear a woman’s voice (ie. “woman’s voice is naked sex”).

    So basically, the women are paying the price for something that men ought to be able to suppress/control…one reason that I will always be secular.

  • David June 29, 2009, 10:52 AM

    The best I can gather is that it is coming from the “rebetzin wanna be’s” in the area.

    The same ones that ruin and make trouble at all of the bais yaakov and Machon plays.

    They look her up and down (undressing her with their eyes) and feel jealous and they respond with the silly letters.

    It is very flaatering but there are more important things for people to do…like perhaps a dab of makeup and losing 203 or 30 pounds instead of taking it out on my georgous wife.

  • Sarah June 29, 2009, 11:00 AM

    The woman who wrote the letter should be shot! Id take the letter to the police and file a report,that woman needs major help. or maybe we should throw her down a set of steps!

  • David June 29, 2009, 11:13 AM

    Sarah: I think there are better ways. Show them that being pretty aint such a bad thing. They are only doing this cuase they are jealour. They say they are doing it in the name of the tora but that is pur garbage.

    M: It is nice to get looked at or “better customer service” but a letter to the house is an invasion and a bit spooky.

    I got eyes: I agree with you 100%

    Lena. You have an excellent point. Most of these lawas were put into place (or shall I say…added later) because of man’s weaknesses. However you can’t judge judiasm by jews. It should be judged by how the RAMBAM lays out the laws.

  • Ruth June 29, 2009, 11:13 AM

    I know David’s wife. She is beautiful and gorgeous but does not dress provocatively at all. She dresses very nice and put together. The problem is that she doesn’t wear stockings with her short skirts nor does she cover her hair with what other people feel are appropriate head coverings i.e. a baseball cap, a bandanna.

  • YOEL June 29, 2009, 11:27 AM

    Ruth Aren’t short skirts provoctive? For me they really are.

  • David June 29, 2009, 11:33 AM

    Yoel: Of course they are! Ruth isn’t saying that they are short to the point of going against the standard accepted way. They are just too short for those who who have an axe to grind.

  • lawschooldrunk June 29, 2009, 12:55 PM

    Lena said: “women must cover themselves to whatever acceptable degree because men canít control themselves when they see a small piece of female skin.”

    Please cite your halachic source. Thank you.

  • s(b.) June 29, 2009, 1:01 PM

    David, I don’t blame your wife; stockings, especially in warm weather, are no fun.

  • Judy June 29, 2009, 1:14 PM

    Do you have a grilfriend?

  • Hannah June 29, 2009, 1:16 PM

    Tznius should be common sense, not an opportunity for those who consider themselves frummer or holier than others to bulldoze their ways onto others. Letters like the one David’s wife received are sure ways to destroy peace among ourselves. With all the enemies the Jewish people have, we shouldn’t look for unnecessary strife within our communities. Rabbis and leaders should speak about being sensitive to the needs and levels of others who may not observe Judaism quite up to another person’s standards.

  • Judy June 29, 2009, 1:20 PM

    The only reason I’m asking really is because I’ve seen your videos on youtube and your facebook page and I think we might possibly have in common something.When’s your birthday anyway cause I think we have the same month?Anyway just asking in general you know

  • bitterwater June 29, 2009, 2:19 PM

    Lena, I think you got it all wrong. A large aspect of tzneuis is to be seen a human being and not just a body. You can take both extremes revealing your whole body which will be seen as only a body or forcing women to wear hijabs which is reinstating the “fact” that women are just bodies and should be wholly covered. Itís about finding that happy medium. Because a general law had to be recognized for all females restrictions on skirt length and the such were established. And even within those laws you can either sway to the ankle length black skirts with the bulletproof stockings or to pencil skirts that just happen to cover the knees.

  • Q June 29, 2009, 2:49 PM

    Do a Google search for “Kiryas Joel Toby Greenberg.”

  • Dave June 29, 2009, 3:13 PM

    However you canít judge judiasm by jews. It should be judged by how the RAMBAM lays out the laws.

    I find what people do to be a far better indicator than what they claim to do.

  • David June 29, 2009, 3:42 PM

    Dave. Please explain

  • teacher June 29, 2009, 3:53 PM

    The author of that note spells as well as the auther of this blog. Why can’t Yiddin spell simple English words like knees?

  • David June 29, 2009, 3:55 PM

    teacher: you misspelled too

  • Dave June 29, 2009, 3:58 PM

    I find the “don’t judge X by its adherents” claims to be singularly unconvincing.

    I do judge a sect of Judaism by how its adherents behave, just as I judge sects of Christianity (which also often makes the same claim) by how its adherents behave.

    You tell me that Orthodox Jews are full of ahavas yisroel, and I have to conclude that you are either mistaken, or the posters on VIN are not Orthodox Jews.

    An Orthodox Rabbi declares that cheating on your taxes is perfectly fine, then yes, I will judge anyone who follows that Rabbi based on their decision to follow him. Because frankly, anyone who thinks that cheating on your taxes is ok, but chas v’shalom they should eat a bacon cheeseburger, has a moral code that I find just a bit too warped for comfort.

    And the people for whom tax fraud is how they fund their communal institutions, but heaven forfend that they marry someone who has a female relative who once wore a brightly colored dress, well, I’m not sure we’re even on the same planet.

    And if an Evangelical Christian tells me that God is Love, and proceeds a few minutes later on a diatribe against the great gay threat to society, I’m going to judge that particular sect of Christianity by his hypocrisy.

    And if someone tells me, as has happened, that it is clear that “true Christians” (by which they generally mean their sect and any close affiliates) are the only people being persecuted in America, well, I feel comfortable judging them as not being in contact with reality at any two contiguous points. There are plenty of places in this world where Christianity is persecuted. This isn’t any of them.

    So yes, I judge people by what they actually do, not what they claim to do or claim that they should be doing.

    Someone who says they should act in a caring and compassionate manner and acts in a venal and reprehensible manner doesn’t get bonus points for what they claim is proper; if anything they add Hypocrite to their behavior and have a chance to collect the whole set.

  • Phil June 29, 2009, 4:32 PM

    Wow, that letter seems pretty angry to me. Assuming you know who sent the letter, you should definitely file a report with the cops, probably get some kind of restraining order placed on this nut job. See how that does on her kids shidduch resume.

    Personally, if someone threatened my wife like that, I very likely run them over and make it look like an accident. That’s what liability insurance is for.

    Tax fraud is NOT ok, even though many people do it. Trust me, I look high and low to try to find a heter and excuses, no real Rabbi would ever condone stealing from the Government.

    Only instance it’s allowed is if authorities place a special “Jew Tax”, like they had in many Arab countries, or if an individual is being singled out with “special rules” as in extra taxes just for him/her.

  • Dave June 29, 2009, 4:40 PM


    Someone should apparently inform Rabbi Dovid Cohen about this. Or, for that matter, the Spinke Rebbe.

  • Dave June 29, 2009, 4:41 PM

    I should also note, when tax fraud is considered “unimportant”, when those in jail for it are to be pitied and certainly not condemned, and when there are no shortage of communal honors for those who are now out of prison, I will assume that the community condones such actions, regardless of what it may otherwise claim.

    Actions speak much louder than words.

  • Phil June 29, 2009, 5:11 PM

    The law is the law. That doesn’t mean that you should be happy everytime someone is busted and gets the book thrown at them.

    Personally, I think it’s stupid to jail people for tax evasion. The govt loses even more money by having to take care of them in jail. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just give them a whopping fine?

    A friend of mine got busted with a 16 or 17 year old girl when he was 24. The girl was more than willing, but her dad busted them and pressed charges. Unfortunately for him, he was in Texas at the time and got 8 years. A bit harsh if you ask me, we all felt really bad for him.

  • Dale Rosenbach June 29, 2009, 6:21 PM

    Females forget why they are provocative — to draw males. But when they have drawn, they too often continue to be provocative, and sometimes in excess, to the wrong people — everyone but their husbands. Husbands feel short-changed because they see their wives dress up for everyone but themselves, and this leads them to the problems discussed in earlier posts. Men have their responsibilities to their wives as well, but that is not the focus of today’s FrumSatire post.

  • Anonymous June 29, 2009, 11:59 PM

    I understand a lot of the hard-core tznius stuff in Jerusalem is the work of people from one yeshiva in particular. I think I read something about Rabbi Gutman Locks, the Hindu guru turned Kotel tefillin outreach rabbi, confronting them about this.

  • David June 30, 2009, 9:41 AM

    Dale Rosenbach: This is be true for some people and my heart goes out to those men. There are ways to fix it. Examples include frequent complements when ever she does wear something nice for you. It will make her WANT to do it more. If the husbamd does not even try to make her feel sexy then this is where the problems you described can get out of control.
    I am lucky that my wife get’s these letters…because many of the times it was while we were out and about TOGETHER.

  • Sergeant J June 30, 2009, 9:59 PM

    Like this individual, many communities need to learn to be introspective before they go outside to find problems.. Whoever wrote the letter(s) needs to be kept away from other people. The Jewish WBC/Taliban wanna – be thing is so not needed.

  • kissmei'mshomer July 1, 2009, 11:53 AM

    Wow. Whoever wrote that letter needs serious help.

  • Basamim Smoker July 1, 2009, 12:01 PM

    Heard there coming out with a new X rated movie in Monroe it’s called Curios Joel

  • KosherBride July 1, 2009, 1:07 PM

    This is one of the reasons I enjoy living in a community that is not so large. When they are less of you around you have to learn to be more accepting and to better the community by bettering yourself first.

    I think this is also an area where the ashkenaz community can learn from the syrian one. Instead of threatening those who dress differently, accept them, dress appropriately yourself and hope it rubs off. Since when has stalking and threatening people become an accepted behavior in Jewish communities?

  • Sergeant J July 1, 2009, 1:22 PM

    KB, since rabbis in some communities pressured parents to not pursue charges against molesters a loong time ago.

    • Anonymous May 18, 2010, 2:05 PM

      so what? the Rabbi is not ABOVE the law right?

  • eyekanspel July 2, 2009, 8:42 PM

    I rote the leter bekause the lade wuz makeing me hav bed thawts by her imudest cloting.

  • Jamie July 6, 2009, 3:42 PM

    hiya.. sounds interesting.. any frum girls lookin to hit it up together sometime in israel with a frum boy- email me at hornylad101@gmail.com.. see ya x

  • Michal bas Avraham July 9, 2009, 5:09 PM

    If you marry a woman who dresses that way, don’t expect her to change once you’ve married her.

  • OrthoEbonyJewessNJ July 13, 2009, 1:25 PM

    Keep in mind that a man will look at you “in that way” even if you wear a skirt that comes to your ankles and a shirt that comes to your wrists. Men have practically pushed my husband out of the way to come speak to me even though I’m wearing a sheital and a wedding band. (I think my hubby likes it, but that’s beside the point.) Men will look at women regardless!

    I have to agree with a previous poster. The woman that sent that letter is extremely jealous. Perhaps the woman looks better in her clothing then she does, who knows. She should continue to dress in a way that feels comfortable to her. No one has the write to intimidate someone into changing their ways.

  • doglin82 May 18, 2010, 2:08 PM

    WOW!!!!I thought the Arabs were the CRAZY ones..i guess Jews can be just as cray !! LOL.

    I think everybody here is missing a very quintessential point. Maybe all of the religious folks here are forgetting one thing. I don’t think Orthodox men get laid enough before marriage. Half of them can’t get hooked up with a chick to marry. Hence the frustration.

    But on the other hand, I feel the Jews are still somewhat normal comparing to the Arabs. She/He only wrote a threatening letter. She/he didn’t pour acid onto the pour lady’s face or stone her to death.

  • Robert Rowland November 30, 2018, 11:30 PM

    Anyone ever read “SOTA” by Naomi Ragen? The novel deals with these issues. As a former career police officer I say that I would easily and gladly start the process to deal with such disquieting communication. All the elements of the crime are there, and there seems to be an identified suspect, correct me if I’m wrong.

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