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10 best tznius posters and letters

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I’m not exactly sure when certian people in the frum community decided to make tznius into the cause of all the calamities that befall the Jewish people, but it seems that the two major causes of evil in this world is the lack of tznius and the gays. It used to be that those signs warning scantily clad women not to pass through certain Charedi neighborhoods in Israel, were a tourist destination. Not so anymore, these days, there seems to be an obsession with tznius in the frum community and it’s not just about knees and elbows anymore. Some of the posters, mailings, and letters to the editor below are a bit alarming. Of course, when you’re sitting in front of your computer faraway from Lakewood or Monsey, it could be funny too, but to me it’s still alarming.

1) Remember to look in the mirror before leaving the kitchen.

tznius in lakewood

2) Tznius magnets will help you remember not to wear anything with color in it.

tznius magnets

3) I love random causation and correlation.

Lakewood tznius asifa

4) Do not stand under street lights, lest your sex become illuminated.

tznius streetlight sign

5) OMG her beautiful shiny white back turned me on and I had to write this letter to show how holy I am.

Tznius alert

6) Nothing says frum more than carrying around a tznius ruler.

tznius ruler

7) Dress tzniusly and let the pidyon shvuyim begin.

tznius chizuk of the week

8) If you don’t make bulletproof stockings, we will boycott you.

8tznius

9) When I was in high school it used to be “the longer the skirt the farther they’ll go” I guess times have changed.

long skirt long life

10) We have to include the sign that started it all.

tznius modesty

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  • http://www.starofdavida.blogspot.com Talia bat Pessi

    I’m not sure if this should make me laugh or cry. #3 takes the cake.

  • A. Nuran

    Yet they simply don’t care when a man actually violates little children.
    Astounding.

    • YoJewMama

      BuLL$h-t, I’m not sure who you think “they” are but all the frum people I know (including modest old me) are outraged at child sexual abuse. Stop buying in to the divisive media cr@p. If you want to be an activist then do something instead of pointing fingers.

      • A. Nuran

        Try harder. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the major Orthodox rabbinical groups has blood on its hands and refuses to do the least bit of teshuvah. They still say – all of them – “See a rabbi. Go to the Bes Din.”

        The minimum standard of decency would be for them to say “Rabbis aren’t cops. If you’ve been abused, go to the police. We will back you. Any rabbi or congregation that wants to be affiliated with us must do this and must follow all mandatory reporting laws. We will not associate with any yeshiva, camp or day school which fails to do background checks on any employee with child contact,” But they haven’t. And they won’t until they are forced. They could learn ethics and moral philosophy from things that live at the bottom of ponds. It really is that simple.

        • Anonymous

          A. Nuran, making sweeping general statements are we? Go educate yourself!

          • A. Nuran

            Wish it were a false generalization. But it’s true. Name one that even comes close to living up to that minimal standard of decency. Name one that says “Go to the police. Don’t go to the Bes Din or your rabbi. All they’ll do is taint witnesses and compromise evidence. Don’t let molesters into your shul. For fewk’s sake don’t let children into the mikvah with naked men.” Not “If you believe someone is violating a little child right now, then here’s a permission slip, just this once, to think about calling the police,” but the same standard of care that goyishe law requires of teachers, preachers, doctors and counselors.

            I tried. I talked to everyone from UO to Agudath Israel of America. The best I got was a mealy-mouthed “Well, everyone is free to go to the authorities if they think a crime is about to be committed.” and “As Jews we try not to judge.” By contrast, my wife works for the local public school system. Anyone with student contact gets a background check. Mandated reporters report or lose their jobs.

          • A. Nuran

            My reply got caught in Heshy’s Bad Words Filter and will emerge in time. Until then here’s the tl;dr version:

            I talked to a number of the major bodies and got nothing but mealy-mouthed pabulum, no definitive statement, nothing that couldn’t be interpreted as “circle the wagons, business as usual”.

            None of them has come out with strong, unequivocal standards even up to the level of “Letting little children and grown men use the mikvah at the same time is a bad idea. Don’t do it.”

      • Anonymous

        Hear hear! Go momma!

  • http://andsarah.blogspot.com And Sarah Laughed

    Totally off topic, but I sent you an email. We’re going to Point Reyes tomorrow, if you want to come.

  • http://betweenjerusalemandtelaviv.blogspot.com/ Michael

    I love this satire –
    Whoever came up with these signs is the king of comedy..

    Can you imagine what the world would be like if someone took these types of signs seriously…

    – ohh wait … what? …. nevermind…………

    • Yoyo

      I’m still not sure #1 exists in real life.

  • An-on

    Oh yeah baby, reach for those Lieber’s yoshon fruity Os. there you go- yes! baby got back!

  • sarah

    The obsession with Tzniyut is NOT a new thing. I remember 30 years ago when people would put letters in our letterboxes condemning our tzniyut level.

  • Anonymous

    Does #10 say “We beg you will all our parts”?

  • Melanie silver

    You have got to be kidding me. The extent of the brainwashing is incredible. Being proper and dressed well is ok, but the extreme these people are taking it to astounds me. I refuse to be a slave to a man who thinks they know what “God” is thinking. I’m sorry but when did they become the mouthpiece for anyone. Who moneters what they do, wear, think, etc.
    Melanie silver

    • Anonymous

      Um yeah ok if that’s what you think a real rabbi is about you have the wrong religion

  • Spinoza

    Terrifying!

  • Danno

    I have no problem with number 10. It is a request that people abide by the local communal codes of a neighborhood. Are we so intent of doing whatever we please that we refuse to respect a request made by people who live somewhere? If the sign was on a community asking for people not to honk their horns and ruin the quiet of the area, would it offend you? It isn’t a threat or a statement that it is incumbent on anyone to act in a certain way wherever she goes out of fear of god or something, but a request not to violate the sanctity that these people hope for in their own neighborhood. If you don’t like it, don’t go into that neighborhood.

    • Anonymous

      Problem is that neighborhood is in…AMERICA.

      • Devora

        Isn’t that Israel? Meah Shearim? unless I’m mistaken…

      • Anonymous

        Which country are you talking about because that’s important.

    • Danno

      That’s in Mea She’arim. Not in America. But the next time you drive through a community in the US that posts signs asking you not to honk your horn, think about how offensive that request is. Well, in many cases, it isn’t a request. Just a law.

      http://www.kirklandwa.gov/Assets/CMO/CMO+Images/Boat+Noise+Ordinance+Flyer.jpg

    • Anonymous

      Maybe in Israel, but this is….AMERICA and their is no such this as neighborhoods where you have to wear what they say unless is LAW. This is not a country under shariah/Torah law. BH Neighborhoods where women are supressed is unacceptable to our country.

      • random guy

        First of all the sign says “Please”, and it’s not in America. That picture was taken in Meah Shearim, where they have every right to request that people respect their lifestyle.

        • Rabbanit Shplemy

          Then it was unclear as Heshy spoke about this being in Monsey. “Of course, when you’re sitting in front of your computer faraway from Lakewood or Monsey, it could be funny too, but to me it’s still alarming.” Because Israel is still evolving and partly a theocracy, such barbaric practices are continued for now…so enjoy the spitting and rock throwing while it lasts but those cave rats’ days are numbered as the public realizes its a problem

          • Aviva

            The fact that most of you don’t even know what country 10 is in shows your ignorance and distance from reality.

      • Seriously?

        Try wearing nothing at all, and see whether people tolerate you.

  • A. Nuran

    As a kid I was touched in a very inappropriate way… I’m sorry I’ve been holding it in for to long I just had to tell somebody!

    • A. Nuran

      Heshy, could you please remove the troll?

  • Joe Q.

    It’s fantastic that “too-trendy” clothes are ossur. It’s like we’re letting the goyim decide what is or isn’t appropriate for a Yiddishe maidel to wear!

  • http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com/ Esser Agaroth

    Seriously, how often am I going to have to post this?

    M/O’s, please read! You’re all suffering from Galuth (exile) on the Brain!

    Whateva’! I Do What I Want!

  • http://challahbackgirl.com Kate

    I’d like to start putting up posters to remind men that while the Talmud outlines what should be covered, it ultimately places the burden of modesty on men. I’m sure as a woman, I wasn’t supposed to know that. They are obligated to help us out by viewing us as spiritual beings, not vice versa. The more a man sees a woman as only a sexual temptation, the more he is contributing to the problem. I’ll need help translating this into a poster with alarming threats, references to Moshiach, and a good dose of guilt, please.

    *Disclaimer* I’m a convert so I have no idea what I’m talking about.

    • Ruth

      Same, my mum and I converted when I was 5 (my dad is Baal tshuva) and when I have a complaint I feel like I can’t make it because I don’t ‘understand halacha’ because I wasn’t brought up with it. (Our family is still not fully observant)

  • Devora

    A couple of points in defense if I may?

    These posters/ letters for the most part target communities whose members see tznius as a virtue and do try to upgrade their level of tznius; many of them therefore appreciate the encouragement…

    They are also mostly written with dignity, respect and love, not anger, recrimination and brainwashing.

    Tznius is a Jewish virtue and it behooves each of us to make tznius in dress and conduct an important part of our lives and to work on ourselves to improve our tznius, much the same way we work on ourselves to improve our midos, relationships, tefillah, etc. It’s not a “Lakewood/ Monsey thing” it’s a Jewish thing. Yes, said communities seem to take it to an extreme, but why all the judgement? They’re working on their tznius, as should we all…

    No, nobody thinks it’s okay to violate little children and people care very, very much. Number one misconception and unfair stereotype of ultra-frum people.

    • Anonymous

      I bet you feel the same way as Canadian Chassidim and Radical Islamics about their burkas?

      • Devora

        Not really and I don’t think women in burkas and Lakewood or Monsey women who dress tastefully and smartly while taking steps to dress less provocatively and ensure that their back isn’t showing when they bend down are quite the same thing.

        then again, who am I to judge, which is why I don’t mock and villify burka women to their faces or behind their back because I don’t know them nor understand their mindset, so how can I profess to know with certainty that they are wrong.

        Get to know some of us “brainwashed tznius believers” and then we can talk

        • Anonymous

          I do know “brainwashed tsnius believers” because I used to be one. Is it possible your a latent lesbian who is actually attracted to women’s knees and elbows and that is why you are so affraid of seeing the sinful things?

        • Anonymous

          I do know about “brainwashed tznius believers” because I used to be one. Maybe you are actually a latent lesbian and that is why you are so offended by the sinful sight of women’s knees and elbows. Or maybe you are just a brainwashed believer. For the rav tells me so.

        • A. Nuran

          Any virtue taken to an extreme becomes a vice and then insanity.
          The idea that your spiritual worth as a woman is primarily a function of how much you cover yourself – and it is according to haredi theology – is very troubling.

          The explicitly stated belief that an eight year old’s uncovered elbow or the mere sound of a woman’s voice will cause holy Sages to spill seed and thereby doom themselves to Gehenom is an undeniable tenet of Orthodox belief. It is also 200 proof whackadoodle burning Crazy. The only difference between that and “Only one eye-hole in the veil, dear Sister, or men will be turned on by the sight of your eye makeup” is simply a slight matter of degree.

          • A. Nuran

            The point here isn’t the particular style of dress or even the idea of modesty.

            It’s the constant, ratcheting level of control. More than that, it is the use of this and other restrictions in order to maintain rigid gender roles which subordinate and diminish the opportunities for members, especially women, to reach their full potential.

            Please don’t trot out the line about how women are held on a higher spiritual plane or how real freedom lies in absolute obedience. We’re both well past that.

          • Judiasm is from Sumerian religion

            Well said as always

    • Anonymous

      Devora:

      Some of these posters suggest tragedies are happening because some people are not tznius enough.

      Are you in favor of this? These are mafia tactics — spiritual death threats.

      Should the daughter who wears pants feel guilty her mother died?

      This is a community you stand behind? What community WOULDN’T you stand behind?

    • Tuvia

      Devora:

      Some of these posters suggest tragedies are happening because some people are not tznius enough.

      Are you in favor of this? These are mafia tactics — spiritual death threats.

      Should the daughter who wears pants feel guilty her mother died?

      This is a community you stand behind? What community WOULDN’T you stand behind?

  • ksil

    how can you leave this off your list

    oh, yea, its mormons…..but still (love the token black dude)

    • Avrumy

      That was a hot video. Thanks for sharing!

  • Adena

    The level of detail is astounding. Sometimes I think that these religious folks get a little excited describing the things that women aren’t supposed to do… or maybe a lot excited…maybe that’s why they write these posters?

    • Paula

      @ Adena: Fascinating insight! I think there just might some of that…

  • Avi

    Heshy, I’ve compiled a huge collection of around 100 of these posters, articles, ads, etc. illustrating this crazy tznius obsession. Was missing a few of the ones on your list, so thanks!
    See https://www.evernote.com/pub/freddy55/tzniuscraziness for the full list.

  • T

    You do realize it’s women writing most of these?
    I myself was involved in teaching tznius with the women who made the magnet and the ruler.
    Yes I’m female, and proud to be Tznius.

    • Brainwashed T

      Women in the Arab world are often the loudest voices in thier radical “modesty”

    • Tuvia

      Are you proud of posters that intimate people in your community will DIE if women don’t watch their tznius? Are you proud for the woman who is not tznius and her mother DIED and the spiritual mafia suggest it is because of her daughter?

      Are you proud to be part of a community that makes spiritual death threats to people who happen not to be —- them?

      Would you be proud to be part of other movements that did not tolerate dissent? Communists? Nazis? Mormons?

  • Isaac Simchon

    One sign states it’s obligatory for women to wear stockings. I wonder where these “rabbis” learn this from. There’s no mention anywhere in the Torah, Talmud, Shulchan Aruch, or any Rishonim (Rambam, rosh, riff, etc) that women wore or is required to wear stockings. In fact I’m wondering if women on the time of the Talmud (and prior to) wore stockings…? I’m willing to bet they didn’t. Jews seems to be more mainstream back in those days. I doubt it raised any problems.

    • random guy

      I see you’ve finished the entire Torah, Talmud Shulchan Aruch and all rishonim, but you seem to have missed Rashi in Kesubos.

      • Anonymous

        Can you provide the actual source Random Guy?

      • Isaac Simchon

        Random Guy, can you please elaborate? Where is the actual source? I need to know the Parsha, Perek, and the Pasuk.

        • Random Guy

          I’ll give it to you, some random cave man in the name of some cave man in a book that is irelavant to today’s times and social norms.

      • Avrumy

        Rashi does not halachah make.

        • Anonymous

          out of curiosity what type of teffilin are you wearing?

  • Toldos Aron

    the shape of the womans body, its contents, its curves, the movments of it, how it looks and appears to my eyes. oh the soft skin of hers!
    how dare you for creating such a sinfull creature?

    • Anonymous

      Word.

  • Desiree

    I am so tempted to call the number in #5 and see if they will send a full slip for me, and maybe one for my daughter, too. I could use a good slip. Too bad I would never pass as Orthodox. I’d like to get in on that deal!

  • http://google jo

    Modesty is not specific to Judaism. Why do people like to portray that it is? Practically every religion believes in the concept of modesty.

    • Anonymous

      and talking donkeys too

  • Miklos Lieber

    While I may disagree with the author’s attitude, I do find another matter of present-day “tznius” to be totally insane. So called ultra-frum newspapers do not publish a woman’s name unless she is the nifteres r”l. It seems the most popular name for kallahs is not Jennifer or Jessica but “Sheh-Tichyeh”. Are frum men
    such reving sex fiends ??

  • Avrumy

    Frum straight men should just stay indoors, in their yeshivahs and mikvahs, far far away from the lovely women who make up half the population, and keep thinking up ways, calling them “halachah”, to cover up their masculine insecurities and daydreams.

  • Minucha

    Great posting, Heshy.

    I didn’t go to Shul last Friday night because of the weather. It was cold in my apartment & I was dressed modestly (by Modern Orthodox) standards & immodestly (by Ultra Orthodox) standards.

    I wore bright red (immodest) baggy (modest) thick fleece (modest) pants (immodest); a bright red (immodest) long-sleeve (modest) opaque (modest) relaxed fit (modest) cotton turtleneck top (modest); a long (modest) bright red (immodest) long-sleeve (modest) relaxed fit (modest) bulky knit (modest) cardigan sweater; & opaque socks (modest).

    Glad I’m a Modern Orthodox woman. If your readers want to consider me “not frum at all,” be my guest.

  • Just A Jewish Guy

    Can we agree on a few basics 1) Tznius is halacha 2) Tznius has mesaurements & halachas 3) Tznius does not start & stop at the inches 4) There is a problem of tznius nowadays. No one is saying men are perfect, surprisingly enough we are far from it. Almost all of these signs are not obnoxious and are just asking people to be aware and/or make some slight adjustments and besides z lot of them are by women. As to the argument what about molestation? Yes it’s a horrible, horrible thing, but what does that have to do with anything? Why we aren’t we doing more about it in our community is a very good question, but that doesn’t negate the fact that tznius is a problem for, for someone who’s basically a bal teshuva I understand both sides of the argument. I also understand no women will listen to a guy saying anything because it’s a women’s nisuyon, and think of the untold amount of schar you’ll get for doing such a hard mitzva. Just remeber one thing when you wear something non-tznius your not the only one being effected, every male now has to work double as hard to be careful as to where he moves his eyes.

    • Ksil

      Is covering women up a d’oraysah? Is it just as important as saying shema? Speaking lashon harah? Masturbating? Just where exactly does it stack up? Why do you think the yeshivishe velt is obssessed with womens dress ?

      • Anonymous

        Judah’s prostitute covered up while she was waiting to bang out the tzaddik in Chumash

    • Tuvia

      if a mom dies is it because her daughter screwed up on tznius? You support those signs? Spiritual death threats? How can you go along with these spiritual mobsters?

    • Jacob

      1) Which halacha? Vhatznaya Leches? Everyone knows this is not referring to sleeve and skirt lengths.
      2) Where does it say?
      3)Something we may agree upon, but probably not since you’re an am aretz and this is inadvertent profundity.
      4) Same as 3
      Respectfully, you should take some time out to learn Torah and improve your ignorance.

  • http://abacaximamao.blogspot.com Abacaxi Mamao

    You do all realize that “back” means “tushie” in that poster, right? Just like “rear” often does? Just checking.

    The disturbing issue here is not the concept of tsniut or modesty, which Michah advises everyone (women and men) to apply to their lives. The issue is tht both men and women are policing women’s bodies (only women) to the extent that they are warned against bending to put their children on the bus or retrieve dropped objects or reaching for products high up on grocery shelves (all necessary parts of daily life) and against going out without stocking.

    Stockings certainly didn’t exist until relatively recently. They depend a lot on the invention of synthetic materials like nylon and Lycra and on the ability to weave or knit very thin material. Very difficult without industrial factories, i.e., the Industrial Revolution.) There is a fascinating exhibit at the Met in NYC about the history of trade and textile and trade if you want to know more.

    I am not sure how wearing a full slip will prevent men from looking at your rush when you bend over. And if what’s titillating is underwear lines, there are better solutions, I think. I mean, I’m not that frum and I check for underwear lines before I buy anything new. It only comes up with thin or clingy fabrics.

    • Anonymous

      the rear here actually refers to a woman’s back – when the shirt and skirt don’t meet and there is a gap that shows the skin of her back as she bends over.
      this issue is addressing those who are careful to cover specific body parts and yet don’t realize that as they perform innocuous tasks their shirt rides up and their back is exposed.
      It was relevant a couple of years back when the style was to wear skirts low on the hips, as well as shortish shirts. All people were doing with this letter and similar ones was bringing the problem to the attention of women who would not want their back to be exposed and to make them aware of the problem of pairing these styles together.

      • Tovah

        See here’s the thing, if someone is inadvertently exposed while doing something usual like grocery shopping or putting kids on the bus, maybe she should’ve worn a longer blouse or tucked it into her top (but that’s not tznius either!) but also, maybe, just maybe, someone who finds the brief flash of skin a moral or religious problem could LOOK AWAY. If you’re vexed or gripped with lust over two inches of skin, that’s not normal. And probably a result of the warping that occurs to normal human sexuality when a community is obsessed with women’s bodies and constantly referring to the display of them as sin and temptation and spiritual decay and death.

        Men — Jewish men, even! — outside the frum world live and work and ride public transport alongside women wearing considerably less than tznius initiated frum women on a daily basis. They have business meetings with women (sometimes their bosses) wearing pants, or whose skirts are short and blouses are low cut. They’re not overwhelmed with lust or outrage. They can function. They don’t condemn the women around them as temptresses or invitees of spiritual death because they’re not confronted with this concept day in and day out, and signs literally telling women to stand in shadows lest they be clearly seen on a public street.

        While the concept of tznius is halachic, the guidelines are clearly not from Torah (no denier weight measure was available then, I promise) and the moral outrage of tznius “failures” is entirely manufactured. But it’s easier to hang up signs blaming horrible outcomes on nude stockings and exposed elbows than to monitor yourself and your own responses or to murmur a quiet word to someone who, especially in the “bent over” cases, is likely unaware that she’s showing something she doesn’t want to.

  • anon

    One local day school sent a letter home telling Mothers not to wear sandals or open toed shoes during carpool or risk having their kids kicked out. This school is viewed as moderate because they don’t have expectations that parents will follow these guidelines at home just during carpool.

    • No Evidence Jews were in Egypt

      So glad I’m OTD. These people have created their own man-made hell.

  • GardenDmpls

    There were stockings before nylon, made of silk. There were also long socks. However, it may have been irrelevant to our illustrious ancestors, because they wore long, robe-like dresses.

  • lol

    Wear a fill slip!!!!

  • http://na trisha

    the longer the skirt the further they go is very true, as me and my friends would testify. also the bigger the kippa the cumming is quicker

  • Tuvia

    Some person (woman?) who lives in one of these communities should put up a counter-sign:

    “Your kid’s dead? It’s because you banged that whore two weeks ago! Nice job! Scumbag.”

  • Meme

    Sadly, the frum world does not spend a tenth of the time & attention on child sexual abuse as they do on Tznius. Trust me, I’m frum now, came from the secular world & am a professional in child sexual abuse care. There is still almost no concerted effort to prevent, report or respond to child sexual abuse in the community. Yet there is endless harping on tznius. Which do you think is the real Hillul hashem. Which is more damaging to Klal Yisroel?

  • Donna

    I by no means support the extreme behaviors and standards the “ultra-orthodox” (for lack of a better term) are displaying in the above blog, but I would like to point out that in today’s world, there is such a flagrant nonchalance towards the dignity of women’s bodies and sexuality that this kind of reaction is not unreasonable. Take a look at what all the most popular celebrities, musicians, and world leaders are wearing. Look at movies that are even rated G or PG. Is it any wonder that a highly traditional, and aspiring-to-be-spiritual community circles the wagons to keep out what anyone with eyes in his head would say is a disgusting belittling of women’s bodies and hyper-sexual popular culture. Instead of throwing darts at these people who are just trying to protect themselves and their communities from the surrounding culture, we should be commenting on the disgusting clothes otherwise respectable people wear to their formal gatherings. Check out the way professional actresses and musicians are dressed at the Golden Globe awards. Lets call a spade a spade. The people in Lakewood, etc are a tiny tiny fraction of the larger community with very little influence. We should be criticizing and protesting not only the horrifyingly revealing clothes our so-called role models are wearing, but the huge sums of money they spend on these disgusting clothes which could be better spent in almost any other way.

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  • David

    Q: What’s the difference between a pizza and a Lakewood Kollel guy?
    A: A pizza feeds a family of 4.

    Q: What’s the difference between a park bench and a Lakewood Kollel guy?
    A: A park bench supports a family of 4.

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