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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Why a Burka is Not Modest Enough

I am surprised that burkas aren’t standard apparel for the woman in the street.

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Just when you think tznius concerns cannot get any more ridiculous than they already are, they do.

Original photo (left) by Asaf Abres of the Jerusalem Fire Department. Right side imaged published in Hamodia. Side by side image from YNET.

The photo on the left is a before and after shot of a drawer with some shoes in it. (The baby in the picture is irrelevant to this post.) The before picture is now taboo in the Haredi press for modesty reasons. I kid you not. Hamodia photo-shopped out the women’s shoes in the ‘before’ picture before they published it in its ‘after’ form.

Is there any sane person that can understand this? Is there any more ridiculous tznius precaution than photo-shopping out a picture of a woman’s shoe? Is there a normal – or even abnormal man on the face of the planet that would become sexually aroused by such a picture?

There is no better proof in my mind as to how ridiculous the world of the right has become in these matters.

I’m surprised that women haven’t been barred entirely from the world… to be used sparingly for reproductive purposes. I am also surprised that burkas aren’t standard apparel for the woman in the street.

The fact that even the most Haredi rabbis protested such dress when a group of women decided on that kind of tznius is puzzling – in light of the kind censorship undertaken by a mainstream Haredi newspaper. If a woman’s shoe is considered too titillating for the average man, how can any real woman in the street be any less titillating? The only way a woman should be able to walk in the street is if no one can tell she’s a woman.

In fact burkas wouldn’t even qualify for that. Everyone knows that there is a woman under that burka. And you know what kind of thoughts that conjures up. No… we must devise a way for a woman to become truly and literally invisible. And the same things holds true for any clothing item that has even the remotest possibility of being identified as feminine. Such items must disappear from the public eye, both in the ‘real’ and in the ‘virtual’ (of a photo).

I would even go a step further. I would eliminate the word ‘woman’ from the lexicon. Same thing any words that refer to anything feminine like women’s clothing. For example, the word ‘dress’… GONE! You never know what images will be conjured up in the mind of the normal healthy male when he hears the word ‘dress’.

Only when all these things are implemented, will our community be spared the indignities of immodest behavior and thoughts. How else can we ever hope to achieve our mandate as a Goy Kadosh- a holy nation?

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Harry Maryles

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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