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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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New Campaign: Tight Pants Are Sinful and Corrupting


Photo Credit: Serge Attal / FLASH90

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The Tznius (modesty) Police have found a new venue for their efforts – this time: men’s attire!, reports the website B’Hadrei Haredim.

Over the past 24 hours, a letter has been distributed in Haredi population centers, complete with rabbis’ signatures, in which Haredi men are called upon to strengthen their modesty and be careful about the guidelines of their clothing.

We have grown accustomed over the past few years to letters like that, usually directed at the women in the Haredi sector. Now, surprisingly, this letter is addressed specifically to the men, specifically:

“Recently, the modesty of men’s clothing needs to be addressed as well, to uphold the ‘sanctity of our camp.’ We are expressing the Torah viewpoint that every man is obligated to dress in loose and modest clothing,” it reads.

The only clothing item distinctively mentioned in the letter is pants. “There is a strict Biblical prohibition against wearing tight clothing like the gentiles, as stated: ‘You shall not follow in their ways.’ Wearing tight pants is forbidden because of that reason.”

At the conclusion of the letter, it states: “And those who wear (such garments) are sinful and cause corruption and it is obligatory to protest their behavior.”

Among the rabbis who have signed the letter, appears the names of Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, son of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef and dean of Chazon Ovadiah, as wel, as Rabbi Yosef Leiberman, dean of Kollel Shomrei Hachomos, Rabbi Azariah Basis, chief rabbi of Rosh HaAyin and others.

On the other side of the letter appear pictures of famous rabbis, among them, the late Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi A. Hillel from Turkey and others. Many of the rabbis in the pictures appear wearing loose-fitting clothing. On top of the letter is a paraphrase of the words of the Maharsha in tractate Shabbat: “The clothes of a person are an indication of his character.”

“A Sacred Call” to avoid tight pants / Photo: B'Hadrei Haredim

“A Sacred Call” to avoid tight pants / Photo: B’Hadrei Haredim

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About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth. Invite Tibbi to visit your blog. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press

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20 Responses to “New Campaign: Tight Pants Are Sinful and Corrupting”

  1. Daniel Suter says:

    the are mad now?

  2. Yori Yanover says:

    Usually by October everybody calms down.

  3. I've been against tight pants for men for a very long time. I'm glad that this is finally being addressed. It's the summer, they really should be wearing shorts!

  4. I agree with Michael Kaplan. The use of thigt pants can cause infertility on men, specially the young ones, that can become steriles. Therefore I strickly recommend the use of shorts pants, specially during these hot summer days!

  5. Mark Rottenstein says:

    Now they are getting ridiculous ! Bad enough with the women's clothing,now the men?worry about child molestation first

  6. could the haradim throw away their clothes from europe and start to dress like we live in a hot country just for a change, stop making their little girls look like old saftas and just be normal with the clothes they wear. sigh. too much to ask.

  7. most important point. seeing as we are in the bible land they can wear biblical clothes the men and have long robes and there is no more problem. way to go. imagine bibical clothes in the land of the bible. to much to ask?

  8. But their pants wouldn't even SHOW under their long caftans, anyway. Bekeshers… reckels… kapotes… whatever.

  9. Mark Leaman says:

    I agree its starting to look like the Olympics with their tight pants, would be much better in shorts.

  10. Laby Becher says:

    U give them publicity and hits if u post it. Remove it asap or I get fallg on u.

  11. Yori Yanover says:

    If they hunch over you KNOW their pants must be tight.

  12. Yori Yanover says:

    Shorts go great with a bekkesh or a kapota. Add white tennis shoes and a shtreimel and you're ready for any occasion, from 100 Shearim to the Kentucky Derby.

  13. Or the Safed Klezmerfestival …

  14. Why don't you protest against sinat chinam! It is flourishing among haredim and other jewish groups! And it is much more serious problem than tight paints! As we all know we are still in suffering because of it. Come on folks, don't look at the tight paints and what is covered by them… unless you are ditressed with sublimated attractions with other man's asses! You may freely choose the sight direction ;-).

  15. use some common sense. if a child is dressed seductively like a sex object, it definitely encourages sexual predators. it's a turn on! all women dressing to be sexually seductive are setting themselves up to be molested. that's the whole reason most of them dress that way in the first place – to attract men. My mother used to tell me, as ateen, to wear skinny shirts which showed off my figure, but then tell me NOT to sit on my boyfriends's lap. Mixed messages, like most kids get. though now, nobody is even encourating modesty, only sexual depravity. I as on the beach on tel aviv years ago, wearing shorts. Spoke to an Israeli about God (Jesus). Prayed for him. Felt nothing. Then i prayed to God "Forgive my immodesty please use me anyway" and the Holy Spirit fell on me & him with power. I have not worn shorts since, since God deos not want me to be 'off duty". God is HOLY. He says the bible "Be ye holy for I am holy"
    1prophetspeaks.com msgs for jews, free books, about God, music, health

  16. Charlie Hall says:

    Uh, the Kentucky Derby is always run on Shabat….or was that your point? ;)

  17. That's why I wear a dress when I'm home. My wife hates my "nisht tzniusdik" pants.
    I find that I'm much more "sniusdik" in knee length skirt – with dem bullet-proof stockings.

  18. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Most women love curly hair and many love straight long hair; therefore, all men with long peyot, curly or straight, need to cut to them to no longer than to the bottom of their ear and either fold them behind the ear or tuck them under the hat.

  19. Anna V. Milana says:


  20. Verna-Lee Small says:

    @"Prophetess Deedee" About your comments…”use some common sense. if a child is dressed seductively like a sex object, it definitely encourages sexual predators. it's a turn on! all women dressing to be sexually seductive are setting themselves up to be molested. that's the whole reason most of them dress that way in the first place – to attract men.” I’m all for modesty, and understand influence but the primarily responsibility of someone being a pervert is on the pervert him (or herself) no matter what else is going on around, and to suggest otherwise by saying anyone is “setting themselves up to be molested” is disgusting and minimizes the responsibility of the abuser It doesn’t matter how “turned on” anyone is it is their responsibility to control themselves. Abuse can and does happen in all levels of society, and truly isn’t about what the abused did or didn’t do, but what the abuser chooses to do and nothing justifies it, so don’t shift responsibility by saying someone other than the abuser him or herself is responsible for “setting up” the wrong actions of an abuser because that is exactly what comments like yours do. By saying that it is “common sense” to focus the placement the responsibility to prevent abuse anywhere other than on the abuser fails of hold them accountable for their own actions and gives false justification for the immoral behavior of another which makes sociality so sicker, not better.

    As for “…that's the whole reason most of them dress that way in the first place – to attract men.” You don’t know the motives of the heart of others for dressing how they do, be it in much or little. Only God can truly see the heart, and regardless as to why one dresses others are still responsible for how their choices in how they choose to perceive it and behavior toward them. Some people motives don’t revolve around men but cultural norms/ what one is used to and what is deemed convenient, and acceptable, even my choice to dress more modesty (not just in terms of how much clothing, but how flashy it is while avoiding pointless accessories) doesn’t revolve around men’s feelings, but it helps discourage foolish pride based on shallow compliments (that can come from either gender) which can easily grow even if one thinks themselves “above that” and maintain healthy self-respect, but even the emotional benefits I noticed were an afterthought, I was really just trying to follow my God, and most clothes I wore before I didn’t even think of as purposely “seductive” or immodest I just didn’t really think of it that deeply and assumed I was dressing pretty good, before I prayed about it to make sure I knew what modest was, so I know from experience one, can innocently wear less without even considering it “seductive” to get attention.

    Even if someone wanted attention and that doesn’t justify any unwanted OR wanted attention as people are responsible for their own actions period, ( if someone was depressed and wished to die and the counselor figured he/she wasn’t getting paid enough for the work anyway and went ahead and shot him instead of trying to bring comfort the counselor is still responsible how the counselor handled it, and took advanced of not only their position and circumstances to do so which is still wrong and unprofessional) To see things as an attempt to be “seductive” is a choice and judgment others make in their own minds about other people, for example your comment, “if a child is dressed seductively like a sex object” to even be able to think of a child as seductive or as an object for sex is ultimately telling about the kind of person you are, not the child.

    As for “My mother used to tell me, as a teen, to wear skinny shirts which showed off my figure, but then tell me NOT to sit on my boyfriends's lap. Mixed messages, like most kids get.” While I wouldn’t say outside naked, there is nothing inherently wrong, cheap, or dirty and the human form (male or female)- which is why I don’t think anyone should be said be dressed like “sex object” as you did even if not dressed at all as your logic seems to suggests when it comes down to it, sex is all one’s body it is for and to see it means to do it and to be able to see one’s figure yet expect not to be touched somehow a contradiction – but it isn’t so, and therefore it might not be as mixed as you think.

    The thinking that anyone’s body is ultimately an sex object to be hid unless in use as such seems to be very degrading, and I would say un-Biblical, motive for modestly which encourages a sense of sexual entitlement to treat each other like that is all people are good for instead seeing sex being just one capability of someone in the mix of many other capabilities someone as to offer as a total package which I think is Godly modestly was meant to remind us of, the whole person personality, talents, etc… not just appearances, be it by wearing excessive accessories, obnoxious or very little clothing, and carrying a narcissistic attitude.

    As you should know when the New Testament talks about modestly (since you spoke of Jesus)it says in 1Timothy 2:9-11 “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. “ Please note in the Bible, true modestly is holistic and elevated and concerned about being modest/humble person period across the board, not merely in terms of the amount of clothing, and discourages attention seeking in anyway way, while instead telling us to focus on what really matters, such the inside of a person and helping others, not just physical appearances.

    Biblical modestly isn’t some mere body objectifying concept revolving on the notion that someone is essentially “sex object” to not be seen that justifies others in treating people as such. I would submit to you a motive for modestly based on a concept that objectified and lowers the value of a person, and suggests people are in anyway entitled to abuse others based on how they look is not “being Holy as He is Holy” at all, as one shouldn’t think of people so shallowly, regardless as to how someone looks even if they think that is what they think of themselves, since God, says people have value beyond that and we should be respectful of that. Also it is important to remember no one can control another's behavior, regardless as to how one is dressed someone could always say it isn’t modest enough, and people can be abused no matter how “modest” they are or aren’t because abuse is not about them, it is about the abuser’s choices period.

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