Latest update: March 6th, 2012
I am writing this out of my soul-piercing anguish at the epidemic of married “frum” women who dress provocatively. They shamelessly dare to flaunt their failure to observe halacha at every simcha these days, even yeshivsh ones, and in certain orthodox neighborhoods they are unfortunately the rule, not the exception.
You know who they are — they are hard to miss with their enormous, garishly styled custom wigs, which they obviously spent a fortune on, wigs which to an unschooled onlooker could not pass for the wearer’s natural hair for their sheer size alone. They wear tons of makeup, usually favoring lots of gothic dark eye makeup, and their clothes are so tight it is a wonder they breathe.
They clunk around suggestively in shoes so uncomfortable it hurts to look at them. To top it off, there is a growing trend among these women not to even pretend to cover their knees. Short, panty-line accentuating pencil skirts are everywhere, often with details like huge, inviting zippers and slits that reveal everything when the wearer bends over. Adding insult to the injury these abominable women cause to the dignity of Orthodox Jews everywhere are the flashy designer labels these women usually sport, as if to boast with pride that they have abandoned Judaism for the values of the television.
These women are a disgrace to Orthodox Judaism and should not be tolerated. They paint the most obnoxious, insulting and degrading anti-Semitic caricature of Jewish women – that of materialistic, religiously hypocritical wives. Their values are those of the sewer, of the porn industry: attract sexual attention at all cost.
They are going to burn in Gehenom for every lustful glance their garishly flaunted bodies attract from frum men, and are a pischon peh to the yetzer hara of every non-orthodox woman considering embracing tznius (Why be orthodox? The rabbi at your Reform temple dresses more modestly than that!) or for any financially strapped couple struggling with the idea of sending their children to Jewish day school (Why kill yourself with tuition? Look what trash comes out of those schools!). What these women are essentially saying through their attire is that they care so little for Torah and mitzvos that they do not even want to be publicly identified with it.
It is my wish that these women will one day be given the cold shoulder and be made to feel unwelcome at every kosher restaurant, simcha hall, clothing store or shul. They should not be allowed to publicly disgrace Orthodox Judaism. And their obvious marital frustration should be addressed in therapy, rather than advertised to the construction workers hooting at them in the street.
My husband and I recently visited Europe where some of the scenery is breathtaking, and just about everywhere we went I felt proud to recognize one of our own — a frum woman.
At the same time, we recently had occasion to attend a simcha in Los Angeles, where Hollywood is the epitome of prustkeit (vulgarity) in the secular world. Again, I was proud to see the tznius of frum girls and women.
And yet – I don’t know how else to say this but bluntly – in my neighborhood, which shall remain nameless, too many of the women who walk around look more like hookers than a princess/bas Yisroel.
I wonder why they bother wearing shaitlach with the rest of their bodies barely covered!
My pride in my heritage is wounded
I read your column every week and would like to thank you for helping the frum community.
I want to bring up a topic that I believe many frum married men have a problem with: while the woman we marry may be baalbatish (refined), highly intelligent, a great cook and homemaker, and excellent mother, she is not a good wife — meaning she doesn’t satisfy her husband and fails to give him what he really wants.
To clarify, most of these wives lack femininity and have absolutely no notion of romance. While good in the kitchen, they utterly fall flat when it comes to adding spice and fun into the marriage. This seems to be a major drawback of the frum couple’s marital relationship, which ends up having a negative effect on the community as a whole.
Our schools should begin expounding on the realities of a true eishes chayil (virtuous woman), the way halacha teaches and the Ramah brings down: eiza isha kasheiro hoisa ratzon balah – the “Kosher woman who does the will of her husband” and a woman who promotes sholom bayis is considered to be a true eishes chayil who will raise ehrliche Yiddish kids.
A focused husband and father
In these precarious times when our distinctive role as “a guiding light unto to the nations” is perhaps more critical than ever before, it behooves every one of us to do some serious introspection — for no one is immune to “outside” influence and each one of us has a responsibility to one another.
Parents cannot simply leave it up to the school/teachers to set their children on the right derech, and husbands need to stop pandering to their wives when it comes to crossing the boundary lines of tznius. (This is not to infer in any way that modesty equals dowdiness.)
The last letter is quite relevant to the context of the letters preceding it and was a deliberate inclusion, meant to draw attention to how utterly skewed the priorities of some women are.
While women (or anyone, for that matter) should never appear unkempt in any setting, the married woman especially should save her seduction prowess for the confines of her home where she is required to keep her husband happy, content and interested.
There are many references in the Torah to the virtue of tznua (hiddenness), one of the earliest among them the circumstance surrounding the second set of luchos that Moshe Rabeinu was called upon to retrieve in utmost privacy — after G-d determined that the first set met with catastrophe because they were produced with much fuss, fanfare and exposure. Hashem declared at the time, “Ein lecha yafo min ha’tznius” – there’s nothing more beautiful than tznius (that which is private and hidden).
Elsewhere in the Torah we are warned that nothing is more repulsive to Hashem than immodest dress and behavior.
May all of Klal Yisrael have an enlightening and joyful Shavuos!
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About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.
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