Rebbetzin Bracha Leeds is the Chabad emissary at the University of California in Berkeley. She talks to us about the middah (character trait) of tznius (modesty) as a mindset. It’s not about the clothes we wear, it’s about “What does Hashem want from us in this moment?” She emphasizes that we are not exempt from stepping forward when we are needed. That is such a powerful statement! We all have something to contribute and none of us are allowed to withhold the gifts that Hashem gave us to share in this world.
Regarding tznius, Rebbetzin Bracha encourages us to look at it from these points of view:
1. Tznius is yiras shamayim–fear of Hashem. It’s an awareness of Hashem’s presence. Know before whom you stand.
2. Determine what parts of the body really need to be covered. We want to draw only appropriate attention to us.
3. Don’t follow the ways of the other nations. We are Jews and we are unique in our ways.
4. Women shouldn’t wear men’s clothing and men shouldn’t wear women’s clothing.
5. Men and women are on the same team–we should support each other by not putting a stumbling block in front of the blind. Men are given the mitzvah of not looking at women in a desirous manner. By wearing clothing that is modest and not revealing, we remove that pressure from men when they look at us.

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Vera Kessler is a wife and mother of three children whose goal in life is to inspire Jewish women to live their lives with meaning and a strong connection to Hashem. As a vehicle for this mission, she created the America's Top Rebbetzins podcast, where she interviews inspiring rebbetzins who share their words of wisdom and unique insights on living a life filled with clarity and purpose.