Jump to content


Photo

Tznius


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 mamash

mamash

    Member

  • Members
  • 50 posts

Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:16 PM

What age should girls begin dressing completely tznius (long skirts, sleeves, etc.)? I recognize I should have asked this question earlier, but this summer my wife and I felt that our 7 year old should begin dressing tznius. Although she had been wearing long skirts for quite some time, we were not makpid on making sure her sleeves were past the elbow. To our surprise, we were met with a lot of resistance. She either claimed she liked this shirt better or it was more comfortable, or it's too hot, etc. We've tried to make it easier for her with incentives, but it's certainly not a fool proof plan. Do you have any suggestions on making the transition easier for us and our daughter, and perhaps advise us at what age we should begin the process with our next daughter (she's 4 now).

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

Rabbi Shapiro

    Member

  • Administrators
  • 1,423 posts

Posted 22 August 2011 - 05:11 PM

There is a Machlokes about this between the Chofetz Chaim and the Chazon Ish, The Chofetz Chaim holds 3 year old girls are required to dress tzniusdik; the Chazon Ish says when they start to be distinguishable as girls - he does not give a specific age. Rav Wosner says this means about age 7, maximum.

#3 mamash

mamash

    Member

  • Members
  • 50 posts

Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:40 PM

There is a Machlokes about this between the Chofetz Chaim and the Chazon Ish, The Chofetz Chaim holds 3 year old girls are required to dress tzniusdik; the Chazon Ish says when they start to be distinguishable as girls - he does not give a specific age. Rav Wosner says this means about age 7, maximum.


How would you recommend beginning the process for a 7 year old? Is it something you just do overnight, or would you do it in stages? How do you explain tznius to a 7 year old?

#4 shaya

shaya

    Member

  • Members
  • 108 posts

Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:51 PM

few questions:
is the knee length a halacha or is it self understood? same with elbow?
is socks a must? (with wearing a knee long skirt) what is the ? שוק
what about open toes? (flip flops)
how much of the hair (for married women) is allowed to be shown? (neck hair, where does the neck start?) [i heard of a psak by reb moishe that a tefach into the head is allowed to be shown (i.e. bi hair)]
does the standards of ערוה change with the times (since the whole world goes like that)
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#5 Rabbi Shapiro

Rabbi Shapiro

    Member

  • Administrators
  • 1,423 posts

Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:33 AM


How would you recommend beginning the process for a 7 year old? Is it something you just do overnight, or would you do it in stages? How do you explain tznius to a 7 year old?

I am assuming, from your previous question, that you are in a community where your daughter is an outlier regarding her standards of Tznius. In that case, you should start as early as possible, regardless of the Halachic disagreement between the Chofetz Chaim and Chazon Ish. I know it is hard for her to be different than the rest of her friends, but the longer you wait the harder it will be.

As far as slowly or all at once, that depends on the child. Whichever she is more comfortable with. But remember - if you are waiting till the last Halachic minute, you will be stuck between a rock and a hard place if "overnight" is difficult, which is another reason to start as early as possible - it gives you the option of doing it slow.

Explaining Tznius to a seven year old should be the same as explaining any other Halachah. If we single out Tznius as a topic of discussion as opposed to all other Halachos, we send the message that Tznius is somehow different than the rest of the Torah, which we don't need to discuss.

However, in a case such as yours, where your daughter is going to be different than her friends by dressing properly, you will likely need some inducement to motivate her. The best option is if she understands from as young an age as possible that as frum Jews this is how we dress. She will most likely understand that if all her life she is used to seeing her mother proudly dress differently than the rest of the Orthodox women in her community. It is important in such a case that the girl perceive her mother as dressing nicely, even fashionably if need be, so that she does not attribute her mother's halachic fulfillment to simple bad taste in clothes or indifference to how she looks.

There may still be a need for a discussion. There is no one-size-fits-all formula here. The odds are that if there is something bothering her at that point, it will not be the mode of dress but the fact that she has to be different than her friends. The only smooth way I know of to deal with that is what I mentioned in response to your other question on this topic - children in such situations must, as early as possible, become acutely aware that they are living in a Kiruv environment and that their neighbors' standards of frumkeit may well be the best that can be expected of the neighbors, but that still does not make it right.

A word of caution: People often try in this situation to explain to the seven-year-old that Jews are Hashem's royalty and Kol Kevuda Bas Melech Penimah, and that the Queen of England does not wear jeans etc.I would not recommend this. The problem here is not getting your to understand Tznius; it is getting her to understand why she should be different than all her friends. So explaining to her that she is the daughter of the King does not address her problem, which is, if all the other daughters of the King wear jeans, why does she have to be different? So no matter what you say about Tznius, you're going to have to explain to her why she should dress differently than all her friends. Focus on that issue.

#6 shaya

shaya

    Member

  • Members
  • 108 posts

Posted 16 October 2011 - 01:11 PM

Focus on that issue.


and by that is to say to them that the OTHERS are WRONG?
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#7 Rabbi Shapiro

Rabbi Shapiro

    Member

  • Administrators
  • 1,423 posts

Posted 23 October 2011 - 10:27 AM


and by that is to say to them that the OTHERS are WRONG?

If you hold the others are wrong then yes, you should say so.

#8 SilverShoes

SilverShoes

    Member

  • Members
  • 38 posts

Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:01 PM

I would start phasing it out by the 5/6 age.
Instead of stopping buying when the girl is 6/7 stop buying when she 5/6 so she doesn't have the new clothing that still fits her.
Also SHOW HER.
Instead of telling her it is osser , show her how its a lifestyle -- you do it!
Never allow her to wear the untznius clothing in the presence of your role models and then kal v'chomar she will understand she cant do before hashem.

#9 Rabbi Shapiro

Rabbi Shapiro

    Member

  • Administrators
  • 1,423 posts

Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:28 PM

But you still need to tell her it's Assur. Otherwise, how will you answer her when she asks, and what will motivate her when she sees, that she is dressing differently than all her friends? Indeed, than all the rest of the neighborhood, and city, and state?

"Lifestyle" is insufficient. What would convince her to adopt a less comfortable, disparate, divergent lifestyle when it comes to something as important to a little girl as the way she dresses? What does she have to gain? Why would her parents foist that on her?

She needs to know that she - and her family - are doing this because its the right thing to do.

Never allow her to wear the untznius clothing in the presence of your role models and then kal v'chomar she will understand she cant do before hashem.

Well we don't want her to think she has to dress the same way as she does in public when she is in the privacy of her own bedroom, or at the pool or in the gym with other females. Even though she is always in front of Hashem. Tznius involves gender separation. She is allowed to dress when not in the presence of men much differently than she is allowed to when she is in their presence. Even though she is always in the presence of Hashem.