I’ve been thinking about dressing more American when I get to my new home in Illinois. For example, I do not own a pair of pants (or blue jeans or khakis or slacks), and I haven’t worn pants for several years.
I have three identical black skirts and six of the same shirt in different colors.
I also have three pairs of Crocs: pink, green, black.
I have worn this outfit to work every day for 16 weeks. That’s 80 shifts in the same outfit.
Here are some important reasons why this outfit falls short of what true tznius is:
Ways it is a good outfit:
Who gives a damn about wearing Medieval outfits in 2015?
Judaism teaches that every holy thing has two coverings. My holy soul is meant to be covered by the flesh of my physical body and then by my clothing. The idea behind tznius is that if I want potential suitors to view me as holy, then I should be covered because that sends the message that I am holy.
Unfortunately, I was not raised with this tradition and I generally do not like wearing clothes. I like being butt-ass naked. If I were a size 2, I would never wear clothes in public (only the minimum required by law to prevent being arrested). This is my rationalization for why I am obese, but that is for another post. I changed the way I dress because of the influence of Tzfat (Safed), Israel. Tzfat is a city where a majority of villagers are what Westerners would call ultra-Orthodox Jews. (It isn’t true because there is only more obedient or less obedient, as Torah does not change, but whatever.) The women in Tzfat wear the most beautiful clothes and head coverings. They are all made of laces and colorful fabrics: chintzes, calicos, and soft floral patterns. The women of Tzfat look regal and feminine, and I want to have that look one day.
(I spent an hour searching online for a photo of any random woman of Tzfat and couldn’t find a hit, but here is a photo of the typical head scarf of a married woman. Note the pretty pin, the earrings, and the lovely deep colors.)
So that is tznius in a nutshell. Of course, this post is written entirely from my point-of-view. Many Jewish women in Israel have no interest in tznius, but I do.
“Tznius, the Jewish Way of Dressing.” is copyright © 2015 by 18mitzvot. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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