Monday, November 20, 2006

Does your clothing have a Modesty Certificate?

If you live in Israel and are worried about the modesty of your dress it may soon be available.The JPost gives us the inside scoop on a meeting that occurred this past Sat. night in Jerusalem and the topic was the modesty of women's clothing within the Haredi Yeshiva world. The meeting was attended by some of the biggest Rabbis in the Litvish Yeshiva community such as Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Steinmen, Rabbi Michal Yehuda Lefkovitz of Ponevezh Yeshiva as well as Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, head of the Mir Yeshiva.

What the exact limits of modesty are, were not directly discussed. However, certain specifics such as making sure thatblouses were "10 centimeters longer than the edge of the skirt along the waist so as to cover [the midriff] during all movements" were singled out in italics in the declaration. Single men and women were not invited to attend. The article continues to inform us "One of the ideas is to provide 'modesty certificates' to those clothing stores that meet our demands," said one of the activists who helped organize the conference in Jerusalem. "Stores without the certificates would be boycotted."

The activist admitted that checking all the apparel stores in Bnei Brak was labor intensive but added that he knew several fellow activists who expressed their willingness to help out.

The Guardians of Holiness and Education already review literature sold in Bnei Brak and all social events that take place in the town and provide kosher authorization only to those books and events that meet rabbinic standards.

In Jerusalem, a slightly different tactic is being discussed. A female "modesty tailor" would be posted in each of the large clothing stores serving the haredi community. These women could advise female customers on issues of modesty. A principal of a haredi high school for girls in Jerusalem who is active in the modesty campaign said that "modesty certificates" are impractical."Unlike kosher food, which is governed by clear-cut criteria, modest clothing depends on how it is worn and who wears it," said the principal. "There is an interaction between the body and the piece of clothing."

The principal added that economic factors were fueling the trend of immodest clothing.
"In the past, most of the clothing came from Europe, where designers tended to have more puritanical sensibilities. But today China and Third World countries are manufacturing cheaper merchandise which is also immodest.


Ezzie said...

Seems like a lot of J-bloggers are covering this... :)

Jewish Blogmeister said...

lol, can't help it can u?

Lakewood Venter said...

oy! This scares me! Are we in for another round of Takanos, bans, and other un-enforceable invasions on our privacy?!

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Probably :)

Batya said...

for people who can't think for themselves and see how they look

what's modest for one isn't for another

and there are lots of versions of the psak

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