Can anyone help? I know I have some frum gal followers too. What do you all do for swimwear? Or do you stick to gender segregated settings?
Stupid practices. 1- Sheitels
This and WDNR will be my two (and only two) series. Of course these are series b/c there is so much to talk about in these areas. In this part, i will talk about sheitels. All that one really needs to know, is that once a woman gets married, she must cover her hair when amongst people who aren’t her husband (yes, even her own children).
Jetzt kommt der spaßige [Now comes the fun] (German, for those of whom are curious). Women need to cover their hair in way possible. This includes baseball caps, bandanas, and even a small rag on top of their head. Most women, however, choose to wear the sheitel. The best part is, most of these sheitels look even better (and sexier) than the woman’s natural hair. This, in turn, defeats the whole purpose of covering one’s hair.
This post is relatively short, but there will be a larger one at Rosh Hashona and/or Yom Kippur to call out bullshit. Especially the pagan rituals that the Jews participate in.
The purpose of a married Orthodox Jewish woman covering her hair isn’t to look undesirable or ugly for the rest of the world. It’s to preserve a part of herself (in this case, her hair) for only her husband to see. So it isn’t hypocritical for her to wear a lovely sheitel or a stylish tichel/mitpacha (head scarf). Only her husband sees her true hair and choosing to cover it becomes a sign of devotion to both her husband to G-d. Don’t assume that just because you might find a wig more attractive than her actual hair, that the woman is dressing for you and to look attractive.
And some women believe it’s fine to show their hair to their children and others don’t. There are many opinions on this and practices differ according to the minhags of different groups and families.
Lastly, it is incredibly disrespectful for the OP, especially since you are male, to tell the millions of Orthodox Jewish women out there that their religious choice to cover their hair is “stupid.” In another post you wrote that you “agree with women and girls dressing modestly and not like sluts.” Please remember that women are intelligent enough to choose how they want to dress and they don’t need your help in deciding.
are there any aspects of the theology or thought behind modesty traditions that pertain specifically to anonymity? is anonymity assumed under these religious dictates? or is this an entirely too subjective observation made by a westernized individual?
This is very broad question, and I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but maybe this is relevant? According to the Rambam, the second greatest level of charity is to give anonymously and to have the recipient remain anonymous as well. This is topped only by finding a living for someone.
help help help
I’m having so much trouble hijabify-ing my swimming suit. I can’t find stretchy, long sleeve shirts anywhere. Specifically ones that don’t go straight down, but rather, maybe a baby doll styled shirt so it’s a bit looser & more flowy. I checked Nike, Sports Authority, etc but I can’t find :(
or just tips in general that could help?
On ‘modesty’ (yes, it’s in quotes for a reason):
So I have a lot of thoughts about ‘modesty’ as a construct (woo for being an English grad student and thinking about these things!) and the way we as a society build it up. And not in an abstract ‘ohh this is interesting lets take it apart’ kind of way - but in a real, tangible way. The way society (and here I’m talking about Muslim communities more than society at large in the west because I think the way we configure modesty is both very similar and diametrically opposed) builds up this idea of ‘the modest hijabi’ is really distressing, I think, to Muslim women/girls at large, to hijabis in particular, and women who fall somewhere in between, who try to be modest and are told they can’t be because of whatever reason.
I’m not going to touch on the religious tradition of modesty because a) the information is out there, you just have to be able to read (and I’m not talking about literacy, I’m talking about understanding what the text is saying and in what context it was revealed and the tradition following that revelation), and b) I’m much more interested and distressed by the way our definition of modesty is one directional and in a lot of ways not defined by religious traditions but by the comfort of others.
Essentially, our definition of modesty (or not ours as in Muslimah’s striving for modesty, but the cultural/communal definition that gets passed around nearly exclusively at Muslimahs) has stopped being what Allah (swt) has commanded of us and somehow become that which does not turn on the menz.
Which. No. Islam is not one directional. Islam does not place the burden of sin on the woman, it’s not her responsibility to control someone else’s libido. More than that, what a woman is wearing is no one’s business but hers. The concept of modesty is not for others, its for Allah. Unless you think you’re God (in which case you’d be wrong) what a woman is wearing (EVEN IF IT TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY VIOLATES THE ISLAMIC DEFINITION OF MODESTY) is not your business. She has people in her life to advise her and to guide her, and most important of all: she has a brain and a will that Allah (swt) gave her. And subhanAllah, the way I’ve seen this ‘advice’ given out, from both men and women, to women nearly exclusively, has been terrible.
Shaming a woman is not going to breed a better relationship in her with Allah (swt), it’s not going to cultivate a deeper understanding of her deen. You know what it’s going to do? It’s going to grow resentment.
Think about that. The resentment, the anger, the distance that will grow between her and her deen, between her and her Lord: you are partially responsible for that. You because you couldn’t mind you own business, you couldn’t keep your eyes off her body, you couldn’t stop staring at her hijab, or her legs, or her hips. You, because you couldn’t follow your own deen and lower your gaze.
And shame on you for that.
I know a boy who is turned on by the hijab (know is a term I use loosely. He’s on my floor because of ~reasons~). So what am I supposed to do? Put on a burka? Wear a niqab? Hope the ground swallows me whole every time he sees me? I’ve fulfilled my Islamic duty as I see fit, as I know best. The fact that he’s a creep and will probably stare at me or any of the other hijabis on my floor is not my fault. It’s not my sin. And it’s not my responsibility.
Can you repeat that?
So leave me alone, leave the women alone and look to yourself. Because, I’m telling you, if you are fixated by the way we dress, by the pictures we put up on Facebook, and it makes you angry, it means you need to look to yourself and examine yourself, and your deen, and your relationship with Allah (swt). Not mine.
“The ultra-Orthodox men in Israel who are exerting control over women claim that they are honoring women. In effect they are saying: We do not treat women as sex objects as you in Western society do. Our women are about more than their bodies, and that is why their bodies must be fully covered. In fact, though, their actions objectify and hyper-sexualize women. Think about it: By saying that all women must hide their bodies, they are saying that every woman is an object who can stir a man’s sexual thoughts. Thus, every woman who passes their field of vision is sized up on the basis of how much of her body is covered. She is not seen as a complete person, only as a potential inducement to sin. Of course, once you judge a female human being only through a man’s sexualized imagination, you can turn even a modest 8-year-old girl into a seductress and a prostitute. At heart, we are talking about a blame-the-victim mentality. It shifts the responsibility of managing a man’s sexual urges from himself to every woman he may or may not encounter. It is a cousin to the mentality behind the claim, “She was asking for it.” So the responsibility is now on the women. To protect men from their sexual thoughts, women must remove their femininity from their public presence, ridding themselves of even the smallest evidence of their own sexuality. All of this is done in the name of the Torah and Jewish law. But it’s actually a complete perversion. The Talmud, the foundation of Jewish law, acknowledges that men can be sexually aroused by women and is indeed concerned with sexual thoughts and activity outside of marriage. But it does not tell women that men’s sexual urges are their responsibility. Rather, both the Talmud and the later codes of Jewish law make that demand of men. It is forbidden for a man to gaze sexually at a woman, whether beautiful or ugly, married or unmarried, says the Talmud. Later Talmudic rabbis extended this ban even to “her smallest finger” and “her brightly colored clothing — even if they are drying on the wall.” To make these the woman’s responsibility is to demand that Jewish women cover their hands, and that they not dry their clothes in public. No one has ever said this. At least not yet. The Talmud tells the religious man, in effect: If you have a problem, you deal with it. It is the male gaze — the way men look at women — that needs to be desexualized, not women in public. The power to make sure men don’t see women as objects of sexual gratification lies within men’s — and only men’s — control.”
Dov Linzer, “Lechery, Immodesty, and the Talmud”
This is a super awesome opinion piece. Dov Linzer sounds like a super awesome guy.
Dov Linzer is an Orthodox rabbi and the Rosh haYeshiva for Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York.