Part 9 in Jewish Wisdom for the Everyday Man: a “guide for the perplexed” through the modern maze of morality from ancient Jewish Sages.
There are many positive aspects of the modern feminist movements. But what about the idea that women should be able to dress as they please without regard to traditional guidelines or restrictions? Should there be a dress code for women?
In Judaism women are required to dress with modesty – Tzniut in Hebrew – a concept with repercussions that reach far beyonds the length of a woman’s skirt. To understand this fascinating and crucial concept in Judaism, we must delve into the connection the Jewish sages saw between Tzniut, hiddenness and holiness.
The Holiness of Hiddenness
The sages point out that when Moses first encounters God by the Burning Bush, he immediately hides his face (Ex. 3:5-6). Likewise, on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, when the High Priest enters the Holiest of Holies to…