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The Jewish idea of tzniut (modesty) isn’t just about the way we dress. How does maintaining appropriate personal boundaries help to preserve intimacy?

Modesty and Borders

Modesty and Borders

Women and Wisdom: Lesson 1

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Modesty and Borders: Women and Wisdom: Lesson 1

The Jewish idea of tzniut (modesty) isn’t just about the way we dress. How does maintaining appropriate personal boundaries help to preserve intimacy?
Tzniut, Women's mitzvot, Hair Covering
Goldie Plotkin is co-director of Chabad of Markham in Thornhill, Ontario and director of the Torah Tots Pre-School. She was the keynote speaker at the International Convention of Shluchos in 2010.
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Hannah Texas January 12, 2016

Head covering I loved this class on modesty. I have a bit of a problem. I would like to wear a head covering. But my husband does not want me to do to the fact that we are not keeping all of the Shabbos mitzvot as we should. And we have to drive to see my husband's parents because they are not in a good health and the only day that we can go is on Friday night or Saturday. And due to their health it is really hard for them to celebrate Shabbat. My husband says that we have to be congruent with what we do and dress. That if I dress a certain way then I send a message that I am orthodox when we do not live an orthodox life. My thinking is that we have to start somewhere. We do keep some mitzvot though but I wish that our observancy level were higher. I would appreciate your comments, thank you Reply

Rebecca Lee Prentice Wauchula, Florida June 15, 2015

Your spiel on Wrinkles Priceless! I love you! I sent a friend request on Facebook and I pray you accept! You are so refreshing! Reply

Sam Leon May 31, 2015

To Rosie in Texas:
I recommend Modesty: An Adornment for Life by E Falk and Just My Style: A Tznius Reader by Malka Touger.
To Jul I in Kiev, the amount of covering fluctuates based on what s/he's comfortable with. But the basics are thus (for women at least): elbows covered, collarbone covered, skirt to knees, and hair covered if she's married. Some Jews cover the face, such as the Lev Tahor sect in Canada, but they're known as the Jewish Taliban for a reason.
To Carmen in the Netherlands, we don't cover to hide, we cover to reveal.
To Donna in DC, tznius isn't repression, it's a way to guard that bit of Himself G-d puts into us when He fashions us with wisdom. Reply

Juli Kiev May 27, 2015

Dear Goldie
Thank you for the lesson. It is amazing.
Only one question stay in my mind. If a woman is so holy, as you compare with Tora, why not to cover her even more, as in Islam? Only to leave the eyes, so she can walk.
The amount of covering is a question. Reply

Donna M. Benarey Washington DC May 19, 2014

Modesty This is a very subjective norm and cannot be applied to all professions, certainly the men's world wish to have women hide their beauty as they are extremely selfish when asking a woman to repress herself. Reply

jodi lindley July 20, 2013

Goldie is such a lovely teacher I really enjoyed her lession. id love to hear more of her. Reply

Anonymous July 14, 2013

tzniut Thank you Goldie
I have a new understanding about modesty , i.e. protecting women's holiness, and knowing when to say no and when to say yes, in this chaotic , 'everything goes' mentality in our society nowadays. No matter what age we need to know where are mental borders are , as well as protecting our physical dignity.
I wish I had this education as a young girl, when peer pressure and the implied pressure from the media is so overwhelming.
The commentary on the portion in Genesis was insightful too, it brought another level of understanding.
I enjoy watching your classes, they are very informative and inspiring. Reply

Carmen Netherlands Antilles January 21, 2013

women and beauty Shalom,
I want to ask a question, forgive me if it turns out to be a stupid question. I want to know why Hashem would make a woman to be beautiful and afterwords demand that she covers it up. Why make something to be beautiful and than be afraid to show a great gift.
Many thanks. Reply

Anonymous leicester October 10, 2012

BH

Dear Goldie Plotkin,

Thank you for such a beautiful shiur Reply

Elisheva July 4, 2012

modesty I really enjoyed the shuir. It was presented beautifully. I wear wigs practically all the time when I step out of my house, but I do wear scarves to exercise, and when I am doing housework. Reply

Rosie Midland, TX June 12, 2012

books on modesty Truly such an enlightening program! Could you please recommend books that relate to this topic of modesty? I never knew it went beyond clothing. Thank you for this blessing! I want to learn more.
Shalom Reply

Ricki Israel, Jerusalem March 17, 2012

Modesty & Borders Wow Wow Wow!!!! what a great lecture! fantastic way of giving over delicate matter! Keep up! There are lots of women out there waiting for your "power speeches"...... Reply

Rachel Korom Milwaukee, WI March 12, 2012

I absolutly LOVE your shiurim!! I have watched them all and cannot wait for more!!!

Thank you for sharing your knowledge, wisdom, and wonderful personality with the viewers of Chabad.org! Reply

English Girl England, UK January 4, 2012

An English girl! VERY NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I plan to watch the rest later IYH Reply

Anonymous My, Ny January 4, 2012

Wig cover equal more blessings I was told that a scarf does not properly cover the hair like a wig even though I wear my scarf very tight and ver modestly. If you examine closely around my ear you may see a hairs breath which compared to a "glam wig" is not considered as covered . Considering what is at stake, blessings for my family, I feel selfish when I want to put a scarf on even at home, I considered shaving my head so that I could wear a scarf and do right by my family:) !!!! Reply

Ms. Channah Ussery January 3, 2012

Wigs?? This is funny because I'm from Jax, Fla., too, and I have wanted to say the exact same thing. I don't get the wig thing. It makes no sense to me. I have been wearing a sheital, scarve, for about 2 yrs. and believe you me, it is HOT HOT HOT (and humid) here in the summer, and most of the year. All the required covering up in this climate could, in fact indanger your health. I spent an entire year fighting ear infections. So, what DO we do if we want to adhere to modesty? There are times when I had to decide between passing out and being, well, "modest". I'm sure Hashem understands, but what is the answer?
Channah suffering in The Heat ;-) Reply

Anonymous Jacksonville, FL - Florida January 2, 2012

why wigs? I’ve been wearing head covering for a little over 10 years. Recently started to look for a job and purchased a wig – because of all the stupid question I kept getting during interviews. Since I now had a wig I began to use it for Shabbat. Thing is I really do not feel covered, and was asked if I had stopped covering. I now wear the wig for work, but wear my snoods, scarves, for Shabbat. Don’t understand why Chabad ladies wear wigs. Most are beautiful human hair wigs that look so natural; it looks as if they are not covered. I do not want to be disrespectful but really wish to understand why wigs and not head coverings? Reply

Blossie Marquez Orange, CA January 1, 2012

Modesty and Borders Absolutely loved her teaching, so needed today especially for the young and older women. Reply

Anonymous Ny, Ny January 1, 2012

Not so practical for today's active women Personaly I find when I wear a wig it is very difficult to be really active and it is a distraction for me when I am playing with the kids or cleaning or working out/ it's hot and confining but obviously looks very glam/ but I on the other hand really like wearing a scarf! But I am told over and over that covering with a wig is a bigger blessing!! So what do I wear, yes I wear a wig! Reply

Anonymous December 31, 2011

To Anonymous on December 28 We cover even if our wigs are lovelier than real hair because WE know it is covered. It's like an invisible border. Reply

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