Inner & Outer Beauty

As a Fashion Designer, I Choose to Dress Modestly
Through modesty, I connect to the generations of my grandmothers and assert my independence as an observant Jewish woman.
Modesty: Why Does Covering Up an Inch or Two Really Matter?
At its core, the mitzvah of modesty is about redefining the way we look at ourselves; the way we define our identity.
Clothes Make the Jewish Woman
I always felt like my outfits were a way to express myself. If clothing is a language, then what do I want to say?
My Struggles (and Successes) With Covering My Hair
I decided to give my wig another try.
Find Glamour in the Grind
Do you ever fantasize about making a bold change in your life, perhaps starting a new career or moving to another city?
Can Modesty Please Take a Stand?
The #1 challenge of our times
Society places great value on externality; consequently, the sacred Jewish value of internalization has become so elusive.
Modesty and Borders
Video | 53:20
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?
My Dress
The secret glory of the King’s daughter
Soon the advice vultures descended. “Try holding your breath.” “Try standing up straighter.” “Maybe with a girdle.” “Maybe with a shawl.” I couldn’t believe it. Here was a gorgeous woman, and all anyone could see was what was wrong with her . . .
The Power of Touch
I understood at last that touch was not only healing. It was not only soothing. And it not only had the potential to be damaging, but more than anything, touch was holy . . .
The Red Carpet
The Emmys is an event that is organized to credit, acknowledge and reward those who are the most talented in their fields. It is an evening that is intended to celebrate skill, capability, and creativity, and yet, in the end, it is just one big fashion show...
The Girl in the Skirt
In a society that makes it all but impossible to change first impressions, what you wear is a sure-fire way to make a statement. I had already accomplished that by wearing a skirt-suit to the interview...yet wearing a skirt to your first day of work at a manufacturing and assembly facility falls under an entirely new category...
Uncovering the Mystery of Modesty
More important than what we are covering is what we are exposing...
The Touch of Two Worlds
Really, how often do we make decisions based on what is right for us versus what is "normal," what is expected? How often do our needs get mixed in with what we feel we're supposed to do, with what society says we should be doing?
What is Beauty?
Only when something has established its spiritual truth in relation to G-d does its beauty become meaningful. Something is beautiful because it is true and not true because it is beautiful.
Dressing Up
Confronting the Jewish Dress Code
Individuals though we may claim to be, in all places on earth where people have enough resources to actually choose what they want to wear, few people make that decision truly independently...
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Parshat Vayakhel
What others think of us is relevant only if it reflects what we stand for and the way we honor their dignity. The secret is that we attain the favor of others precisely when we free ourselves of kowtowing to public opinion . . .
I Thought I Was a Girl (Not an Object)
This guy is acting as if I am a separate creation. As if I have nothing to take personally. He is effacing my gender. The lack of embarrassment is startling...
The Hair Battle
The problem is, I love my hair. It's thick and dark black, with a natural wave. My hair makes me feel beautiful, spunky and adventurous. It's as much a part of who I am as my name. So you can understand why I'm not so quick to cover it up...
Paper Cut-Outs
The Undefinable Beauty of a Jewish Woman
Beauty brought to mind an image of a nameless female figure, a simple rust colored silhouette of a woman with a basket, garnered from a sukkah decoration my mother made...
Esther: Hidden Beauty
The modern day concept is “if you got it, flaunt it.” Show the world what you have to offer, be out there, be public, the more the better. It just isn’t so exciting to be the heroine behind the scenes . . .
Modesty and Mystery
There are the garments of the body and then there are the garments of the soul. And through harnessing the powers of our thought, speech and action, our spiritual clothing, we create mystery through modesty that is attractive without needing to be attracting.
My Beloved Mechitzah
Judaism loves categories and celebrates them every way – night and day, milk and meat, Sabbath versus holidays and ordinary days – and gender is no exception...
Model Moms
I recently received a call from a journalist who asked me what I thought of the TV show "The Hottest Mom in America." The show is currently auditioning housewives desperately trying to convince producers that they are wonderful, hands-on mothers and also... well... hot. The reporter specifically wanted my opinion as a modern Jewish mom...
Feminine Beauty
One of my wife’s recurring complaints concerns the dearth of closet space in our home. A reminder that all my clothing occupies a measly corner of one closet invariably elicits a detailed explanation of a woman’s extensive wardrobe needs...
The Tail of Vashti
When I was sixteen, I went to Israel for two months and gained about twenty pounds. I had been thin, even skinny, my whole life and never gave my weight a second thought...
Revealing Your True Identity
Mind Control: The Power of Our Thought, Speech and Action
There are the garments that we wear on our body and then there are the garments that clothe our soul. Join Sara Esther Crispe as we delve into the inner dimensions of our foundational characteristics.
The Women's Balcony
“I want to know why the women aren’t allowed to dance with the men.” My anger sounded to my own ears flat, bold, the way I wanted it . . .
Behind the Mask
“They all dress the same, they’re so boring.” As I got to know them more and more I began to discover the uniqueness of each individual. The seemingly similarity in their outward appearance forced me to look inside and see each as person for who they really were...
Do You Want to Become a Diamond?
She calls this her “ultimate artwork”—having her body cremated after she dies and then compressed to form a diamond . . .
Do Women Have Something to Hide?
Why does Judaism tell women to keep their bodies covered? Is there something shameful or evil about a woman’s body?
Why Do Jewish Women Cover Their Hair?
By covering her hair, the Jewish married woman makes a statement: "I am not available. You can see me but I am not open to the public. Even my hair, the most obvious and visible part of me, is not for your eyes."
A Woman's Journey of Understanding Modesty
Who we really are, our inner essence, that which makes us truly unique and not just another pretty face, should be the image that we want to convey...
How a Daughter of the Enlightenment Ends Up in a Wig
Why would a feminist, a true daughter of the Enlightenment, subject herself to a gendered and antiquated custom? And if a wig is intended to conceal a woman's beauty, shouldn't she wear an ugly wig, or better yet, a kerchief or scarf?
Is That J-Lo Style?
My Journey to Haircovering
The hats and scarves have led to many great discussions with Jews and non-Jews alike and many admire me for the choice. But the all time greatest head covering moment, and the moment that KosherCool was born, took place in the elevator at Time Warner...
The Rebbe on the Jewish Woman's Hair Covering
Blessings from Above and Blessings from Below
Displaying patience and uncanny sensitivity to the psychological and sociological issues at play, the Rebbe persisted in his efforts. Eventually, it paid off. By the late 1960s, wearing a wig was the norm in most Orthodox circles.
True Beauty
My Bubby's Life
I wandered listlessly around the house searching for the splendor I had become accustomed to on visits to her home. It had departed, leaving behind a simple apartment and basic furnishings. There was no more grandeur...
The Beauty of Sarah
In a final summation of Sarah’s life, the Torah tells us two things—that she was beautiful and that she had a flawless character—her two great qualities juxtaposed.
Truly Ugly People
On the most external level, we understand that more important than what is on the outside is what is on the inside. A pretty face with nothing behind it is worthless...
Transforming Fashion
Physical perfection in today's day and age takes on a whole new meaning in the fast paced and consumerist society we live in. It is most apparent in our everyday living; our desires and aspirations so often revolve around what we can call our own, what we can show our neighbor we possess...
Making Dignity My Art
I pushed a lot of envelopes, personal and social. I challenged the rules, the rules of life. I became addicted. Each day, I knocked down another fence and another...
Are You More Than a Fashion Statement?
The clothes we wear are no more than an external facade, and the way you look today will not be the way you look in a few years from now. Fashions come and go. Make sure you don’t go out with the latest fashion . . .
Yes, I Struggle With Dressing Modestly
“Why are you wearing winter clothes?” asked the 10-year-old camper, rather incredulous. She was bouncing a ball, sweating, as she stared at me and my getup. It was 90 degrees and I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt under a short-sleeved camp shirt, as well as a long skirt and socks.
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