Tzniut- the Jewish Concept of Modesty

Topics: Modesty, Judaism, Haredi Judaism Pages: 4 (1266 words) Published: May 3, 2006
Basic Overview:
In this day and age fashion has become a vital way for people to become accepted and many Jews have assimilated as a result. Luckily many still practice the Jewish concept of modesty, called Tzniut. The most common association with the Hebrew word of Tzniut is the set of laws about clothing regarding to women. Therefore, numerous people assume Tzniut is aimed only at women, but men are also forbidden to run around half-dressed and some even go as far as wearing long black coats and hats in the dead heat of the summer. ( Source:

In Micah (6:8) we see Tzniut is first referred to by the phrase, "… and to walk humbly with your G-d." It's obvious what this phrase is implying- one should be humble or modest in their dress, conversation, and in all aspects of their life. (

Another source of Tzniut is found in Devarim (23:15). Although this source may seem as if it has nothing to do with the concept of Tzniut, its meaning (as I interpret it) is much deeper. The verse states, "For the Lord, your G-d, walks in the midst of your camp to rescue you and to deliver your enemies before you; so your camp shall be holy, so that He will not see a shameful thing among you and turn away from behind you." What I believe this verse means is that the Jewish people were and still are watched over by G-d as long as we stay away from the "shameful" and keep ourselves respectable. ( Description:

For a person to stay respectable, especially for a woman, is a difficult test in our time. That's the reason our sages created the specific rules of dress; because no matter what some may think, our culture will always have an effect on us- desired or not. The media determines the style craze of the moment and since we live in a predominantly non-Jewish society, most fads are not considered to be Tzniut. On billboards, trains, buses, and even in newspapers...
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