Thursday, December 4, 2014

On tzniut (modesty)

Tzniut is not the skirt that a little girl wears, but the leggings or the pants, so when she swings upside down on the monkey bars, the whole world does not see her underwear.

Tzniut is not the early age when a girl starts wearing a skirt, but the insistence that she changes her clothes somewhere private, because her body is private.

Tzniut is the gut reaction I have to my daughter's ballet, with its emphasis on leotard and frilly tutu dress code, and on looking beautiful and perfect.

Tzniut is covering my hair. Under my hats and tichels, I do not stress whether I am having a bad hair day. I do not worry about the grays. I do not concern myself with how often I get a haircut. I do not hide under these wraps, rather, I feel confident. I love my hair, and it did change from all the years of being covered, but I am more than an outward appearance.

Tzniut is not having to "put on a face" and being worried about being seen without makeup. I present my internal "me" instead of feeling that I need to cover up and make myself into something socially expected.

Tzniut is watching which words I use in a conversation with my friends. If it's an inappropriate reference that I would not use in front of a rabbi, I should not use it in front of a friend. G-d is always there, you know.

Tzniut is never about the length of a skirt. Tzniut is not about hiding in a tent. Tzniut is not about being hidden from view, being timid. I do not like Sarah, privately sitting in a tent. I like Rivkah, who crafted her own destiny, and the destiny of her son. I like Leah, who made the best of a terrible situation by going out and brazenly hiring her husband. G-d answered Leah, she had three more kids.

Tzniut is aligning your outside with your inside, not aligning your outside with the outside of everyone else. I am liberated by the freedom to be comfortable, to wear the clothes I love instead of following the current trend.

1 comment:

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