Saturday, February 20, 2010

Confused Kallahs

"Mother's, take note. Don't allow your teenage daughters to shop without you! It is also vital to accompany kallahs. They are young and inexperienced and can't see how fitted clothes are alluring."

I put down this week's Hamodia.

"But it's not logical." I wonder out loud. "She's saying these girls are old enough to be brides, and choose their own husbands, but not old enough to choose their own clothes?"

Surely if they are responsible enough to get married, they can be trusted to go shopping on their own?

"Ah, but who's to say the brides choose their own husbands?" My mother points out the flaw in my logic.

Oh. Good point. Well that makes sense then. Obviously if you carefully select a teenage girl's husband for her, you should be watching over her shopping too. As the letter writer points out, the Satan lurks in every store, and every item of clothing needs careful inspection by a mature woman of experience.

The same way a potential son-in-law does.


  1. Because what the world needs are fewer people who can think and act on their own.

    Eventually, these women will need to grow up and choose their own lifestyles, clothing, friends, and mates. Restricting them from making any choices is not helping them.

  2. I really can't see why girls wearing alluring clothing matters, now that haredim have portable mechitzas.

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  4. Bored Jewish Guy: The problem is not their husbands; the problem is that OTHER people BESIDES for their husbands will find them alluring.

  5. Uncle Mo: IMO, it's possible to dress "alluring" and still be tznius. There has to be some balance between dressing in a way that their husbands will appreciate and worrying about attracting other people.

  6. BJG - tzanua yet alluring is an oxymoron. Alluring and lure come from the same root, so who is the wearer attempting to lure?

  7. I can't be the only one here (besides Bored Jewish Guy's vague agreement), to think that guys certainly can find a tznius-ly dressed girl aluring still. You think a girl's alure depends only on how far up the forearm, or down the neckline is exposed!?

    In fact, more than just "aluring still", it can be *more* aluring.

    I'm assuming that most frum and even not frum guys here would agree with me. Girls let me reassure you, that you're alure has little to do with your dress. And even that part of your appeal that it does - a tznius look can add to the appeal.

    Or am I crazy?

  8. Sorry have to disagree with you on this one. There is a big problem in the religious world with the way women dress. I'm not an advocate of the capes brigade, far far from it, but neither is it appropriate for religious women to be out and about with every contour of their bodies on display. And before anyone tells me I shouldn't be looking, I'm a woman. And it is everywhere.

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  10. FF I am trying to understand why you are having such a hard time finding someone. You seem to be busy with dates. Do you reject them or are you constantly being rejected? I would assume that if you decide to go out there must be some reason why you agreed or do you just go for pot luck? Please dedicate a post to clarify your situation.

  11. The truth is, the more she covers up, the more alluring she will be.
    As Muslims have proven, if you cover everything but the eyes, the eyes will become alluring.

    From a Torah "point of view", leering at a woman's small finger is incorrect. However, that is an issue for men and lesbians to deal with. Modesty for women have always been very specific things. Collarbone, elbows, and knees. Everything else is just a power grab.

    Everyone agrees that pants are more modest than skirts. The problem in the 60s and 70s was related to tight pants. If a woman is wearing normal (loose) pants, there is no modesty issue.

    Pants are no more male than skirts are female. In fact, historically, men wore skirt-like clothing and women wore pant-like clothing. (This is why the Kohen was supposed to walk up a ramp.)
    If you are really worried about women wearing men's clothing, check their shirts. So many women wear men's shirts because it tends to be baggier and gives them some comfort.

    I'm not saying religious believers shouldn't be vigilant in their levels of modesty. However, that level cannot be too extreme. If it's allowed to continue, the current trend will not end well.

  12. Maybe mothers should start shopping with their Kallahs for lingerie too, to make sure it's not too fitted. Whatever, the original writer of the letter is an obvious fanatic...

    A bride has an OBLIGATION to look good for her husband, she has an OBLIGATION to put on makeup the week of sheva brachos...And yet there is a school in Israel who offers $ to Kallahs who agree not to wear makeup to their wedding. Sick Christian logic.

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  14. It would be nice if men had an obligation to dress attractively for their (potential) wife.

  15. An obligation to wear makeup?!?! Some men think their wives are beautiful just the way they are.

  16. While I think the Hamodia writer is being quite silly, so are many of the responses here. An obligation to wear makeup? Really? Everyone agrees that pants are more modest than skirts and the problem only began in the 60 with tight pants? What planet was that on? (not earth!)

    As for claiming the obligation that a woman has to try to be alluring to her husband makes it ok to go out that way, that only works if you totally ignore the difference between public and private. There are some things that are only for spouse (and by the way, guys DO have similar obligations to their wives.)

    I know two Kallah teachers, in fact, who are very much into tznius and not being alluring in public etc. specifically try to tell their Kallah students to make sure that items that only their husbands get to see are in a whole different category. Some girls take a while to "get it", but that's another whole story.

  17. does no one else think that wearing skin-tight lycra shirts isn't tzanua? yet it seems that more than half of the charedi women i see on the street are wearing "tzanua" cat suits.