Haredi Rabbis Ban Denim Skirts, Blouses


On the left. the leader of Lithuanian haredi, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. On the right, the Litvak’s number two, Rabbi Aryeh Lein Shteinman. I have seen dozens of pictures of these two and one video, but I’ve never seen either smile. The video was taken at a siyum for daf yomi, hundreds of other rabbis, including many haredi leaders were singing, dancing and clapping (many of them very weakly, though). These two sat almost motionless, looking like dried up, very unhappy prunes. Rabbi Shteinman is the rabbi who a year or so ago did not know what a credit card was. Run away from these men as fast as you can.

Haredi rabbis, led by the evil one of Jerusalem, Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, have set out to ban women’s clothing they find offensive, even if that clothing conforms to halakha. Ha’aretz reports on the results of their da’as toiyroh:

…In Jerusalem, the response went further than just the
Mea She’arim poster warning against "the Parisian designer getting his
nails into us," to acts of violence. A clothing store near Shabbat
Square was recently set on fire, while Geula neighborhood patrols are
armed with containers of bleach to damage the clothing of women who
break the dress code.

It is not clear how organized the
patrols are, but an elected Haredi official in Jerusalem recently
complained to the police of an "atmosphere of terror in the streets."
He called on the police to intervene.

Bnei Brak also has a
local Bleach Underground. The desire to be fashionable exacted a price
from Bnei Brak resident D.: "At the end of a day around town I
discovered three large bleach stains on my new skirt," she
reconstructed. "The next day I heard from friends that women with
syringes and baby bottles are spraying bleach on clothing they don’t
like for some reason." According to D., her sin was that her "skirt was
pretty, not particularly short."…

Just how picky are these madmen? This picky:

Miri, the owner of an eponymous clothing store,
earned approval, but only after she removed a substantial portion of
her goods from the shelves. "Anything made from jersey, spandex and
denim is prohibited," she explains.…

Several respected rabbis
weighed in on the matter last week, writing, "Recently a variety of
foreign garb has spread among the women and girls; this is immodest
clothing. Knitted fabrics are not appropriate for daughters of Israel."
At that time, the list of dozens of approved stores was published.…


Filed under Bans, Crime, Haredim, Israel

54 responses to “Haredi Rabbis Ban Denim Skirts, Blouses

  1. B”H
    As Eliyahu naNovi said to Rava :
    “He who is greater (godol) than his fellow, his yetzer harah (sexual desire) is also that much greater.” (Talmud, Sukah 52 a)”
    No wonder they come up with extra precautions. May be if they would emulate the example of Rav and Rav Nachman in fighting yetzer harah (see Yoma 18b or the article bellow) instead it would be better for them and everyone else.
    PS: See my special offer only for gedolim and Rabbi Avi Shafran Shlit”a here at the end of this new post:
    Caveat emptor – buyer beware… http://pilegesh.blogspot.com/2007/01/caveat-emptor-buyer-beware.html

  2. youarearasha

    You are a rasha

  3. Anonymous

    Rasha is wrong. You are entitled to an opinion, but there are some things that are betted unsaid. Please have the heart to change your wording.

  4. Anonymous

    Rasha is wrong. You are entitled to an opinion, but there are some things that are betted unsaid. Please have the heart to change your wording.

  5. Anonymous

    “I have seen dozens of pictures of these two and one video, but I’ve never seen either smile.”

    Ummm, they *are* smiling.

  6. Schneur

    Rabbi Elyashev and Shtainman deserve better than being attacked for not smiling.
    They are serious people who basically spend their day in study and perhaps in prayer.
    Rav Elyashev was once a memebr of the Zionist rabbinate and has never been linked to the corporate corruption that marks the Charedi world.
    The same is true for Rav Shtainman who is a “liberal” voice in a fanatical world.
    I think we have been influenced by certain modern tendencies in Judaism to view Judaism as a state fair or carnival with dancing , singing , Kumsitzen (what ever that is).
    Would you like the phony smiles of men like Cunin, Herson and others.For smiles go to a badchen, not a rav.
    I can live with serious people , if I need smiles I can turn on my tv. By the way the Belzer rebbe never smiles and the old Belzer rav rarely grinned either.
    Pray tell me after 6 million Jews were killed 50 years ago whats there to smile about ?

  7. Banning denim? That’s something to smile about!

    Come on, Schneur. These two are out of touch old men who are (especially Rabbi Elyashiv) doing great damage to Jews.

    And by the way, psychologically normal adults smile. Even after the Holocaust.

  8. Schneur

    Although I personally could care less about the Charedi woman’s fashion statement, I can see why some Gedolim would be upset by the Denim skirt.
    Essentially denim was popularized as a dress material by the Counter culture.This culture representdrugs, sex and to some moral depravity. Religous women in the west bank started wearing that as an alternative to jeans which Tzniuth would not allow. From there it spread to the American right wing modern orthodox world (who picked it up while spending time there), from there to Lubavitch and even some Charedi groups.
    What the denim skirt means is ” I am hip” I am not formal, I am part of the hip generation “etc.This is clearly not what these rabbis want their daughters saying and acting as.
    I too sometimes wonder how the gypsy and frumpy look overtook the Modern orthodox world.Would not the good old Waspy look make a much better presentataion.

  9. amom

    What about ivdu es hashem bisimcha?

  10. Schneur

    I saw Rabbi Shtainman in WH several years ago at the Breuer’s shul.Most modest and unassuming gentlemen with no royal robes or regal nonsense.He spoke very briefly and left.Let the NCSY, Chabad and other kiruv hucksters flash their fake smiles, give me a serious amn anytime.

  11. anon

    I am a product of the bais yaakov movement and I always wondered what the hanhala had against denim. I still wonder as it is practical. The joke is that it is a very tznius material and unless mixed with spandex is not form-fitting. It is tied to the hippy, free love generation in the minds of the gdolim.

    Why would any woman want to get married where she becomes subservient to her husband and becomes more like a child than an equal spouse?

    Jewish religious marriage is an anachronism and as you see from the agunah issue women are not as important as these gedolim have made out.

    A most disturbing article is “An Unorthodox Divorce”.

  12. Schneur

    Whats the 2nd part of the passuk after ivdu es Hashem bisimcha … ?

  13. “Rabbi Shteinman is the rabbi who a year or so ago did not know what a credit card was”._______________________________________

    I know a guy who can educate him on all there is to know about credit cards. He’s the same guy that lambasted Moshe Heinneman from the Star K for issuing a joke of a psak about the use of on-line credit cards on Shabbos.

    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    August 17, 2004; Page B1

    Because of the biblical prohibition against working on the holy day, Orthodox Jews must close their stores on the Sabbath. But does that also apply to their Web sites?

    With the rise of e-commerce, that question has long been brewing in Orthodox Jewish circles, and last fall it came to a head with a random phone call to Rabbi Moshe Heinemann.

    Rabbi Heinemann, of Star-K Kosher Certification, an international kosher certification organization based in Baltimore, is one of a handful of rabbis in the United States recognized as having mastered the minutia of Jewish law.

    He is consulted frequently by Orthodox Jews — who number some 600,000 in the U.S. — seeking guidance with the wave of new technology never anticipated by the strictures of Judaism, especially when it involves the Sabbath, which begins at sunset Fridays and ends an hour after sunset Saturdays.

    With the dilemma over Web-based businesses before him, Rabbi Heinemann recalled a 45-year-old related ruling by another renowned arbiter of Jewish law. The late Rabbi Yitzchok Weiss had said Orthodox-owned vending machines must be closed, because even though the owner isn’t present to make the exchange, he still collects the money. The parallel precedent seemed clear, so Rabbi Heinemann’s answer was that Web sites, too, must be unplugged, even though the owner isn’t technically doing anything.

    A Web site operated by an Orthodox Jew could remain open only “if the shopping cart on the Web site is shut down,” ensuring that no actual transactions took place, Rabbi Heinemann ruled in his group’s small but influential newsletter Kashrus Kurrents.

    The article spurred a storm of protests from Orthodox businessmen concerned that Rabbi Heinemann’s ruling, which several rabbis say has the force of law among observant Jews, would mean a loss of online orders.

    The 66-year-old Rabbi Heinemann travels around the world certifying everything from ovens manufactured by General Electric Co. that can be programmed to go into “Sabbath mode” — meaning that food can be kept warm because Orthodox Jews aren’t allowed to turn things on by pressing buttons on the Sabbath — to legal arrangements in which a Jew transfers formal ownership of his business to a gentile one day a week so it can stay open on Saturday. His organization boasts what it calls the world’s only Mandarin-speaking rabbi.

    Born in Germany, Rabbi Heinemann lived in England and came to the U.S. after World War II ended. He studied at rabbinical college under a prominent rabbi, the late Rabbi Aharon Kotler, dean of Beth Medrash Govoha Seminary, in Lakewood, N.J., the largest rabbinical seminary in the U.S. He has been teaching Jewish law for several decades.

    “When Heinemann speaks, people listen,” says Paul Mendlowitz, senior vice president of DiamondCard Processing Corp., a credit-card processing company in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

    Mr. Mendlowitz, who is Orthodox, and others countered that since most Web sites don’t process transactions on Saturdays, no money changes hands, so the sites should be able to remain open. Israel Sendrovic, a retired executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, weighed in with the protestors, confirming that credit-card transactions over the Internet aren’t generally processed Saturdays.

    “One of my hottest business days was on Rosh Hashana,” says Rabbi Mayer Pasternak, who created Jewishmusic.com, an online emporium of aural Judaica. “I felt a twinge of guilt, coming back and there were a couple hundred orders.” The guilt was especially strong, he says, because he assumed that visitors to his site were nearly all Jewish, and should not be browsing the Internet on the Sabbath and holidays at all.

    The Talmud, the collection of writings that make up the body of 3,000-year-old Jewish civil and religious law, weighs in on many of the finer points of the Sabbath, but not all of them, and could never have anticipated the explosion of Internet shopping, to name only one technological development that would have confounded the ancient patriarchs. “This is all new,” Rabbi Heinemann says.

    An infertile Jewish couple once asked the rabbi whether their child would be Jewish if they used a surrogate mother who wasn’t. To the couple’s relief, Rabbi Heinemann ruled that their child would indeed be Jewish, as the host mother would simply be an “incubator.” He even developed an Orthodox procedure for ensuring the paternity and maternity of a baby conceived in a test tube: An Orthodox Jew must be on hand to collect the sperm and the egg and to seal the contents of the test tube.

    The rabbi heard from an array of people who disagreed with him on the Web site issue. He was inundated with phone calls both at work and his home, and after mulling over the decision, he handed down a rare reversal in the newsletter’s latest issue in May.

    “Technically speaking,” he wrote, “the vendor’s monetary acquisition, the kinyan kesef, happens on a weekday so there is no issue, prohibition of mekach umemkar, business sale transactions, on Shabbos.”

    The issue has quieted down, but the rabbi, who has reversed himself only a handful of times in his 40-year career, says it deserved the attention: “This is something you have to know. Keeping the Sabbath in a proper way is very important to us.”

  14. Ma Rabbi

    I dont understand if Rav Elyashav is the head of the Litvak Torah world, then why is he wearing a Shtreimel?
    I find it very commendable that in this day and age Rav Shteinmetz is totally immersed in Torah and does not know or care about credit cards.A true Gadol.

  15. Schneur

    The standards for frumkayt in our generation have little to do with halachic reality in many instances.
    Yes Denim is a excellent material for modesty, but it has a political overtone. In Stern Colege you will find girls wearing skirts down to below their shoes. Nu ??that should be good , but no you will rarely find any female in Satmar wearing a skirt that long as that length represent being a hippie and non conventional.
    I am sure there are other areas of Halacha where the same holds true.(A tikhel is certainly less provacative than a shaitel, many forms of pants are less riske than tight long skirts etc etc).
    The frum world demands uniformity of everything. Women are baby machines and cooks and cleaners.In Israel they are aslo the wage earner, so the husband can shtaig in learning while following the stock market. Don’t start believing the frum apologetics about feminism.
    In honesty, Lubavitch is somewhat different and the Rebbe in his own manner empowered many women there.

  16. Schneur

    Although Rav Elyashev is a REAL LITVAK . His grandfather was the last great Lithuanian Kabbalist. After the family’s arrival in Jerusalm in the 1920’s they joined the Perushim of the Yishuv hayoshen (the OLd Jerusalem Lithuanian community) . that community long ago adopted the classial jerusalem dress as its own that includes the shtreimel, striped kaftan, broad gartel and knitted large white kippa.. Today only a few perushim continue that dress, but some of the older generation do. Thus rabbi Elyasheears a shtreimel. Other Litvishe gedolim who wore shtreimlekh in Jslm include rav Arye levine, Rav Charlop, Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer OF sLUTZK. whose post as head of Etz Chaim demanded such).Mr. Menachem Porush formerly an MK of the Aguda a Litk in goos standing also wears a shtreimel on the Shabbath.
    While Lubavitcher people in White Russia -Lithuanai nver wore shtreimlich, the Chabad community in Jslm also adoptd the classical jerusalem dress and even today some Jslm Chabad people wear shtreimlich. When the 6th rebbe was in Jslm in 1929 , his son in law Gourary wore a shtreimel there.

    Today the classical Jerusalem dress is basically the domain of hassidic groups like Rav Arele (2 grou0 Stolin-Karlin (3 groups), Slonim and Lelev) Other courts like Breslev have adopted aprts of the outfit like the white sleeping cap type Yarmulka native to jerusalem.
    The Rav Arele people have a strict dress code for men and women based on the classical gb of Jewish jerusalem. And one could say that he Rav Arele Roth saved this fashion statement from obscurity.

  17. C-Girl

    Denim is a fabric which made its mark as a very durable material from which to make dungarees, the official “uniform” of the American West. I suspect that R. Elyashiv et al. take exception to denim because it comes in a spectrum of shades and its original color fades within a few washings, allowing the fabric to express its “personality” over the course of its lifetime. Dangerous stuff, indeed.

  18. Schneur

    There are real issues with the leadership system of the Charedi world.
    In pre War Europe most gedolim were Communal rabbis such as Reb Chaim ozer of Vilna, Rabbi Schapiro of Kovna The Pressburger rav, the Lubliner rav Rabi Meyer Schapiro, etc.
    Another category of leaders were rebbes of large chassidic communities like the rebbes of Ger , Belz and Radomsk.
    These rabbis dealt on a daily basis with all sorts of Jews, rabbis , schoalrs, Secular, religious, Aguda, Mizrachi widows, orphans poor and rich.
    Todays frum leaders are either Roshe yeshivas or religious decisors.
    The rosh yeshivas are mainly fund raisers constantly on the go to find new rich donors.Look at the Yated and follow the activities of the 5 !!! heads of lakewood always on the go and always hobnobbing with the rich and super rich. they have very little interaction with the wider jewish community. The religious decisors are mostly men who rarely leave their offices and answer questions posed by other rabbis or at worst by other religious Jews.But at least these men have some interaction with the broader Jewish public.
    The Aguda has elevated rebbes who hardly have a following to the level of leaders of world Jewry. In addition the major rebbes today act as CEO’s of their coutrs and are also basically fund raisers catering to the rich.
    As recently as 25 years ago one still had a few communal rabbis and or people in touch with the street such as Rabbis Teitz, Josef Breuer, Chief rabbi Herzog,Rav Henkin, Rav Joseph B. Soloveichik (remember he was communal rav of Boston) who had a broad world view. Who sits on the American Moetzses Gedolei hatorah, some of the people there are hardly known even in the Tore world.
    In addition today’s Tore leaders are totally ignorant of secular studies and world affairs. Could they sit on a Sanhedrin?In Israel many of these men fail to recognize the state or are involved in political machinations to help their own political parties like the esteeemed rav Elyashav who is responsible for the election of a third rate rabbi, Rabbi Metzger as chief rabbi of Israel in a cold calcualted political deal.

  19. These rabbonim should be just as forceful in condeming vigilantism as they are in condeming immodest clothing. Instead of fighting the hellenist assimilationists, they are turning on members of their own community who are “not modest enough.” Go fight the gays and reformists!

  20. Anonymous

    “Would not the good old Waspy look make a much better presentataion.”


  21. Bava Kama Sutra

    I just do not have the guts to make fun of these two, I am afraid I will be struck by lightning or I will burst into flames.

    But I have to say that you do not see kindness or holiness in these photos, sometime you meet a rabbi and you feel the kindness, sometime you meet someone or see a photo and you feel the holiness. Even in photos of John Paul II you could feel some holiness but not from these photos.

  22. Isa

    Maybe they hate each other but have never made it public. One would think they could at least chat with each other

  23. Anonymous

    Litvaks wore shtreimelach in Lita hundreds of years ago, including the Gra miVilna. His talmidim started the first ashkenazi yishuv, hence the Litvishe Yerushalmi wear shtreimelach.

  24. Anonymous

    Shmarya is getting so cranky that UOJ looks like the jolly Pillsbury dough boy next to him.

    If Shmarya thinks he’s tzebissen now, wait until he gets what’s coming to him for badmouthing temimim for no reason.

  25. DK

    Outlawing denim could be good for the hemp business.

  26. B”H
    We’ll face this type of terrorism from kanoim spraying bleach on tznius but “not normative clothes” or the like as long as we allow it.
    People who vandalize property and clothes of other Jews should be talked with, taken to Beis Din , humiliated, mocked etc. sued in secular court even if nothing else works anything and everything needed to stop this Talibanism in Jewish community.
    Noah Smith
    Pilegesh.org Blog

  27. YUGUY

    The reason a girl in Stern would wear a long skirt is not to show her ‘hippy’ personality. When someone makes a blanket statement that several hundred frum Jewish girls wear long skirts, and several thousand more wear denim, in order to express themselves, they are showing themselves to be ignorant. My bubby in Flatbush wears denim skirts, and there is no reason other than the fact that she finds it Tznius and comfortable. Denim is tough and lasts a long time, which is a bonus for the already low-incomed Kollel wives. I know many girls in Stern (Chalila) who are the opposite of liberal hippy, and wear overly long skirts and denim…..maybe they are emotionally confused and decided that they should dress and act ambiguously, or perhaps you read a bit too much into the dress of a stern girl, Schneur. You are entitled to your opinion even though it makes u look rather dull.

    As far as desecrating other people’s clothing becuase of your own religious beliefs, I think we can all agree that is wrong and a chillul hashem. I never go up to a kid with a Yechi Adoneienu yarmulke and pour bleach on it, even though I feel offended by it. I do believe that it would be a Chillul hashem, Geziella, and just morally wrong.

    So, next time before spouting your Anti-YU bull, which looks to me to be the only center of true orthodoxy at the moment, maybe you should take a better look.

  28. Yochanan Lavie

    At least Ahmadinejad is always smiling…

  29. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    prof yeshayahu leibovitz of blessed memory asked about the permission to wear pants expressed himself very nicely when he indicated that tznius is determined by the times and environement. As an exemple, he mentioned that he saw a recent psaq (70’s or 80’s) allowing to wear skirts no shorter than 2 to 3 inches below the knee.
    proff leibovitz then in his eighties, mentioned than in his youth in europe, a woman who wore a skirt slightly above her ankles, was considered a woman of lose morality!

  30. Steve

    I am curently in favor of ny action which mitigates the current opverwhelming trend of women highlighting their own antomy, which threatens to deluge us all. It used to be that clothing was meant to accent the gracefulness of the female body. Now the opposite is true. Anything fleshy is meant to be highlighted. Whereas anything graceful or normal is dismissed as boring.

    I am modrn orthodox, and have seen music videos, movies,and everything else. I might enjoy the current media culture as much as anyone. However, I am starting to get by the excessive displays which we are being subject to.

    i agree with the poster above who wondered about gypsy culture. I don’t know why bthis is taking over the orthodox world. Anything which causes Jews to heighten their characteristic dress in order to appear “with it” is bad.I have nothing against modrn dress, and I frequently go to nightclubs etc; like I said, I’m modern. However, I am in favor of people asctually looking with it, if that’s what they want, but not imposingn soe version of that onto the Orthodox world, so that we end with some sort of weird hybrid, which is neither truly “with it” nor truly orthodox.

    I am in favor of any dress style which makes women seem graceful, and dignified, and not like some sort of physical objects. thanks.

  31. chief doofis

    If these Haredi Rabbis want to recommend that the wives and daughters of their followers avoid denim,O.k.

    It’s when they want other, perfectly Orthodox women to follow suit; it’s when High School teachers and Head Counselors insist that those recommendations apply to our daughters and wives, that the battle lines get drawn.

    It’s one thing to INSIST on HALACHA (where it’s appropriate to insist, such as in a school or camp setting). it’s quite a different thing to insist on YOUR CHUMRAS, unless you are talking to YOUR FAMILY, or YOUR STUDENTS> And even then “you catch more flies with honey”

  32. YUGUY

    Is it really even appropriate for someone to tell his child to do something for no valid reason? It causes the child to have a feeling of superiority over other children, and they will feel ‘frummer.’ As it is we live in a society where everyone tries to outfrum someone else and it causes tremendous rifts in our society. Opening a new area where one can be frummer will cause more division, as many people taht try to keep up with the never ending chumras of our rabbis will fal behind. These Denim wearing frummies (because of our current case…they kept up with ‘frummer than you’ policy until now, they have silver bedikah cloth dispensers but wont take off denim) will still feel frummer than me, but will be less ‘frum’ than chayalah, who doesnt wear denim and shops at Taliban Clothing supply.

    I definitely agree and feel that someones desire to uphold a stricter version of his own kitzur should not push it on others, be it at a school or camp.

    If the feeling doesnt cause superiority, it will force them away from yidishkeit. As you pointed out, Cheif Doofis, ‘you catch more flies with honey,’ we dont want parents to scare their kids away from being frum. Enough kids go off the derech without help of additional chumras.

  33. I hope this comment is not too late, but what these two Litvak gentlemen are doing is complicating what is a fairly simple policy.

    Well, maybe the policy is too simple. In a work environment and most other public places (Not when its ninty sizzling degrees out and you want to swim or at the gym), modesty for women is simple, a skirt below the knees and a shirt that covers the shoulders and is not too tight. If you want to cover the elbows fine too.

    The costume is practical, fashionable, and yes professional. Go to any office, especially in the fall and winter or if the air conditioning gets cranked and you’ll see women in below the knees skirts and conservative tops, especially sweaters.Of course most of those women won’t even be Jewish.

    The reason is simple. Conservative traditional female dress is practical. A woman can climb a stool, squat down, bend over and reveal nothing. If she is very young, she looks like a working person and not a student. If she is older, a big skirt covers a multitude of sins, and if she has a skirt butt, conservative dress is just plain becoming.

    Of course it’s no fun to have your women belong to a club that takes everybody, so these rabbis add in additional rules: no denim skirts, no red sweates, no jersey cardigans. They wear a uniform and have a hard time with the half the population that likes to pack some personality in to their conservative wardrobes.

    Of course, neither of these gentlemen is dealing with the really difficult issues of female dress. What does one do to help the woman who works at Target, QuikTrip, or WalMart who has to wear a uniform but who still wants to be modest. How does one deal with that woman’s employer? At a college where I used to work, the uniform for Orientation Counselors (students helping with orientation) was kahki shorts and a short sleeved red shirt. I used to wonder what happened if a student wanted to be an Orientation Counselor but would not wear shorts for religious reasons. Of course neither of these gentlemen has probably ever had to deal with a female congregant who attends a secular university.

    One last item, I’m of Litwak descent and looking at these two faces, is a bit like looking in the mirror. I see my own long face and droopy eyelids, and my mother’s expressive eyebrows. It must be a fairly shallow gene pool.

  34. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    an eternal (paraphrased) truth on chumrot, from rabbi yitzhaq yosef (quoting r’ obadia yosef) on hilkhot pesach.
    if one wants to adopt chumrot for his own, he may do so, however if he is in a position of hora-ah (teaching torah), one “should not” teach his students to adopt the chumrot, as that is a deviation from the halakha.
    rabbi yosef then concludes, that whoever prohibits the permited, is likely to end up authorising the prohibited.

  35. David M. Frost

    They just love to make rules for people, don’t they?

  36. Yochanan Lavie

    “whoever prohibits the permited, is likely to end up authorising the prohibited.”

    You mean like worshipping dead guys as messiahs and divine incarnations?

  37. chief doofis

    What amazes me is that two 90 plus yaer olds have nothing on their minds but to worry about what type of cloth my daughter’s skirt is made of!!

    What annoys me is that seemingly intelligent people care about their opininions!!

    What frightens me is that the turn to the right is just beginning!!

    What comforts me is that du eto bloggers such as Failed Messiah, et al, the forces of normalcy may unite and eventually drive out these invaders!!

  38. Schneur

    Firstly for the record I am not a Lubavitcher but am affiliated with YU.
    Secondly I was not accusing the individual women in the MO community of anything but copying a fad.
    The fact that your grandmother wears denim is another manifestation of modern culture that is the senior communtiy trying to look and feel young and being led by youth values etc.I mean no disrespect to your grandmother here.
    The charedi community takes kids and dresses them as adults, in the MO community one sees old men with polo shirts and jeans ,a nd as you call them Bobbes in tennis shoes and denim skirts !! Clearly this is an attempt to be part of the youth culture even if in this case that culture is orthodox.
    However I must agree with your conclusion YU and Strern have many erliche young people who are very serious about observance, even though both have many students who do not belong to either of those schools.

  39. Schneur

    As far as smiling etc. See this weeks Yated Neaman where a long description of the Holy Chofetz Chaim is printed authored by his youngest son in law Rabbi Mendel Zaks. Zaks relates that the Chofetz Chaim rarely laughed or grinned, only when it was in response to jokes about avoda zara.
    Again our American pop culture demands constant levity, smiles jokes we now want our gedolim to be copies of Larry David.

  40. No. We want our gedolim to have normal human emotions.

  41. BTW, the Chofetz Chaim’s little sefer did what many alert rabbonim thought it would – oppress the little guy and allow criminals (like Rabbi Kolko) to escape justice. He didn’t laugh much? Fine. He didn’t think long term very well, either.

  42. Schneur

    Obviously most Litvishe Yidden in Jerusalem do not wear shtreimlech as they are affilaited with the New Yishuv. Only some afiliated with the Old Yishuv wear shtreimlech. Please note that rabbis Meltzer and Elyashev arrived in Jslm after WW1 at a time when most Lithuanian immigrants to jslm no longer adpted Jslm clothing. Just look at the Roshim and students of the Chevron Yeshiva they continued the same dress code as in Lithuania.
    I remain unsure whether the fur hat worn in the times of the GRA in Lithuania is the Chassiidc shtreimel . As we see the fur hat worn by Lithuanian gedolim like the Neziv and otheres ere not shtreimlekh at all. Neither did rav Kuk wear a shtreimel.

  43. YUGUY

    Schneur, When I said my Bubby from flatbush wore denim, I wasnt implying she is MO. Of her several children, my mother is the only one that can be considered MO. The rest of her children are part of Kollel families in Lakewood. My point was actually that my grandmother is NOT MO, but ‘yeshivish’ to a greater extent.

  44. Schneur

    Do not blame the Chafetz Chaim, blame the corrupt rabbis of our generation who do not believe in God , but in the almighty dollar.
    Rabbi Yakov Y. Lubatchinski the rav of Baranowitz and the mashgiach of the yeshiva in that city led by Reb Elchonon Wasserman (who was the chief disciple of the Chafetz Chaim) is quoted as saying that if one sees a man entering a home at night through a window, do not be melamed zechus that he has innocent intentions, rather call the POLICE.
    Our rabbis are either idiots or totally sold to the rich that they do not realize this fact.
    The CC was no fool he was very much n touch with the common Jew.What he could not see is how corrupt frum society under the influence of rabbis from a difft part of Europe has become.

  45. Rabbis were corrupt then and there as well. The problem was, the Chofetz Chaim just didn’t see period.

  46. Schneur

    YUGUY Apologies to your grandmother. Again I mean no harm in my comments. I am certain she is an eshes Chayil.In sum total chitzoniuyth is just that.The importance is pnimiuth. Kol Tov

  47. Schneur

    How is this rabbinic corruption evident in the religious and communal lfe of pre War Lithuanian Jewry ? In the yeshivoth, in the rabbinate ?
    Certainly there were power struggles but sexual scandals, coverups, money scandals. I am not aware of such.

  48. Rabbinate. In community leadership. Lita was not different.

  49. Yochanan Lavie

    “Again our American pop culture demands constant levity, smiles jokes we now want our gedolim to be copies of Larry David.”

    There is a book by Irhsid Manji called “The Problem with Islam Today.” In it, she quotes a fundie-Islamic pamphlet or book which says almost the exact same thing- that the [good]Muslim rarely smiles, because then he can be seduced by humor and levity. I distrust farbissenehs.

    (I also distrust clowns with creepy smiles, like Ahmadinejad Hitler, Jr. of Iran. Moderation in all things.)

  50. chief doofis

    Life is funny. I knew YUGUY’s mother as a young woman. At that time she was more or less Yeshivish. She married an Orthodox Rabbi, albeit one with a secular degree. All of a sudden, now, since the Yeshiva world has gone so crazily to the right, she is considered MO. She remained where she was, the world changed.

    Everone who a new category. We used to be Orthodox. Now we are Yeshivish,
    (ba)Haimish, Litvish, Modern Orthodox, Modern (just plain), etc.

    Our local Shatnez guy is starting to test for denim!!

    Maybe the reason denim is assur, is because it was washed in copepod water!!

    I look at the pictures of the two “leaders”, I cannot identify with them. The fellow on the right certainly doesn’t seem to understand what a normal teenage girl, who may want to wear a denim skirt on her day off is going through. And.. if you can’t understand your lay people, you can’t lead them!!

  51. Ahavah bat Sarah

    Oh, girls, lets just break out our burkhas and call it a day. They’re going to force us to wear them eventually – may as well start now.

  52. YUGUY

    Amen to that. The description of my mothers de-evolution is perfect.

  53. brain

    what falsehood is assumed.
    i have many pictures of these rabbis smiling

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