Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Va'ad Ha-Tzeni'us

There are reports of a large gathering in Lakewood to encourage greater adherence to the dictates of tzeni'us, modesty (link). There are even whispers, perhaps baseless rumors, of the organization of a Tzeni'us Patrol or Tzeni'us Committee. Personally, I welcome this development. The Gemara (Makos 24a) tells us that the prophet Micha emphasized modest living as one of the primary three commandments of the Torah. What can be more important than encouraging adherence to it?

I believe that such an organization should make it their priority to eradicate immodest behavior from our community -- bragging, showing off money or fancy clothes, taking pride in brilliant insights, etc. While confronting such behavior requires a delicate touch, I think that if a community finds religious enforcement important then it should start with this. Solving this problem will, I believe, solve the vast majority of communal ills we suffer.

For more on the true meaning of tzeni'us, listen to this lecture by R. Moshe Taragin (link - audio).

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