Jun 6, 2017
More Shocking Than Leggings

An open letter to Rabbi Motty Gurary, Director of Bnos Menachem girls school in Crown Heights, over his new tznius rules.

A letter that Rabbi Motty Gurary, Director of Bnos Menachem girls school in Crown Heights, wrote to parents with new guidelines for tznius attire was publicized beyond the neighborhood.

The new rules require mothers of students in the school to "completely cover" their elbows, feet and neckline. The letter also demands mothers wear sheitels which "length should not exceed the shoulder blades," and to refrain from wearing leggings, tight clothing or denim and "nail polish should be conservative/soft colors."

Below is an open letter to Rabbi Gurary by a Crown Heights resident:

Dear Rabbi Gurary,

Your letter triggered so many responses in me, I don't know where to begin. By questioning why a man – especially a frum man and a chossid – could ever imagine it is appropriate to speak to a woman about her body? By marveling at the incredible irony of a letter inspired by pursuit of dignity and aidelkeit being a crude public itemization of what women should or shouldn't wear? By wondering what the role is here for the husband who signs this letter – is it to inspect and approve his wife before she leaves the house? By marveling at how you have turned tznius – a beautiful concept about moderation and refinement in human behavior and dealings, something that's supposed to translate into cars and homes and the way we make simchos – into something that defines solely the real estate of the skin of women's bodies? But I decided to respond to the most worrisome concept this letter symbolizes: the prioritization of Women's Clothing over all other community issues, as your school – and other institutions in Crown Heights – recently have.

To me, more appalling than denim, is the eight-year-old boy who has been bullied since he was four. More obscene than a three-year-old girl's bare calf, is the shameless conspicuous consumptionism of a bar mitzvah I recently attended of one of our staunch standard-bearers of the Bnos Menachem "Tights Imperative." More dreadful than red nail polish, is the silent serpent of poverty that poisons the happiness of young families who can barely make ends meet (who attend the extravagant functions of the "role models" of our neighborhood). More offensive than a shaitel that hangs below the shoulder blades, is the gross lashon hara that makes for Shabbos table conversations. More shocking than leggings, is the growing mass of young teenagers quietly throwing away a yiddishkeit they don't understand and have come to hate. More alarming than a tight skirt is the rampant consumption of alcohol by our children in yeshivos.

I understand that the way that women look in public colors the whole community because of its overt nature. One need look no further than this week's parsha in Likkutei Sichos (chelek 2), where the Rebbe discusses Kimchis, who merited to see her sons be kohanim gedolim because of her vigilance in covering her hair. But what I don't understand is how this has become the most prioritized issue, emphasized with a single-mindedness above all other community issues. After all, looking through many of the Rebbe's other sichos, the recurring, persistent and primary message is ahavas yisroel, helping a fellow Jew, even a rasha, as the Rebbe mentions a few parshiyos earlier in that same chelek. Not only does the new cultural stress on what you refer to as "tznius" not deserve the spotlight, it inevitably directly contradicts that which does – ahavas yisroel – when proponents employ harsh judgment, humiliation and shaming to "offenders", employing the new catch-all-phrase: "ahavas yisroel doesn't mean that…". "Tznius" is important, but if you really want to "elevate the kedushah in our neighborhood", let's take a cue from the elements of yiddishkeit the Rebbe actually focused on. And if you want to elevate the standard of tznius, let's talk about tznius –the whole concept – not just women's (and little girls'!) legs.

Aside from your choice of focus, I also have to question your tone and approach. Wouldn't your position of authority and leadership in this community be better served to healing us as a people, a fragmented community in pain, an individual and another individual and another individual just trying to do his/her best – like you. What has always distinguished Lubavitcher chassidim is our focus on ruling by light, not by darkness, the focus on each, individual yid, as a precious and valuable piece of Hashem to be treated with respect and kindness and care. The Rebbe's way didn't seem to be the way of prohibitive takanos like the ones you put forth. Rather, encouraging us all to be "street signs", placed at the intersections of the paths leading to arei miklat. Our job is to stand at the crossroads as our friends wander through their existential crises and to support them, to guide them with cries of, "miklat, miklat!", with warmth and support and empathy, and cheer them forward with positivity and love (as the Rebbe discusses in that same chelek 2).

Hatznei leches im Hashem elokecha is a fundamental principle of Jewish life. How has that been subverted to become this obsession about women's toes and little girls' legs? If you are looking to highlight one element of yiddishkeit – one ultimate value – to mandate the parents of your school to sign off on, ayn lanu ela divrei ben Amram. Your school represents the Rebbe. Why corrupt his legacy by distorting the meaning of "kedusha" in his shchunah.

Chaya Sara Waldman

+ A Little Shame Goes a Long Way
+ Try the 'Shlichus' Method to Tznius
+ Reasons Why I Love Being Tznius

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Completely agree!!!
Thank you for being the one to finally stand against these ridiculous requests when there are way more severe problems going on
(6/6/2017 10:43:55 AM)
How can a man talk to a woman about Tznius
Please see:

A. The Lubavitcher Rebbe


B. Every sefer containing halachos ever

(6/6/2017 10:43:58 AM)
The truth hurts
I think he is trying to set a standard with an all too painful situation. I'm sure he knows it may not be all that popular but is willing to put himself aside and take that risk.
(6/6/2017 10:44:29 AM)
Thank you.
Every. Word. Truth. Thank you for speaking out.
(6/6/2017 10:46:43 AM)
Its not about the little girls, its the MOTHERS!!
Let's face it, the tzinus in Crown Heights has reached in all-time low. The basic simple halachos of covering elbows, knees and collarbone have long gone by the wayside for many, many women. It is extremely painful to walk down Kingston and see what is happening to our neighborhood. I think that Rabbi Gurary is a lone brave voice who dares to speak out and take action in this crazy time.
(6/6/2017 10:52:11 AM)
responsability of school
as responsable for his school i can't see why its out of place to deal with issues pertaining to his school first. and then maybe go on to other things
(6/6/2017 10:52:20 AM)
Don't send your kid to his school
Private school. Private choice. He's not talking I the community. He's taking on the parent body of his school. You are taking this way out of propotion.
(6/6/2017 10:52:42 AM)
You have to start someplace
I think it's fine to start with stressing one issue rabbi Gurary can actually have some control over. If each of us would stress one mitzvah, and spread and work on it, we would all be much better off.
Ms Waldman, what's the mitzvah you are going to get everyone working on?
(6/6/2017 10:52:55 AM)
I am writing as an out of towner who has no personal interest. This letter is totally inappropriate. A personal attack on a director of a school who write a letter to parents in the name of the administration( which I'm sure are comprised of women). They have full right to set standards for their school. You don't have to send your child there if you don't want to. He didn't pen a letter to collive telling all Lubavitch what to do. Your public attack on him
And the schools rules is judgemental and harsh and the points you bring to prove your righteousness has no validity.
(6/6/2017 10:53:48 AM)
Very Well..... I hope everyone leaves his school and go back to the School the Rebbe opened BAIS RIVKAH who accepts everyone even parents who cannot pay. Gurary charges the most and is the hardest on collecting tuition
(6/6/2017 10:54:56 AM)
And I agree with every word!!! Tznius is so important but this harsh and scolding approach has never brought a single person closer to Torah... It pushes them away with BOTH HANDS.

Look at the statistics, the number of Teens and young adults leaving Lubavitch has not dropped an iota because of these approaches. Rather if we focused more on LOVE, the incredible love and acceptance that the Rebbe had for every Jew, and in regard to tznius, the approach should be guidance, inspiration, education!!
(6/6/2017 10:56:51 AM)
Much respect for putting your name
(6/6/2017 10:57:21 AM)
yesher koach motti
this is why nothing is addressed in CH/ chabad . because any issue that is brought up is right away followed by "this is a problem ? look at all the other issues we have ":.....
(6/6/2017 10:57:44 AM)
Totally agree!
Beautifully and respectfully written. May the message reach all those who need to hear it. Thank you
(6/6/2017 10:58:03 AM)
To the author
While I understand what you are trying to convey, I can technically argue that all rules and regulations are silly.

Why does the state focus on speeding drivers? Shouldn't they pay more attention to child molesters?

Why do police ticket drivers without seatbelts? Shouldn't they focus on drunk drivers?

Why do people go to jail for financial fraud? Shouldn't we focus more on rapists and killers?

Do you catch my drift?

If you have a beef with the [ridiculous] tznius rules, call them out on it, but don't make irrelevant comparisons like extravagant Bar Mitzvahs which is an issue of its own, but not relevant to this discussion.
(6/6/2017 10:59:03 AM)
Thank you rabbi Gurary
Mimenu yiru vechen yaasu
(6/6/2017 10:59:10 AM)
Private school
I CHOOSE to send to this school because I like these rules. If you don't like it, don't go to his school.
(6/6/2017 10:59:57 AM)
What makes you think its ok to embarrass a person like that? If you have something to say, say it to his face. Its a private school and if you dont wanna follow the rules, there are a lot of other people who would like to be in yoyr place. Rabbi gurary has a very well run school and i can say this because i attended bnos menachem for all of my years of school. These rules are there to hold a certain standard in school since the lubavitch world seems to lower the standard daily. Good for bnos menachem that they keep the standard and they dont compromise. No the school isnt perfect but tell me which school is? We live in a flawed world and flaws are what to be expected .
(6/6/2017 11:01:15 AM)
Free Choice.
No one is being forced to send their daughter to this school. If you don`t like these rules, don`t go!
Yes, these rules seem a little absurd but the standards in the CH community are also absurd. So, he is trying to help and fix the problem. Instead of bashing, we should applaud him that he has the courage to stand up for what is right.
HALACHA = HALACHA, not your interpretation of halacha. End of the story.
(6/6/2017 11:01:25 AM)
Don't use the Rebbe to lower your standards!
It is very cruel to use the Rebbe’s Ahavas Yisroel as a green light to do what we want! Generally, the Rebbe’s Ahavas Yisroel even to “Reshoim” approach, was to Yidden that were Tinokos Shenishbu! In other words the Rebbe was using Ahavas Yisroel to bring Yidden back into the fold, now Chassidim or individuals who grew up in Chasidishe homes are using the Rebbe’s Ahavas Yisroel to lower His standards and scream don’t judge me cuz the Rebbe loved everyone, this is wrong!!
(6/6/2017 11:01:51 AM)
General Attitude
One person/organization cannot seriously be expected to transform all the issues that need improvement. Is it better to say-Rather than assume since we can't fix everything let's do nothing? it is probably better to at least focus on a very prevelant issue that when improved ( and accepted positively by parents) can actually affect the modesty in behavior as well.
Although a couple of the requirements may seem somewhat
' over the top' to some, what troubles me more is the attitude parents may be conveying to the next generation-for if shulchan aruch standards are 'unacceptable' in some areas
( or even one area), then why not leave other Torah halachos 'up for discussion'. It is that attitude that begins a slippery slide-.
We do need to elevate our standards of modesty and other areas- you are right, but is it better to do nothing about anything if we can't improve everything?
Wishing us all the ability to appreciate the gift Hashem granted us on Shevuos
(6/6/2017 11:02:58 AM)
to number 10
thats very nice and all but look at bais rivkah parents and students. half of them would look more at home in modern orthodox then in the Rebbe's school. Kol Hakavod to Rabbi Gurary for trying to change things in his school.
(6/6/2017 11:06:22 AM)
Just wondering.
How do you suggest to approach tznius? Because there's a major major issue.
(6/6/2017 11:08:16 AM)
bad response
while the point is true, the attitude is wrong, no matter what issue is brought up, there will always be room to say that there are so many other issues that need attention more, so this is never ending. The issue Motti brought up is a true issue, although I totally agree there are many problems with his letter. You can't just say he shouldn't have brought it up because there are other more concerning issues.

Just to mention a few issues I have with his letter:
-specific tznius issues for woman should not be coming from a man, the letter should have be signed by someone else, regardless who was behind it
-he takes the tznius standard way too high, williamsburg style, this is not the Lubavitch standard where the Rebbe clearly advised a lesser standard is fine.
-continuing above point, I've never heard anyone make an issue in Lubavitch about long shaitels, I know in non Lubavitch circles it's a big deal, but we see regularly very chassidish families have long shaitels, definitely past the shoulder blades and I've never heard any Lubavticher Rov condemn them.
-I also know and see very regularly chassidish woman in CH wearing denim, what 's the problem
-when you unreasonably raise the standard too high, you will get nothing
(6/6/2017 11:08:41 AM)
Wow - Thank you Chaya Sara Waldman
Your words come from the soul and speak to the soul. You have touched upon the core of feminine "tznius" like no one else dares to - that it is the Jewish woman's domain, that it is the Jewish woman to whom Hashem entrusted her modesty.

The breakdown of the entire soul of Yiddishkeit begins when humans turn something infinite like modesty into a black and white list. It has never been, and will never be. A Moshiach world is one in which the Jewish woman and man each turn inward, and ask themselves real questions about their own modesty - not a world where one human dictates another due to his/her fears of falling.

Hashem has asked us to discover and establish modesty from within our soul, and it is high time we stop cowering from that responsibility by pretending it is simply a list of cold and hard rules.

Thank you for your words of truth. They reflect a true reverence for everything that is holy.
(6/6/2017 11:08:51 AM)
Bnos Menachem is a farce
built for the wrong reasons as is evident by their admissions policy which flies in the face of the very spirit of the values they purport to champion. It might look sincere at the surface, but it cannot be, being that it stems from an institution who entire raison d’etre is a claim that “they are better” than a moisad — no matter how flawed — of the Rebbe’s. (See Rebbe’s letter to Nissan Nemenov re the Lishka and the Matzos they offered for sale.) Shame on the school’s admin. As an added proof, if the intention were pure and intended to portray איידלקייט it would have been authored by a woman.
(6/6/2017 11:09:25 AM)
Thank you Rabbi Gurary

COL Please remove this Disgusting letter ASAP!!!
(6/6/2017 11:12:03 AM)
To Number 3/The truth Hurts
Regardless of Truth or Not Truth, It is not Tznius and in no way proper for a Male to tell a Female how to dress and what to dress in.

(6/6/2017 11:12:58 AM)
This article is disgusting
And shows how out of touch people are with true yiddishkeit.

The author literally totally distorts the pure intentions of the principle.

(6/6/2017 11:15:05 AM)
disagree with most of this letter to Rabbi Gurary
I just dont get it
when the one who is trying to improve a situation , or advertise a resolution or a campaign gets bombarded with," why are you focusing on this , there are other more serious issues". Not everyone is talented to improve any situation.
yes many comments here are spot on, there are basic rules, standards
also which doesnt imply that this chosid watches how the ladies are dressed. ITS BASICS
and what I(I am a lady) hate most are those red polish toe nails in a open toe sandal. For sure many dont realize the prostkeit bec i see eidel, frumcshassidishe ladies doing that, o my , that is a reall no no
i just see no. 13 took the words out of my mouth, sorry for the repitition
(6/6/2017 11:15:13 AM)
Is the real Chosid and he is not
(6/6/2017 11:15:55 AM)
Dear author,
You're obviously not using your real name. I will assume you live in crown heights and have seen the Great! Lack of tznius on the streets here.
What would you suggest, and how to go about, fixing this?
(6/6/2017 11:16:46 AM)
to the writer
What has one thing got to do with another.
If a man such as Rabbi Gurary notices these things,
it must be because it has gotten completely out of control and needs to be addreed.
Thank you Rabbi Gurary
(6/6/2017 11:16:49 AM)
To #2
I'm so sorry, but no average man can be compared to A. The Lubavitcher Rebbe. or B. R' Yosef Karo of the Shulchan Aruch.
No woman need take take tznius instructions from any "man" but them.
(6/6/2017 11:17:16 AM)
Bnos Menachem Parent
I am infinitely grateful for the wonderful chinuch my daughter received at Bnos Menachem. I wish Rabbi Gurary and the entire faculty tremendous brachos for them and their families for helping my daughter to be where she is today. I am happy to abide by what they ask and have tremendous hakaras hatov for the wonderful work they are doing.
(6/6/2017 11:17:45 AM)
Dear Rabbi Gourari
Thank you very much for being a beacon of light in Crown Heights.

I understand that when we as humans, really want something we can no longer tell if it is good or bad. That is why those who like dressing un-Tzniudikly will have a really hard time understanding why it is morally bad.

But this is the challenge of our generation. Thank G-d it is not as bad as the challenge of the generation of the Haskalah.

I tell my daughters this, and I say, will the next generation look at you as one who fell in the challenge or as one who was victorious over the challenge?

In the generations to come, Rabbi Gourari will go down in the books as someone who rose to the occasion! What a Zechus!!!
(6/6/2017 11:18:05 AM)
sara.. some may consider you brave for attaching your name.. while others consider it pure stupidity that you're not smart enough to know to hide your face...

i wonder what mitzva you are taking on... i'll be looking out for another 'chaya sara waldman' letter to follow..can't wait as i know it''ll forsure be the only important thing to tackle.. getting more and more curious... what will be your number 1 priority thing to focus on
(6/6/2017 11:18:24 AM)
#15 & #20
Right on, took the words out of my mouth.
(6/6/2017 11:18:26 AM)
its his School
its his school he can do what he wants, why should he worry about everyone? his main focus is teh school speak to the rabbanim if you have other issues
(6/6/2017 11:19:04 AM)
Obsession gone bad
Is it me or has this become an obsession?

PICTURE THIS: a rebbetizn making a rule that there is no alcohol allowed at a boysyeshiva. If you have you will be kicked out.
Or about zera levatala..
Signed by kids and parents.
This should've been written by a woman.
Yes we had tzaddikim and holy men clarify the rules but now a days... it needs to be by women for women.

We keep picking on the women. ENOUGH.
Tznius is about modesty. Humility.
We keep shoving it in there faces - what's tznius about that?

Why can't there be a letter like we are not tolerating bullies ? Or chutzpah? Or an ahavas yisroel campaign?
Imagine we approached being kind as strongly as we approached the tznius rules? Imagine we enforced no abuse or no alcohol as strongly as we approached tznius ??

Imagine we told the men that they have to have no internet on their phones? Or they can't pick their beards? Or no alcohol?

We are in the generation of shaming mothers and women and girls. This is another form of body shaming !! Body obsession. I do wish this would've been written by the female staff of school and less extreme.
Things like this cannot be shoved in our face. This is not the generation that has things shoved in their face. It doesn't work. Maybe it used to but those days are gone.
(6/6/2017 11:21:28 AM)
great job Rabbi G
thank you for keeping the standards of your school at he highest level possible

to the author; You are a brave woman but lets be true to life, our children deserve only the BEST and the highest statndard is a proven method to engrain in them the values and maldaptive learned behavior needed to cope with the resistance presented by secular society that they will experience at some point in their life.

As a parent I have seen and experienced this and believe me I tell you with love, he is doing EXACTLY THE PROPPER THING
(6/6/2017 11:21:34 AM)
Free choice
Its not free choice beacuse parents signed up to BM with one set of rules and now the rules are being changed. Parents are forced to accept the change or their daughters will be kicked out of school- a big deal for middle schooler or any girl in fact.
(6/6/2017 11:22:30 AM)
Missing the point
I love how the author "blames" her lack of appreciation for the great mivtza of tznius on the Rebbes approach. I would recommend you listen to the strong sichos about the standard of tznius in the country, and than tell me that the Rebbe said to have ahavas yisroel, so that means you cannot make any rules or enforce basic Yiddishe standards.

Never heard of something so ridiculous in my life.
(6/6/2017 11:23:58 AM)
"I also question your tone and approach"
Actually the letter seems very positive and gentle. The attitude of the author is very negative, hateful, arrogant, and stupid. She disguises her negativity with "compassion" and "tolerance".

As for the guidelines... rules are rules, lady.
(6/6/2017 11:24:16 AM)
Mrs waldman
Rabbi Gurary is not disregarding all the other issues you have mentioned, but is rather concerned for this specific issue which, in my opinion, he has every right to be concerned about. Because, although he may be a man and therefore may seem to be the wrong person to bring this up, he is trying to run a successful school and this issue is hindering his success.
(6/6/2017 11:26:01 AM)
In general
Crown heights is missing a variety in girls schools and each school is entitled to their rules which in crown heights there will be many who agree and many who do not. #11, beautiful comment , there is room in crown heights for a school with a loving approach like that!
(6/6/2017 11:26:43 AM)
You are way off
There;s no connection f anything you wrote to what he wrote. Beacue there's other issues he cant start with one? Who are you to decide?
(6/6/2017 11:27:52 AM)
lets face it and solve it
I totally agree with Rabbi Gurary. I don't feel that he's kicking someone out of his school for not being ztnius. He's making it clear that the standard is way too low and it's something that's needs to be changed. If you don't agree with him, its not his problem. He has a school with standards that he determines. And I'm sorry to tell you, that if you don't agree that the ztnius level can be improved a lot, then either you're blind or already immuned to it (wich is really sad).
For all of you who think that we should be worrying about other problems: we should be worrying about those stuff, but it doesn't mean that ztnius should fall wayside. It happens to be one of the big problems that lead to other problems such as the ztnius b/w girls and boys ect.
(about the long sheitel thing: if you wouldn't let your children's hair be that long, then your sheitel shouldn't be that long. sheitel looks like hair, so if its not appropriate for hair the so too for sheitels)

I'll have to admit that I'm not from crown heights but I'm there about ten times a year for quite a while each visit. I get shocked every time over by what goes on. I just want to say that especially in crown heights, the Rebbe's home, a place that people use generally to stereotype all of Lubavitch, we could use a lot of changing. It's not going to be easy but I'm sure that we can do it. You could say that we don't need to care about what others think of us, but in truth, a group like us, who are so into outreach, we have to be role models and live up to our standards and not drop them as soon as we feel comfortable. If you wouldn't go out on shluchos dressed like this, then don't now.
I feel that Rabbi Gurary is bringing up one of the issues that doesn't get much care compared to the other problems. We can really work together to improve it.
btw, spchycologist say that people tend to get defensive and argue about a topic a lot when they feel that people are breaking their little shell of comfort. Since, especially being women, we care so much about our clothes. The issue of ztnius is very sensitive so everyone's making such a big deal about what Rabbi Gurary said. He's bringing up a topic that a lot of people block out because we're too afraid to open this topic up on our own.
I want to end of saying that if we try together to improve this problem, a lot of others will be solved.
(6/6/2017 11:30:24 AM)
With all due respect, there is tremendous chutzpah in your letter.

1) You start of by questioning “why a man – especially a frum man and a chossid – could ever imagine it is appropriate to speak to a woman about her body?” seriously?! Are you kidding me? He runs a girl’s school and has every right to speak on the subject of tznius. I bet you also question the right of every rov to pasken on issues related to women? As it is very well known, there is a real issue with thznius in our community and it is good to speak up on the subject.
2) Secondly you question the roll of the husband signing the pledge. (Clearly you believe in women’s freedom ideas etc. We can see where you go with this). However, a Jewish home is set by both the mother and the father so it is very appropriate for both to sign on this.
3) You then proclaim how tznius is turned “something that defines solely the real estate of the skin of women's bodies?” That is such a distortion and a lie! When addressing tznius dressing specifying in detail is required. Or else there is no point addressing it in the first place. Describing it this way is basically saying don’t address the tznius issue at all.
4) You then continue claiming that there are other priorities the schools should focus on such as bullying, poverty, etc. Well first of schools do focus on those issues maybe they can improve on that but just because there are other problems one should not focus on the issue of tznius?!
5) Lastly you bring the Rebbe into this to the reader who didn’t know the Rebbe it may appear as though the Rebbe was for woman dressing not tzniusdik in his shechunah CH”V. How dare you! What chutzpah! The Rebbe was for peaceful ways and Ahavas Yisroel but he was very strong on tznius too.

There is no question that there is a real issue with tznius in our community. It is a real shanda! Some of the woman who are considered frum and chasidim don’t look frum on the streets! We need to wake up. Hurray for the Rabbi for taking initiative and a busha for you for speaking against it.
(6/6/2017 11:32:52 AM)
please take this post down
its pure loshon hora and it doesnt belong on collive.com. if the writter has an issue with it then he can speak to the rabbi himself.

im apauled the collive would even put something like this up!
(6/6/2017 11:33:58 AM)
Kol hakavod
Bh some put his foot down.
All our schools should follow rabbi Gurary bravery !!!
(6/6/2017 11:34:34 AM)
Mr gurary
Please direct me to what page of your Chinese auction book reperesents צניעות

(6/6/2017 11:34:40 AM)
Only satmar and misnagdim talk against shaitlach
(6/6/2017 11:35:46 AM)
Thanks for speaking up and taking a stand!

To #2 he ain't no Rebbe and everyone knows its just a few people focusing on the wrong things

To #3 Article says focus on bigger problems instead of knit picking colors

To #5 Brave means help fix the foundation not help pick out the drapes! (the word your thinking is kanoy)

To #6 I can think of 9 things that need fixing before this issue

To #7 We are a community theres no such thing as a privet school (where did he send his kids?)

To #8 dont pass the buck

To #9 how are you related :)

To #13 point is if you have extra time use it where you can accomplish great things not petty ones
(6/6/2017 11:36:04 AM)
Motty well said
But your wife should of signd it
Your letter reflects her chinuch not yours
(6/6/2017 11:38:39 AM)
Ur saying Tznius can't be addressed because there are other issues??? Tznius is one of the most important issues itself needed to be addressed years ago!!!!
(6/6/2017 11:38:57 AM)
Wow, I guess every posek is terrible
According to the problem this lady has with R' Gurary, she probably has the same problem with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Satmar Rebbe, Rav Wosner, Rav Elyashiv, etc, who all made (with some technical variations) the same statement about tznius. I am not a lubavitcher, so I can tell you, that everybody laughs (or cries) at chabad's chalishus in tznius. Kol hakavod to R' Gurary for finally raising chabad (or, I should say, some of its members) to the tznius standard of everybody else. Chabad is a beautiful chassidus, but how can other people realize that if it its members make it so sectarian and cover up its beauty with problems like tznius?
(6/6/2017 11:40:12 AM)
The whole point
of the article is that if we really want kedusha and tznius, then we must focus on the entire understanding of tznius. What does it have to do with barmitzvas is precisely because we are taught to believe that tznius is just about ladies bodies, but in truth it is all about a whole way that a jew lives and breathes. Tznius is the opposite of ostentation and attention grabbing; that's why a barmitzvah that's the opposite of 'aidel' in its extravagance is very relevant. Otherwise we aren't really about being aidel, or we wouldn't wave away the 'untznius' of publicly displaying material extravagance.
(6/6/2017 11:41:29 AM)
Great Letter and great point
So well written, so respectful, and so true. Thank you for signing your name and for being such a great example for all the women who don't have the courage to speak out the way you do.
(6/6/2017 11:42:36 AM)
*** Another comment ***
I do not know who this Chaya Sara Waldman is who so proudly attached her name to her diatribe or who Rabbi Gurary is (although my daughter did attend that school years ago) so this response is based solely on what I am reading.

For the sake of brevity, I will make my points to the point, from my perspective as a shliach of 30 years.

Her letter is full of ongeblozenkeit and chutzpa. Brings nothing to the table and is typical of what todays shluchim respond to any mussar.

Rabbi Gurary as a leader in a girl’s school is finally laying down a standard in Crown Heights and from there to all of Chabad Lubavitch (Shluchim) that is long overdue.
As a MAN MALE Rabbi, who holds the responsibility from G-d alone, to disseminate and do all that is possible to uphold the standards of Toiroisainu Hakedoisha & specifically of Koi Soimar Lebais Yakov, Rabbi Gurary & his school is strengthening a dimmed ember in the beauty of living like a pious Jew.

I heard the other day from a Rabbi in Israel a good standard of Tznius, class, style, and modesty is the Queen of England. Bnos Israel are all queens and princesses and should dress accordingly and not like provocative trash.

Chazak Chazak to Rabbi Gurary and all is staff and friends who are supporting him on a long overdue effort of uplifting a fallen crown of Jewish behavior.

Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui

(6/6/2017 11:43:43 AM)
What am incomprehensible load of gibberish!

This woman's has zero skill at presenting a persuasive argument.
(6/6/2017 11:45:25 AM)
Yay...we have other issues as well...
What's you point?
(6/6/2017 11:47:02 AM)

Talk the talk Gouraire! You want to make change lets see you face the reality on the street with your own eyes.

Will you accept the challenge, O holy Yid?
(6/6/2017 11:48:11 AM)
Agree and disagree
Ok whether its priority or not does not contradict needing to mention it.

I agree that it isnt tznius for a man to be the one to dispense rules of the way a women should cover her body.

Halacha is halacha, so that is indisputable... which is why is not ok for anyone to ADD to it!!!!! Does it say in shluchan aruch to have a shoulder length shaitel? Or clear nail polish? Yes, it is a more aidel, refined look, so if an individual wants to look more refined, all the power to them. And i get that its a private school so thwy can make whatever rules they want. But why not just enforce basic halacha instead of jumping to an extreme that is just turning people off?
(6/6/2017 11:48:48 AM)
מוטי, גוט גיזוגט!!!! ישר כוח
(6/6/2017 11:49:16 AM)
It's halacha
From your letter I gather that Rabbi Gourary is simply instilling tznius and eidelkeit in HIS school.
The reform Jews also scream Ahavas Yisroel when their level of Yiddishkeit is challenged
(6/6/2017 11:50:16 AM)
The mirror
When you see someone doing something that is not correct remember you are looking at a mirror the only thing you see is yourself
(6/6/2017 11:50:50 AM)
Why mix problems
What you wrote are problems, but so is tznius!!!
Why mix kasha mit borscht???

If bullying, alcohol, lashon hara, etc are problems you see, address them and do something about them!

Doesn't negate what rabbi gurary is doing in his school. Kudos to someone that is setting a standard in tznius (and I don't send to bnos menachem)
(6/6/2017 11:51:53 AM)
Well written
I struggled with tznius when I lived in crown heights. Letters of rebuke just turned me off and had only negative effects. When I moved to a different community that embraced me with warmth and no judgement I eventually and naturally started behaving and dressing tznius to the degree that our is no struggle at all. If we only treat people in crown heights with the same way we do in a chabad house, we can have huge success in bringing people closer to yiddishkeit. The Rebbe gave us the tools on how to mekarev yidden. why are we following the way of other chareidy communities by threatening and being negative and judgemental. It doesn't work. It is the short but long way!
(6/6/2017 11:53:23 AM)
this whole situation is out of proportion
Let me start by saying that I am not the tznius queen and that my girls would probably never be accepted at bnos menachem for a variety of reasons, not only tznius. But I feel that Rabbi Gurary's letter was not written in a scolding manner at all. He is setting guildelines for his school, period. Are there more important issues facing the community like the ones you mention? Of course there are!!! Plenty!!! But he is addressing his parent body now and what he wants of them, and not trying to fix the entire community. That is a separate issue and not in the hands or responsibility of one. I know I couldn't live up to the standards of BM, whether financial or tznius, etc. so I don't send my children there very simple. While we have many more issues to work on in our community, tznius is one thing that also needs improvement, and yes, starting with myself. Lubavitch is a branch of chasidus, lately a lot of what I am seeing is about the furthest away from the way chasidus intended it to be.
(6/6/2017 11:56:06 AM)
at least the hs girls dont have to wear 7 inch skirts like bcm
(6/6/2017 11:57:21 AM)
can someone tell me what is wrong with leggings in subdued colors dark gray, burgundy, navy, dark purple, etc. can someone please educate me????
(6/6/2017 11:58:00 AM)
totally off
collive should never even have printed this letter, it's so ridiculous that it's not even worth answering. Rabbi Gurary can set whatever standards he wants and I'm sure it's with the agreement of others with whom he consulted.
(6/6/2017 11:59:33 AM)
This attitude is ridiculous
Two wrongs don't make a right-
The fact that there are people who need help for certain things

Almost every time someone writes a bout tznius this happens.

The halacha saya that one should be tznius and thatit is ultimately for our own benefit and brachos.

Please stop trying to divert the need for improvement in tznius by saying how a bunch of other stuff need to be fixed...

Go fix those things ALSO, but not instead....

(6/6/2017 12:01:54 PM)
beis chaya mushka & ateres chaya
mrs. waldman,

why are you singling out rabbi gurary?

the whole bnos menachem team, as well as the beis chaya mushka and ateres chaya teams (90% of which are women!..) say and write and behave the same!!!
(6/6/2017 12:05:02 PM)
Support of Rabbi Gurary
To the author: YOU should be ashamed of yourself to embarrass someone publicly. It totally contradicts the whole purpose of your "OP ED".

Are you seriously saying that we have to ignore Halachos to accommodate the sick?

Let me remind you the 3 Zchusim the Yiden had in Mitzrayim that earned them Yetzias Mitzrayim.

1. They didn't change their names; kept to Jewish names.
2. They didn't change their language; kept to the Hebrew language.
3. They didn't change their clothing style; they kept to modesty.

Chazal say they "Stood out".

Some thought for you.
And for the fact you're literally crying in your words, um... you see a therapist.
(6/6/2017 12:05:14 PM)
Lo Zu Haderech
The Rebbe taught us how to spread yiddishkeit by emulating Ahron Kohen Gadol--Umekarvan Latorah! Not by forcing mothers to sign contracts in order for their daughters to get into a school. Only by inspiring others to follow the torah will it have a lasting effect.

Lo Zu Haderech, v"Lo Zu Hair.
(6/6/2017 12:05:55 PM)
To number 12
There's no one with this name in our tzach list.
It's a pen name, only used for writing pashkvil
(6/6/2017 12:06:58 PM)
with the old breed
The role of Rebbe and Rov is filed by a man. Is this the problem? Maybe CH needs one Rov.......
(6/6/2017 12:11:48 PM)
Dress Code
Every institution, place of work and school has the right to set their own dress code standards. These can be set based on religious values or any other standard of decorum. These requirements can include people who wish to enter the premises. Rabbi Gurary, as well as any other leader of a school has the right to set their standards and can expect full compliance or don't enroll in that program.
I work at a modern Hebrew day school. We have a dress code for our students as well as the parents who enter our campus i.e. no pants for the women and the men need to put on a kipa.
Kol Hakavod to Rabbi Gurary and the staff at Bnos Menachem.
(6/6/2017 12:12:21 PM)
talking Rebbe
Just pointing out that when you mention the Rebbe's focus on ahavas Yisroel etc., the atmosphere in Crown Heights was SO different. We all dressed with care about snius. No one knowingly uncovered their knees or elbows, went without socks etc. It was a non-issue, except amongst newcomers who were 'learning' and eager to grow in observance. I am saddened to imagine how we let the Rebbe down with our lax attitudes to snius now. Trying to raise the standards in one school is not wrong. Perhaps they can try to do it with a more loving or warmer approach (it would also help to have it come more from women), but he is not promoting snius police and public shaming!! he is promoting halacha in the Rebbe's shchuna, in a lubavitch school!!
(6/6/2017 12:14:28 PM)
Thank you rabbi gurary
Thanks you i totaly agree with him.
In Israel they have the same guidelines .
He is helping our mothers to be a good example to our children.
I myself use to dress less tznius .
In Montreal we are not asked todo these things when bringing our kids to school but out mosdos refrain from hiring anyone who doesn't go by these guidelines and I respect it very much.
All these styles and trends I sometimes forget it's all made for ppl to attract the opposite gender..
If we dress classy we are dignified and are role models to the next generation.
It's hard for some parents as well as for me and I totally understand rabbi gurary point and we should all strive to be that way for our own better and for the better of our children and people around us.
U can dress with colors and style but don't forget tznius comes first and is most important. And should be everyone's priority.
Thank you!
(6/6/2017 12:15:01 PM)
Yasher Koach Rabbi Gurary! Many scvhools have dress codes for students and parents, including other schools in Crown Heights. These dress codes are simply clarifying and requiring adherence to Halacha. If you wish to start a campaign regarding other areas of weakness in our community - Kol HaKovod and Hatzlocha Raba
(6/6/2017 12:15:30 PM)
A Man Dedicated to EVERY Aspect of the Community
Dear Author,

Have you, or some you know, attended the health lecture just a few weeks ago hosted in Bnos menachem for the health and well being of our community?

Enough said.
(6/6/2017 12:15:55 PM)
Seriously I am shocked at the harshness of this womans letter!
Here we finally have someone who is brave, yes, I use the word 'brave' because just look what a bashing he got for it. . . who is brave enough to stand up and say it for what it really is. . . and the results are beyond shocking!
the tznious in CH is mind blowingly disgusting!! and I think that in our heart of hearts most of us know that, but few of us, 'dare' stand up and say it out loud! Its been a slow and gradual descent, but a descent its most definitely is, and continues to be!
Comes a Man, like Rabbi Gurary, who finally has had enough and posts these rules for the MOTHERS of HIS school, not the whole shchunah, but his territory, and the territory of his pupils that he is trying his utmost to educate Al taharas Hakoidesh!
How do you expect him to succeed, if the very mothers of these impressionable, easily influenced young girls, do little or worse to try and be a Dugma Chaya to their very own kids!!?
On the contrary, they bring on confusion and questions by their own very deeds and actions!
You bring in the Rebbe!! Do you honestly think and believe that the Rebbe would have condoned this total lack of tznious, total care of respect and appreciation that all of these comments have been about!!
Open your eyes and see it for what it is!
A sad and sorry state of affairs, no more no less!

To Rabbi Gurary, I say a heartfelt Thank you to you;
If even 10 or even 5 mothers change their perspective on tznious thanks to you, then kudos to you!!
To the rest I say, its YOUR choice, YOUR decision where you send your kids. .
Not happy? Many other doors are open wide, but leave Bnos Menachem to who and what it is striving to be!
Hatzlocha and Brocha to all concerned!
(6/6/2017 12:17:08 PM)
Feel your pain...
(6/6/2017 12:18:08 PM)
sorry collive but this is wrong
please do not address this issue at all. a letter was sent by a private school asking mothers to act or dress a certain way. you don;t want to send there, don't , but stop trashing the director or the school online.
we all know in the deep part of our hearts that tznius is a serious issue in lubavitch. but somehow when it is posted on a public forum, the chillul lubavitch becomes worse.
instead of keeping quite, mrs waldman has aired more dirty laundry for everyone to see and especially, as mentioned by others, when the rebbe is used to uphold her beliefs.
please remove this and if anyone has an issue with bnos menachem let them talk to the director etc
(6/6/2017 12:18:48 PM)
who is forcing your daughter to join his school!!
No one is forcing you to send your daughter to Benos Menachem. If you don't like his policy go somewhere else.
Beis Rivka Yeshiva of Flatbush there are plenty of choices.
(6/6/2017 12:19:28 PM)
Taking stock
let's see if these methods work. It's not a new thing that BM is implementing, it's been around for a long time. How do the graduates of his school compare to other girls in CH? Basically, no difference - overall they are not more tznius than the others. And also, ask the highschoolers themselves how they feel about all of this, and what they get from it. You might be surprised at some of the responses. So let's not treat this as something brand new that hasnt been proven yet, lets look at the results of almost two decades of the shcool's policies - they are not new policies.
(6/6/2017 12:21:57 PM)
totally agree
and it is totally appropriate.
a public position, taken by public figure, publicized online with his permission/ encouragement.
(6/6/2017 12:24:30 PM)
Why don't YOU address the other issues you are talking about?????? rabbi gurari is in charge of this school, so he did something that he thinks will improve the tznius in the school (and maybe have an affect on others). there are others in CH trying to promote more learning. others are trying to promote more mivtzaim, others are promoting helping families with money. etc/ etc. etc. Why should Rabbi Gurary be the one to promote other things. He is promoting tznius.
second thing. Rabbi gurary felt that his approach will increase tznius. maybe it wont. maybe it was the wrong approach, but his intention was to improve tznius. I would like to ask you, was your letter written to improve tznius?
(6/6/2017 12:25:06 PM)
At long last
Thank Rabbi Gurary for making a Kidush Lubavitch
many more should follow you
whats going on in CH is one big Chilul Lubavitch
if people dont like the rules let them go to Flatbush
(6/6/2017 12:28:20 PM)
He needs some coaching
If parent modesty is an issue for him then approach it in a psychologically sound and productive manner.
Do you think this little paper will make people feel good and actually dress "better?" Nope.
Adults don't like being treated like children, and the color of nail polish is foolish etc at best. This is part of the problem, when you try to restrict people from a negative place it backfires. Create a fun weekday night event for parents, with other educational topics and perhaps have someone speak about the school policy for children and how important it is for the parents to reflect those values. It doesn't have to be exactly that, but it needs to come from a positive / feel good place not a draconian schoolmaster.
Crown Heights is a beautiful place with beautiful Chabad families, and that won't be changed if a sheitel is two inches longer/shorter or nail polish is red, white or blue.
(6/6/2017 12:28:36 PM)
Finally someone brave enough to sign their name
Call it unfortunate or call it hashems will, but religious leaders are struggling to keep Halacha life relevant in today's society.

The younger generation is not buying into as much, most observance took place during oppression, not just physical oppression but limited information.

The same reasons we were discouraged from going to college so we should not get alternative views. Today that information is everywhere, we are exposed to so many new and old world views and are left with the questions we seek to find answers to.

(6/6/2017 12:30:39 PM)
great community
so much chessed here - whether you're a kallah, a chosson, no money for yom tov, have sick family member, a kimpatorin etc... there are people giving so much of themselves to meet their needs!!! a gmach for everything. ashreinu ma tov chelkeinu! mi k'amcho yisroel!!
let's focus on the positive.
(6/6/2017 12:34:05 PM)
kids should sign contract!!!!
if Motty wants to be taken serious....kids should sign contract!!!! on top of parents....

(6/6/2017 12:36:54 PM)
In your open letter I think you proved the need for rabbi g's letter banter. You keep mentioning little girls, rabbi g is not talking about little girls.

With your attitude you will always find something else would you can say why you starting fixing this problem there are much bigger problems, such an attitude leads to complainers
Ps. You seem to be very good at figuring out the local problems, you would probably be the perfect candidate to start fixing them.
(6/6/2017 12:37:57 PM)
great response to rabbi gurary

its exactly these control tactics which belong in williamsburg or taliban, and the way of life where everyone has such strong opinions about each other, that is turning the youth off.

and it is why I'm glad i moved away from crown heights.
(6/6/2017 12:38:05 PM)
Does he think that women will change their wardrobes to mod calve and cut their wigs?
Make rules practical.
(6/6/2017 12:38:25 PM)
Hodu lashem ki tov -
Neturei karta has nothing on us...

the Shawl Women are moving in soon - if they can afford the rents :(
(6/6/2017 12:39:40 PM)
Wow completely disagree with u
I visit CH somewhat infrequently and each time I am saddend by how any mode of dress has become ok in a neighborhood that was formerly a role model for Chassidishe lifestyle.

Sure the child who is bullied, as mine was, deserves care. Sure there are many issues the community needs to deal with but Tznius is not something to put at the bottom of the list.
Nor does it mean that because Tznius, basic modest dress, is being focused on, that all other issues don't matter.

I was so so impressed with the tone of the letter and the can-do attitude.

Let Bnos Menachem set a new standard for us all!

In terms of husband signing: how many women have said "I would dress Aidel but my husband..."

Having both parents on board with every single policy is key to chinuch
(6/6/2017 12:39:45 PM)
to # 10
(6/6/2017 12:40:55 PM)
They should talk to the girls openly about sensitive issues and help them express themselves.
Figure out what the underlying issue is.
That's more important.
Shame should never be used to discuss modesty.
Are the staff warm to the girls ?Do the girls feel judged or respected?
There's more to.modesty than blue nail polish.
(6/6/2017 12:42:04 PM)
It is because people like YOU the author of this horrible letter that we have a problem with tsinus in crowm heights!!!

Why are we never ever allowed to talk about tsinus???!!! Because the TRUTH HURTS. Because we are well aware that tsinus is a huge problem amd you dont want to face it.

Crown heights has become a desaster and since no Rabonim is doing anything at least princapls are taking care of the issue in their school.

It is sad to see how women are getting dresses ... i dont understand for the life of me how their husband dont care that the wives are going out looking like prostitues (sorry couldnt find a better word ...)

I give a bracha that all Rabonim and comunity leaders step up and do something about tsinius.
(6/6/2017 12:42:44 PM)
Reb motti Gur ari responsibility of the school
when the school bnot menatchem opened . Was on Tahar hakodesh , not mining another regular school
School on Taharat hakodesh , the subject Znihut. Has to be the first paruritiy. The parents of the children want to sent the kids to the school and biclalhas to wear znihets clothing . We standing in the time before Moshiach is coming
Please parents give a dugma Chaya to you won children . Dress nice but cover your elbows, wear long skirts . . It's can be nice but znihets . And bhz"h your children will fallow your way and you will raised a chasidesh children and you will have much nachas from them .
(6/6/2017 12:42:57 PM)
Gender equality
What about the men?
Why are shorn beards ok?Grow the beards!
Bring back some basic Judaism.
Appalling to see how many men don't wear tzitzis!
Let's get back to basics before we make women cut their wigs.
(6/6/2017 12:44:59 PM)
Forget about Tznius for one minute, this is absolutely lashon hara!
(6/6/2017 12:47:01 PM)
School with double standards
The tznius rule does not seem to apply to relatives of the director
(6/6/2017 12:47:26 PM)
I agree with some of the things ,but

You shouldn't bring other problems to hide this one
Saying that there is bigger problems ,yes sure there is
But it doesn't excuse the fact that this one also exists
What you should only solve the big ones?the smaller ones are not important? Yes they are ,they are still a problem.
Also a lot of the bigger problems are actually caused by this little one
(6/6/2017 12:49:23 PM)
next Takana (pronounced Sakana) is the SmartPhones?!
good luck on "filtering" the cells.

and checking whom they date for Marriage - and say yes or no - when the time comes....
(6/6/2017 12:51:14 PM)
what about the issue of addiction
Who is addressing this very pressing and urgent issue of addiction?
(6/6/2017 12:52:12 PM)
y is "tzniut" rules written by a Man????????
Motty should have had a Woman write it ...to begin with !!!!!!
(6/6/2017 12:54:05 PM)
Complete am haraatzas
This and other such articles and comments are utterly ridiculous and have no place in normative Judaism. You may not realize it but the entire frum world is horrified by the tznius standards or lack thereof in lubavitch today. We were meant to be the standard bearers that the rest of the world would look up to and emulate. Instead it seems like the age old issue that misnagdim had with chassidim about their lack of yiras shomayim and sub par keeping of halacha (which in those days was actually not the case) has actually come to pass.
You write “By questioning why a man – especially a frum man and a chossid – could ever imagine it is appropriate to speak to a woman about her body?” I hope that this is just complete am haaratzas. As someone pointed out every sefer of halacha was written by a man and that is the way yiddishkeit works. Like it or not. Additionally the only time in all of likkutei sichos where something is in complete bold is when the Rebbe is discussing the deplorable lack of tznius. Additionally the Rebbe encouraged specific men to write sifrei halacha about tznius and to give public lectures about taharas hamishpacha.
You write “By marveling at how you have turned tznius – a beautiful concept about moderation and refinement in human behavior and dealings, something that's supposed to translate into cars and homes and the way we make simchos – into something that defines solely the real estate of the skin of women's bodies?” Again complete am haaratzas. No mitzvah is meant to be a beautiful concept. A mitzvah is the will of Hashem. The will of Hashem is that certain parts of a woman’s (or man’s) body are ervah and must be covered. Of course every mitzvah has beauty to it and can greatly enhance our appreciation of it but al tachlif ikker bituful. For example why focus on all the details of not driving, cooking, using electricity, etc on Shabbos and lose the beautiful concept of a day of rest and reconnection to G-d. No normal frum person would say such a thing but for some reason they do say it when it comes to tznius.
You write “Tznius" is important, but if you really want to "elevate the kedushah in our neighborhood" let's take a cue from the elements of yiddishkeit the Rebbe actually focused on.” Are you joking?? The rebbe focused on tznius and the actual halachos of tznius many many times. Subscribe to the daily tznius email and you’ll find out that there are years’ worth of tznius horaas from the Rebbe in which the Rebbe emphasizes how tznius or lack thereof effect every other part of yiddishkeit litov or chas visholom the opposite more than almost every other mitzvah.
You write “Hatznei leches im Hashem elokecha is a fundamental principle of Jewish life. How has that been subverted to become this obsession about women's toes and little girls' legs?” Hatznei haleches has nothing at all to do with this. This is about shocking and embarrassing public displays of ervah which undermine our entire “being street signs.”
You write “Your school represents the Rebbe. Why corrupt his legacy by distorting the meaning of "kedusha" in his shchunah.” The Rebbe would be so happy to hear that a lubavitcher school is trying to upgrade the standards in our community as we can see from any time the Rebbe answered someone who said they were upping the standards of tznius in their community. It is you and those like you who misrepresent what actual Torah values are that the Rebbe would be unhappy with. Yes he would love you also because you are a yid despite your am haraatzas but we understand that that love does not mean we will accept a distortion of our holy Torah.
(6/6/2017 12:55:23 PM)
I agree
Agree with the rabbi. Tznius is a major issue in crown heights and it seems most woman totally disregard the laws. Its already at the point where it is spiritually dangerous for a man to walk down kingston avenue and the area. Not to mention it is also a danger for the woman. I hope things will change for the better. We always criticize outer circles of Yiddishkeit but meanwhile the issue within can no longer be ignored.
(6/6/2017 12:55:53 PM)
Its not personal, just business
I think Rabbi Gurary is in the right! Firstly, There is no reason why he cannot elevate his school to a higher standard.
Secondly, I think Mrs. Waldman forgot to mention world hunger and save the whales. I mean seriously, it's not Rabbi Gurary's job to solve all the messed up things that go on in crown heights. He's dealing with his school.
(6/6/2017 12:58:09 PM)
To the Author
You are a hundred and ten percent right
This is the reason we send our children to mosdos established by the rabbeim, not some Rich man who's standards were never up to par. He and company built this school on kinna, taiva, kovod. It can never last and if it does, all children attending will not have an everlasting security in chinuch as the founder is anything but a tzaddik. So this author plainly said what all of us are thinking.
(6/6/2017 1:00:34 PM)
A man should not interefer with a womans tznius
I actually cringed to read the new tznius rules that were being instructed by a Rabbi. What does a man know about a woman's struggle with wearing a sheitel that he can now impose a rule about the length? Or the color of a woman's nail polish? Or the delicate balance of trying to be attractive to her husband while maintaining a modest dress code?

I agree with the author being uncomfortable with seeing these rules written by a Rabbi.

If Tznius issues need be to be addressed, I think the manner by which it is addressed should be Tznius as well. Having a man discuss which parts of a woman need to be covered is immodest, immoral, and just wrong.

I'm sure there was another more delicate way to convey the issue, perhaps in a meeting and most definitely headed by a woman.
(6/6/2017 1:03:24 PM)
Personal opinion
Chabads job is to spread light and not darkness but that doesnt mean we can neglect Halacha. Our community has standards and the issue is tznius it being taken seriously should be included in your list of other ailments that befall Lubavitch today.
(6/6/2017 1:05:58 PM)
Although I agree with the content of this letter, I think it is highly inappropriate for COL to post an attack on an individual's private letter to a parent body of a private school! COL you must decide are you a heimisher news mazel tov site, or are you the CNN and FOX news of Chabad?! If it's the latter then bring it on, and allow a multitude of diverse writers to contribute to your site, and open up for proper debate!!!
(6/6/2017 1:09:32 PM)
So you are saying this is a non issue because there are other issues? Sadly too many people agree with your (can't even be called) rational..
(6/6/2017 1:09:47 PM)
To #55
Didnt she go to bais yaakov of boro park
(6/6/2017 1:09:55 PM)
To all those saying "Ahavas Yisroel!!", please note the pasuk next to that one. "Hochaiach Tochiach" (Rebuke your fellow)
(6/6/2017 1:10:31 PM)
To #60
Though your point may be valid, your wording: "who this chaya ... etc is..." is inappropriate language, condescending and disrespectful! I sure hope you don't use that language when dealing with a local chabad supporter who disagrees with you !
(6/6/2017 1:13:36 PM)
Ch Resident
Why are people upset with what the school requests ... it is a private school ... he is the boss ... you have a choice either send your children there and follow the rules or take your child or children out ... and if all the students leave the he will need to decide what he should and or like to do ... though to bicker and complain in a forum I think is wrong being he is not all all tellers by the public at large what do only the ones they attend his school ..
(6/6/2017 1:14:11 PM)
Rebbes letter on tznius
The Rebbe actually did say our girls should dress like bais Yaakov at least
(6/6/2017 1:15:37 PM)
To the author
Rabbi Gurary is a leader. He does his best to help in all areas. But if he made a school and it's purpose was to have a school in our neighborhood that has proper tznius standards (since the other schools do not), He has ever right to print guidelines for his school. You seem troubled by it. You must be one of the many not so tznius people of our neighborhood. True, we have many other problems in our community, but as a leader in his school, he has to do this to keep his standards, which are obviously the shulchan Aruch's standards, unlike the new "CH standards" which is a disgrace!
Maybe if other schools would have people in their administration with his strength, our community would be a better place. Shame on you to put down someone who stands up for what's right!
(6/6/2017 1:17:40 PM)
Just to add to those above
His school = His rules.
(6/6/2017 1:19:29 PM)
Well said #60
Totally agree with #15 and #60
(6/6/2017 1:19:53 PM)
At least someone gets it!
(6/6/2017 1:21:19 PM)
Shameful shamefula article
Finaly someone stands up to tznius in lubavitch and you bring in unrelated issues?? Dont bring my rebbe into this.
People have totally thrown this away bwcause noone dares stands up to them.
(6/6/2017 1:29:24 PM)
You go girl!!!
By focusing on the exterior, we are shifting the focus away from what truly matters- MIDOS!!!
(6/6/2017 1:30:49 PM)
Someone standing up!
Can someone pls explain to me what mecharcherei riv means ?!
(6/6/2017 1:31:19 PM)
They should talk to the girls openly about sensitive issues and help them express themselves.
Figure out what the underlying issue is.
That's more important.
Shame should never be used to discuss modesty.
Are the staff warm to the girls ?Do the girls feel judged or respected?
There's more to.modesty than blue nail polish.
(6/6/2017 1:40:17 PM)
Beautifully written
I am glad somebody is willing to speak out against the sexism found in our community.
(6/6/2017 1:51:45 PM)
Let's learn
The new set of rules do not say that tznius is more important than bullying, lashon hara, good middos etc. Rabbi Gurary is addressing ONE of the current challenges; modesty with regard to attire and appearance. Although I wish a different approach were to be used, such as education via collaboration, the new set of rules demonstrate the commitment and confidence Rabbi Gurary has to the community and in the parent body and students of his school. There is no doubt about it. The mode of dress here in crown heights leaves much to be desired. When someone is lacking in a certain area, one is supposed to immerse oneself in study of that area in order to gain. Unfortunately, it will likely be signed and only adhered to within school proximity. Beyond that, each person will do what is acceptable to them, so I do not think much is to be gained from this list.
As women, we should be working together in this area. It is a beautiful mitzvah, and there is no need for it to cause such strife or disparity.
Attire is only one of aspect of tznius and it is an important one. The way you dress affects the way you think, the way you speak, and the way you behave. It affects the way others perceive you.
Yes we have issues with lashon hora, bullying, middos etc. Perhaps if we tweaked our modesty it would have a trickle effect in some of these other areas and help.
We can't say lack of modesty is the cause of our issues or the main issue, but to ignore that we have a problem would be irresponsible.
(6/6/2017 1:53:43 PM)
What a Chutzpah Chaya Soro!
You should think before you publicly write such foolish letters. You are obviously very misguided to say the least.

Crown Heights and Lubavitch in general needs many more such leaders to guide and yes sometimes reprimand.

(6/6/2017 1:53:54 PM)
Just to add to those above
His school = His rules.
(6/6/2017 1:54:36 PM)
To # 60 I believe today the problem is people have issue with trusting anyone or having respect for anyone and therefore a lot of this were people disagree with Rabbi Gurary is out of lack of respect for anyone. I don't know who the right person is in today's society that people would respect and knew that he had no agenda other than doing good maybe then there would be no arguments to such an important issue . Moshiac now
(6/6/2017 1:54:53 PM)
"How dare you address 'X' when you are aren't talking about 'Y'?!"

What a silly letter, whatever issue you deal with I can always complain because what about this other unrelated issue that you are aren't fixing.
(6/6/2017 1:55:37 PM)
There is something ugly and not beautiful in the least with detailing to woman exactly how they should be covering their body parts.
(6/6/2017 1:57:57 PM)
Bnos Menachem Parent
I am infinitely grateful for the wonderful chinuch my daughter received at Bnos Menachem. I wish Rabbi Gurary and the entire faculty tremendous brachos for them and their families for helping my daughter to be where she is today. I am happy to abide by what they ask and have tremendous hakaras hatov for the wonderful work they are doing.
(6/6/2017 1:59:55 PM)
Great Letter!
Can we all agree that these standards are NOT halacha? Since when was wearing light nail polish and hair at shoulder length halacha? It's absolutely ridiculous when people try to add rules to Judaism. This is what turns people off. Additionally, it is highly inappropriate for a Rabbi to address women on how to dress.
(6/6/2017 2:00:15 PM)
Love peace light and aseh tov... standards are standards and Torah is Torah and principles are principles.

Nothing more than a distortion of the Rebbes words
(6/6/2017 2:01:50 PM)
The first red flag
For years the rebbe would not allow another girls school besides beth rivkah. Aftet gimel tammuz gurary opens new school against the rebbes clear wishes. So he clearly is no longer within the rebbes group. He has lost his way.
(6/6/2017 2:02:31 PM)
Bravo to you for writing this response, and with your name attached!!
Are there no men's tznius issues that need addressing? No men who wear denim, no men who 'touch' their beards, no men who wear inappropriate clothing.
If people can't see how 'off' it looks for a man to go into such detail about women's clothing, that is proof that our society has reached a very low point indeed.
Also, private school is not the issue, the letter was publicized on COL. That is to what people are responding.
(6/6/2017 2:03:48 PM)
A frankly true response
Ms.Chaya Sara,
Your words speak to my heart. So ever true,couldn't have said it better my self. Thank you for standing up and saying what needed to be said.
(6/6/2017 2:08:04 PM)
Dear Parent:
It's time to send all the Girls To Bais Rivka!!! And Leave "Benos Menachem" with the "Flashlight" And The "Tape Measure" of The Tznius like in Satmar...
(6/6/2017 2:10:44 PM)
Mansplain much?
Any other suggestion for how and when women should talk, walk, cook or parent or shall I say mother? Perhaps we should wear cloaks and change our names to OF[insert husband's name] to minimize objectification.

Beautiful and thoughtful response bringing up pressing and. Overlooked relevant issues that could stenthen the community
(6/6/2017 2:12:22 PM)
Dear Sarah
Your obviously going through a very rough time in your Judaism, and your place in the community. As a father in our community, and as a parent of children in his school, I agree 100% with the outlined guidelines. I don't know you, but chances are you are not a modest dresser, and your children are probably rebellious. As a result, I do not want my children going to a school with your children, bringing your standards into the classroom. Therefore, I send my kids to his school. His school is a place of halacha guidelines along with the proper approach that every Chabad chassid should have. His guidelines for dress are just straight out of shulchun aruch. Being that you have an issue with them, that's why you should keep sending your children to bais rivka and that is precisely why his school is opened. And regarding to Beth rivkah being the rabbes school, I doubt the rabbe would be happy with the current situation physically and spiritually it is a disaster.
(6/6/2017 2:15:48 PM)
I don't keep tznius
Firstly this letter is something I do not agree with and would never ever be able to adhere to. That being said, I would never think to bend the rules of the school and confuse my children. I know who I am as a person and although I was brought up lubavitch and still partake in the community, I know the MO school system is better for me.

I don't get the outrage. If you are unhappy about the schools standards, why send your kids there? Don't try to confuse your children by breaking the rules, they will no longer respect you or authority when you get older.

If this is such a big issue, there are plenty of schools in NY. Don't just send your children to school out of convenience to you.

The most important thing for children to see is that a parent respect the school's rabbis and teachers, without that you are undoing their education. One has to wonder why educate your children to these standards but not keep it yourself?

One must be honest with themselves. This is a private school and all schools have stipulations, dress codes and moral conducts even secular schools do to.

If this is too big of a burden and not a sacrifice worth making, why not try a school where your family more at that level. I just don't get the outrage. Everyone is always complaining about schools but no one is making the effort to commute elsewhere.

This is a private school and if it not being funded publicly, they can make any demands no matter how ludicrous. Just like any other private school in the US. I have catholic friends, who send their kids to catholic private school and the family has a moral conduct to live up to as well. This is nothing unusual to demand.
(6/6/2017 2:18:24 PM)
Why the outrage
When someone tries to improve tznius...
Where's the bigger outrage for the lack of tznius

And yes I'm a proud Bnos Menachem parent that finds these new rules difficult but this response is pathetic...shift the response to those lowering the standards, not to those trying to elevate it....
Looking for a worse problem than one being addressed doesn't solve anything
(6/6/2017 2:18:37 PM)
daas torah
to all know know the matzav of tzniyus became very liberal in our community unfortunately, to the point were the chabad rabonim feel not in place or power to enforce it.. As such private organizations and schools do carry much power. Yasher koach to The principal which has clear views on enforcing finally our chabad standards lost to the control of the masses.
(6/6/2017 2:21:10 PM)

אל יבוש מפני המלעיגים
חזק ואמץ בעבודת הקדושה ה
(6/6/2017 2:22:41 PM)
It's about Chinuch
The author says that Rabbi Gurary is not going to have a positive influence on the mothers. However, he isn't trying to change the mothers. The maidelach are his concern. When maidelach see a mother picking her daughter from school, and the mother is not dressed tznius, it undercuts the whole educational process for all the maidelach that the school works so hard for.
(6/6/2017 2:22:52 PM)
What an empty article devoid of any material substance, clearly motivated by personal anguish about the fact that a male Rabbi is requesting adherence to religious standards from female (mothers and students) who wish to attend his private religious school.

It’s utter lunacy to accuse him of being disingenuous for not openly tackling every issue that afflicts our community. This man is tackling a grave issue that most people wouldn’t dare to, and he deserves an abundance of gratitude from those of us - the silent majority - who still care about the spiritual well being of our community.

For the rest of us, there are always other options, including Beis Rivka, Lamp Fighters, Saint Marks Day School, George Wingate School, and PS 91.

Yeshar Koach Rabbi Gourarie. Keep up the great work.
(6/6/2017 2:28:04 PM)
Dear Sarah
Your obviously going through a very rough time in your Judaism, and your place in the community. As a father in our community, and as a parent of children in his school, I agree 100% with the outlined guidelines. I don't know you, but chances are you are not a modest dresser, and your children are probably rebellious. As a result, I do not want my children going to a school with your children, bringing your standards into the classroom. Therefore, I send my kids to his school. His school is a place of halacha guidelines along with the proper approach that every Chabad chassid should have. His guidelines for dress are just straight out of shulchun aruch. Being that you have an issue with them, that's why you should keep sending your children to bais rivka and that is precisely why his school is opened. And regarding to Beth rivkah being the rabbes school, I doubt the rabbe would be happy with the current situation physically and spiritually it is a disaster.
(6/6/2017 2:28:37 PM)
בחירות לרבניות השכונה
כשקראתי את מכתבה של Chaya Sara Waldman֚ כמו כן מספר תגובות שמופיעים למעלה ־ עלה בדעתי שצריכים לעשות בחירות לרבניות השכונה שהן יורו לנשים את דיני הצניעות ואיך להתלבש (ואולי גם בדיני מראות) ־ מכיון שלרבנים חס ושלום אסור לפסוק בדיני נשים
(6/6/2017 2:30:46 PM)
Missing one clause
The letter from the school is missing a clause.

All rules will be waved for a fee. The school had no problem with parents that have standards lower than Modern Orthodox, they were all wealthy.
(6/6/2017 2:31:10 PM)
Please don't use the Rebbe and his ahavas Israel as an excuse for everything. Yes, the Rebbe had ahavas Yisroel for every Yid but he did also have standards for his community. I'm pretty sure he would fully agree with these guidelines for this school. The tznius in CH is at an all time low!! Do you think the Rebbe would be happy these days with the tznius of CH? I'm not a prime example myself, but whoa some things I see here wouldn't even pass in any MO community. And yes, we have bigger problems than tznius too, but that's irrelevant here. Rabbi Gurary like any head of a school can set standards for the school.
(6/6/2017 2:32:58 PM)
To # 40

Gurary runs a private school for people who dont care about the fact that the rebbe opened BAIS RIVKAH AND put his name on and it is under Machne and Merkas.

Muti opened his school after GIMEL TAMUZ as nobody would dare open another girls school while the rebbe was living.

Muti take your chumros to Gezzaland and maybe not be so cruel with tution and milking parents for everything they got,
(6/6/2017 2:35:54 PM)
No issue with gurary it's his school but...
He's a fanatic but it's his school. All I think is that maybe turning away Jewish children from his school based on the length of the mother's shaitel might be moneiah bar מונע בר which alter rebbe writes in Tanya the harshness of this sin.

Gurary can do more for the community then creating divisions and hatred and jealousy not to mention turning away little girls from a Jewish education just because the mother wears a little b"h shaitel. This further pushes away the company b"h of moshiach.

Every time his school makes a Charidy fundraiser I tell the one pushing it WHY SHOULD I GIVE WHEN HE DENIES LITTLE GIRLS A JEWISH EDUCATION????!
(6/6/2017 2:37:45 PM)
90 comments - now mine
Dear Mrs. Waldman,

I began reading your letter with great interest, as I too questioned Rabbi Gurary's new policies. I must thank you since the responses to your letter clarified everything.

Now I understand WHY Rabbi Gurary instituted these policies. Like most of the previous 90 posters, I too see a major problem in CH & it's getting worse. I see women with sheitels to the waist (if they bother to wear one), almost meeting their skirt lengths. I see girls older than 3, 9 and 12 in short socks, cap sleeves & leggings. Everyone (or so it seems) has a TV, goes to the movies, to goyishe concerts, even casinos. Cholov Yisrael? What's that? There are NO STANDARDS anymore. My children on Shlichus hate coming in, especially in the summer when the amount of exposed flesh is in direct proportion to the rising temperatures.

Like another commentator said - this is something BM can address in their own dalet amot. Credit should be given to the school for taking charge where they can.

Nevertheless, I must give YOU, Mrs. Waldman, a yasher koach for raising other issues that schools and the community must address: bullying, poverty, outrageous, debt-incurring smachot etc. I would add to your list the plight of abused women, single parents, yesomim, agunot and more. BUT - Rabbi Gurary is focusing on one thing at the moment. To be fair, do you know that he doesn't look after parents who fall into these categories, or bullied students? I don't either.

Lastly, I also admire your openness in giving your name. Was it wise to do so, considering the vitriolic way you wrote? I would say not, but you have the courage of your convictions, and that is very rare these days.
(6/6/2017 2:41:38 PM)
Waldman doesn't question Gurary's right to make any rules he wants for his school. Nor does she question anyone's freedom to send or not send children to the school. So let's put that to rest: he has a right to impose whatever rules he wants onthe school, and no one is forced to go to that school.
What Waldman says is this: Aidelkeit and kedusha are the core of our living. But Gurary's - and others' - definition of aidelkeit and kedusha as being little girls legs exposure is simply a wrong definition. She pointgs out that 'aidelkeit' is dignity and modesty in all areas of life, not just socks. And kedusha is about much more than womens skirts or shirts or nails or earrings.
This is the main point: if it's realy about aidelkeit and kedusha, let's not make it about body parts.
And, more important, this has never worked!!!! Years and years of focus on hems and necklines have not made this community more 'tznius' conscious - just more judgmental.
(6/6/2017 2:41:55 PM)
to #12
you respect Chaya Sara Waldman for signing her name?? there is no Chaya Sara Waldman. its a fake name, obviously. when you criticize someone publicly like this it should be IMPERATIVE to sign a real name.
(6/6/2017 2:43:27 PM)
Thank you Rabbi Gourarie !
(6/6/2017 2:44:06 PM)
Pretty sad
Collive will warm their hands on any controversy. It was a private letter to parents body, all this media outrage is for views / clicks, nothing more.
It took two full days to take down stupid Mendy Pellin video, because who would in their right mind refuse the enormous traffic it generates?
When Rabbonim warned bout news sites, we all assumed they just want silence. But what is really true is that it's a media business, and it has very logical rules, where traffic is a king and [manufactured] controversy is a king of traffic. Same as MSM.
(6/6/2017 2:47:04 PM)
Is THIS okay???
He keeps a tape measure to inspect if the skirt is mid-calf. Is THAT okay???

He feels the shoulders if they are padded when deciding sheitel is past shoulders. Is THAT okay???

e looks up and down the woman, examinimg her if there is anything to see. Is THAT okay????
(6/6/2017 2:47:46 PM)
Advice to all
This is not an argument that there is a real winner
From experience with litvishe and satmar and our youth
Before yo come out with any fatwa dcree make sure its 1000% according to ש'ע
Our children are not idiots they will grow up and they will scream מהיכן דנתוני show me where it says in ש'ע
If you can't show them then you have blood on your hands
(6/6/2017 2:47:51 PM)
יישר כח הרב גורארי
שמעתי מא החסידים שהרבי מבעלז זצ"ל היה אומר ש"על צניעות צריך לצאת בחירוף נפש".

אכן חוצפה מהרב גורארי לצאת בכזו הצהרה..
אולם חוצפה גדולה יותר היא לצאת נגד הרב גורארי..

מכל התגובות הבנתי שאמנם אש אחזה בעצים והוויכוח רק איך לכבותה ..
אני מוכן לשמע מכל א על עיצה טובה ומועילה יותר.
לעת עתה כל הזועקים היום היו דוממים בעת האחרונה...
יישר כח הרב גורארי.
(6/6/2017 2:50:12 PM)
YES YES YES! As a Bnos Menachem graduate I came say that we had so many feelings surrounding this obsession with the details of how we dressed. We felt so neglected in other ways- emotionally, psychologically, mentally- but that was never a priority for the "esteemed holy hanhallah" of Bnos Menachem.
(6/6/2017 2:50:34 PM)
Expecting a dress code is usual practice in schools,businesses etc.I recall a very prominent public visitor to our London mosad.asking her aide to fetch a cardigan from her car when she saw and appreciated how it is correct to dress there.She was respectful and praised the school for maintaining high personal standards.
(6/6/2017 2:53:28 PM)
to #156
Your children go to school with my children.
And our children are in a schoo where high schoolers learn to be very cagey about what t hey wear and where they wear it. Don't think for a single minute that BM girls are any more tzniusdik than BR girls (and this goes for Bais Chaya Mushka also). The 'imposed' rules don't enter their heart. Listen to your own daughters if you don't believe me.
(6/6/2017 2:54:30 PM)
ok lady make sure you and your family keep everything in the Torah, ALL THE RULES OF THE SHULCHAN ARUCH and you wont need anymore letters
by you writing this letter you have only done one thing you have taught your children to be disrespectful .

(6/6/2017 2:55:41 PM)
Let's learn.
In response to this comment:

"By wondering what the role is here for the husband who signs this letter – is it to inspect and approve his wife before she leaves the house? "

[When a woman] violates the faith of Moses or the Jewish faith, and similarly, one about whom is issued a scandalous report, her husband is not compelled to divorce her. If he desires [to remain married], he need not divorce her.

Nevertheless, even when her husband does not divorce her, she is not entitled to a ketubah. [The rationale is that] a ketubah was ordained by our Sages so that a husband should not consider the divorce [of his wife as] a light matter. Our Sages were concerned only with modest Jewish women. This institution was not enacted for women [who act] wantonly. On the contrary, let their husbands think that divorcing them is a light matter.
(6/6/2017 2:55:45 PM)
thank you
יישר כח! ( how interesting that when you respond in such a dignified clear manner some respond that it's shaming maybe because our frum culture is accustomed to having women bashed and humiliated in the name of tznius or whatever they call it. Time to examine our motives,
(6/6/2017 2:56:09 PM)
I am a woman who struggles with some of these rules, but B"H at least I know that I am wrong and I try to reach a higher level. The pritzus has gone so far, that we need to go in an opposite direction to bring it back. Thank you Rabbi Gurary for attempting to have the same standards as in a regular Beis Yaakov!
On another note, this post is a disgusting attempt to shame someone publicly.. someone who is trying to bring kedusha back to our families. Nobody is perfect, so don't let that lose the point of the message.
Interesting to note: all the women up in arms that a man wrote this - does that make you feel uncomfortable to know that your dress is causing men to look at you? You would rather not know, I'm sure,but the fact is it's no chiddush that all the men notice your provocative clothing and its time to do some soul searching.
(6/6/2017 2:57:45 PM)
I am wondering if it would have been better to say the mothers are required to come to classes teaching kabolos ol, the Rebbe's sichos to ladies, and the laws of tznius and then after coming to the classes a number of times, to require this dress code.. It seems that ladies who may be dressing in a manner not fit for a Bas Melech may not be exposed to learning the Torah that Hashem entrusted us with.
(6/6/2017 2:59:28 PM)
Where are the husbands in all this? How can they want the general public to view wives and daughters partially unclothed?
(6/6/2017 3:04:34 PM)
Each challenge is important enough to be adressed on its own.
So many of you are saying what about this or what about that... Yes unfortunally there are other challenges we face as well. But that doesn't negate the fact that each challenge needs to be adressed. Now one person got up ans adressed this challenge and hopefully it will affect the other challenges as well. But it all starts with one good step in the right direction.
(6/6/2017 3:06:25 PM)
As principle of a girls school....
is it rabbi gouraries place to tackle poverty in the neighborhood? excess spending at simchos? neighborhood politics? he is educating girls according to the shulchan aruch and when parents of those girls openly contradict what he is teaching he is letting parents know that it isnt acceptable. of course, "mrs waldman" is free to send her daughters to any other school whose principle isnt so demanding.
(6/6/2017 3:11:32 PM)
We need more Motty Gurarys in this community
Crown Heights became a zoo
(6/6/2017 3:13:32 PM)
It became the normal!??
This what happens after 22 years with the rebbe hidden from are eyes, chabad women don't need to be tznius anymore
(6/6/2017 3:14:33 PM)
To 169
The Jews wanted a king to like the other nations, now you want Chabad to be like belz. Please join belz, they are very tzanua.
(6/6/2017 3:17:11 PM)
Thank you Rabbi Gurary!
Although making some of these changes such as shortening my Sheitel is extremely hard for me, I have to admit that I always felt it was wrong to wear such a loud Sheitel. However with time I became desensitized, and told myself that if everyone is doing it then it must be OK.
I am sure you knew that there would be a backlash to your letter, and I'm sure you would rather have the principles sign it, but you had no choice. I respect you for doing this, and this strengthens my confidence that I have made the best choice by sending my daughter to your school! Not only is she getting the highest standard of education, this is helping me in my own personal struggles as well. Thank you so so much!
(6/6/2017 3:19:07 PM)
B"D should do the same
The B"D of C"H should also put strong Tznius rules for the Shcunah (Just like Rabbi Ashkenazi is doing so strongly in Kfar Chabad, and) just like Rabbi Gurary did for his school... Tznius situation in CH is a total disaster...
(6/6/2017 3:24:12 PM)
155 ???
Putting the holy moisad the friediker rebbe founded with greatvself sacrifice in the same sebtence as a non jewish school???
(6/6/2017 3:24:55 PM)
Hashgacha protis
See today's hayom yom. Only a true friend will point out your spiritual failings.
(6/6/2017 3:27:41 PM)
This whole article is just politics propoganda
I really wonder what the writer's real intentions are, probably politics, or some Machlokes they must have had with Motti Guerary, definitely not holy intentions, and shame on COL for fanning this silliness,
(6/6/2017 3:28:29 PM)
You forgot one thing, Ms Waldman
You forgot to mention the REAL problem with the publishing Of his letter.

You forgot to mention how tznius is used, BLATANTLY, as an EXCUSE to remove any persons they don't like or feel is 'gezhe' enough for their 'holy school'.

You may be the most Tznius Chabadnik, but you can never escape the Bnos Menachem hipocracy of all things Ahavas Yisroel.
(6/6/2017 3:28:52 PM)
One of the signs of MOSHIACH
It is said that before Moshiach comes one of the signs will be "Chutzpah yasgey" Which means there will be abundant of chutzpah.

Sadly this is clearly such a case. Women who call themselves Chabad chasidim refuse to dress accordingly and when a rabbi stands up for what's right they have the chutzpah to complain.

I repeating argument that men have no right telling women is also not a chasidishe frum argument. this is an argument used by liberal feminists who are pro choice i.e. pro abortion. In other words, this argument can be used by women to not obey any halochos at all since they are all written by men. The absurdity of this argument by Chabad women is astonishing. Why don't we all go and join the Reform movement and call it a day?! Wake up!

We are Chabad! We are chasidim! We should also dress to reflect that. Tznius is a real embarrassment in CH!
(6/6/2017 3:38:56 PM)
הן נכון אשר (בניגוד ליוצאי אונגארן) בליובאוויטש מעולם לא הי' "קאך" בצניעות ואיך הנשים לובשות וכו' (אנשי אונגארן מדברים על לבושי הנשים בכל עת– החל מהאדמו"ר שלהם אפילו ביוהכ"פ בתפלת כל נדרי וכו') מ"מ אולי לאחרונה בחב"ד צריכים קצת תיקון בתחום זה.

אולי לא באופן שהרב גורארי' עשה את זהץ

אבל יש לעיין בכל זה

(6/6/2017 3:46:35 PM)
ממנו יראו וכן יעשו
Time for Beis Rivka to set some standards too. I have the greatest respect for Rabbi Gurary for setting standards in HIS SCHOOL. What a chutzpah of this letter writer to bash him for holding onto values. The outrageous lack of tznius in crown heights needs to be dealt with!!!! Any person can decide what they want in their house. If they don't want smoking they can say no smoking here. And the pritzus here is way more toxic than smoke!!!!!!! It stinks
(6/6/2017 3:46:54 PM)
Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth told her new grandaughter-in-law after she got married; you are now the wife of the man who will be king, the mother of another future king. You must dress the part.
Are bnos yisroel any less?
(6/6/2017 3:48:19 PM)
Interesting and to #10
I do love this appropriate response to the letter and agree with it. However, at the end of the day, a private school is a private school, he can make the demands he wishes because of this.

To number twn, he charges what he does so that the teachers can get paid! What do you think happened to bais rivka! Running a school costs an exhorbitant amount of money, which he fundraises for and pays for, but you NEED tuition money. School can't be free loaded for the majority of families, its just not sustainable.
(6/6/2017 3:49:59 PM)
What happened to we will accept the Torah
Is it no wonder that this generation has no respect. The mothers, the fathers, set the example for the kids. We are losing so many due to our lack of pride in our halachahs, minhagim and chumrahs. What would be so terrible if the mothers and fathers all took upon themselves to follow these new rules. Show respect for the administrators. Men should also be required to follow standards. Basically anything we as lubavitchers would be ashamed to go before the Rebbe for dollars is inappropiate. We all know what those standards are. We have become lax and lenient because of fashion, price and convenience. I too have become complacent and guilty. I love my denim skirts. They have pockets for keys, and my phone and so practical, hardly ever show dirt. But I will rethink and look for other options. I don't have kids in school anymore.
Bubbie Feigie
(6/6/2017 3:53:10 PM)
to #178 Marge
Husbands haven't had a say in what their wive's wear for many years now.

We are a walk-on-eggshell society. If a husband even hints that he is unhappy with what his wife is wearing he (and his wife) will end up in marriage counseling within a week. In all likeliness, the wife will fire back at him with a straw man argument like "you are not so frum either, because you didn't go to shul for shacharis etc."

And if you think that father's have a say in what their daughter's wear... well let's just say LOL.

To answer your question: the vast majority of men do not want other men gawking at their wives or daughters, but they can't control that either.
(6/6/2017 3:53:56 PM)
to the OP
CH is not ment to be a Chabad house.

That does not mean we don't accept people etc.

It means that our schools and institutions are creating the ones who will go out to make chabad houses.

Obviously, we live in a time we're we need to "act" in a chabad house style... But that does not mean we are free to behave like the ones who we are supposed to be bringing closer.

I don't necessarily agree with the specifics of Rabbi Gurary'srules but he has the absolute right and obligation to hold anyone who can have any affect in his school to a halachic standard.
(6/6/2017 3:54:47 PM)
The Responses make the Writer's Point.
Having read the responses to this letter, I find it intriguing that no one has meaningfully commented on the many, and significant, issues raised. It appears that for all its declarations of piety, the community focuses only on the external and ignores matters of great importance e.g. child abuse in all its forms, disparaging members of the community (in front of the children you are so intent on educating properly!) and so on. Your responses suggest you are more interested in band-aids (i.e., covering elbows and knees) than dealing with actual issues. Shame on you!
(6/6/2017 3:54:48 PM)
Things sure have changed! 20 years ago those standards were a given. AND the idea that men (rabbonim) should be able to ductate how women behave with their bodies was standard too! I agree with letter writer, but maybe she should consider whether maybe it's orthodox Judaism she takes issue with rather than just R. G.
(6/6/2017 3:59:34 PM)
To #9
Well said
Great great Post
(6/6/2017 4:00:06 PM)
To the author
Thank you for echoing what so many of us woman and parents have been feeling.
(6/6/2017 4:01:35 PM)
About Rabbi Gurary
It is his school and he can run it anyway he likes! In my opinion I think this Rabbi is very brave!
If you don't like the way he runs it don't have your daughter attend his school but if I had a daughter i would be proud to have her recived her education at his school. I like when people take a stand and this is what this Rabbi is doing.
BTW I'am not from Crown Heights.
(6/6/2017 4:02:25 PM)
I don't understand, how come throughout the United States and Canada the high schools are allowed to be as picky as they would like, and nobody shouts nobody yells everybody just follows the rule. The tuition rates are astronomical and nobody cares, I think that Rabbi Gurary should have planned it a bit more with packed but at the end of the day these are the rules and the parents need to adhere to them if they want their child in that school.
(6/6/2017 4:03:48 PM)
More shocking than lack of understanding
Way more shocking is this letter writer's blatant disrespect for Halacha. Shocking indeed that such trash can be posted here
(6/6/2017 4:03:57 PM)
if im not mistaken #183
Im not sure where I read this..maybe someone knows.. The Rebbe once said that we have what to learn from Beis Yaakov from their tznius
(6/6/2017 4:07:05 PM)
So so beautiful that all the comments here are against this woman! How beautiful Chabad is! We know what's right....Majority of the 178 comments are towards rabbi Gaurary! Ashreinu !
(6/6/2017 4:07:23 PM)
Her point?
I think the author is saying that the problem with the principal enforcing a standard of tznius is that tznius implies inwardness and when tznius dress codes are enforced it sort of negates the inwardness a woman should feel. Someone can force someone to do something but when the force is taken away, the thing that was enforced, such as dress, might be rebelled against because it wasn't absorbed b'pnimius. The Rebbe said that everyone can increase in their levels of tznius. Perhaps some women don't understand why denim or long shaitels might be considered against standards. The principal might be better off insuring everyone, including the parents, has mashpios that they regularly contact and, the school might consider having classes or symposiums for parents.
(6/6/2017 4:08:58 PM)
Anyone who wants a school with Torah true values now knows they bnos menachem is the place to go. Great job letter writer. By exposing your own distorted views you help intelligent people realize how important a good school like bnos menachem is-- to protect their children from influences such as yours
(6/6/2017 4:10:50 PM)
to those who said not proper for man to tell woman how to dress
So who wrote "Beautiful Within" Who wrote "modesty, an adornment for life" who wrote "glory of the kings daughter".
When I, a woman, have doubts about clothes I want to buy, I describe them to a rav, not a woman, and I get a PSAK, not a personal feeling.
(6/6/2017 4:15:10 PM)
Of course a private school, especially a religious school, has every right to set standards for the dress and conduct of its students, and to encourage the parents to support those standards at home. And I have long wondered how other frum communities are looking at the community here, which is supposedly a chassidishe neighborhood, and what impression they are forming of Chabad as a result. But this article makes some very good points about where our priorities ultimately should be. Should Crown Heights be known as a place where you can't leave the house without someone remarking on the shortness of your daughter's skirt or the length of your son's hair, but the fact that their winter coats are two sizes too small somehow escapes notice? Because that is the experience of far too many families living here.
(6/6/2017 4:21:04 PM)
u said there is a problem with lohson hara...well everyone here is just adding to it
(6/6/2017 4:23:07 PM)
It is honestly sad to see that while each comment is trying to stand up for one side, in the process they are hurting the other side. I feel that yes, tzniout is important but at the same time every challenge and issue has to be approached in the right fashion. As the teenagers who are being told to wear tights they probably don't appreciate the judgment and strict rules coming from their rabbi and of course as the rabbi he probably has good intentions but when it comes to solving a problem at the end of the day the person who is going through the problem has to accept the advice to grow. A revuke that comes from the heart will go to the heart and eventually effect the person in a positive way. So I think yes it was important to have rules but important as well to make sure to approach people with more love.
(6/6/2017 4:24:20 PM)
Best defence is offence?
You expect a school to address all community issues?
They're trying to enforce basic rules for the parent body.
So you attack them with all community issues?
Because? You're offended?
Maybe take an objective look within and at yourself
(6/6/2017 4:25:05 PM)
Rabbi Winer's sefer on tznius
I heard that the rebbe was rushing rabbi winer to publish his sefer on tznius, and using the words יפה שעה אחת קודם meaning: the earlier the better.
(6/6/2017 4:27:21 PM)
Tone of Letter Disrespectful
You are welcome to disagree with the rules... but this letter is over the top and totally off-the-mark. Write a nicer response and we'll talk.
(6/6/2017 4:29:01 PM)
Kabel Es Haemes mimi sheamro
Even if you don't agree with who the messenger is accept the message.
(6/6/2017 4:33:40 PM)
I wish Beis,Rivkah will do the,same!!!
It's a disaster there!!! Maby they should start with wearing a sheitel and not walk like in the beach!
(6/6/2017 4:37:20 PM)
An Understanding Approach
His harsh approach is what got my daughter kicked out of his school after having been there for over 10 years. Instead of treating her kindly to find the root of her problems, he blamed it all on tznius and that was the end of her Jewish education. Today she is totally OTD and hates Yiddishkeit with a passion. I am not saying that she is NOT at fault but they could have dealt with her differently. In this case you cannot blame the mother, as I am a proud chassidishe woman who is very tznius.
(6/6/2017 4:39:35 PM)
Dear Author
If you were told that women have rights and voice in judaism - then you are misinformed. The reality is- women do not have the same rights as men do in Orthodox Judaism. Women supposed to follow rulings of rabbis and male community leaders. Their husbands have the last say in most matters pertaining to wives. What we see in the streets of CH is a rebellion, a result of men ruling women, a result of obsession with women's body (as you stated). I suggest that instead of wasting your life and energy, find another branch of Judaism or at least another community where women rights are supported and women are respected as individuals.
(6/6/2017 4:41:17 PM)
שכונת המלך
הרבי אמר כמה וכמה פעמים שהצניעות של נשות קראון הייסט משפיעה על כל העולם ועל בגשמיות בפשטות! אם כל מי שבעד כותב המכתב הנ"ל יש לו בעיה עם ההלכה לא עם הרב גורארי, יש לו בעיה עם הקב"ה, יש לו בעיה שלא מסוגל לראות שמישהו מציליח, מישהו שאומר את האמת בפנים! מישהו שאיכפת לו! מתי תתעוררו כשהילדים שלכם יתחברו עם ההיפיס שמסתובבים בשכונה, ממש שועלים ילכו בו!!!!! בושה לכותב השורות וישר כח עצום לרב גורארי שהעלה נושא כאוב והכרחי זה על גבי האתר! אם אינכם מסכימים איתו מה מעשיכם בקראון הייס לכו ל לשכונות הפתוחות שאין מימנהיג שאין מי שיעיר לכם גם שתלכו בבגדי חוה אמינו! ליראי שמים יש בעיה גדולה להסתובב בקראון הייסט בגלל חסרידעת כמוכם! צניעות היא אחת ובנוסף מי נתן לך רשות להלבין פני חברו ברבים מנין ההיתר?!?! שזה לבד כמה לאווים!
רביי גוארי אנו גאים שיש מי שמדבר בשם רבים מאיתנו! ושירבו כמותך בישראל!
די לחוצפה! די להתבוללות! די לפריצות!
(6/6/2017 4:41:31 PM)
Lol how the mighty have fallen
I showed the dress code to my conservadox friends and they didn't see the outrage!

When I became frum 15 years ago I was told that leggings were forbidden only because it might cause one to wear a shorter skirt or go without socks, just an extra fence which was proven to happen. The crazy thing those that once taught me about tznius no longer adhere to it.

I wish shluchas also had this dress code, not one shlucha in my area wears stockings, all ear open toe shoes, leggings and no socks, always brightly manicured and super long shaitles. While the neighboring traditional community may not be tznius to chabad standard they are definitely more modest and often point out why chabad women dress provocatively.
(6/6/2017 4:44:50 PM)
Tznius is the foundation.
I'm sure that the principals wrote the letter, just signed by Rabbi Gurary. Tznius is the foundation of our observance. It effects are children as well, maybe if we start with that everything else will improve as well!
(6/6/2017 4:54:24 PM)
Agree with 9
This article is completely over exaggerated, and totally inappropriate.
Halacha is Halacha, and I haven't yet heard of a Moses who came and told us all that it changed.
Publicizing such an article is utterly disgusting, and quite unbelievable, as who can give himself the right say all the things written here? Who can allow himself to take the Rebbe's words, and translate into hetairim and leniencies the Rebbe never spoke of?

In this article, you write about the wrong of judging others. What exactly has been accomplished through the publication of your letter if not that??

I'm in complete shock of what's been written in the letter, as well as in the comments.

To all you who write about agreement with this letter, I highly suggest you think about this again, and again, and if necessary, again.


I haven't read Rabbi Gurary's letter. But regardless of what is written there, this cannot be accepted.

I hope everyone rethinks and if necessary, relearns, the proper way we do and say things.

Good luck.

(6/6/2017 4:55:41 PM)
To Trim a Beard
Is an ISUR MIN HATORAH and Tzinis is only Darabonim...

(6/6/2017 4:56:56 PM)
the contract you will never see
imagine a school that required parents to sign they won't have sinas chinam or say loshon hora or do other things against bein adam l'chavero
(6/6/2017 4:57:18 PM)
Ten Yad Hachnosas Kallah
Thank you Rabbi Gurary for taking a stance on this vital - I cant agree with you more!

Since I was a recipient of the great Chesed of Ten Yad - hachnasas kallah, I feel that I must take a stand when your ahavas yisroel is being publicly questioned and thank you you publicly for all that your organization has done for me when I got married.

This reminds me of Pinchas who was able to be the ultimate kanoye, davke because of his great ahavas yisroel.

Mrs Waldman and COL, you both owe the Guraries a public apology
(6/6/2017 5:01:49 PM)
Thank you!
Thank you for signing your name to your letter. I love your guts, and honesty and finally someone who will tell it like it is! Don't be afraid to say what you feel. Beis Rivkah is not the end all. Be mindful, be yourselves, teach your daughters to stand up for basic human rights, while respecting themselves. Because I promise you, BR will not teach them that. Light colored nail polish, short sheitels and submissive behaviors, will not teach them that. YOU will, as her mother and role model. Sing it woman!
(6/6/2017 5:02:54 PM)
If they're taught to be tznius from the age of 5 eg. "sit tzniusly. cover your knees." Then when they grow older they'll naturally feel it is important. If you only start telling them to be tznius when they're 10/12 they won't necessarily feel it and keep to it.
(6/6/2017 5:11:25 PM)
out of towner
I agree with Rabbi Gurary in making a parent consent letter to up the ante in the tznius standards of CH.
BUT I dont agree with all of the conditions.
Its one thing to ask parents to sign that they will follow HALACHA - that is what is expected of every Jew, and its not a matter of "personal preference".
Its a completely separate issue to ask women to take on extras. As much as they are Minhag HaMakom and community standards, and these need help too, nail polish and denim and sheitel lengths are not HALACHA, and one cannot push that onto someone who will not listen.

P.S. to all those who feel that tznius is a personal decision - its 100% not. as believing Jews, we follow the Torah and cannot just do what we want because we feel like it.
(6/6/2017 5:19:23 PM)
(6/6/2017 5:20:26 PM)
Very Funny!
I find it very funny that "everyone" knows who's school Bnos Menachem is (Its Mutty Guray's).

However, stop anyone in the street and ask "Who's school is Bais Rivkah? Who is in charge and responsible"? No one will have a clue what to answer!!

I just find this hilarious!
(6/6/2017 5:22:07 PM)
Addendum to #227
I'd like to add, that I am a religious, married, mother of 3, who has succeed in life both educationally and professionally, not because of, but rather in spite of BR. As a parent, you need to decide what you feel is important for your daughter. Is it a skirt that covers the knee when she is sitting? Or is it a Masters degree in Social Work? Where is her contribution to society most profound? BR only (literally) stood in the way of my higher education, because of the length of my socks. I'll repeat, they would not release my high school records, because of the length of my socks. There is no place for that behavior from grown ups in a normal society. I will leave you to your own conclusions.
(6/6/2017 5:28:51 PM)
this is nuts
its so much fun to read the comments #nomorenetflix #colliveentertainment
(6/6/2017 5:31:53 PM)
Finally someone does something about the tznius issue in crown heights and everyone bashes him! As a private school he can make up any rules he wants! You don't have to send your children there but if you do keep the rules! Why should I have to send my kids to schools with lower standards? We have enough schools with no standards at all in crown heights! Thank you Motty Guary!
(6/6/2017 5:32:09 PM)
What a response! We should have CNN come in and stage a protest in front of the authors house as well as the school. That way we cover both sides.
(6/6/2017 5:32:15 PM)
And men don't count??
What about the men? Why aren't they addressed??
Shaved beards, short Kapotas, flip flops, shorts....
(6/6/2017 5:35:01 PM)
Some thought s
What about the fathers dressing modestly? Why only mothers? Is it any different when the mens shirts are umbuttoned way to low, their pants are almost as tight as leggings? Their shirts as tight as a bathing suit?
A school is allowed and should set standards for their school. If a private school wants to attract a certain crowd then they have all rights to. However, womans dress is not the only modest issue effecting our community. Mens dress has an effect on us as well. Little girls dress is not the only problem. Little boys dress is alsp having an effect. When you see a 4 year old boy wearing extremely tight pants or a tank top it has am effect on our community the same way a 4 year old girl not covering her knees does. So rabbis, men, boys, my message to you is to please take your modesty into account. Please try fixing he way you show your body, while us woman work on our modesty.
Schools please keep to yout standards, parents please send your children to their appropriate schools. If you are sending your kids to a high standard school then please respect the high standards. Just as you wouldnt send your gifted child to a regular school, you would send them to a gifted school.
(6/6/2017 5:38:00 PM)
Cannot believe this is posted
What ever happened to Chinuch?
Did we not just celebrate the holiday of children, our guarantors?
Did we not just rejoice in the Torah, Halacha and Chassidus that was given to us to be up-kept by our children?

If we cannot keep our traditions and pure Halacha alive ourselves, how can we ask of our children to?

How can we expect our children to love these Halachos and see the beauty of what we are meant to do, if we go about speaking negatively about them and about those who observe and ask others to observe them?

Just some food for thought.
(6/6/2017 5:41:48 PM)
Why blame him
I bet there were rabbanim involved in this. I'm unsure if I should say I hope so.
(6/6/2017 5:41:57 PM)
Why make the daughter suffer
Why should the daughter of such a mother get any less of a chinuch?
(6/6/2017 5:43:07 PM)
To 227
the article is talking about בנות מנחם
(6/6/2017 5:45:18 PM)
Please, please remove this article.
It's bringing lots of unnecessary, and even rude responses.
And, the article itself is plain Halbonas Penei Chaveiro Borabim. You don't have to look to hard to notice that.
There are apologies owed here, and I think the Halacha is that they must be done barabim just as the Halbona was.

Shame on all who agree with this article.

Shame on those who are okay with the fact that children of the Rebbe have stooped this low.
(6/6/2017 5:48:51 PM)
Please explain
What in the world is wrong with denim???Im serious.where and how does tznius get attached to denim-how did this even become a tznius issue???help me understand this phenomenom.
(6/6/2017 5:51:46 PM)
(6/6/2017 5:52:46 PM)
I wish
My girls had the opportunity to go to a school that would stand up for their values proudly like this one!! And yes, fathers should sign the letter because if their wives need help and encourage nteractive to adhere to tznius then they have an obligation to help people them. Additionally Chabad is about spreading light, but that doesn't mean accepting all behaviours - remember the Rebbe said to bring ppl up to our levels, not us down to theirs. Finally, the hayom yom the just today was to cherish rebuke as it puts you on a higher level! Thank you Rabbi Gurary!!! Kol hakovod and may others learn from you!
(6/6/2017 6:00:13 PM)
Big Idea
sounds right out of feminist handbook. maybe Ms. Waldman can organize a Women's march or something, reading the comments it seems like there'd be a lot of participants!
(6/6/2017 6:02:41 PM)
Comment #25
Yes. Most comments here are just making noise, but Yu have actually heard the writer.
(6/6/2017 6:03:54 PM)
I am a grown woman with grown and married children and grandchildren. I am done with the school system. So I want you to understand where I am at in life. When I hear the "rules" this man makes or any one runnings schools it gives me the urge to flip my wig and put on a pair of pants. If this type of "rules" makes me get that type of reaction, how much more so will a teenager feel? and mind you I dress tznius. if you hold something too tight the instinct is to struggle free. I understand he wants to have a certain standard but he is going about it the wrong way. Schools principles have to make tznius an attractive thing to strive for, someone once told me she had a teacher who did that for them and she felt the love for being tznuis after that. and let me tell you something even if you sign his agreements and are in compliance with this rules this big macher will still pick and choose who he lets into the school. I have someone close to me who did everything requested was even sent a letter of acceptance then they reneged. its great that he wants to maintain a standard but you can't rule peoples private lives. let him have his standards but bottom line is money rules. i wonder really wonder if I donated a couple million if he would mind my sparkly nail poilsh?
(6/6/2017 6:07:10 PM)
maybe if you keep these halachos of tzinus properly we wouldn't see all those problems you mentioned
no child will throw of their yiddishkeit if we were to show them how special it is
and by you writing this letter it shows that you are embarrassed about your tzinus because you feel attacked and therefore wrote this attack.
(6/6/2017 6:11:07 PM)
What goes round comes round
I guess Mrs "Waldman" is most definitely feeling a bit of what she attempted to make Rabbi Gourarie experience . . .
a sense of shame, embarrassment, regret??
Well it appears that 85% of the readers are totally against her post, with its content of pure chutzpa
What goes round comes round, she's getting a taste of her own medicine!
like one of the comments said, if even 5 women get to change their views on tznious, it'll all have been worth it
Still, how sad, that we have been reduced this low:(
(6/6/2017 6:11:45 PM)
I understand.... but it should not be posted on COL. image you saw a letter on COL that said:
Dear ___________,
You this and that and.......

Also its school rules.
(6/6/2017 6:12:00 PM)
to number 229
get a life!!!
(6/6/2017 6:12:20 PM)
thank you
Thank you of being so brave and strong and looking at the pnimiut. This is a wake up call to everyone!
(6/6/2017 6:13:37 PM)
Just a thought
To all those saying "it's his school, he can do what he wants", "don't send your child there if you don't like the rules" etc. it's very hard to switch a child from one school to another when they have been attending the school for so long...
(6/6/2017 6:17:03 PM)
Clarification by the Author
First, I'd like to apologize to Rabbi Gurary for addressing this op-ed to him. It was in response to his letter with new rules for the school which he sent out.

Second, most of these comments seemed to have completely missed my point. It has nothing to do with the right of a school to make rules. Rabbi Gurary has every right to make any rule he pleases for his school.

To me, tznius is core to my life. But in addition to how I dress, I know there’s much more to being a tznius person.

Third, there is something suspect about the argument, "we know there are a lot of other issues, but right now we are talking about tznius" when "right now" is ALL the time. The obsession with skin, hair and fingernails has completely eclipsed many of our other fundamental values in Judaism.

Finally, as some of you have said, it doesn't work. The need for a letter such as this is proof of that. If a mature woman hasn't embraced your version of “refinement" and "beauty" of tznius to the point that she has to be threatened to adhere or leave the school, something is not sticking. How can we ingrain in our girls a personal passion for true tznius that they will want to keep - even when no one is watching. Shouldn't that be the point? Don’t take my word for it – look around and have an honest conversation with one of your graduates. What have her decades in school – of being scrutinized and inspected – how has that helped her integrate tznius into her life? As an educator and a mother, my own experience is that the girls in high school can’t wait to be out of the daled amos of school to cast off these rules.
(6/6/2017 6:19:21 PM)
i love this article
the author put up valid points.
I especially liked the analogy of poverty.More dreadful than red nail polish, is the silent serpent of poverty that poisons the happiness of young families who can barely make ends meet (who attend the extravagant functions of the "role models" of our neighborhood).
(6/6/2017 6:19:48 PM)
Im sorry but i have to say that one person cant think that there gonna change the future of crown heights standards. By being so strict on th girls in school and their parents it results in many more people going the opposite way instead of being more chassidishe. It just makes u distgusted when one person thinks he can take over your life and make you wear midcalf skirts. Additionally, tznuis is not the only focus in life their are many other things to work on before this. I hope we can see a change for the better and stop this tznuis obsession.
(6/6/2017 6:22:05 PM)
I think you're awesome
(6/6/2017 6:23:56 PM)
kol hakoved rabbi gurarie !!!!

well written so true !!!!!

Why mix problems
What you wrote are problems, but so is tznius!!!
Why mix kasha mit borscht???

If bullying, alcohol, lashon hara, etc are problems you see, address them and do something about them!

Doesn't negate what rabbi gurary is doing in his school. Kudos to someone that is setting a standard in tznius (and I don't send to bnos menachem)
(6/6/2017 6:26:37 PM)
To everyone!
No uterus, no opinion!!!

Concerned Bas Yisroel
(6/6/2017 6:28:29 PM)
Chabad is warm and welcoming
But too much Anash in one place, there is always too much free time to increment social rules... to a point they abide to radical views of the world and become very very stubborn and stuck up.
"We got to a tznius all-time low, u know, i know it, common face the truth".
Pfff... b*plz. Whoever supports this rabbi should look into other chassidic groups. Arois fun lubavitch and save us the chilul hashem.

(6/6/2017 6:33:11 PM)
Just saying
The very strong, massive, mind blowing responses to this whole tznious thing, is total proof in itself of just how many people feel and are SO sick and tired concerning this whole topic!

WHAT a reaction! almost unique on COL!

And just by the way on the subject of leggings . . c'mon, its not just leggings! lets face it . . It starts of first with leggings and socks, then moves slowly towards leggings without socks, continuing to the actual length of the leggings slowly getting shorter, with time, thus slowly exposing more and more leg, and finally shortening the skirt slowly but surely
look around you at those who are wearing 'just' leggings, and you'll see for yourself, and thats how it all begins, with everything else too; the sleeves slowly going higher, the tichel slowly getting further and further back on the head! (where ARE the husbands??:( ) till at times its almost off and so it goes on

I add my name to the100's of those who thanked Motty, and continue to applaud him and his efforts!:)
(6/6/2017 6:33:39 PM)
II'm sorry you have to bash halacha because of your own sensitivities and challenges.
(6/6/2017 6:37:00 PM)
Ker a velt
Dear Mrs waldman,
If your so worried about bullying, drugs, loshon hora then YOU should start an anti bullying campaign, make a drug rehab center.....
You see rabbi gurary works in a girls school there he deals with These problems you have a problem with alcohol call the yeshivas
And don't use that dumb librial argument what's a man saying something about a woman - he works there!!!
Or tznius is a private thing... It's clearly not there clear halochos of how to dress, don't use a liberal addittude and I keep halacha - wherever i see fit
What your saying is pure garbage because you dant want to face the fact that now you actually dress tznius - stopping bullying or drugs sounds cool but doesn't take much action here when you have to stop wearing that skirt that you always loved.... All of the sudden your cursing the rabbis out
And if you feel bullying is more important then start an anti bullying campaign
(6/6/2017 6:38:31 PM)
You forgot one thing, Ms Waldman
You forgot to mention the REAL problem with the publishing Of his letter.

You forgot to mention how tznius is used, BLATANTLY, as an EXCUSE to remove any persons they don't like or feel is 'gezhe' enough for their 'holy school'.

You may be the most Tznius Chabadnik, but you can never escape the Bnos Menachem hipocracy of all things Ahavas Yisroel.
(6/6/2017 6:42:57 PM)
Midcalf skirts loveeeee sooo soo soo stylish!! With the יחי pins! Mwa perfect
The chinuch chassiddishkeit and aidelkeit of future ch is crucial and rabbi gurray is trying to help.Thats it! Mwa!
(6/6/2017 6:45:54 PM)
About comments teaching little girls
Should five year olds running, playing, jumping, swinging climbing have to be conscious about covering "their", oh whoops, sorry, "hers"arms and legs? Dressing little girls provocatively on the other hand is also wrong and leggings can be more modest than tight little miniskirts.
(6/6/2017 7:07:20 PM)
Be aware -- Your defense mode is a cover for guilt
Let's step back and examine this letter's overall mood. It reminds me of when a student is confronted with some misdemeanor. Trapped, s/he usually calls out all the other misdemeanors and flaws in the system as a way to deflect from his/her own guilt. That's what happened here. Did this purported 'Waldman' even shed one tear at the dismal, horrifying state of tznius in our community?The writer is clearly defensive about her own standards. Of course we'd love to nurture everyone into loving tznius. How about, instead of hiding the issue behind a comprehensive list of crimes, Ms.Waldman suggests welcoming ways to encourage improvement. We know that in education we need both s'mol docheh and yemin mekareves. Don't knock others' efforts ! Put your talents to work. If you're talented enough to write a letter and get everyone riled up, you're talented enough to influence others in a positive way.
(6/6/2017 7:09:42 PM)
The boys/men
Where are the rules for the boys schools?
Beards,tzitzis,yarmulka colors
Men are also guilty!
(6/6/2017 7:14:37 PM)
I agree with 227
Women need to be educated, empowered and strong.
Modesty is important but let's not get carried away.
One can be modestly dressed and messed in the head.
Women should be centered ,balanced and proud of who they are.Inside and out.
(6/6/2017 7:18:05 PM)
Well said
Well said Chaya Sara Waldman, you are to be applauded to speak out about this nonsence. How dare Rabbi Gurary show such disrespect to women. This is nothing more than controlling, bullying and snooping. Shame on him. I am sure these mothers normally dress very nicely.To attach conditions even down to nail varnish is a sign of very unhealthy power over women, using orthodoxy to do it.
(6/6/2017 7:20:43 PM)
I'm so sorry, Rabbi Gurary!
Sorry you have to go through this now. Thanks for everything, and may you and your family know only health, nachas, and bracha always!!
(6/6/2017 7:22:22 PM)
to number 15
very true. i agree with you
(6/6/2017 7:24:40 PM)
Many of the requirements for mothers (although all appropriate and supported by poskim) are not clear halachic imperatives. But cutting the beard is a clear Torah prohibition according to or Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek and many other poskim. Cutting the beard is as visible and obvious a rebellion against halacha and Lubavitch as lack of Tznius in women. If so, will Bnos Menachem expand its policy to require that fathers maintain full beards?
(6/6/2017 7:25:23 PM)
Rabbis answer questions
I for one send a picture via WhatsApp to a rav who is a friend of the family. Many times i snap it while in the dressing room before i make the purchase. He always responds right away. Im sure rabbi gurary would agree to have us send him pics and he can let us know BEFORE we walk out and cause a chilul witj oir tight clothing
(6/6/2017 7:26:36 PM)
At least it's important to him
In lamplighters there is no dress code ( that's followed anyway) and in order for our children to continue our beautiful heritage there needs to be standards. Parents and students coming dressed however they want will surely not lead to preserving our identity
(6/6/2017 7:32:34 PM)
Somewhat on topic of this oh, so heated discussion
may i ask why Crown Heights, the center of Chabad (aren't we meant to be the role models of the other chassidim and sects of jews?) is selling dresses that are MEANT to not cover the knee? have yalls seen memomaxis advertisement video on youtube (oysh, chas vshalom, youtube! the y word, of course) Isn't Crown Heights the place where out of towners come to shop for clothing, because nothing is tznius at the mall? Rabbi Gorari, kol hakavod. maybe your letter will be the beginning of the painful recovery of Crown Heights. Maybe by the time im a grandma, i can proudly walk my kids down kingston and show them how tznius everyone is, and tell them that Crown Heightesrs are Tznius.....
(6/6/2017 7:49:26 PM)
Go Rabbi Gurary
I stand with you.
Y. E
(6/6/2017 7:54:08 PM)
Thank you Rabbi Motty Gurary
Finally someone's standing up for the Rebbe's words.
Ignore the haters. Your a true shliach
(6/6/2017 7:56:23 PM)
Tznius is mideoiraiso
ולא יראה בך ערות דבר.
(6/6/2017 7:59:44 PM)
Chassidishe yiddishe chinch is most important in a time of of golus like we are in. OY Vey Hashem help US!
(6/6/2017 8:02:06 PM)
Chaya Sara Waldman is a farce for 3 (or more) reasons
1. A quick search online (Tzachlist.com, Google) shows that's a fake name. For all you know this is a pro-eruv, chabad-lite sham trying to take a cheap shot anonymously for someone who is courageously trying to do what Hashem wants.

2. She actually doesn't give a hoot about bullying or Bar Mitzvahs (or any the other values she pretends to care about). These issues were not important enough for her to write an open letter on COL until she needed to "use" these issues to put down the topic that isn't so "convenient" for her.

3. She has no clue or is intentionally ignoring the fact that along with the Rebbe's tremendous Ahavas Yisroel, the Rebbe had a good amount of Gevurah. How many times did the Rebbe scream (yes scream!) at farbrengens regarding people who were doing things wrong. He didn't mail a piece of lekach and two lollipops to shach or the frum MKs in Israel who were selling yiddishkeit for a few $$. The Rebbe was very vocal and critical when things weren't being done right. You will - for the most part - not see this side of things on a JEM video for obvious reasons.
(6/6/2017 8:02:35 PM)
Let's get real here
Dear Bnos parents,
Practically speaking,are we cutting our wigs ?
Are we buying mid calve skirts?The answer is NO.
Make rules that are able to be kept.
Fanaticism doesn't work .
Doesn't sound like he thought this through very much.
Sounds like a list written quite impulsively.

(6/6/2017 8:07:38 PM)
We need to be Mehadrin Min Hamehadrin min Hamehadrin so that our children should be Mehadrin Min Mehadrin.

The standards are only getting lower with every passing year.. thank Heavens someone is standing up and doing something!!

We need more like him!!!
(6/6/2017 8:08:21 PM)
Name is irrelevant
She gets her point acroas very well.
Everyone knows in this community noone can sign their name anywhere without having negative ramifications.
I find the fact that one can't be authentic sadder than a woman sporting colored polish.
(6/6/2017 8:12:47 PM)
Great job for and educated, smart and chassidseh person who REALLY understand Chinuch today!
(6/6/2017 8:15:57 PM)
pathetic that she had to use a pseudonym!!
Pretending to be so brave and signing her name... what a cowardly act. Makes this letter seem all the more foolish.
(6/6/2017 8:18:35 PM)
Thank You
What a respectful, well-written, accurate letter...points made even stronger by putting your name on it. Kudos.
(6/6/2017 8:19:02 PM)
Learn Halacha
אין שום מקור לגדר של “עד הכתפיים”. זאת המצאה של מאן דהו.

והנה יש שהביאו ראיה שסתירת שיער היא פריצות, שבסוטה מצינו שהכהן סותר קלעי שערה, ופירש רש”י (סוטה ח.) “סותר קלעי שערה, מרבה בגילויה שסותר קליעתה”, עכ”ל. והיינו שסתירת קלעי שערה הוא הדגשת הגילוי ביותר, והדגשה זו היא פריצות.

אולם אין זו ראיה כלל, כי שם מוכח רק שסתירת קלעי השיער הוא הדגשת הגילוי, אבל לא מבואר שם ענין אריכות השיער, והאם יש הבדל בין שיער סתור ארוך לקצר, וכמה הוא שיעור האורך המותר. וא”כ, מנלן לחלק בין פאה ארוכה לקצרה, כשכל אופן היא פרועת ראש ואין שערותיה קלועות. ובפרט ששם עיקר הענין הוא לפרוע ראשה ולנוולה, ולא רק להתיר קליעתה, ואין זה דומה לפאות זמננו שהן במראה מסודר.

◄ וכמש”כ הגאון רבי יצחק עבאדי שליט”א, בשו”ת אור יצחק אה”ע סימן ג’:

“ובענין פאה נכרית לאשת איש אי שרי או לא, הנה לפי מה שכתבנו שכל הטעם של כיסוי הראש הוא שלא תיראה מנוולת, וא”כ בפאה נכרית הרי היא מקיימת מצוות הכיסוי שאינה נראית מנוולת, ואדרבה פאה נכרית הרי היא כקליעה, ובקליעה כבר הבאנו ראיה מהגמ’ לעיל דזה נוי לאשה והיפך מניוול. ואף שמשמעות כמה ספרים נראה שטעם כיסוי הראש הוא כדי שלא להראות יופיה, הנה הוא טעות גמור, ומזה יצא להם שאם היא לובשת פאה נכרית יפה זה עוד יותר גרוע, וההיפך הוא האמת.

והנה כתוב מפורש בגמ’ (שבת צה.) ויבן ה’ אלהים את הצלע, מלמד שקילעה הקב”ה לחוה והביאה אל האדם, ע”כ. הרי דהשערות כשהם קלועות הוי נוי, והרי היא מקיימת שני דברים, גם כיסוי הראש וגם שתיראה נאה, וכמו אלה שמכסות ראשיהן במטפחת או בכובע, וכידוע שגם באלה יש מכל המינים, יפים יותר ויפים פחות, ובוודאי שלא יעלה על הדעת לומר לאשה ללבוש מה שפחות יפה, וכל אשה עם הטעם שלה, והרי כל בנות ישראל בנות מלכים הן וראויות הן לאיצטלה היפה ביותר”.

ועוד כתב, “ואף שיש פאה נכרית כזאת שבאמת האשה נראית בהם מנוולת על ידה, באופן שהשערות מפוזרות לכאן ולכאן ולכל ד’ רוחות השמים, מ”מ הרי את ראשה היא כיסתה, והרי היא כלובשת בגד שמנוול אותה [שהרי אין זה שיער מחובר], וזה לא נוגע לדין כיסוי הראש”.

◄ וכן כתב הגאון רבי יהודה שיינפלד שליט”א בשו”ת אוסרי לגפן (חלק ט’ עמ’ קע”ה ואילך), וזה לשונו: “נפק”מ למעשה משיטת המג”א וסיעתו, דאסור גם לבתולות לילך בשיער פרוע… וכפשטות השו”ע באה”ע, ולכן אוסרים על הנערות לילך בשיער ארוך המגיע עד הכתפיים ואינו אסוף. ויש להפליא על זה, שהרי המג”א לא חילק בין שיער המגיע עד הכתף ללא מגיע, ומה שנזכר ברש”י (כתובות טו:) ששערה פרוע על כתיפה (דכנראה משם לקחו גדר זה) כוונתו רק דכן הדרך כשסותרים הצמות, שמתפזר השיער על הכתף, אבל פשוט דגם מי שלא היה שערה ארוך כל כך, כשסותרת הצמות נקרא פרוע, וממילא כשפוסק השו”ע שלא תלכנה הפנויות פרועות ראש, אין חילוק בין ארוך לקצר, כל שהוא פרוע ואינו קלוע כצמות (או עכ”פ קשור יחד, שקוראים קוקו) אסור, ומה ההיתר היום. ואפשר דסבירא להו, דלעולם השיער אין בעצמותו ערוה (עכ”פ בבתולה), רק מנהג צניעות, והכל לפי המנהג, והמנהג כיום כעין פשרה בין המג”א לח”מ וב”ש ודרישה”. עכ”ל.

◄ וגם בדבריו צריך עיון, כי לא תירץ בזה כלום, ועדיין לא מובן כלל מהיכן לקחו שבתולות או נשואות בפאה נכרית אסורות לצאת באופן שהשיער ארוך מן הכתף. ולדרכו של ה”שבילי דוד” שפאה נכרית נפוחה אסורה משום שמבליטה את הלובשת אותה וגורמת למשיכת תשומת לב יתרה, לכאורה הוא הדין גם לאורך הפאה, שאם היא ארוכה באופן מוגזם ויוצאת דופן בין הנשים, הרי זה פריצות, אבל אם ארוכה באורך סביר כפי שנפוץ היום בין הנשים הכשרות, יהיה מותר לשיטתו.

◄ וראה בדברי הגאון רבי שלמה הס זצ”ל, מגדולי הונגריה, בשו”ת “כרם שלמה”, שכתב ליישב את הגמ’ בכתובות (סו:), ש”נתעטפה בשערה” איירי בפאה נכרית, וכדבריו כתב הגאון רבי יהושע שלמה ארדיט מאיזמיר, בספרו “חינא וחיסדא”. ולדבריהם, בוודאי לא מדובר בפאה קצרה, כי לא שייך בה כלל “נתעטפה בשערה”.

◄ ומה שהמג”א אסר לבתולות ללכת בשערות סתורות, הנה האחרונים חלקו עליו בענין זה והתירו, והביאם הגר”ע יוסף בשו”ת יביע אומר (חלק ד’ אה”ע סי’ ג’), שהעתיק את דברי המג”א וכתב ע”ז: “אולם בשיטה מקובצת (כתובות טו:) בד”ה וראשה פרוע, כתב וזה לשונו, פירוש: מגולה, וכך היו נוהגין לבתולה ולא לאלמנה. והא דאמרינן לקמן (ע”ב) ופרע את ראש האשה, מכאן אזהרה לבנות ישראל שלא יצאו בפירוע ראש, י”ל דבנשואות קא מיירי. מליקוטי הגאונים. ע”כ. ומוכח דבתולה שריא לילך בפירוע ראש אף בשערות סתורות, דבכל גוונא קאמר. ורק החילוק הוא בין בתולה לנשואה. וכ”כ המחצית השקל באו”ח שם, שהמנהג שהבתולות יוצאות לרה”ר בשערות סתורות מקליעתן. וכ”כ המגן גיבורים. וכן ראיתי להישועות יעקב באה”ע (סי’ כ”א), שכתב להוכיח במישור מדעת השטמ”ק שאין חילוק בין סתורות לקלועות, ושאף שהמג”א כתב לאסור בסתורות, העולם נהגו להקל ויש להן ע”מ שיסמוכו. ע”ש. ופוק חזי מאי עמא דבר, שאפי’ אצל החרדים לדבר ה’ הבתולות הולכות בפרוע ראש ובשערות סתורות. ולכאורה י”ל שאף המג”א יודה להקל במקום שנהגו היתר בדבר”.

◄ והיחיד שנתן הגדרה ברורה לפאה פרוצה, הוא הגאון רבי משה שטרנבוך שליט”א בשו”ת דת והלכה סימן א’, שכתב שאין שום הגדרה ברורה לפאה כזו: “קשה לתאר או לפרש כללים באיזה אופן הוה פריצות או לא, והעיקר שלא לעורר תימהון, וכגון שערות ארוכות ומסולסלות דהוה כבגדים אדומים שאסרו אז חז”ל, דהוה פריצות שמתבלטת יותר מדאי. וכן כאן אי אפשר לקבוע בזה שום כללים, אלא דבר אחד יש לזכור תמיד, שבצניעות פשוטו כמשמעו שלא תתבלט בתיקון שערותיה שיסתכלו עליה דוקא”.

ממילא י”ל שרק פאה ארוכה באורך מוגזם ויוצא דופן, אסורה, כדין בגד אדום. ולאו דוקא “עד הכתף”.

◄ ומאחר שפאה הרי היא קישוט חיצוני ואין היא שערה הטבעי של האשה שאסרה התורה, יש להביא ראיה להיתר הפאה מהא דאסור להסתכל בבגד צבעוני של אשה, דאיתא בגמ’ (עבודה זרה כ:) “ונשמרת מכל דבר רע – שלא יסתכל אדם באשה נאה ואפילו פנויה, באשת איש ואפי’ מכוערת, ולא בבגדי צבע של אשה… א”ר יהודה אמר שמואל: אפילו שטוחין על גבי כותל”. וכתב רש”י, “לא בבגדי צבע של אשה – שזוכר את האשה כמו שהיא מלובשת בהן שמייפין אותה ומהרהר אחריה” (וראה עוד ביבמות (דף עו.) “אמר אביי: מעברינן קמיה בגדי צבעונין”, ופרש”י: “בגדי צבעונים של אשה, והוא מהרהר באשה ונקרי”). ולמרות שזה גורם הרהורים ומייפה את האשה, וגם האשה לובשת זאת בכוונה שיסתכלו בה הגברים (כדכתב רש”י בפרשת ויחי עה”פ “בני אתונו”: “וצבעונין הוא לשון סותה שהאשה לובשתן ומסיתה בהן את הזכר ליתן עיניו בה”), לא אסרו לאשה ללבוש בגדי צבע, וכן הביא הבית יוסף (או”ח סי’ תקכ”ט): “ובפרק ערבי פסחים (קט.) תנו רבנן, חייב אדם לשמח בניו ובני ביתו ברגל… ר’ יהודה אומר אנשים בראוי להם ונשים בראוי להן, אנשים בראוי להם, ביין. ונשים בראוי להן, תני רב יוסף בבבל בבגדי צבעונין”. וחובת הגבר הוא שלא להסתכל בזה. ורק בגד אדום נאסר ללבישה, מפני שהוא בולט לעין.

◄ וכמו שכתב הגאון רבי בנימין זילבר זצ”ל בשו”ת אז נדברו (חלק י”ד סי’ מ”ז):

“אשה מותרת לצאת בבגדי צבעונין, אף שמדינא אסור להסתכל בבגדי צבעונין של אשה, אפי’ בתלויות בכותל… וכן ביו”ט משמחה בבגדי צבעונין, ולא אמרו שצריכה להתלבש בחוץ בבגדים שחורים. וכל הפרק במה אשה יוצאת המדובר באיסור יציאה בשבת בתכשיטין, משמע דבחול שרי ולא חוששין להסתכלות, דלאו ברשיעי עסקינן שמסתכלים בכוונה על נשים”. עכ”ל.

ומשמע בהדיא מכמה פוסקים שאין נפק”מ באורך או במראה הפאה.

◄ הגאון רבי עזריאל הילדסהיימר זצ”ל (שו”ת רבי עזריאל חלק ב’, אה”ע סי’ ל”ו), כתב: “עתה אני שואל איזהו גבול ישימו בארוכת ורחבת הפאה, אתמהה”.

◄ והגאון הספרדי רבי עובדיה הדאיה זצ”ל, חבר בית הדין הרבני הגדול בירושלים וראש ישיבת המקובלים בית אל, בשו”ת “ישכיל עבדי” (חלק ז’, אה”ע סי’ ט”ז), כתב: “בדין פאה נכרית לנשים נשואות, אם דינה כמו שיער ראשה שאסור לגלותה משום הרהור, דלפעמים היא יותר יפה משיער ראשה ומייפה אותה יותר, ואתי לידי הרהור, וכן משום מראית העין, דהרואה נדמה לו שהן שערותיה ממש… קים להו לרבנן שאין יצה”ר שולט אלא בדבר הדבוק בגוף האשה עצמה, היינו הדבר הדבוק בגוף הערוה עצמה, דאין שליטה להיצה”ר אלא בדבר שיש לו נפש חיונית, לא בדבר שאין לו נפש חיונית, ולכן בנתלש מגוף האשה, דניטל ממנו נפש החיונית, הרי פקע ממנו אותה הערוה שהיתה עליו בזמן שהיה דבוק בגוף האשה, דהרי הוא כפגר מת שאין להיצה”ר שליטה בו”.

◄ וכן כתב מרן הגאון נר המערבי רבה של יהדות מרוקו, רבי שלום משאש ראב”ד ירושלים (שו”ת תבואות שמש אה”ע סי’ קל”ח): “לא אסרו חכמים לאשה שתתייפה כל מה שתוכל, רק שיהיה בהיתר, ועל האנשים לשמור עצמם שלא יביטו בהם. ואם באנו לזה, הלא כמה נשים יפיפיות שאפי’ יכסו ראשן במטפחת ובצעיף, הלא רק מחמת רוב יופיין יש גירוי יצה”ר, האם נאסור עליהם לצאת לשוק או נאמר להם לכסות פניהם כגויים כדי שלא יביטו בהם אנשים. וגם ישנם היום הלובשים איזה כובעים או מטפחות על ראשן יוצאים מן הכלל ובוחרין בזה יותר משערותיהן ויש בזה גירוי יותר מהשיער, האם נאסור להם? גם צורת המלבושים של היום נשתנו, ואע”פ שמותרים ע”פ הדין, יש בהם גירוי יצר שמייפין האשה מאד, האם נאסור להם? אלא ודאי כל מה שהוא מותר ע”פ הדין, בין אם תכסה בבגד, או בשיער, העיקר הוא שלא יהיה מגופה, הוי ליה מלבוש על ראשה, ואין לנו להיכנס אם הוא מיפה אותה או לא, דזהו ענין הגברים שחובתם שלא להביט, ואפי’ תהיה מכוסה בכובע אין ראוי להביט”.

◄ וכן כתב בתורת מנחם להגאון מליובאוויטש זצ”ל, בדרשה שנשא לפני כשישים שנה (תורת מנחם חלק י”ב עמ’ קפ”ח, שיחת ר”ח אלול תשי”ד): “פאה נכרית הוא ענין שנוגע לבנים ובני בנים, לפרנסה ובריאות, כדאיתא בזוהר, שהדבר נוגע לבני חיי ומזוני… ובפרט בזמננו, שאפשר להשיג פאה נכרית בכל הצבעים, והיא נראית יפה עוד יותר מהשיער שלה עצמה, תתבונן האישה בעצמה מהי הסיבה האמיתית לכך שהיא אינה רוצה לחבוש פאה נכרית אלא מטפחת, כיון שהיא יודעת שבנוגע לפאה נכרית אין ברירה להסירה… מה שאין כן בנוגע למטפחת יודעת היא שיש לה ברירה, שביכולתה להסיטה למעלה יותר ויותר”.

◄ וכן הביא בשמו הגאון רבי משה וינער שליט”א בספר “כבודה בת מלך”, שיש להעדיף פאה על מטפחת, אפי’ אם הפאה יפה יותר מהשיער הטבעי של האשה, וביאר זאת בתשובה שהשיב לו וזה לשונו: “הרי זה (שיער עצמה) פריצות ע”י גופה, וזו (פאה נכרית) ע”י דבר זר (דלבוש הראש דומה ללבוש הרגל וכו’)”.

◄ העולה מכל זה להלכה: בוודאי ראוי ונכון להתרחק מהפאות הארוכות מאוד, ובפרט שכיום נוהגות בזה דוקא הנשים שאינן מקפידות כ”כ להלכה, והנוהגת כך נחשבת כאינה יראה. אולם אין להטיל דופי באותן הנשים ההולכות בפאה ארוכה. וגדר עד הכתפיים הוא המצאה של מאן דהו ללא שום תוקף הלכתי
(6/6/2017 8:19:12 PM)
CH mothers have so much on their plate
We need to show how much we appreciate mothers for what they do for their families. They raise large families, they take care of the house, they take care of the husband. Leave these women alone. Don't demand more and more of them. Women have enough rules to deal with in life. Lets us thank all the mothers, love and respect them!
(6/6/2017 8:20:46 PM)
to 283, lets get real
I am a Bnos Menachem Parent.

Yes I will cut my sheitel and wear mid-calf skirts.

I was furious when I first read this letter.. took some time for me to come around... now I see so clearly why this is precisely what is needed now and I am beyond grateful that these are the standards in my daughters school...even if it will be mesiras nefesh and realllllllly hard for me to cut my sheitel :(

These rules can easily be kept if you can take a moment to be open-minded, they are NOT so far-fetched...
(6/6/2017 8:23:30 PM)
Thank you Rabbi Gurary
Not just that he can speak about the dress code in his school ,but I wish all Rabonim all over the world would guide the Neshei and Bnos Chabad with clear rules about tznius of dress ,Sheitel's etc.. That would be true Ahavas Yisroel
(6/6/2017 8:23:37 PM)
"Miss Waldman"
Wow. A new low. Masquerading behind a false name to attack Rabbi Gurary by his name?
Low. Low. Low
(6/6/2017 8:25:01 PM)
Thank you #276
That proves that when there are no guidelines and we just allow anything to go , all goes downhill from there. I'd rather my kids go to a school with frum guidelines and priorities so they go up actin. And looking like frum Jews. Proud of the beautiful heritage we have , as you said.
(6/6/2017 8:27:40 PM)
Amerika iz nicht andersh
This whole letter is nisht geshtoigen und night gefloigen,,,
(6/6/2017 8:33:15 PM)
Kol Hakovod for setting standards
Dear writer,
You are clearly pained with a lot of issues you recognize are facing this community. Do something about one at least. That's what Rabbi Gurary's doing! Kol Hakovod to him.

Interestingly enough, even the secular world has had standards to be a teacher. Although its about 100 years old, someone with values at that time had expectations of teachers. Here it is:
Rules for Teachers - 1915
1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.
2. You are not to keep company with men.
3. You must be home between the hours of 8 PM and 6 AM unless attending a school function.
4. You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.
5. You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.
6. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man except your father or brother.
7. You may not smoke cigarettes.
8. You may not dress in bright colors.
9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
10. You must wear at least two petticoats.
11. Your dresses may not be any shorter than two inches above the ankles.
12. To keep the classroom neat and clean you must sweep the floor at least once a day, scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water, clean the blackboards at least once a day, and start the fire at 7 AM to have the school warm by 8 AM.
New Hampshire Historical Society
(6/6/2017 8:34:58 PM)
dear #10
don't talk like that about someone you clearly don't know, not everyone can handle such a full school like beis rivkah
(6/6/2017 8:37:52 PM)
What we need is ECUCATION!! Not just Halachos. Kabalas Ol is important, but girls need to be taught something deep that they'll internalize. Like self respect and an awareness of Hashem. And tznius should be taught with love, not harshness. Every Jew has a soul, and the only reason why a Jew would sin is because he has a yetzer hara. His essence is inherently good, it's eloikus. Please treat your fellow Jews with ahavas yisroel.
There are a lot of bad things online, etc, and sometimes it is hard not to be affected. It is true that we should not follow our yetzer hara, but doesn't everyone have one?? You can't expect someone to do everything right if you yourself make mistakes.
Life is a journey, and even if a girl won't start being more tznius right away, don't give up on her. Deep down every single Jew knows what's right . It is our job to help each other grow, but the individual will decide on their own. At the end of the day Hashem is the true Judge. The only thing we can do is TEACH, HELP, AND INSPIRE. Moshiach NOW!!
(6/6/2017 8:41:27 PM)
minchag hamacom
Crown heights is a diverse community. It is appropriate to expect halachic standards for tznious. However to favor one look over another is a bit much. Expecting exact specifications for shaitel length, nail polish color is strange. Tznious is a whole affect, it's up to every woman to choose a style that isn't too revealing or calling too much attention to herself and to present herself in a dignified manner. So for example there is a halachic basis to objecting to wearing leggings if the ankle is not covered but if the person wears socks with leggings, it is not a halachic matter, it is a matter of taste/ comfort.
(6/6/2017 8:42:24 PM)
I dont see how the author's letter helps anything. why does one thing preclude the other? focusing on tznius is one thing. And of course one has to focus on loshon hara and all other matters mentioned, plus many more not mentioned. There is nothing wrong to try to raise standards of tznius. People who feel threatened usually have an issue with those things. But in reality it is not wrong. It may not work the way expected but it is okay to try. Nowadays one of the biggest challenges we face is tznius and that is why it meets with so much opposition. It is one of the challenges we need to overcome and in that merit we should have Moshiach.
(6/6/2017 8:44:05 PM)
Chabad "Burka"
Tznius is a major issue. However The Chabad "Burka" is not the answer. In the 80's we had the Tznius police....who 'informed' on girls outside of school if they deviated from dress. Out of town you have boarders who if they ask anyone of the opposite sex for directions could get expelled from School, merely on someone;s say so. Don't push away the families that want to attend your school by imposing restrictive codes that were not even implemented in the 50's!
(6/6/2017 8:45:08 PM)
Chani Vogel
No, I am not sending my daughter to Bnos Menachem. Yes Rabbi Gurary spends hours of his time on a school for girls trying to make sure that they are embued with chassidishkiet. Dear Mrs Waldman (or whatever your name really is) In a democracy like America, the owner of the private school makes the rules. You dont like, dont send. But lets talk about this for a minute. Rabbi Gurary has put his money where his mouth is. What have you done? Aside from using a pseudonym, of course. Rabbi Gurary put hours and time and effort into a mammoth project, what have you done? Aside from leveling accusations on him? (Had you used your real name we would all know what you have accomplished in life.)
(6/6/2017 8:49:22 PM)
AGree with this article!
Although it isn't painful to see the lack of tznius, is it really our biggest problem? Wanting to dress a certain way come from feeling within. We need to focus on larger things like ahavas Yisroel, respect for elders, manners, the real meaning of chassidus and Tanya, a man putting refilling on everyday, davening. Hopefully by Doing that with love and in a fun way, with Hashems help, more trivial things like an elbow being covered will come and will be done lovingly.

It's very easy to blame things on women and tznius since it's the most visible things to point a finger at, but let's not forget that men have a lot to do as well to improve their yiddishkeit. Everyone just worry about yourselves and your own children and teach by love and by setting an example of just being and doing things tzniusly. By being good role models and a listening ear to a child or friend.
(6/6/2017 8:56:03 PM)
R' Gurarie is a genius in his long-term strategy for the school
He waited until the school was packed to capacity with an enormous waiting list before raising the standards of the school.

He will now "lose" (i.e. shed) the non-compliant families with the lower standards and replace them with the families with higher standards that are begging to come in.

A hopefully future parent (begging to get my daughter in - especially after seeing this courageous letter).

Side comment: I think "Mrs. Waldman" is actually Bnos Menachem's publicist who would never have been able to make the school's case as well as the public was able to in these 300+ comments.
(6/6/2017 9:02:42 PM)
LA Morah
Whatever your excuse,please be aware that the horrific lack of tznius today in Lubavitch bashmears and shames the Rebbe. Deal with it.
(6/6/2017 9:05:14 PM)
Sara very nice !!
One that dosnt have the slightest idea of accountability and responsibility, by cowardly hiding her/his name has coments to make about a man who gave up his life for the community!!

There isn't a day that goes by without a heavy Decision being made weather regarding an individual child or financially to keep the teachers on the pay roll, a man who puts his money were his mouth is, and some no name coward who cant even put a name were his mouth is !? has what to say in such a disrespectful manner !?
(6/6/2017 9:05:52 PM)
Parents beware
Next year:
He's going to implement the Rebbe's hora'os regarding limudei chol (minimal, after 9 yrs old, after 12 yrs old etc. like Beis Chaya Mushka) and then the school will be able to be proud of both their yiddishkeit (tznius, middos, metchlichkeit etc.) and chassidishkeit (limudei kodesh, hiskashrus etc.)
(6/6/2017 9:06:34 PM)
to 69 DITTO
i had my girls at bnos menachem . the admin were pure evil to us regarding money, the hypocrisy on haskofa, the coldness we felt by all , amongst other integral issues there , this made me bitter , misrable , lonely, and my otherwise meticulous tznius high standard suffered . eventually we go out and moved away to a wonderful place where we live amongst all different types of caring jews , chassidish , litvish , lubavitch , modern orthodox , the care , friendship , warmth we have from every single person we come across has made me improve on every aspect of my life . i now willilingly dress like im from williamsburg , boro park and i just love the new me!
motty's rules seem lenient to me now ( wow) .
perhaps the way forward is for the school ( and general community community to address all the above points i totally agree with Motty wouldn't even have to write any such letter !
(6/6/2017 9:39:31 PM)
(6/6/2017 9:46:48 PM)
The rebbe is on rabbi gourari's side and of course HASHEM is!
In a well known published yechidus 48 years ago the rebbe clearly stressed that skirts must hang 10 centimeters below the bottom of the knee( thats 4 inches) yes the details are important like shemura matzoh etc.(and the rebbe was clearly a man commenting about Halachos for women!) Those who complain about inches like who cares should add an inch to their noses and see if inches don't matter.
(6/6/2017 9:50:02 PM)
To number 198
Actually I don't see it that way. The responses are defending the choices a school made in setting forth stringent policies in regard to tznius and their views. The letter writes seems to feel that matters of tznius should be below our radar and not a topic of concern that educators should seek to improve. Rather other issues should be at the forefront of their policy making.The previous responseders,Iike myself, are validating the importance of tznius as being an important part of orthodoxy! Just as not telling lashna Hara, being kind, and not being frivolously outlandish with how we celebrate our simcha's are good torah values that should be instilled in our children, tznius is also enteral.
FURTHERMORE: he is setting forth to create a certain standard for his school part of which tznius plays a major part! His focusing on setting up tznius rules is NOT negating the other values she felt should be promoted instead! What, should he have the parents sign a contract that they will not bully other children? Or perhaps that they will take an hour a week to focus on leading about and improving their avoidance of lasgania hara? And if he were to make that a condition to continue being a memebrr of his schools- with what shall that be measured? How should he keep up mantining that the student body is made up of families who adhere to a higher standard of frumkiet- remember it Is a private school set out to educate girls in the hights of standards in yiddishkiet- yes in all aspects even the ones she mentioned. Included in the standards of what makes up a good Yiddish chassidishe family is the modesty of the womenfolk of the family...
Were she arguing on weather or not below shoulder lentgh is a matter of even being an issue with modesty vs personal taste or same with denim then I can see why she is feels snubbed by the focus on modesty- but still that doesn't give reason to argue that the other values should be given more importance. There is no way for a school to set forth rules for lost of what she mentioned nor ways to enforce it in the homes. Tznius, by nature of the fact that it is seen can be enforced and also set up as a school rule.
(6/6/2017 9:51:33 PM)
304 you are right in that sense
it is a strategy that has nothing to do with tznius (nail polish, really?) but rather a way to deny education to girls without perfect parents that will do whatever it takes to comply and win. Now one group will be able to say they are more special and perfect than everyone else.
(6/6/2017 10:03:51 PM)
dear sara
Please take your article to the Rebbe and see if you're not embarrassed to give such a thing in to the Rebbe.
(6/6/2017 10:11:13 PM)
My vote!
Having taught at BM for a number of years, I have to say that I appreciate that the school is setting these standards. I guess to put it simply, if you're paying for this type of education for your daughter, then you should live by the lifestyle too and dress according to Torah. It shouldn't be the biggest deal. And if it's really too hard for you, then this school isn't a good fit for your family. Everyone's got to be on the same page, if you don't support what the school teaches and values dearly, then your child shouldn't be there, due to your child getting conflicting messages on whether to follow halacha and chassidus. And yeah, it is a bit specific, but running a school is a huge undertaking and not a service available for whoever wants to come take part of it and trash the rest.

BM has a specific mission that they are pretty clear about. If you're not comfortable with it, find another brand of Chabad that you like better.

I do think that there is a good amount of dialogue and expression for students on what these values mean to girls and teens and how they impact current and future relationships.

(6/6/2017 10:15:40 PM)
Kol hakovod rabbi gurary
To all of you who think he said it for himself. You are wrong. He doesn't care what people wear, he's not into that but he runs a school and he wants that thebmothers should be dugma chaya and yes wearing leggings, hot red nail polish, long shaitels etc is very provocative and he wants a certain standard for his school. Ch has become a disaster with the tznius, the community should be embarrassed with the amount of Lubavitcher woman that walk the streets of ch looking like modern orthodox. We are the rebbes children. If the Rebbe were alive, would you go by the Rebbe for dollars looking like that??????? Think twice before walking the streets of ch. and especially going into your child's school you need to be dressed in a proper code. Finally someone is doing something. I'm not from ch and every time I come to ch I get more disgusted at the way the young moms dress.
We need moshiach now
(6/6/2017 10:17:50 PM)
To Rabbi Gurary
i am so proud to be a Bnos Menachem parent,!!!
Our biggest problem today is the lack of leadership, no one has the right to tell anyone what to do, what's right and what's wrong. and that's why we have so many issues (both spiritually and physically) in our community.
Our only hope is the schools, they can step in and fill that void, they can put their foot down and say to the parents "we stand for something" and we need to be on the same page with our standards in Yidishkeit.
it is pathetic when parents live a modern lifestyle, yet fight to get their children into the most Chassidish school and most Chassidish class. it is time that the schools demand of the parents to live up to the standerds that they teach, and partner in the effort to install a uncompromised Frumkeit and Chasidishkeit.
Thank you Rabbi Gurary, i am definitely getting my money's worth in Bnos Menachem! Keep up the good work!
(6/6/2017 10:29:23 PM)
Finally someone with the logic and bravery to speak out against this horrific form of abuse and inappropriate obsession with women's dress. I grew up in this type of oppressive environment, where my teachers got away with vile abuse but the only focus was on derech eretz and making sure we had no tv and did not go to movies. Get a grip! This is not Judaism as Hashem wants it! I thank you for coming forward.
(6/6/2017 10:35:32 PM)
to 277
I completely agree with you. I actaully have to go out of ch to buy tznius clothes. i recently bought a dress on kingston, after a couple times wearing it, notices part of the sleeve was sheer. was $80 and only managed to wear it twice.complete waste. never shopping on kingston again. bli neder
(6/6/2017 10:38:01 PM)
Dear Rabbi Gurary
I am so proud to be a part of a school that puts their foot down when it's needed. The Tznius standards my family has gained is wonderful! I thank you for giving our family these important values.
So sorry we're in such a terrible golus, where it's so black that our own people are blinded to the truth.

For those of you that don't agree with these standards. Don't send your children to this school.
(6/6/2017 10:41:24 PM)
To all those people saying...
To all those people saying things like "only because you don't have high standards of Tznnius" or "So don't send your daughters there if you can't keep to these rules"... Who even said she meant that she is unable to abide by these rules, and that this is the reason shes so upset by this letter (Even if that is the case, who said that???) She is simply saying that to enforce these rules on mothers who are worrying about more important things such as tuition or other of tehir childrens school related things shouldnt have to be FORCED to overcome her personal challenges by a school administration! And to those saying she isnt being forced and such, well she has to send her children somewhere and perhaps she doesnt want to send her child to another school evryone recommends because she had a harsh experience there! And, yes technically she shoild follow Halacha because like I saw someone say HALACH=HALACHA but thats her challenge which means HER BUSINESS, you cant tell a mother who has a samsung or an Iphone, NO PHONES! BAD INFLUENCE! We live in a day and age of challenges unlike before amd while you can tell a parent to pay tuition or to not enter school grounds untzniustikly,, as BR does, they have a sign on the front door in High School, but out of school? I agree, not administrations place to tell her what to do!
(6/6/2017 10:42:39 PM)
312 there are different levels in tznius
Like with everything in yiddishkeit, there are many levels. Example: There's shaving a beard with a razor, trimming, plucking and not touching at all. There are many fine Jews who shave and that's okay for them based on what they were taught. We have clear piskei dinim from Tzemach tzedek etc and know what is right for us.

As chassidim, we strive to do more than we did yesterday. There were very fine American (and Russian too) chassidim who shaved earlier in life and then decided to upgrade later in life.
If the school had a certain tznius standards in 2017, they should strive to raise them in 2018 and in 2019 etc. and not be comfortable with how they were previously. And the parents who are "growth-minded" should be willing to upgrade their standards as well (who doesn't agree that we should strive to grow?). If there are any parents who insist on not growing and upping their standards, perhaps they really don't belong in such a school and should not drag down the rest of the school's growth with them. I spent a lot of money on my wife's long sheitels and am willing to go ahead with this beautiful upgrade! It's not the easiest thing but it's the right thing and I ask Hashem to give us the strength to continue growing in these last moments of golus.
(6/6/2017 11:03:34 PM)
Chabad ?
Is this our way? If a non drum girl would want to go to gurary's school should he let her in? No, and yet we have chabad houses and send 12 year old boys to manhattan to do mivtzoin and bring ppl back to yidhishkeit?
Gurary's letter is like punching someone who is in the middle of a fight screaming ahavas yisroel.
If one person goes off the way because of this letter would the rebbe be proud of that ? Why not do things the way the rebbe did, with love.
Talking about women tzniuse is the easy way out because this community does not need to deal with the real issues and reasons for lack of women tsniuse.
Shame on the school. If you do not know how to edjucation kids shut the school down and get out of the chinuch business.
You are taking away the incidents away from our kids and making them go of the way.
(6/6/2017 11:20:18 PM)
Thank you
For this letter
As a girl growing up it always disgusted me when men spoke to us about our tznies
It's just not the way to encourage someone.
Plus the humiliation
Straight up body shaming
(6/6/2017 11:28:16 PM)
A number of comments
#108: That's not fair. His relatives aren't running the school and he's not responsible for their choices.

#196: My husband indeed has a say in what our daughters wear--and they respect him for caring about it, too.
It is vitally important for fathers to be aware of how their daughters dress! In fact, when a father emphasizes the importance of proper dress it makes more of an impact than if it's coming from the mother (even if she herself is a paragon of Tznius)!

#218: I am so sorry for your pain. But just to present a broader view, is there possibly more to the story than what you wrote?

#219: Your description doesn't resemble my Judaism at all. We women are in charge of the most fundamental aspects of our homes: We bring in Shabbos, we mange Kashrus, and we are relied on for the intricate details of Taharas HaMishpocha. Where is the chauvinism in that?

Shulammis Saxon
(6/6/2017 11:28:26 PM)
Tznius matters
We should enforce the highest levels of Tznius at all Chabad houses, especially Campus Chabad houses. It is appalling that young women dressed immodestly are permitted to enter these Shules and are praised for coming there.
(6/6/2017 11:38:48 PM)
Hakoras Hatov
The Gurary's have been involved in Ten Yad for many, many years.
To pick at Rabbi Gurary's ahavas yisroel (or worse yet, to make fun of the Ten Yad auction booklet), is a total kfui tova even if you haven't received their help for your wedding. Your cousin received more help from them than from you. Your friends who had no help from their parents got more help from Ten Yad than from you.
Most people commenting (myself included) will not accomplish in their entire lifetime even a small fraction of the chessed that they have accomplished.
With humility and gratitude to have such successful AND generous families in our community.
(6/6/2017 11:44:06 PM)
women for women
i applaud you, mrs.waldman, for writing this letter! you SPECTACULARLY answered his letter, dealt with every single issue and i am incredibly happy to see a woman standing up for other women being shamed and forced to behave a certain way by a man. you are courageous for signing your name, and i am so so happy and RELIEVED to see that there are still sensible people left in this community, people like you who are shocked at the outright ignorance, misogyny, and misplaced values that his letter smacks of. please please keep fighting the good fight, spitting the TRUTH, and ensure that we, as women, still have voices in this community! you have inspired me more than i can tell you. thank you. thank you so much. you are keeping a lot of women on the path with this, women who would otherwise be disgusted and turned away by his letter. thank you again.
(6/6/2017 11:45:37 PM)
my take
YES, i do think that rabbi gurary perhaps went a little too far with his rule of requirements, but no, i do not at all agree with this letter. tznius is a huge issue. no question about it. and im sorry that the drugs or extravagant bar mitzvahs is also a huge issue, but that doesnt take away from the fact that THIS TOO is an issue that must be dealt with! Your argument there literally makes no sense. say, your washing machine broke. NO WAY are we gonna try to fix it because, after all, there is lots of poverty in this world. (*sarcasm there*). the fact that there are other issues in this world does not take away from the fact that this is a VERY IMPORTANT issue that needs to be addressed. in response to rabbi gurarys letter, i think it should have just reinforced the laws of COVERING KNEES, ELBOWS, AND COLLAR BONES. those are the basic rules of tznius. after weve got that covered, we can work on the long shaitels and leggings. the strict and pretty extreme rules set in his letter is whats causing such an outrage.
(6/6/2017 11:58:18 PM)
Don't people look at what they wrote???
This is a non sequitur, but I have to laugh at the illiteracy of some posts. Why don't you review what you write before clicking "post"? My favorite so far is 322 "if you do not know how to edjucation kids...." From what I understand, B'nos Menachem graduates are generally quite literate. I suggest all of you who don't understand why some words have a squiggly red line underneath take a basic course in WORD.
(6/7/2017 12:19:36 AM)
A resident of Lakewood
I am a Lubavitcher who lives in Lakewood. Of all questions I encounter against matters they don't understand about chabad...one that I can't answer, is the matzav of tznius that is totally out of bounds ....which are normative basics in other frum communities......Does Me Waldman know how Rabbonim on other kehhillos crack down on Pritzus???!!!!
Let her verify before she attacks Rabbi Gurary!!!
(6/7/2017 12:43:06 AM)
i checked tzachlist-no chaya sara waldman there
no chaya sara waldman there
do you live in crown heights?
(6/7/2017 1:00:15 AM)
Even within such a regulated community, people should be able to express themselves, even within tzinius standards. I'm not sure why having a slightly longer shaitel is such a horrible thing. I don't see how that impedes upon one's ability to perform other mitzvot.

Another question I have for those more familiar with this community is what other options for education, if any, are available for these children? If none are, why are these children being rejected over a few inches of hair? Wouldn't this possibly lead them to resent this community and leave it as they become adults?

I also think it's absurd to require the father's signature when none of these rules apply to him. Perhaps it isn't a tzinius issue, but men have expectations of appearance as well. Ignoring that but requiring the father's signature seems to suggest that women are the property of their husbands who are responsible for enforcing these rules.
(6/7/2017 1:01:49 AM)
Inspire, don't impose
There are two terrible scourges which face our communities. One is a lack of tzniut and the other is an obsession with it.

We need to encourage and inspire each other and ourselves to connect to the beauty and dignity of tznius, which is for everyone in the community, not just women. It is so much more than what one wears. Tznius is about emphasizing our inner qualities rather than our outer ones.

Over emphasis (obsession) with the details of how women and girls dress, forcing "stricter community standards", forcing girls out of a school because of how their mother may dress, denigrating those who wear the "wrong color" nail polish... This is not yiddishkeit. This is not Ahavas Yisroel. This is not the path that the Rebbe set us on.

May Hashem help us to work together to improve our middos. Inspire change, don't impose it.
(6/7/2017 1:10:48 AM)
A Boro Parker
I recall being very close to Lubavitch years ago when I was 18-20 years old. What held me back from making the ultimate dive & become a tomim was that the preaching didn't match the products produced primarily as far as Tznius goes. I was given all types of explanations that people fall through & some are baalei teshuva etc etc. For me the bottom line was whether it has become a שיטה by some in Lubavitch or not. To me that is the difference between orthodox & reform. Orthodox will also talk loshon hora etc but it hasn't become a שיטה that it is OK. My gut feeling that there was a good chunk of lubavitch that held it as a שיטה that things that are against halocho are ok, had me stay put. These discussions seem to clarify to me that I was indeed correct and there is a good 20% that see it as a שיטה not just something they fell through in.
(6/7/2017 1:28:49 AM)
Should we start with פנימיות or חיצוניות when it comes to Tznius?
The known ספר החינוך states may times (he is from the reshonim & there is no known opposing opinion) "אדם נפעל כפי פעולותיו" which means your outward behavior will affect your פנימיות and shouldn't wait for your פנימיות to be in order first. So "אחרי הפעולות נמשכים הלבבות" is the way to go. Keep in mind that Judaisim isn't an open religion with the locals having their input but rather is to be kept the way it was passed down. For the others there is already Reform. Why reinvent the wheel?
(6/7/2017 1:45:38 AM)
thank you Mrs waldman
I too applaud your honesty.
this man (like most frum people today) are imposing the WRONG solution to a REAL problem.
tznius and the emptiness of our young (and their parents..) is a serious problem, but you dont fix it from the outside, rather fill in the emptiness that provokes them to need to show their body in order to find a place in society!
(6/7/2017 2:21:09 AM)
POV of comments is very revealing
Most of the comments attacking the school are responding from the (incredibly defensive) POV of the person being asked to dress in a tsniusdikeh manner. Almost nobody recognized that the point of making rules like this for the mothers is that the families who DO stress tsnius want their daughters' school to reinforce what they teach at home... if the mothers of their classmates come to pick them up with bare legs, short skirts, etc, this will at a minimum confuse the girls, so-and-so's mommy wears that, why shouldn't I also.
(6/7/2017 4:10:41 AM)
Thank you for speaking up.
Do you think the school is having issues that this letter is trying to cover up?
What prompted this school to publish this letter?
(6/7/2017 4:13:12 AM)
regarding leggings
I am an old lady with sciatica down my leg all the way into my toes, in fact the toes have the worst pain, and for some unknown reason tights exacerbate this. In the winter I wear leggings with socks, no skin is visible, I do not see why anyone should have a problem with this.
(6/7/2017 4:13:38 AM)
Re Tzach list
Not every family or individual is in the Tzach list. I'm not, & I'm very much a real person. :)
(6/7/2017 4:21:04 AM)
Baalei tshuva children not allowed in this school?
Baalei tshuva wont have parents who will adhere to rabbi guraris rules so they will be excluded???? I became a baalat tshuva at age 12. I would have been excluded from the school
(6/7/2017 5:11:28 AM)
My heart hurts.
I've left crown heights a long time ago and feel increasingly healthier as a person. Judiasm is an all encompassing religion. Especially a religion of respect and the heart. The comments aren't making me impressed one bit.
Please think about what your about to write or say before you say it. Would the leaders of Lubavitch write it?or approve it being publicized?
No point is worth it. Not Tznius. Not anything.
(6/7/2017 6:11:08 AM)
It's not just about you
Just an observation, but if every other ehrliche frum society (chassidishe or otherwise) has the same standards in tznius as mentioned in Rabbi Gurary's letter, then maybe there IS a problem here, and it's not a matter of "if you want to be Satmar or Belz" like some posters claim.

It's very nice to be worried about bullying and loshon hara and poverty, but how about your empathy towards your fellow Lubavitchers?
When you dress in a way that is very attractive and attracting (not even talking about basic halachic guidelines like covering knees and elbows), you put a lot of peer pressure on your neighbors to do the same just to fit in and to feel attractive (in comparison to you).
You put a lot of strain on a marriage if the husband doesn't like the way his wife dresses but she doesn't have the self-confidence to stop, or if the husband likes how you dress a little too much, and the wife feels she has to dress that way just to "compete" for his attention. Or even that the husband is looking.
It puts a stress on family relationships when what you are wearing becomes the "norm" and mothers have to put tremendous kochos into trying to get their daughters to dress in a refined manner.
It puts a lot of pressure on the men (vehameivin yavin).

When you are a part of a community everything you do affects others in that community, and this is no less true with tznius.

It's okay for a woman to have a hard time with tznius. It's okay for a person to struggle with certain halachaos from time to time. We are not malachim.
The problem comes when instead of saying "this is how I am meant to act, but right now it is just too hard for me", we start saying "I am prefect how I am, and no one is allowed to imply otherwise or they are at fault for my laxity in mitzvos/leaving yiddishkeit".

And do you really think the Rebbe would not have spoken out agaist how women are dressing today in favor of ahavas yisroel?

(6/7/2017 6:35:48 AM)
To 328
I agree.
Let's stick to basics first before we cut our wigs.
(6/7/2017 6:49:28 AM)
Mentally /emotional health versus polish
If only he was as concerned about the mental and emotional needs of his students, as much as he obsessed over nail polish.
The school would be in better shape.

The outside appearance is a reflection of the inside.
Do you ever speak to the girls about why they dress the way they do?Do you care about issues like self esteem?
Do they have symposiums about health and mental wellbeing?
Are they encouraged to feel good inside?
Think about it.
(6/7/2017 6:55:07 AM)
Thank you for your beautiful response
I didnt read his letter because i feel its pointless and ill get upset for nothing. Your letter is well written, thank you for doing that!
As a BT i became a lubavitcher because of the Rebbes love for his fellow Jew and the amazing education i received with Rabbi Majesky and the rest of the teachers in the school. However, unfortunately i dont see the same warmth and love from other lubavitchers and its really undortunate because for pp who pretend doing the Rebbes work they do the exact opposite...and then they wander why so many FFB fry out!
(6/7/2017 7:02:09 AM)
Shliach in OZ
Well done Rabbi Gurarie!
Enough of this hefkerkeit when some people think they can just ignore the Rebbe's instructions (as well as clear halochos)
We are shluchim in Australia and unfortunately we have to explain to our children that not everything they see in CH is what the Rebbe is expecting of us as chassidim.
(6/7/2017 8:06:37 AM)
Thank you Rabbi Gurary
IThis is exactly what the world needs. Raising the standards of Chabad. THANK YOU
(6/7/2017 8:19:15 AM)
Bnos Menachem Student
im honestly shocked and appalled that adults are arguing over something like this. I go to Bnos Menachem, and THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE RULES! As a student attending a school, i respect and follow their rules to the best of my ability, and anyone who has a problem with these tznius rules and policies should keep it to themselves. The Tznus policies he implemented are for our own benefit. We understand that they want our parents to be role models for us, and there is nothing wrong with that. Rabbi Gurari is doing this because he cares, and yes, i am sure he is concerned about other things as well, but Mrs. Waldman, by you making this a public issue, your absolutely not helping the problem. Each and every one of those policies make sense, (the leggings are a form of pants, and even if they cover our legs, they give off a look.) i will say that ive been inspired by countless teachers and the staff of Bnos Menachem is amazing. Our principal really cares bout each and every one of us, and these rules don't hinder that, in fact, i would say they enhance it. Bnos Menachem has very high standard of education, and we, as students, don't have a problem with the rules. Im saddened that even a 10th grader can see the anger from these adults who appose the school policy. No, this is not a community iussue. Its school rules.
Please stop bashing our school staff. They are trying their best.
(6/7/2017 8:36:04 AM)
Thank you for your light
as a woman who grew up going to Bnos Bais Yaakov I've been waiting years for someone to have the courage to share these exact thoughts. Let the women be involved in speaking on behalf of their own bodies and let modesty not be tunnel visioned to a woman's garb and a sense of fear. For all the negative pushback you get with this post I want to tell you that the light you just shared will ultimately prevail. Thank you for bravery and your wisdom.
I am so thankful and certain of your purity of intent.

(6/7/2017 8:37:14 AM)
former bnos menachem parent.
would be interesting how the girls from bnos menachem will view tznius as adults compared to girls from other chabad schools that are able to emphasize other areas of yiddishkeit or address tznius in a more positive way. a girl that sees her mother made to feel uncomfortable in her own community will not likely grow up with a fond association with dressing tznius. kids pick up on this stuff so easily.
(6/7/2017 8:37:34 AM)
From An Outsider's Perspective
As someone who is in CH all the time for simchos, I have to question the representation of the adults dressing in what the overall Chabad community perceives to be 'tznius'.
"How can you tell if that woman walking toward you is Chabad or not Jewish? If her dress is skin-tight, she's Chabad."
I see this almost every day.
I also see and hear the adults, and even the children swearing. The way we talk is how others (read: the rest of the world) hear us. How can we claim to be of purity when, while we watch what goes into our mouths, filth is allowed to come out!
Then there is the way outsiders are treated.
If there is not a kiruv agenda, I find, (again not everyone) staff at weddings are treated incredibly poor. Taken for granted, I watch mothers and father show how meaningless good manners are. A 'please', 'thank you', or even something other than just holding out your plate, waiting for the server to give you dessert, while your children watch, would be such an influence to your children! They'd learn to treat the world with respect instead of literally pushing aside a non-jewish waiter to get to their destination.
Not to bash anyone trying their best to actually make a difference and set our Jewish Family on the correct path. But I think that there needs to be more of a leading by example than published letters.
(6/7/2017 10:11:58 AM)
L'Chaim To all!!!
I love this...
(6/7/2017 10:15:47 AM)
Keep it up!
Kol Hakavod! I stand with you
(6/7/2017 10:17:18 AM)
To #332
Husband's signature is a good idea. Many husbands unfortunately encourage lack of tznius. Both need to encourage each other.
(6/7/2017 11:55:07 AM)
I'm incredibly conflicted about this issue.
In my community our high school has had a serious issue with dress code. The girls consistently choose to not dress according to the code. It's a source of great frustration for the administration - even with uniforms. It's confounding. Then, one of the reasons for the lack of respect for school policy became clear to me. At school events, like sports, literary presentations, barbecues, open houses, the mothers of these girls come to the programs dressed in a completely un-tzanua way. Extremely short skirts, very short sleeves (almost none), low cut shirts - and it became very clear why there is a dress code issue. If, at school events, the mothers don't have respect for the school policy then why should the girls? Yes, everyone has a right to dress the way they choose - outside of the confines of the school. I personally made some lifestyle changes when my children started day school. I felt that if I chose a specific school and expected my children to uphold the standards and policies of that school then I had a responsibility to do the same. I felt that not doing so would be hypocritical.
So...here is my conflict. I don't necessarily agree with the policies of the school. I think there are a lot of ways to measure tzniut - not just the color of your (denim) skirt or the length of your shaitel. I think there are a lot of issues in the day schools and communities as listed in the above letter. On the flip side, however, given my personal experience, if the mothers don't abide by the policies of the school that they choose to send their girls to, they are sending conflicting and mixed messages to their children. It's ok for you but not for me. If nothing else parents need to walk the walk that they are expecting their children to walk. If a parent chooses to send their daughter to a school with policies that are so stringent ,then that is the choice they make. While I may not choose to send my girls to such a school it is my choice, just as these parents made their choice. If a mother makes the choice to send her daughters to this school she sure better be willing to follow the standards that she expects her daughters to follow - otherwise she might just be considered a hypocrite. It's her choice.
(6/7/2017 12:12:25 PM)
As students of a different school we applaud rabbi guarary for standing up for this cause and instilling in both the student and parent body an awareness of the importance of tznius. How we wish our school would do the same!! Thanks for standing up for what she right, you have our full support!!
Ps: Its the complete right of the man to remind us how to dress, check it out...
(6/7/2017 1:37:04 PM)
kudos to the writer
totally agree with this letter to Bnos M - all else is nonsense and needless chatter.

(6/7/2017 2:58:08 PM)
Other problems don't mean we can't reclaim the treasure of tznius!
Are you saying tznius can never be addressed because there are other problems? Your concern for those issues is admirable. But other problems don't exclude the enormous importance and value of reclaiming the - sometimes lost- treasure of tznius.
Tznius is beautiful. Dignified. Gracious. Refined. Royal. Empowering. Confident.
Thank you Rabbi Gurary for your efforts. May Hashem bentch you and yours with gezunt, nachas and harchava.
(6/7/2017 3:43:00 PM)
My questions regarding tznius are:
1. What is wrong with wearing denim? Denim skirts are not narrow pencil skirts; they are usually A-line or flared at hem.
2. What is wrong with wearing tights or leggings? They cover ore skin than socks or stockings. While I've seen some people wear leggings under tight mid-thigh high skirts, the majority of women wear them under mid-calf skirts.
3. Sheitel length - the longer the sheitel the more expensive it is. Today when many people are struggling financially how necessary is wearing a sheitel with hair dangling half way down one's back? Shoulder length is just as pretty. I actually know a girl from a frum family who was rejected by a famous "religious" school because her mother wears a sheitel. The school admin prefers women to wear tichels. Go figure!!!
4. Nail polish - many yeshivahs/day schools do not permit girls to wear nail polish or jewelry to school (but in my granddaughter's yeshiva they can wear nail polish to school the day of or the day after their sibling's wedding). Today girls and women of all ages wear nail polish; my rebbetzin wears pastel gray, pastel blue, and other fashion colors. I wear a pale pink but have worn loud colors on occasion.

Tznius in dress is important but tznius in language and all areas of life are important. Should we ban people publicizing their 15 course Shabbos/Yom Tov menu? Boasting is certainly not tznius.

Rabbo Gurary has good intentions and I give him credit for that, yet parts of that letter come off as being dictatorial. I respect his decision and I respect the opinions of the responders. We need a middle ground.

Yes, we need tznius rules for men and boys. Are boys wearing tzitzits down to their knees tznius? Are men with unkempt beards tznius? Is blowing one's nose into their hands tznius? Or holding the bridge of one's nose tight while blowing their nose onto the sidewalk tznius? I've seen many men do that. Is it tznius for boys and men to wear tzitzits on top of a shirt? Who is addressing these issues?

The subject of tznius needs to be included in school curricula, in divrei Torah, in formal and informal learning. Only then will we see an improvement in behaviors.
(6/7/2017 5:30:33 PM)
Should the school have no genius policy for its girls either?
It doesn't seem unreasonable to request that mothers adhere to certain standards if they are sending their daughters to be taught those same standards at school. Why should the school waste their time teaching something that the girls will not see reinforced at home? And is the administrator's focus on that issue really coming at the expense of focusing on something else?
(6/7/2017 6:53:29 PM)
Dear Chaya Sara...
...and you are going to do what about your feelings? Take it from me, the few who agree with you are going to do nothing. Good for penning your thoughts, but unless you do something it made not a whit of difference.
(6/7/2017 7:02:40 PM)
Not Lubavitch but Frum
A few things:
A private school has the right to dictate the dress code of their students, parents, have the choice whether to send their daughters to that school. I am not preaching anything but what I have noticed, and I live in Flatbush is as follows. The sheitels are like Lady Godiva, more provocative than any woman's hair. Skirts are way above the knee and in the winter boots that are what one would call ubber se-- are worn. The skirts are painted on. I have seen pant suits for women that are more modest..that not withstanding. Tznuis requires a woman to dress in a modest fashion and as I understand it, the halachos are not above the elbow, but would a short sleeve tee shirt be so awful? No denim? Why not? what is wrong with a nice dark wash denim skirt below the knees? Copying goyim? Perhaps, but unless we go back to dressing like in the days of Sarah Imeinu which is akin to what the Arab radicals wear face veil and all, we copy the goyim. I dress in a tznua fashion and I wear, long skirts, denim, down vests, scarves, a not ridiculously long sheitels, dangling earrings and I can assure you when I am in Boro Park, I am seen as untznius, why? Satmar women wear seamed stockings, hat on a sheitel, button up to mid throat...who says that is tznius? Basically, we are bas yisroel, we are part of hashem's people, dress with class, leave the rest to the critics.
(6/7/2017 9:31:49 PM)
The Rebbe
Judging from the volume of responces - even the righteously indignant idiots-mostly men- this topic has hit a nerve. If the Rebbe could look at a woman straight in the eye in all her holiness, tzanua notwithstanding, then surely R Gourary could do the same. And was it not the Frierdike Rebbe who proclaimed that every Jewish child belonged in yeshiva, regardless of their back ground? How far this Gurari has sunk in such a short time. And why is a man the dean of a girl's school? Get him off. The author of this article/letter would be a fine replacement.
(6/7/2017 11:09:39 PM)
As a guy, I respect both sides of this issue. As a Jew with a background in education, I respect decorum and harmony in classrooms. As a person with heat sensitivity related to multiple sclerosis, I wonder how health accommodations are handled in such settings. having been raised reform with orthodox grandparents, and welcomed by Chabad emissaries, I appreciate choices, diversity, inclusion, and our tradition of ideally respectful debate.
(6/7/2017 11:18:33 PM)
The Usual Fallacy
Not only is this article halachically innacurate, but it contains a common logical fallacy that dominates most of these type of arguments. The Either/Or fallacy. Being careful about tznius in dress does not negate dealing with any of the other problems mentioned. If one really cares about them, they start an organization or become proactive. If they are just uncomfortble that lack of tznius is called out, they tell you to just keep moving and look elsewhere. Bullied kids? I have yet to see one of the complainers do anything if it wasn't their kid. Also, do you call out the families that raise little bullies acting like hearing the word "NO" will permanently damage their little neshamos?

I work with parents of preteens and it is clear to me that parents bringing religious politics in, and blaming the schools instead of partnering with them, and teaching kids that they have the right to pick and choose which rules to follow cause them to lose respect for Torah, rabbonim and eventually those who did this to them. No child has ever left yiddishkeit because of a strict rule. Thousands have because of growing up with cynicism and parents refusal to ask why and assume if something is not evident, there is no reason.

Contrary to what is drilled into peope today, Most people do not think uniformly by gender and one's gender is not the biggest influence in psak on tznius, TM or orgittin. It is specifically e more modern who have abandoned logic and try to determine general rules based on this or that individual case. The Rebbe spoke as a Rebbe, not as a male. So he talked about tznius in dress, tznius in consumption, and ahavas Israel.

As to health considerations, they are almost always accomodated. The main thing that hinders giving leeway for health reasons is the arge number of parents willing to pay for fake medical notes to avoid saying NO to their kids.
(6/8/2017 2:07:36 AM)
Important Message
To the author of this letter, thank you for speaking up and sharing your view on this matter. I just want to mention how horrified I am regarding the reaction people are having towards the woman who wrote this post. People claiming that "she must not dress tznius herself" or "her kids must be off the derech" or "she must be a liberal who supports abortion" is just absurd. Even if you don't agree try to understand the point she is making as a woman and as a mother and don't assume to know anything about her yiddishkeit or level of observance. The obsession with skirt lengths and sleeve lengths has gone too far and the negativity is harming the young women in our community. Even if we disagree with one another at least treat other with respect and stop villanizing this woman.
And to number 275, it is concerning that you send your Rav pictures of yourself in a dressing room and ask his approval before purchasing outfits. This is very inappropriate on his part and is very unsettling. For him to inspect an image of you in an outfit and determine whether it is tznius or not is a major breech of his position and is very, very concerning.
(6/8/2017 2:09:13 PM)
Reflects a troubling attitude
While I completely agree with the author (and then some!), I think that it's obvious that anyone who'd take issue with this letter wouldn't want to enroll their daughter in a school run by someone with Rabbi Gurary's attitude ;-)

What I find even more troubling is that girls raised in this kind of environment would be ill-suited to doing the kind of 'Kiruv' work that the Lubavitch community has often been uniquely suited for.
(6/8/2017 4:15:18 PM)
It hit a raw nerve
Just the fact that this letter has 367 posts show that it hit a raw nerve with so many people. Rightfully so. If we have such passionate feelings about tznius that shows that the yetzer hara is working overtime to get us to fail in this area and more.
Never mind my opinion or all the posts. I just don't know why or how any normal person would just push away all the brochos coming our way, if we behave and dress in a tznius manner. Can anyone claim they don't need the brochos that is written you get when tznius. It also provides protection for us and Eretz Yisroel. However, When we justify our behavior or actions, then it shows that this weak areas of tznius, pertains to us.
(6/8/2017 6:24:23 PM)
To those who say "Don't like these rules? Then leave!" ??
If only there was a moderately well run mainstream girls school in Crown Heights - perhaps as much as 30% of the Bnos Menachem families and even more % of the bigger donors would be out the door. Alas, this doesn't yet exist. But, you can be sure, there's a silent majority waiting for that chance and they will run for the doors. Until then, we write a few comments, speak in hushed tones in the stores on Kingston or in other safe places among those we trust and we wait for our private geulah
(6/8/2017 8:49:28 PM)
Why does it have to come from a man?
#24 Why does it have to come from a man? Because the women don't seem to know the halochos nor do they speak out about the lack of tsnius. Denim as it is now is not a fine [aidel] fabric. It was originally a mix of wool and silk--halevai! Women, please get your act together. Why is it that if someone is walking around Crown Heights in tsnius dress, they come from out of town? Think about that one! Yes, it is the most blatant problem but not the only one.
Alcohol in the Yeshivos is also a big one--a carryover from Russia. Why are they even serving alcohol to minors in the Yeshiva? And they don't want us to report it to the authorities? Then do the right thing in the first place! I had to tell my sons to get water from the drinking fountain in their mashke cups to look like vodka so they wouldn't feel like they're different. What a sad situation.
As a former out of town Bnos Menachem parent I was relieved that they have and enforce standards. That is precisely why I sent my daughter there, to continue in the ways that I taught her.
All these issues are not a zero sum game: why don't we do X instead because it is so much more pressing? That's how the frei among the Yidden think. What are you thinking? All of it is important. Sharpen your critical thinking skills and shape up!
(6/8/2017 9:19:57 PM)
Why can't a man comment on a woman's halacha?
I don't understand why so many people feel that a woman should have written the letter from BM.

Besides the obvious fact the halachos themselves have been expounded on, written about and paskened on by men, our rabbonim, since Har Sinai....

Doesn't the very fact that it is the men who are most affected give them the right to address it? Is it just "their" issue and they should look away if they're offended? They have no right to a voice? No option other than to keep their noses pressed to the ground when they walk the streets and remain silent as we women present ever more provocative wardrobes?

Have we become a frum community in which so called feminist "rights" take absolute priority over halachic responsibilities? Has a man, therefore, no right to stand up for his halachic responsibilities?

I assume, though, that if a man were to stand up on *behalf* of women those same people would applaud. Ah, but it's not TZNIUS for a Rabbi to address the issue of a woman's body? NOW you're concerned for his observance of halacha?

Have we in the Lubavitch community become so tainted and selfish that the "rights" of women to flaunt their bodies takes precedence over having rachmonos on the effect it has on those most challenged by it?

I can't imagine how those arguing that a man had no right addressing the issues of a woman's body handle a monthly shailah that should be shown to a Rav. Are we frum or aren't we?

Perhaps we women should move out and create our own community if we feel that men have no right to a voice.

(6/9/2017 12:10:50 AM)
to comment #341, re: baalei tshuvah at B.M.
For your clarification:There are many students at B.M. whose parents are proud baalei tshuvah. It's simply not true that the administration seeks to exclude the children of baalei tshuvah from the student body.
(6/9/2017 12:28:22 AM)
@ 370 " Until then, we write a few comments, speak in hushed tones...among those we trust and we wait for our private geulah"

May I ask, Why? This question isn't of you in particular, but of the 'silent majority' you feel or with you. What leads you to believe that waiting for things to change by themselves will help? If you, or the OP, believe that the the of doing things doesn't reflect a Torah perspective or God's will, do you not have a moral imperative to try to do something?

I guarantee you that this article will have no affect whatsoever on the principle of the school. At least not what you are hoping for. Not a drop. I'm not guessing - I know. So, either do something, or accept that it is what it is, or disassociate yourself from the whole system. To quote...well me (elsewhere), what sense does it make to keep associating with the system for the sake of the chinuch of your children at the expense of the chinuch of your children?

So what can you do? At the very least, agree that you will do something about it if you could. Associate with others who feel the same. Create a Facebook page to discuss ideas. (I must tell you that I created a page for ultra orthodox humanism, even though I have no stake in this game, and although people saw the page, no one was motivate to join. Presumably because it might mean doing something.) get together. Discuss. Most importantly, isolate the root problems. There will invariably be different approaches in terms of orthodox practice - so find others who think like you do, and discuss a course of action.

At the very least, come up with a corrective curriculum. Teach your own where things have gone wrong according to Torah. Perhaps start home schooling or pool resources to build your own little school.

That's if you believe it is a problem of an incorrect application of Torah values visa vis society. But if you are just complaining because life is tough, then sorry for butting in.
(6/9/2017 10:17:38 AM)
One does not negate the other.
Don't kill the messenger. Rabbi Gurary has spoken out on something that needed to be mentioned. Regardless if it is appropriate for a man to be giving women Tznius guidelines or not, the message is clear and correct. People are only getting angry and defensive because it is true. and for all those who say that the community should be worrying about "x" rather than "y" or "z" is wrong. One serious issue does not negate the other. If several issues need fixing, at least there is an attempt to sort it out. G-d willing, other issues will be sorted too, and at least we are starting to work on one.
(6/9/2017 10:56:16 AM)
Im with R Gurary
Stand up for what is RIGHT!!!
(6/11/2017 12:41:54 AM)
Control the men too
They should set standards for both of the parents then. Why can't​ the wife sign a letter on behalf of her husband making sure he doesn't touch his beard or wear jeans? Why doesn't he have to wear a white shirt every day or only black shoes? There comes a point where it is no longer about tznius and more about faking an image.
(6/11/2017 2:06:03 AM)
Not halacha
It doesn't seem like a lubavitch school to add extra rules that arent halacha. Forget leggings and mini skirts,this is an attack on modest lubavich standard dress code. denim and long hair and nail polish has always been worn in modest way by very frum tsnius lubavitch woman.
(6/11/2017 2:43:55 PM)
to 61
its so tru i actually find it comical
(6/11/2017 2:56:48 PM)

Dear Shaindel,

I received the letter that was sent from Bais Rivkah regarding the tznius or rather lack therof among our students. Clearly, this is a problem, a serious problem, in our community, and clearly it must be addressed. How to raise the level of observance of this particular mitzvah in Crown Heights is a daunting challenge…but a challenge that must be met. Addressing the issue in school, however, is much easier.

Tznius, unlike negel vasser or chitas or mezuzah or birchas hamazon, is not a specific behavior that can be taught. Of course there are parameters that define the basic elements of tzniusdik clothing, and these detailed laws our girls know, I would venture to say, backwards and forwards. Since very early on in their education they are taught about measurements, measurements of sleeves, hems, etc. However, the very essence of tznius, the sense of it, the aesthetic of it, cannot be taught by legislature. And, most of all, that is what seems to be lacking among our girls – the intuitive sense of what is appropriate for a Bas Yisroel. You and I grew up with the ability to discern “tzu s’past, tzu s’past nisht”…that idea covered everything from clothing to behavior to language to stance, walk, entertainment…every decision, conversation, interaction, every relationship, every curiosity, every desire, or wish or aspiration…everything could fit in the category of either “s’past” or “s’past nisht.” And tznius especially. A garment on a hanger could meet every single criterion for tznius, we knew, and still, when donned, could be relegated to the category of “s’past nisht”. And that same garment could be worn by my mother, or aunt or sister or friend and be just fine, yet, on me, could be determined as unacceptable, my mother would sometimes simply say, “it’s not nice.” And she didn’t mean the garment.

This, I think, is what we have to convey to our daughters. The sensibility of tznius. The sense of dignity. The self-respect. And that, sadly, is not easy to teach and enforce, it’s not something that can be decreed by some rule or by-law. And it’s certainly not something our daughters will integrate by having a figure of authority in the school (or community) make judgements about a particular article of clothing or jewelry or footwear. Don’t misunderstand me, please, I’m not advocating that our girls (and boys, for that matter) should dress as they please and we should give no guidance – quite the contrary. I think that there should be very rigid rules about the dress code in school. I think it’s essential that our daughters accustom themselves to discipline, they must realize that a rule decided upon by the administration of the school is not for them to debate, or agree or disagree with; they must know that to flout school rules is to suffer the consequences. However, in order for the real experience of tznius to be apparent, we absolutely must find some way to reach our girls so that they find the ideals of tznius something that is for themselves, for their very real selves, very desirable. So far, we must admit, whatever we’ve done hasn’t worked. So what do we do now? I certainly appreciate the difficulty under which you and your colleagues labor, but I have to honestly say that another letter to the girls regarding tznius, and what they may and may not, is simply not the answer. And this is important enough that we have to find an answer! We can bury them in a blizzard of letters with quotes from the rabbonim and quotes from Shulchan Oruch and from sichos … But we’ve done this before, with the obvious results. They’re not moved, Shaindel, and that’s what so painful… They’re not moved. Tznius is not another lesson in hasgochas or shemiras Shabbos, another lesson in perfecting a mitzvah. Tznius is is what each and every Jewish girl’s concept of herself is. This is where we have to touch them… In a very deep and central, central place of themselves. We haven’t done it yet.

I’m not an educator, I haven’t ever worked with adolescent girls; I really don’t profess to any knowledge or intuition about what makes them do what they do, think what they think. But I have a feeling that our girls are not so unlike all other adolescent girls – different lifestyles, but not so very different. I believe in their emotional and psychological makeup. And this is a very reassuring thought to me, because I do know that adolescents can be moved. They can be inspired. They can be touched. And they can be nurtured into growth. So there’s very good reason I believe, to be optimistic about the future. We need to find the right vehicle. I wish I knew what it was. We know what it isn’t from all our years of previous efforts; we must discover what it is. Perhaps we should ask the girls themselves? Perhaps, a questionnaire, anonymously answered, in which the students were asked what they think? Who are their role models? Whom they admire? How do they feel about the way they look? Who do they dress for? What do they think the project with their apparel? Why do they choose the attire that they do? How do they see themselves? How would they like to see themselves? Who do they identify with? With whom would they like to be identified? How do they feel about the terms “Bas Yisroel” and “Bas Chabad”? How do they define themselves to themselves? To others? … Perhaps if the girls thought they were invited to enter into dialogue with people of their choice, we might learn how to reach that most sensitive place, the identity of Jewish femininity.

And if we can touch that place, perhaps then the awareness of inner dignity, projected dignity, the self-consciousness of self-respect – perhaps once they were turned on to these, they would then begin to feel the stirrings of desire for honest, sincere, tmimisdike tznius.

It’s all on the inside, shining out. The garb reflects the sense. And they could become aware of this. We, a as adults, we need to raise their consciousness, gently and respectfully. And we need to impose very clear, strong, enforceable codes for the school. They are not mutually exclusive – quite the contrary, they feed and strengthen. And it really could work.

I started this letter by stating that improving standards of tznius is more easily accomplished in school. I believe that, because we have a population that’s young and inexperienced and very, very impressionable. We also have the right, in school, to establish certain absolute requirements. (This is not the same as community authority figures establishing rules and regulations; there really is no way to enforce any kind of code in a community). I feel that it is vital, at this time, that the hanhola of the school seriously discuss how to use the power vested in them to formulate a set of rules for the dress code, to enforce this code with respect and absolute commitment to the dress code. At the same time, I feel that it is imperative that we begin a program of consciousness – raising regarding the very essence of Jewish womanhood. This is not something that will be accomplished in a year or two. This will take years, no doubt, but if we just look around ourselves we can see in how many areas we, you and I, I have become more and more aware of issues, sensitivities have been developed, and as we become more aware, as our own consciousness is raised, we begin to

Integrate ideas and thoughts, and then find ourselves behaving in ways that are compatible with these new sensitivities. This is how we plant seeds that sprout into a system of morality and ethics and ultimately a set of behavior. Because we feel it’s right. Not only because our teacher told us, but because we’ve actually incorporated into our own self the sense of morality, etc., because it’s become who I really am, and therefore it’s what I project. It’s a slow process, it’s a growing process, but ultimately a very tmimisdike process. And that’s what must happen. Our teachers must teach their students the Law. But the only part of it that they can teach is the letter of the law. The spirit of the law… well, that’s something that can never be taught to a child, it’s a seed that might be planted and nurtured and coddled and supported, and then the child can’t help but find that seed of emmes firmly entrenched in her own being. And then that’s how she’ll behave.

And that’s how we adults have to start thinking about it. About five and seeds deep, deep within our children. Not about more and more rules that they can quote verbatim before they even read the latest letter, not more speeches about slips and slits and length and width, – that just turns them off, Shaindel, – it’s not easy to say this, but unfortunately, it’s true. We simply can’t afford to turn them off anymore. We have to find some way to turn them on -on to who they really and truly are. They really don’t know themselves, and that’s why the emulate that which is other, and it’s our responsibility to direct them in a way that’s effective. Again, I don’t want you to misunderstand this, I’m not suggesting at all that whatever impropriety we see we should ignore; quite strongly the contrary. But that’s not enough. It hasn’t been until now, it’s not now. We must confront this reality. And we must, absolutely must, find another way. Because if we don’t, Shaindel, if we can’t turn around this slow but very pervasive encroachment of values that are foreign to us as Jewish mothers, and as Lubavitcher mothers, I’m afraid that our daughters will lose any ability to reach in and connect with their most intimate, essential self.

I know that you sincerely care about each and every one of your students, I know that you would do anything possible to improve their quality of life, and that’s why I directed this letter to you. If there’s any way in which I can be of help, please let me know.

With great respect, I remain,

Yours truly,
(6/21/2017 12:42:25 PM)
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