There are so many forms of modesty in Judaism. Starting with the way we dress to the way we act. Tzniut is one of the most important mitzvahs a Jewish woman can do. Modesty is not just the way one dresses but also the way one talks, thinks, and the way one acts.
For a long time, I saw modesty as unattractive. To me, it meant long sleeves and turtle necks, stockings, and floor-length skirts. Cover yourself up so boys can’t see your skin. I didn’t know what tzniut was. The real meaning of it. Following more into my Jewish roots and changing my life around I made the choice to wear modest clothing. This meant no more jeans, pants, tank tops, and shorts. It was my next step to grow spiritually and connect closer to Hashem. As I was becoming religious I knew this was something I wanted.
The more I covered my body, the more I respected and valued myself. I didn't want men looking at me in any type of way or give them a reason to, I wanted to belong to my husband one day and only my husband. I valued myself more. Why show our body to the entire world to see? We are Hashem's children. Where is our worth? Our worth does not come from our wardrobes, but from Hashem. Bat Israel walking around in-modest it's not you, it’s not us! It simply does not belong. What we wear is a reflection of who we are, and how much we value ourselves. When I wear my skirts and dress I think clearer it’s a constant reminder that I am committed to Torah and Hashem and I need to act the way. It's a daily reminder of how to carry yourself. Modesty is allowing yourself to be seen for who you truly are.
If I dress up modestly but don't act the part then what's the point? I can wear long sleeves and skirts that cover my knees as much as I want but, if I act impure then one is not modest. A modest humble woman should not brag about herself and her achievements and all her success. She is modest and often embarrassed by praise. Instead of being proud of herself, she will be happy for others and give praise. She won't be afraid to complement others and share her warmth. She will know how to act in front of men and have an appropriate conversation and value herself. In order to be a humble woman she must be a g-d fearing woman.
Modesty does not apply to women ONLY! Even though modesty culture tends to focus only on women, men need modesty too! If a man cannot be modest with himself, how can he seek a modest woman?
Men should be just as modest. One should dress appropriately, speak and act in ways that draw positive manners. No one wants to be with someone negative. When we are happy we attract people to us. We need to be attentive to how our choices impact us and others. The truth is, Modesty isn’t a “women’s issue.” It’s our society.
Rabbi Manis Friedman quoted “Tzniut means I’m not something you can see with your eyes, I’m something you have to understand and care about.” You have to want it. Our goal is to get closer to Hashem. Our creator our father!
Find your Emunah