…our children need a tremendous yeshua in every aspect, so that they can be set free. Out of sheer desperation Harav Hatzadik Rabbi Yakov Meir Shechter was approached and questioned as to what more can be done for the three bochurim. The tzadik’s answer was precise: An ‘hisorrerus’ [awakening] in Tznius will surely be a big z’chus for the yeshua!
Dear sisters I approach you with a trembling body and shattered heart. Heed the cried of young innocent children who are yearning to taste freedom again. The commitment of righteous women, to improve in any area of Tznius carries more weight than all efforts combined. Your contribution in the form of a personal undertaking can be the deciding factor in their fate. Who can remain idle at this time?
Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, Yakov Yosef ben Raizel and Yosef ben Ita Rivka, are counting on YOU. Please do not let them down. Since we started this Tznius campaign we have seen incredible siyata dishmaya in easing the plight of the prisoners somewhat. Let the merit of your kabalah give rise to the ultimate release of our children, and may the collective zechus of Tznius improvement, result in the geulah shleima for all of Klal Yisroel, amen.
- Sheitel is refined [within parameters of halacha] and does not attract attention.
- Refrain from wearing excessive make-up and perfume in any public areas
- Refrain from wearing attractive or excessive jewelry in any public areas.
- Refrain from brisk-walking as a form of exercise.
- Refrain from eating/drinking in public areas, especially where men are present.
- Skirt is at least four inches past the knee.
- Neckline properly adjusted in all clothing.
- Turban/tichel covering all hair at all times during the day.
- Secular newspapers and all fashion magazines kept out of the house.
- When in public [street, stores, buses, waiting rooms,] Cell phones vibrate silently and phone conversations are kept short and quiet [out of earshot of bystanders]
- Shoes/heels/ fitted with a rubber sole.
- Exercising discreet and low-key behavior in a shared sitting area. [apartment building lobby, doctor’s office, chasuna hall, shul mechitzah, bus stops, standing in line at checkout counters, etc.]
- Learning Hilchos Tznius daily.
- Refrain from brisk-walking in a public area.
Your undertaking will provide us with the strength and stamina we so desperately need at this time. We cannot adequately express our appreciation to all who are accepting upon themselves to enhance their current Tznius standards so that our children can have hope to see the light of freedom again.
Before I comment on the letter I want to say that I do not mean to belittle this woman’s pain over her son’s situation. I can’t imagine what I would do if something similar happened to my child. What I am doing is questioning the details of this letter.
Let’s start with Rabbi Shechter’s statement. Hopefully this is an excerpt from a longer conversation, but as quoted it is strange. What is the connection between tznius and the guys in Japan? Unless this is a way to rack up brownie points with God and thereby get Him to intervene. If that’s what this is, though, why tznius? Wouldn’t any mitzvah do?
In the next paragraph his statement that tznius would help is somehow taken to mean that “Tznius carries more weight than all efforts combined.” This is followed by an appeal to women to get personally involved by accepting chumras in tznius. What a great way for people who feel for this poor mother to feel like they’re doing something useful to help. The feeling is bolstered by the assertion that “Since we started this Tznius campaign we have seen incredible siyata dishmaya in easing the plight of the prisoners somewhat.” This of course is confusing confluence and causality. Things improving a bit for the boys at the same time that the tznius campaign got going doesn’t mean that one caused the other.
Then comes the incredible list of tznius rules participants are to take upon themselves. I don’t know where the list came from, if it was compiled by a rov, gleaned from seforim on tznius, or made up by the author of the letter. But it seems the thrust of these rules is to minimize women being noticed. The ideal, it seems, is for women to be invisible. I think that’s disgusting.