הִגִּ֥יד לְךָ֛ אָדָ֖ם מַה־טּ֑וֹב וּמָֽה־יְהֹוָ֞ה דּוֹרֵ֣שׁ מִמְּךָ֗ כִּ֣י אִם־עֲשׂ֤וֹת מִשְׁפָּט֙ וְאַ֣הֲבַת חֶ֔סֶד וְהַצְנֵ֥עַ לֶ֖כֶת עִם־אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃
“He has told you, O man, what is good,
And what Hashem requires of you:
Only to do justice
And to love goodness,
And to walk modestly with your G-d
Here we see the Hebrew word “tzniut”, modesty.
A good start is: “walk modestly”. You can very literally read that as walking in a “normal” way. Not haughtily with your nose in the air, or in an exaggerated way so that everyone looks at you.
You can extend this to the way you interact with people. When you talk, you do so in a modest, quiet way. You don’t necessarily have to have the last word, or prove yourself right. You give credit where credit is due, but you are certainly allowed to give your opinion. Know your place. Don’t take too much, don’t take too little.
When Noahides come into contact with the word “tzniut” they often think it refers only to women’s clothing. This is a misconception; it is just as much about men’s clothing.
What is a modest way to dress varies by time and place. In the Middle Ages, different customs applied than today, in the jungle there will be different customs than in New York. The basic idea is to wear clothes that show respect for the body. This means that the clothes do not overtly accentuate the body by being too tight, for example, or give excessive attention to the appearance by, for example, standing out in the group of people you are in. Think excessive use of colour, for example.
What are good guidelines for Noahides:
- Skimpy clothes that are cut to reveal parts of the body, or tight clothes that draw undue attention to body shape as well as low necklines, are out.
- A Jewish woman above 12 years old, whether single or married, shoud wear modest clothes that cover her whole torso until her collarbone, her legts until the knees, and her arms until the elbow. This is the Torah’s standard of modest dressing. These are guidelines for Noahides woman.
- A married woman is not obligated, but it is proper to cover here hair when outside her hous or in the presence of men other than her husband.
- A Noahide woman may wear trousers, when this is an accepted local custom. However, these must at least cover the knees and not be too tight or otherwise seductive.
- 1 Shoulders coverd
- 2 Keybones coverd
- 3 Don’t wear clothes that are to thigth
- 4 Knees coverd
- 5 Long clothing is ideal
The clothing lengts show with the black colour are best avoided.
Door Angelique Sijbolts
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