Attention, three-year-old mini ladies out there: unsure how to tell whether you're sluttishly attracting men with your rolled-up sleeves, problematic buttons, and "unkempt" hairdos? Do not fear! A high profile Rabbi has devised a new dress code just for you.
Controversial Zionist leader and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner has formulated new regulations, published in his regular column in the weekly Shabbat pamphlet "B'Ahavah U've'Emunah" ("With Love and Faith"), which he expects girls as young as three (or six at the latest) to abide by.
"How wonderful and pleasant is the modesty of the Jewish woman," Aviner writes in his introduction. "So much nobility and respect, purity and sacredness. Hiding the body respects the soul, which is the essence of the human being."
Are you dying to pants (you know, as in the noted elementary school humilation tactic) Aviner yet? Also, related: what is he wearing right now? Also, related: there's more.
"So much tenderness and humility. Such a blessing. 'All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.' How modest and holy were the great mothers of Israel throughout the generations and everywhere."
What's Yiddish for "mansplainer"? Can it please incorporate "schmuck?"
Here are some of his creepily obsessive thoughts on female modesty, care of Ynetnews:
This doesn't just mean that Jewish women should refrain from donning those sheer, gauzy t-shirts that are basically the only item you can purchase from TopShop. According to Aviner, a woman must check her clothing against the sunlight or any bright light to make sure no sign of her body shines through.
A piece of clothing is only considered "not tight" if, according to Ynetnews, "it conceals the shape of the body and does not emphasize any part of it, even for a short while." Problematic fabrics include thin or thick jersey. Basically: muumuus.
The rabbi has decreed that skirts must be "10 centimeters (4 inches) longer than the body dimensions in the widest place, and 50 centimeters (20 inches) in the knee area."
Still confused? Why don't you "examine the skirt's width by lifting your leg onto an ordinary chair"?
"The neck can be exposed, but not the body. So the neck must be covered: A. On the sides till the place the body curves. B. In the back till the first vertebra. C. In the front till the bones. The upper button must be fastened of course, and a high neck is even better."
The arms, according to the rabbi, must be covered "till under the elbow in any case." Sleeves with wide edges must be avoided, "as the arm is revealed when the hand is lifted or any other movements are made."
Still confused. Am just going to cover myself with two Snuggies and hope for the best.
"A skirt must not be fastened with buttons due to various problems (the button may fall or open, exposing spaces) but with a zipper. With shirts too, beware of gaps which are too big between the buttons."
Sorry if you have breasts!
"The following colors must be avoided: A. Red. B. Nude. C. Orange, yellow or green, in bright shades. D. Gold, silver or shining cloth."
Did Aviner co-write this with Cinderella's stepmother?
Sealed socks must be worn if the outfit does not reach the foot ("the width is 40 denier, but more is needed due to a change in production") so that no one can see your feet. Foot fetishists must not be tempted by evil women!
Aviner has some shoe no-nos:
"A. Not a strong and unusual color. B. Not a high and narrow heel which affects the walk. C. A gentle design. D. Not sensational."
Tim Gunn, help! How do you define "sensational?"
As for single women who do not cover their hair, Aviner wrote that the stricter rabbis believe it should be tied in the back and not shoulder length, while the more lenient ones say it does not have to be tied but must not be "wild and unkempt." His conclusion: A braid is the best option.
We're not the only ones troubled by Aviner's fanatical desire to control women. His "collection of instructions narrows down the value of modesty and damages the values of sanctity," said the Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avodah religious-Zionist movement. "The obsessive engagement in pieces of clothing is in itself immodest, and all this advertisement distorts Halacha, which seeks to reduce a person's engagement in matters of human urges."
[Ynetnews/Image by Jim Cooke.]