Gedolei Yisroel Stress Undertaking Stronger Modesty Standards
By Yechiel Sever
Faithful Torah Jews and institutions throughout Eretz Yisroel have been responding favorably to guidelines set forth by Mishmar HaTorah, a special beis din for tznius issues, following calls by Maran HaRav Eliashiv and other gedolei Yisroel shlita Erev Yom Kippur to make every effort to adhere more carefully to these principles.
HaRav Eliashiv asked rabbonim of cities, kehillos and yeshivas to address the issue of tznius in their Shabbos Shuvoh droshos.
"The difficult state of affairs in physical matters is troublesome, but the state of spiritual affairs is of greater concern," said HaRav Eliashiv last year, shortly before Yom Kippur. "The entire Torah needs chizuk in every area, because the neglect is widespread. Each one of us must undertake to strengthen ourselves in a certain mitzvah he is not keeping properly.
"Recently efforts have been made to strengthen and rectify the matter of modesty standards and to set forth instructions and guidelines, but unfortunately this is not yet being widely followed. Since these matters have been determined by all of the rabbonim, these directives assume the authority and status of 'Das Yehudis.'"
A recent letter issued by Mishmar HaTorah members states, "Each head of household should try to offer his wife and children chizuk, encouraging them not to stray in the least, for bitter experience shows the slightest divergence in these matters, chas vesholom, can lead to dire consequences, particularly in our generation, which is very lax in matters of kedushoh and tznius, Rachmono litzlan. As G-d-fearing Jews we must raise aloft the banner and add limits and fences based on the [Chazal's] exhortation, ve'osu mishmeres lemishmarti."