Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Elul 5768 - September 11, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Krias Kodesh For All to Follow Modesty Guidelines Established by Beis Din Mishmar HaTorah

By Yechiel Sever

As the Yomim Noraim approach many segments of the public are uniting and raising awareness based on the holy calls by gedolei Yisroel shlita to reinforce the boundaries of tznius and kedushas Yisroel in schools and in every Jewish home through the instructions and guidelines of Mishmar HaTorah, a special beis din set up to oversee and buttress the walls of modesty by establishing clear parameters for proper conduct in Kerem Beis Yisroel.

The beis din has been holding more chizuk gatherings in chareidi areas and at seminaries around the country, as well as overseeing clothing stores that agree to meet the standards set by the beis din and to sell clothes that meet standards instituted to staunch breaches in Jewish homes and schools in accordance with the remark by Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita that "these regulations are not excessive stringencies but essential aspects of Torah" ("takonos elu ainan chumros yeseiros ela hein hein gufei Torah").

A krias kodesh issued by maranan verabonon reads: "The issue of modesty and the sanctity of the Jewish people has always been among the foundations of the religion of the Israelite nation, and this has distinguished us from all other nations. In every generation our forefathers were wholly dedicated to the task of upholding the boundaries of modesty and buttressing the walls of the religion of Moshe and Israel. In places where the boundaries of modesty were breached Rachmono litzlan communities [assimilated] without a trace. Therefore we have an obligation to set ourselves apart and distance ourselves from the ways of the gentiles and the permissiveness of the streets.

"Recently we merited a great reawakening in maintaining the boundaries of modesty and Jewish sanctity, both at schools and seminaries as well as in the general public, with the setup of a special beis din to address these matters, i.e. Beis Din Tzedek Mishmar HaTorah...

"In our generation, unlike previous generations, many dams have burst, especially in matters of modest attire. In the past the legacy was passed from mother to daughter and there was no need to explicate and clarify this matter, which was clearly understood, but in our times this situation has changed and now many outside influences have penetrated, even into the best homes, unfortunately.

"Therefore, as emissaries of rabbonon, we deem it necessary to turn to every head of household regarding proper modes of conduct in Jewish life, particular in the matter of attire." Attached to the letter is a list of guidelines for choosing appropriate clothing.

The krias kodesh bears the signatures of Maran HaRav Eliashiv, Rosh Hayeshiva HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, the Admor of Gur, HaRav Shmuel Wosner, the Admor of Belz, HaRav Yehuda Lefkowitz, the Admor of Sadigora, HaRav Nissim Karelitz, the Admor of Sanz, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, HaRav Yisroel Hagar, the son of the Admor of Vishnitz, and the Admor of Erlau shlita.

The rabbonim appointed to the beis din are HaRav Azriel Auerbach, HaRav Yisroel Gans, HaRav Shammai HaKohen Gross, HaRav Shmuel Dovid HaKohen Gross, HaRav Yitzchok Darzy, HaRav Naftoli Nussbaum, HaRav Yehuda Silman, HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, HaRav Chaim Shmerler and HaRav Boruch Shraga.


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