hi aunty rivka malka! i figured doing the interveiw by email will be easier for me and you. Here are the ques.
how did you grow in tznuis? (modesty)
what influnced your growth?
what were your challenges in tznuis?
what helped you overcome these obstacles and difficulties?
thank you soo much
HI Sara Miriam,
Thanks for your questions. I’ll try my best to answer them!
How did I grow in tznius?
My growth in tznius has really been in direct proportion to my growth in confidence.
When I was young I didn’t know how special it was to be a Bas Yisroel. I knew one thing, I wanted to look good.Even more, I wanted to look cool.
I wished I could dress in certain ways that “cool” girls dressed. My parents did me a great favor by having very clear guidelines about tznius. Because of those guidelines I almost never dressed in those ways. Having my knees, neck and elbows uncovered was not an option.
So even though I was “tznius”, I had a lot of growing to do. I didn’t understand that dressing with dignity is a way of expressing your inner dignity.
As I grew older and my relationship with Hashem/G-d grew I started to see myself differently.
I began to have a self-worth based on the choices that I made in my yiddishkeit (Judaism) and in my chesed (kind deeds).
I grew from the inside out. Because of that, I started to choose my clothes based on things other than how ‘in’ it was. I actually saw those other types of clothes and realized that that’s not me.
I have a few challenges in tznius.
I’m a very creative person and color is my art form. I love color, it makes me happy and I use it every day. I literally pick out my clothes like color therapy, what color mood am I in?
It’s a very delicate line being creative and being tznius.There’s no question that wearing something bright and pretty stands out. On the other hand, something short, tight and black doesn’t stand out b/c so many people are wearing it – but it’s not tznius at all. The same goes with wearing tichels. They may stand out but does that mean that they are immodest?
What do I do with this dilemma? Believe it or not, although I’m colorful, I hold back. I can always think of another bracelet or a scarf and tichel pin that would look amazing. And I don’t put them on, I”ll limit it. I can buy shoes that are wild and wonderful, but I don’t. I try to be honest with myself about whats too much. (And too much is different for each person)
Another challenge is that tznius today is very corrupted. Even amongst my religious peers clothes can be so tight and even above the knee. I feel this desensitized me and sometimes I feel that I don’t have as clear a sense anymore about what’s too fitted and whats just right.
Every once in a while I go through my closet and take out all the things that I just know are too tight. The ones that I have to play games with myself every time I put them on. After many years of doing this, I’ve noticed that the amount of items I need to get rid of is very little by now.
I have a lot to work on and not just in dress. Tznius is about knowing what it means to be a Bas Yisroel, a daughter of the King. And knowing that doesn’t just happen by itself. Our whole culture teaches us the opposite. So I have to stay connected, to read the right books, to fill my mind with holy things so that I remember who I am.
I’ve gotten a lot of amazing feedback about my colorful clothes. As far as I can see it makes a great kiddush Hashem to dress nicely and cheerfully. I even visited a friend with cancer recently. She opened the door, looked at me and said, “You spread simcha! Look at those wonderful colors!”
And its an always thing. People love it.It shares an important message; the Torah is sweet as honey. It’s the most wonderful thing. A Torah life doesn’t look too nice when people are dressed the same and /or in an uptight, black outfit. It’s just not sweet, it’s severe and that comes across.
“My growth in tznius has really been in direct proportion to my growth in confidence.” This is such an important message to young people, because too often, they assume the opposite.
I have a solution to your color challenge. Move to Israel. I have found that color and tzniut seem to work more harmoniously here, due to the mix of cultures. Just a thought… 😉
You’re so right! Eretz Yisroel – I need you!
This was a very inspiring post! Thanks for sharing Rivka Malka!
thanks for reading it Raquel – and thank you for everything you do!
I am not Jewish, and I am more modest than most of my friends and family. I totally get what you are saying about, “…play games with myself every time I put them on.” I have done that many times before without realizing it, but now that I’ve read it, I will be more conscious about it. Thank you for being a LIGHT.
Kurlene, thanks for your comment! It gives me great joy to know that there are people of all faiths who love G-d and live their life to make Him proud! I”m sure its not easy being different then your family. I bet, that even if they choose differently, having you as an example is setting the bar a little higher for them. Thatnk YOU for being a LIGHT
Thank you so much, Rivka Malka!
While I am an unmarried young woman of the Judeo-Christian faith, I have felt called to cover my head, and be modest.
Your posts/videos are always soooo encouraging to me, and I always come away from them feeling closer to G-d and inspired to a holier standard. Thank you so much!
I have referred several young women to your site, because they too struggle with “am I being too flashy?”
But I find that they too, LOVE colors! I agree, you spread joy with your colors! If HaShem Himself created those colors, why not wear them?
Only wearing “drab” colors like black, dark brown, and gray, does not spread cheer. In fact, when I see people dressed that way, I am less inclined to approach them for conversation.
I agree with you, I have seen women that are “covered up”, but their clothes are so TIGHT, it’s embarrassing to even look at these women. How must men feel? I would guess they are uncomfortable looking at these women.
My point? Yes, it does take time, and thought to choose the right clothes, that aren’t too tight, but aren’t too loose, baggy and SLOPPY! Frum isn’t frumpy!
Keep up with the beautiful colors Rivka.
Shalom, and have a beautiful upcoming Chanukah.