November 23, 2004

by Reb Yudel
How old does something have to be to be a tradition?

That's the question addresses in the latest posting by The House of Hock

Short answer: No more than a year, since, as he points out, the latest issue of the Orthdox journal Tradition is dated "Fall 2003". (HoH doesn't address the possibility that the dating is from the Jewish calendar and has been malingering in publication for over 3700 years).

More seriously, he reviews an article by Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin on tzniut, or modesty:

The article is on tzniut, what exactly is the definition, what is allowed, what is not allowed, both in clothing, and in voice. It is a very good study, from the sources onwards, of how we get to where we are.

On the way, he SEVERELY critcizes, Rabbi Eliyahu Pinchas Falk, who wrote a book entitled Oz v'hadar Levusha(a quotation from A Woman of Valor- meaning stregnth and beauty are her rainments). R. Henkin shows how R. Falk deliberately distorts sources, including what appears to be deliberate misreading of R. Moshe Feinstein, among others.

R. Falk claims in his book that the standards for tzniut or tremendously strict, and he claims that they are all HALACHA.

R. Henkin shows what the bottom line Halacha is(in his view) and how other things are obviously minhag, and not a minhag that should be binding on all.


Ask any teenaged female who has attended a seminary whether R Falk's book is a text or considered accurate for anyone outside of his community > R Falk is almost universally considered as a Talmid Chacham who has attempted to prove without much proof that the Psakim and Mimhagim of Gateshead are the same as even the Charedi sections of Yerushalayim.

Posted by: Steve Brizel at November 23, 2004 10:57 AM

Steve: Do you know when Oz v'Hadar was written?

Posted by: Reb Yudel at November 23, 2004 11:15 AM
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