Rabbi Aviner dictates dress code for 11-year old girls

Sleeves down to the hands, skirts down to the ankles, top button done up to cover the bottom of the neck.

October 10, 2019 18:32
2 minute read.
Rabbi Aviner dictates dress code for 11-year old girls

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish girl walks past a shop window displaying women's head coverings in Bnei Brak, Israel July 18, 2017. Picture taken July 18, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of the leading figures of the religious-Zionist community’s hard-line wing, has issued what he called the “Ten Commandments” for modest dress for young girls in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday.

Among the strictures he delineated for girls ages 11 and older, are that they wear ankle-length skirts, shirt sleeves down to their hands, and button up the top button of their shirts so that the bottom of their neck is concealed.

Aviner has issued similar directives in the past for which he received strong criticism, including determining the color and form of acceptable clothes for women and young girls, going so far as to give instructions for the acceptable thickness of stockings.

Facebook prevented the rabbi’s post from being shared, saying the post “goes against our Community Standards.”

Aviner’s post also generated strong criticism among Facebook users, as well as from other organizations.

The rabbi put up the post on Thursday, writing it as if it was an 11-year old girl writing the directives.

“I will soon be bat mitzvah and I want to be a modest girl,” Aviner wrote. “I want to be a beautiful girl in the eyes of God, meaning modest.”

In this fictional 11-year-old’s name, the rabbi wrote that the girl would not grow a ponytail, but rather braid her hair; would button up the top button of her shirt and wear a shirt which covers the bottom of the neck; would wear a “wide shirt” and “wide skirt” that “disguises the form of the body”; wear sleeves down to her hands and skirts down to her ankles; wear shoes with modest colors and without heels; and would go without “rings, jewelry or decorations.”

KAN journalist Melech Zilbershlag asked sardonically on Aviner’s post if he has a similar set of modesty rules for boys as for girls, and then proceeded to post his own parody modesty rules on his Facebook page, including “sidelocks down to the ankles,” and “no rings, jewelry or decorations. Just a smart watch and only Apple’s!”

The moderate religious-Zionist organization Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah said that Aviner’s obsessions with female modesty objectify women and have the opposite effect.

“Dealing with dress in this way, down to the smallest detail, is likely to bring us to objectification and immodesty,” the organization said in a statement to the press. “This is in addition to the educational mistake that makes our daughters feel that they are sinners. As parents, we must draw a line and make sure that our children’s educational institutions do not have male rabbis or educators who will address our daughters in such a way.”

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