The Torch explores gender and religion in the Jewish community. Named for Deborah the Prophetess, "the woman of torches," the blog highlights the passion and fiery leadership of Jewish feminists, while evoking the powerful image of feminists "passing the torch" to a new generation. Disclaimer: All posts are contributed by third party authors. JOFA does not assume responsibility for the facts and opinions presented in them.
Please dress appropriately and modestly at all times. Modesty is the mark of a man – your beauty is within. You are like a prince, a jewel, a diamond, and just like a precious gem, we want to protect you and keep you safe.
Trouser length: some men are not aware that when they sit down their trouser leg might rise up revealing a glimpse of ankle. There are special devices you can use when you try on clothes to ensure that this does not happen.
We suggest you shop with a friend who can ensure that your shirt is not too revealing or see through from the back.
Please take special care with your shirt collar; there is a fashion to undo the top button and this could inadvertently reveal a glimpse of chest hair.
Although it is halakhically permitted for men to light Shabbat candles, it is not really in keeping with the dignity of the community for men to do so. We suspect too that many men who try to do this are doing it for the wrong reasons.
Similarly with baking challah. This is simply a provocative act aimed at stretching boundaries. If we let men bake challah, where will it lead? Before we know it, they will be wanting to make the cholent too.
Photos of boys (including toddlers) should not be published in newspapers or advertisements. This should be the case even when they are dressed modestly as it is not deemed appropriate for women to see photos of small boys.
We urge all men to increase their adherence to laws of modesty. The current rise in terrorism in Israel and indeed, anti-Semitism around the world, is entirely due to the fact that some men are wearing revealing clothes, trousers that are too tight, or have shirt sleeves rolled up too high.
Some modern men seem to be objecting to the morning blessing and complaining that they are not “made according to God’s will” like women are. Dear gentlemen, we would like to reassure you that even though you might not be made according to God’s will, you are just as important as women. Just because you have different roles does not mean that you are not as important. The blessing is not intended to suggest you are less equal than women just because you are not made according to God’s will.
Please dress appropriately when collecting your children from school. If you must drive (and we believe it is immodest for men to drive) then take care getting out of the car lest your trousers rise up and reveal an ankle. Please make sure that arms are covered to the wrist even in summer – we are seeing more and more hairy wrists on display and this is not acceptable (and probably causes terrorism). Any father not adhering to the modesty rules risks their child being removed.
In terms of family purity, please note that if you suspect that you might have wasted seed during the night, you should take your underwear to your rebbetzin and she will ascertain its status and whether you need to visit the mikveh (this can be done anonymously or via your wife).
Pronounced: CHO-lent, Origin: Yiddish, but believed to be derived from French, a slow-cooked stew traditionally prepared for and left cooking over Shabbat.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.