More on Hyper-tzniut: Shawl-Wearer Spotted in Borough Park

When I started this blog I never dreamed I would write so much about clothes and tzniut. But since I learned about hyper-tzniut, I’ve become a bit obsessed with the topic.

Y-Love from Jewlicious spotted a super-modest woman in Borough Park:

For the first time, I saw one of the followers of veil advocate Rabbanit Bruria Keren decked out in hijab sal and abaya…in Boro Park, walking down 13th Avenue with her friend, chatting and schmoozing in frumspeak.

Y-Love also links to an article at the British Times Online. The article’s author, Sheera Frankel, claims that the “sal” is a head-covering and that the movement began with Keren. A “shal” (I’ve been assuming that “shal” comes from the English “shawl,” but I might be wrong) is not a head-covering. Rather, it’s a cloak worn over regular clothes to obscure the female figure as seen in these wedding pictures. According to Haaretz, the “shal” movement started in Jerusalem five years ago and spread to Breslav religious returnees and others. Keren didn’t start it, but she took it to an extreme by adding the veils, speech fasts, and multiple layers.

I recently realized that some people I know (and see infrequently) wear “shalim.” I attributed their unusual dress to their religious outlook and left it at that. Like I said, before I started this blog the only clothes I paid attention to were my own.

Now I’ve learned that the women who wear the “shalim,” along with head-coverings designed to cover the neck and every last strand of hair, are all over the country. It’s not surprising that the style has spread to New York. I doubt Y-love saw a follower of R. Keren, but we’ll never know for sure.

While I’m on the subject Adderabbi posted a while ago about his sighting of a veiled woman in Bet Shemesh, sparking a discussion about the halachic implications of hyper-tzniut.

In the meantime, if your wife, daughter or friend mentions that she’s going to a shiur in Beit Shemesh, make sure you find out who’s speaking.