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Orthodox Conundrum

May 15, 2023

Tzniut is triggering.

That became clear when the Orthodox Conundrum Podcast released episode 145 entitled, “The Challenges of Teaching Tzniut & the Challenges of Being Tzanua, with Shayna Goldberg.” That episode, in which Scott asked Shayna to focus on issues related to tzniut (modesty) and clothing, addressed some of the most pressing concerns, and the conversation generated quite a bit of discussion.

Today’s conversation is again about tzniut, this time about tzniut as a whole, and from the perspectives of Bracha Poliakoff and Rabbi Anthony Manning, the authors of a very well-received new book entitled, Reclaiming Dignity: A Guide to Tzniut for Men and Women. 

In this wide-ranging discussion, Scott spoke with his guests about some of the same issues discussed in the earlier podcast as well as some that are quite different. Among the topics are how to define tzniut, what has gone wrong in education for tzniut that so many people are turned off by the very word and the trauma some experience when it comes to tzniut, how to legitimize different approaches, the problem of weaponizing modesty in order to delegitimize others, how much of tzniut is subjective, the confusing of the terms tzniut and erva and the consequent problems, whether obsessing about modesty leads to oversexualization of women, the judgmentalism that seems to be part and parcel of typical thinking about tzniut, and much more.

Please listen to and share this podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (

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Music: "Happy Rock" by