Women, Tzniut, and Geulah

As I write this, it is Rosh Chodesh Nisan. We’re entering the month of Pesach and the celebration of Yetziat Mitzrayim. We’re also in the middle of an upheaval of our lives that we’ve never experienced before thanks to COVID-19. We have to prepare for Pesach while minimizing outside errands and we have to brace ourselves for very small Sedarim without the usual extended family. 

I do find this whole thing difficult for a lot of reasons, just like everyone else. However, one of the things that gives me hope is the knowledge that this won’t last forever. I’m convinced that this will end in one of two ways. The first is the gradual way with the pandemic subsiding, schools and shuls and workplaces reopening, and routines restarting. The second is the more abrupt way with Moshiach ben David getting here and ending it. Of course, I’m hoping and praying for the latter. 

When it comes to geulah, there’s a teaching that I have always loved. It was said many times that we women are the ones who have brought about the geulah. Whenever we Jews were in trouble, we women came forward and did what we had to do. 

When we were in Mitzrayim in slavery, the men lost faith and left their wives figuring that they don’t want to father another generation of slaves. We women didn’t lose faith, but instead of just trying to convince the men, we made copper mirrors and used them to dress nice and do our hair and put on makeup. The men couldn’t resist so they went back to their wives and thus was conceived the generation that would leave Mitzrayim. Later on, we donated our copper mirrors for the mishkan and Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu to use them saying that they were dearer to him than anything else. 

Another teaching that I love is about Miriam bat Amram. Amram had separated from his wife to avoid fathering a boy who would be murdered. Miriam argued and told him that he was worse than Pharaoh because Amram was preventing girls from coming into the world. Amram could’ve argued that there was no point to that, but he knew that Miriam was right and that girls have their own intrinsic value and so he went back to his wife. Thus was conceived Moshe Rabbeinu who led us out of Mitzrayim. 

I frequently write about the need for women to not hide their faces and I find it very ironic that I now have to wear a mask when I leave my home (I’m healthy but my doctor suggested it as an extra precaution). At least that’s not limited to women. But I’m trying to keep my face out there on social media to remind everyone that I’m still here and I’m still coping.

Meanwhile, I was wondering when certain people would start trying to blame the COVID-19 pandemic on women and telling us that we need to be more careful with tzniut and such. And I didn’t have to wait long. 

But you know what? I’m going to do exactly that. I’m not going to stop my precautions but I’m going to keep reminding women that without us coming forward, saying what needs to be said, and putting our faces out there, we wouldn’t have a geulah of any kind. Hiding is NOT tzniut. I’ve written that before and I stand by it. I can even back that up with math. 

If we women do come forward and do what we have to do, we might be able to bring about this year’s geulah. And who knows? We might even bring about the Geulah Shleimah. Let’s do this and not disappear.  

May Hashem grant a Refuah Shleimah to the sick, continued good health to the rest, Parnassah to all, and may He bring us all Home very soon. 

About the Author
Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe stylist, personal shopper, and writer/blogger. Her goal is to help women feel good about themselves and to dispel the myths about tzniut and dressing well. Her heart is in Eretz Yisrael, but for now, she and her family live in Queens, NY.
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