“Ugh, this annoying skirt won’t let me ride my bike without getting it stuck everytime.” Sara complained as she ripped off her navy blue skirt and switched into a pair of jeans.
“Now I can finally ride peacefully”.
She got back onto her bicycle and rode around her neighborhood for a good half hour. When she was done riding, she got back into her house, ate dinner, and went to bed, wearing the same pair of comfortable jeans.
The next morning, Sara got up to get dressed. She stood in her closet in front of her clothes, thinking what she should wear that day. She stood there thinking-
“Should I wear a skirt or pants?”
Her jeans were definitely more comfortable. But she knew better than to wear them. She had learned that it is only tznius (modest) to wear a skirt, not pants. She slipped on a cute polka dotted skirt.
After she ate breakfast, she went over to her friend, Samantha’s house to have some fun. Sara looked at her. Samantha was wearing pants.
“I have an idea,” Samantha piped up. “Lets have a race!”
“Sure,” Sara replied.
They stepped out into the backyard.
“On your marks, get set, go!” They shouted together as they ran to the other side of the backyard.
“I won!” Samantha screamed delightfully.
“Thats it! I’m sick and tired of wearing this skirt!” Sara thought angrily.
Sara ran home and slammed the door shut.
The next day, Sara did not wear a skirt.
“Most of my friends wear pants everyday.” Sara thought. “It can’t be that bad”.
She finally got a chance to wear her comfortable jeans.
“Yes, Mom” Sara replied.
“Do you mind running over to the supermarket thats down the street for some groceries?”
“Ya, sure, where’s the list?”
“Here you go.” Sara’s mother handed her the list, and she went off to the market.
As sara was walking, she passed many different people. There was one woman who was staring at Sara for a long time, with a disturbed look.
I’m so annoyed, when will that women over there stop staring at me? Sara thought.
All of the sudden, that lady walked up to her. “Hello, whats your name?” She asked.
“Sara Abrams” she replied.
“Are you Jewish?” She asked again.
“Uh, yes ma’am.” “So why are you not wearing a tznius skirt? Don’t you know, that a beautiful young jewish girl like you must always wear modest clothing.”
Sara sat down on a nearby bench next to the woman.
“You know what, look here for a second, I’ve got something to show you.”
The woman pulled out a picture from her pocket.
“See this girl? Can you guess who this girl is?”
“I dunno.” Sara answered shyly.
“This girl is me. And do you see what she’s wearing? Pants. A pair of jeans just like you. I used to always wear pants when I was young. I didn’t think much about how wrong it was, until one day, I was walking outside to go to my friends house, when all the sudden, a woman stopped me and began telling me what I was doing wrong, just like I am doing to you right now.”
Sara was listening intently.
“And that woman told me so many stories of people’s life that were saved by keeping the mitzvah of tznius. In fact, I recently found out that my own grandmother was saved by being tznius. She was walking down the street one day, wearing her beautiful silver magen David (star of David) necklace. On the street, there were many Nazis out there looking for Jewish people to kill.”
Sara held her breath.
“But she was not killed, thanks to her tznius shirt that went up past her collar bone, which hid her Jewish necklace. So that’s my story.” The lady finished.
“And now, go on your way, and just keep in mind what I just told you.” She stood up, and left.
Sara did not stand up right away. She was thinking about what the woman had told her. After she went to the market, she returned home, still thinking. The next morning, when she woke up, she had a whole new, different feeling. She had decided to change.
From this story we learn how important it is to follow the Halachos of Tznius. Being a Tzanua girl does not mean that you are ‘different’ it just means that you, the daughter of Hashem, is special and different than all the other girls in the world.
Story written by Shaindy Schmukler and edited by Raizel Lazaroff and Laya Fishman