Modesty and Jewish Orthodox world in Israel.

Obsession with cleaning rituals, hatred of sex, obsessive compulsive disorder of schizoid personalities

In the  Jewish religious world in Israel the idea of modesty has become of paramount importance. But the question remains, "How much support does it have from the Talmud?" At first glance there does seem to be some support. A man is not allowed to say a blessing while looking at a woman's  uncovered hair or other areas that it is the custom to cover. And this has further support from Ketubot 72 and the Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 116. The Talmud says: AND WHAT IS DEEMED TO BE A WIFE'S TRANSGRESSION AGAINST JEWISH PRACTICE? GOING OUT WITH UNCOVERED HEAD. Is not the prohibition against going out with an uncovered head Pentateuchal; for it is written, And he shall uncover the woman's head, and this, it was taught at the school of R. Ishmael, was a warning to the daughters of Israel that they should not go out with uncovered head — Pentateuchally.
It is quite satisfactory if her head is covered by her work-basket; according to traditional Jewish practice, however, she is forbidden to go out uncovered even with her basket on her head.

R. Assi stated in the name of R. Johanan: With a basket on her head a woman is not guilty of  going against Jewish custom. In considering this statement, R. Zera pointed out this difficulty: Where [is the woman assumed to be? If it be suggested, 'In the street', it may be objected that this is already forbidden by Jewish practice; but if she is in a court-yard the objection may be made that if that were so you will not leave our father Abraham a single daughter who could remain with her husband! — Abaye, or it might be said, R. Kahana, replied: The statement refers to one who walks from one courtyard into another by way of an alley.


There is a basic debate here about the courtyard requirements. The Rambam on one side and everyone else against him as is common .i.e. Rosh, Tur, Shulchan Aruch etc.]

This little paragraph of the Talmud is good example of the issues that arise in learning the Talmud. I have actually not looked at the Tosphot there for centuries, but just off hand you can see some of the major questions that arise right away. First, what in the world in R. Yochanan talking about?!!! Is he coming to disagree with R. Ishmael? Or just with the conclusion of the Gemara that in a public domain even a basket if forbidden? Or is it possible he is not disagreeing with the conclusion? [Even though that seems highly unlikely.]
Then next question. What in the world is R. Zera talking about? The Mishna or Braita or Rabbi Yochanan?  Now we have 6! (factorial) [6*5*4*3*2*1= 720] possible combinations of possibilities of how to explain this Gemara, even before we get into questions of content!
  The problem here with the Orthodox is that in fact they do not cover the hair of their unmarried daughters. so they obviously do not hold that R. Ishmael is the Halacha. Rather they are depending on the fact that it is not the Jewish custom to cover the hair of unmarried girls- even though  R. Ishmael says it is forbidden by Torah law.
  But furthermore, the whole Gemara and Shulchan Aruch for  do not mention anything about covering any other part of the body. Now the frum [religious ] are right that it would seem that the other parts of a woman's body might be considered to fall into the same category. But the problem with this is that there is not a single authority that says so. Just open the Shulchan Aruch and you will see many authorities discuss the issue about the hair and no one says that you can extrapolate out of that anywhere else. [And when the Gemara wants to include other things besides hair in the category of what is forbidden it has no trouble stating them openly. I don't need to mention examples because they are  many. one example is what parts of the body need to be covered when a man is there saying the Shema. Another example is what parts she needs to cover if she is taking trumah. She does not in fact have to cover any part. But she needs to be siting.]
And the third problem is it depends on the common Jewish custom. The last time I checked the Orthodox does not represent the common Jewish custom .There are many Jews with other customs like going to the beach on the weekends.

In any case i have not learned this with a learning partner so i am not making any halcha conclusion right now. i am just bring up the points that need to be looked into

The nice thing about the religious is that they do try to learn the Talmud and there is a very special holy aspect of this. But it seems that the Conservative are a lot more Kosher. They don't make it a mitzvah to try to destroy and bankrupt the State of Israel. [If the orthodox had only this one flaw, it would be enough to consider them anti semites. The fact that is is even a question puts the whole Orthodox  movement into question.] But the question of the right path is not what is bothering me about the Orthodox. It is more of a feeling that the whole thing seems to have something hidden in it that is not kosher. This is not just a feeling, but based on empirical evidence.