Feb 17, 2011

The Proposed Dress Code Bill

An MK from Shas is trying to promote a new law that would require all State employees to dress in a uniform that is respectable and modest.

MK David Azoulai says that by establishing a uniform the government offices will broadcast a level of seriousness and trust, preventing employees from coming to work in clothing that is too exposed or other dress inappropriate for work.

According to Azoulai, the issue is not just "tzniyus" but also respectable and presentable appearance. or at least he is using that to promote the issue because tzniyus concerns alone would not help the bill pass. According to Azoulai men would have to wear a jacket and tie, and he is not defininf what a woman would have to wear - he is not saying long sleeves or short sleeves, but he leaves it up to each government office's manager to determine what that office's dress code would be. Of course he adds a caveat that the dress code would have to be one that would be appropriate for all the employees, including the religious employees. (source: NRG)

Azoulai says that there is no reason government employees should not have a dress code, just as El Al stewards and stewardesses do, just as postal employees do (they do? I never noticed a dress code), just like bank employees do (they do? at most they wear a pin with the name of the bank clipped to their shirt. I never noticed a uniform).

It is pretty standard today for offices to have dress codes, and often they even have uniforms, providing the shirts or some other article that bears the name of the company. Israelis are particularly casual and bold with how exposed they are willing to go out in public and to a work environment, and a uniform dress code is something that can make plenty of work places more presentable. This will be seen though as a form of religious coercion, as a way of forcing everyone to dress according to Orthodox standards. In concept it is not a bad idea.


  1. "Of course he adds a caveat that the dress code would have to be one that would be appropriate for all the employees, including the religious employees."

    Of course, the problem with this statement is that it is purposefully vague.

    My response to it would be, "We are asking all employees to wear business appropriate attire - for example, collared and sleeved shirts and dark slacks or skirts. You may, if you wish, wear such articles of clothing that have full length sleeves or ankle-length skirts, which will also fulfill these requirements."

    Remember, the only INappropriate uniform for the religious would be one mandating that THEY MUST wear untzniusdik clothing. As long as a standard BUSINESS type dress code is set, there is nothing to stop religious employees from wearing tznius clothing that still conforms to the code.

  2. "According to Azoulai men would have to wear a jacket and tie"

    I'd love to see this enforced, even for just one day. You ain't see riots till they day they haul off Litzman and Gafni for tzniut violations!

  3. Great idea. Not in any way excusing the man's horrible deeds, if this had been in force, maybe Katzav would not be in the situation he is in now.

  4. I think ties should disappear, the are not necessary. But a nice white shirt, with collar and long sleeves is very respectable and crisp and clean looking. Ties restrict the airways and add to indigestion when eating. Poor men that have to wear ties. I don't think wearing suits makes men more careful with the women, it's a M.E. mindset.

    Now when it comes to women, this much more difficult and touchy. Personally, I'd like to mandate, no exposed bulges, too tight anything, too short anything, and the list goes on. But definitely not in the direction of tents!

    My husband can't go into town with me as soon as the weather gets warmer, because of over-exposure and downright nakedness. What are they thinking!? My husband was in shock when we first arrived here, in the summer. He had never seen been exposed to such pritzus before, even inAmerica. 

    I remarked that it's because this is a very romantic climate and the young girls are trying to find husbands. I wonder if this behavior really increases births and with that the Jewish population?


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