Man Veils – Taking Personal Responsibility For Shmiras Einayim

Shmiras einayim, or, guarding your eyes, is a mitzvah that seems mainly geared toward men guarding their eyes against the sight of immodestly dressed women.  It also applies to men lingering their gaze for immoral purposes on any woman, whether she is modestly dressed or not.

Usually, women bear the brunt of the burden for ensuring that men don’t violate this mitzvah by adhering to laws of modest dress and behavior so that they don’t attract attention to themselves.  Be attractive, not attracting.

A few years ago, I heard about the phenomenon of religious men wearing blurry glasses outdoors, in order to prevent themselves from sinning.


I’m not sure how well that particular invention took off, but lately there have been sightings of another innovation to help men preserve their purity – male modesty veils. [ETA – Shmilda commented that the photos are of Breslov Chasidim leaving for their annual Rosh Hashana pilgrimage to Uman from Tel Aviv in 2012.  For some reason these photos are making the rounds of the internet again.]

man veils

man veils 2

The bottom photo is accredited to Yaakov Naumi on the Mystical Paths blog.  The first photo was shared on Facebook, and I didn’t see an accreditation, but as it is also in an airport, it’s possible it’s from the same photo shoot.

I find this a refreshing change from the usual onus put upon women to weave an ever expanding cocoon of material over their bodies.   These men are taking responsibility for their own stringencies.  They aren’t placing demands upon women to cover up or stay at home.  They aren’t shouting “Pritzus!” or “Zonah!” at immodestly dressed women.  They are covering their own eyes.

Would I want to be driving alongside a veil-wearing man on the highway?  No.  Would I want to be within groping distance as he feels his way along a hallway to get to a correct office suite number?  No.  Would I want to be on the receiving end of a veil-wearing sales clerk handing me a package of pickle jars or paper weights?  Not unless I had fast hands.

However, I have to respect a group of men who are putting the burden of extreme modesty requirements where it belongs – on the men who demand them.


16 thoughts on “Man Veils – Taking Personal Responsibility For Shmiras Einayim

  1. The face of Judaism to the outside world. Ma yagidu, ma yachshevu bein hagoyim?. A shonda. Hishtagu lachalutin.

  2. both men and women should be modest in all their endeavors.
    We all need to be critical of our own behavior and forgiving when it comes to others.
    The only agenda we need to follow is the Halachic agenda.

      • Sharon, am I wrong in assuming that when you wrote this blog entry, you believed the photos to be real, not photoshopped.? Also, I did not detect any hint that you thought this phenomenon “funny”, which evidently is the reaction of some of your readers. de gustibus and all that.
        (as an aside, if they were photoshopped, then indeed it is highly comical). Curious minds, and all that…..

        • They looked very real to me, which is why I posted them. However, I figured there could be another explanation after reading the comments, which is why I mentioned photoshop- since we know not everything seen on the internet is real – to put it mildly. After seeing shmilda’s articles, I’m convinced the photos are real, though.

  3. Why hope its not the next thing? Aside from people shaking their head at the extremism, let men wear their veils. Good for them for taking responsibility for their own vision and thoughts. To me this is no more an oddity than it is an oddity to see women clad head to toe in shapeless sacks. The modesty laws are just becoming more absurd.

  4. lets get rid of any superimposed social constructs.
    We both women and men have the Torah G-d, we are all struggling to do His will.
    lets support each other.

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