The following letter was first issued several years ago. With the passage of time, the concerns remain most relevant and deserving of our attention.
Upon entering the Toras Emes campus, one sees young children playing happily and running about. Initially, this school scene may resemble other early childhood and elementary school programs. However, what is not very obvious at first glance, is the extraordinary uniqueness of our school and the purpose for which this institution was created and continues to flourish. Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes is a Makom Torah that not only has the inherent sanctity of any Torah institution, but has an elevated sense of purpose, as well. We would like all who enter the Toras Emes campus to recognize they are entering more than a child’s playground and school, but rather a location that represents a higher calling and a greater level of sanctity.
One manifestation of this aspect of the school is the standard for dress we set for adults, that reflects the dignity and holiness of our sacred Torah. Personal standards of modesty are each individual’s right to choose, but one who comes to a place of Torah should dress in a manner consistent with sanctifying the Torah, a manner of dress that reflects the Kedusha requisite to invite Hashem into our establishment.
We urge each parent, family member and friend to keep this in mind when visiting our campus, whether for a quick delivery or pickup or for a school program. While it is clearly unintentional, men in shorts or without head covering or in open shirts are not demonstrating respect for our Makom Torah. Women in pants, low cut tops, short skirts, very short sleeves or tight fitting attire are unknowingly disregarding the sanctity of a Torah school. We are sure that no adult would willingly and purposefully act in a way that undermines the very values they work so hard for their children to achieve.
Please contact me with any questions or comments. Toras Emes is a place where children and adults are inspired to learn and grow. If we are unified as parents and educators and strive together for greater accomplishments, we will, in turn, inspire our precious children to reach their vast potential in knowledge, values and spirituality.
With best wishes for a wonderful Shabbos and Chodesh Tov,
Rabbi Kalman Baumann