Question: In my community, the standards of tzniut are quite different than those espoused by some of my relatives. Do you think I need to conform to my relatives’ standards when I visit them in order not to cause anyone anguish?
Answer by Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller:
Your problem is that you don’t think tzniut is a virtue. You wouldn’t find it all that terrible if someone told your child to be more virtuous. You probably have no problem with people giving more tzedaka, being more honest, doing more chesed, and living a more righteous life than you. You would probably feel awkward as I did, when I was once visiting the Rachmastrivka Rebbetzin. Someone came to the door asking for tzedaka. She listened to the whole story, read the entire letter (which I usually don’t), and then began showering the man with brachot. She named a sum that she would give (which is a lot more than what I usually give) and apologized that this was all she could offer. She then went to the kitchen and returned with double the amount she had promised him. I felt small and cheap in her presence. I’m willing to say that the experience was worth it because it ignited something inside me to want to grow in chesed.
If you have relatives or acquaintances who are more modest, let that be an inspiration to you for greater refinement. Move yourself towards something greater than your status quo. Tzniut is a virtue and there’s always room for growth. You don’t have to content yourself with mediocrity and there’s nothing admirable in doing so .