(excerpted with permission from The Rebbe on Modesty, compiled by Rabbi Shimon Hellinger and published by Merkaz Anash)
In 5741 (1981), R. Moshe Nissan Wiener published Kevuda bas Melech, which includes all the detailed dinim and halachic views concerning tznius. In his words:
“Throughout all the stages of its preparation, I constantly updated the Rebbe and asked for directives. The Rebbe was deeply involved and encouraged me to complete it speedily.
“In 5740 (1980), on erev Shabbos Nachamu, I submitted a number of questions, and a few days later, on 15 Menachem Av, I received his detailed answers to them all, as follows:
1. In response to my proposal to produce an English translation of this work and to include it in the same volume, the Rebbe replied:
a. The English part should be set out from left to right, as in an English book. (The book was in fact printed with the Hebrew original at one end and the English translation at the other.)
b. The English text should omit all the long footnotes and all the sources, and the preface will advise the reader that they may be found in the lashon hakodesh text. The English can then also be published as a separate booklet.
c. The English chapters and subsections should correspond to the lashon hakodesh text, so that the sources will be easy to find.
d. As an additional benefit, the Rebbe suggested that the foot of each page should list the titles of the works that served as the source for each din.
2. In response to my comment that many people had argued that it is forbidden to wear a sheitl, because it, too, can be showy and immodest, the Rebbe wrote that [although anything that is worn must of course be modest], the pritzus of something that is worn (i.e., the sheitl) does not equal the pritzus of the actual body (i.e., the woman’s natural hair).
3. Despite my doubts, the Rebbe advised that my name should appear in the sefer.
4. The Rebbe added: Azkir al hatziyun lehatzlacha rabba.
“Every Passing Day is a Loss”
With the approach of chodesh Kislev, 5740 (1980), when the sefer was ready for press, I submitted it to the Rebbe, and on Wednesday, 4 Kislev, I received his handwritten reply:
“URGENT. As I have written repeatedly, every passing day on which this sefer could have been read and studied is a regrettable loss. You should therefore actively see to it that it is actually printed and bound, and the sooner the better.”
And to spur me on, the Rebbe enclosed a hundred dollars!
The Rebbe added orally: “When I wrote ‘the sooner the better’ (in the original: shaa achas kodem, which literally means ‘preferably one hour earlier’), that doesn’t mean a week earlier or a month earlier, but sixty minutes. Today is still a whole day… And don’t allow yourself to be fazed by those of ‘the Other Side’ who are looking for strange ways and means of preventing this sefer from being published.”
In addition to all the above input and encouragement, I was privileged in that the Rebbe devoted precious time to editing the Foreword.
The new edition of sefer Kvuda Bas Melech includes over 150 pages of new material (to total 440 pages) and it may be purchased at all Crown Heights sefarim stores.