Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ladies, if you cover your hair for religious reasons, do you wear...? Poll Closed

Take a look at the poll, please.  It's on the upper left sidebar of this blog. 

OK, not all that many women participated, but one thing is clear.  Women's hair-covering is a very individualistic mitzvah.  What I mean is that the vast, vast majority of women to observe that mitzvah wear a large varieties of hair-covering.

For very few women is there just one way to cover her hair.  Most of us probably have a ridiculously large variety of hats, scarves and wigs for those who wear them.  I even have some wigs, but I wear them on Purim, and when my kids were in school they'd borrow them as theater costumes.

I've heard a couple of interesting approaches about hair-covering by rabbis.  One American rabbi would tell women that it's not worth the fight, the risk of Shalom Bayit, Peace in the Home, to insist on covering your hair if your husband hates the idea of it.  He even used the word, "custom," fudging the halachic (Jewish Law) basis.  I think he's mistaken.  He should have tried to work with the wary husbands to help them make peace with the idea that their wives should cover hair.  It would have been better to empower the husband to help choose the type of hair-covering.

That brings me to the psak and great insistence the Lebovitche Rebbe had that women should wear wigs.  His rationale was that more women would accept the mitzvah if they could wear a wig.  Make the woman love the hair-covering and she'll love the Mitzvah.

Think of it this way:
There's a hair-covering for everyone.  This is a mitzvah to enjoy!

Take a look here in this picture I took at Matan to get an idea of the choices we have.  There are women in wigs, but you can't tell.

Jerusalem,Israel

14 comments:

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I'd say that the obligation of a married woman to cover her hair is one of the most misunderstood mitzvot today. How does anyone expect someone to keep a mitzva she doesn't understand? And if her husband doesn't understand, that complicates the issue even more.
I was in a women's class once. I forget exactly what the subject was, but when one of the women said, "My grandmother covered her hair. My mother covered her hair. I never understood why," she wasn't off topic. The rabbi ignored her question! OK, so it wasn't phrased as a question, but she was obviously looking for an answer. How many times have similar scenes been repeated by rabbis and other teachers not wanting to deal with a sensitive subject?

Chaviva said...

I didn't get a chance to vote. Bummer.

Batya said...

Hadassa, why should it be considered a "sensitive subject?" I guess because over the generations, so many otherwise Torah-observant women have ignored it...

Chaviva, nu, what would you have voted?

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Chaviva, so you missed the vote? Use it as an opportunity to blog, if you haven't already.

wigs said...

Thanks for sharing nice article ...

Batya said...

wigs, thanks

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

I just keep thinking, "that is one happy guy (yarmulke in the middle), surrounded by all those ladies..." :-)))

I'm the first to cover my hair since the family left Europe. My mother has tried different strategies, but since my father died, she's lost her enthusiasm for the mitzvah.

I don't blame her - when I was divorced, I gave it up for a while... it just felt so pointless.

Batya said...

On my mother's side, my daughter and I are the only ones, and on my father's side we're joined by my cousin's daughter. All of us hair-coverers are in Israel. The younger generation wears their hats and scarves in court (including the Supreme Court) and the highest offices of the IDF. Only in Israel!

Lady-Light said...

I too did not get a chance to vote, what with my move and being sick and all.
Here's my view: I always wore tichels and snoods (not hats, not my style--too formal), but for the past couple of years (ok, longer than that) I wear sheitels.
They make me look ten years younger. ( I know, I know--BAD halachic reason).

Batya said...

Does it help you enjoy the mitzvah?

Rivki said...

I cover my hair with just about anything. My husband prefers the sheitel, so I try to wear that around him, but I prefer cute hats and those comfy pre-tied tichels.

I'm more curious about what women do with their real hair under the covering. I know what I do, but what does everyone else do?

Batya said...

Rivki, that's a very good question.

Lady-Light said...

(Batya, in answer to your question)
Yup.

Batya said...

LL, great, ivdu et Hashem b'simcha!