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Hair Today


Scarves, scarves and more scarves.

If we met in person, one of the first things you'd notice about me is my hair. Or haircovering. Its something that identifies me as an Orthodox Jew to the outside world and marks my closeness to G-d on a personal level.

On my mikveh (ritual bath) visit before getting married, the mikveh lady asked if I would be covering my hair. "I'm not sure. I haven't decided yet." I replied a little embarrassed to tell a woman in a wig that I didn't think so. "As long as you're thinking about it, it's good" she replied.

Time went on I moved from covering at the beit knesset (synagogue) to sometimes covering depending on where I was going. Slowly, as I spent more of my time in the Jewish world I began covering more and got to the point where I usually had a beret or soft hat on with my hair hanging out the bottom.

In December 2002 we went to Israel and as we drpve onto Jerusalem I finally made the commitment to cover fully. It was something that had been building for a long time, Seeing the rusted trucks that stood to remind us of what we as a people have gone through just pushed me over the edge.

It hasn't always been easy or comfortable. Do I feel frumpy sometimes? Yes. But I felt that way when I had a "bad hair day" so it isn't a new feeling. Do I feel out-of-place among non-Jewish or non-religious people? Yes, but perhaps the place I'm at is somewhere I shouldn't be; or someone will see me and a spark will be lit.

Covering connects me to generations of women who have maintained their Jewish-ness in times where it seems only crazy people could. Times of danger and times of hardship. Its a thread that connects me with my ancestors and will (G-d willing) connect me to my descendents. But what haircover connects me to the most? G-d.

I see covering as the great mitzvah I do solely for myself and G-d. Keeping kosher? I can't imagine not keeping kosher personally and running a kosher home so I think of that as a family commitment. Family purity? My husband is a partner there. Observing Shabbat? Again, a family affair. But my hair? It's all me. And it's something I'm proud of and love doing. 

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Reader Comments (1)

This is lovely. Such a great little sneak peek into you and your life and your thought process. Especially poignant because as an "outsider," I better understood a little bit more about the tradition and thought process of head covering. Thank you for sharing this.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKtMac

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