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Question Why Do Jewish Women Cover Their Hair? (Posted by: Anonymous )

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In the heat of summer or the frost of winter, you can tell that a woman is a religious Orthodox Jew by the fact that she covers her hair. There are several reasons Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair. Modesty, or tzniut, is the primary reason: when a woman gets married, her hair has a certain sexual potency to it. You'd think that wasn't the case, especially regarding someone with a bad case of the frizzies. But no, it's true, so a woman's hair should be saved specifically for her husband. A Jewish woman can cover her hair with a hat, a snood, a kerchief (known in Yiddish as a tichel and in Hebrew as a ?????) or even a baseball cap.

Wearing a wig is a widespread practice in the Western world because of the fact that many fervently Orthodox Jewish women are in the workplace and they need to dress the part. However, wig hair is either dead or synthetic, so it doesn't impart the sexual energy that a woman's own natural hair does. And it keeps in line with the second reason that an Orthodox Jewish woman covers her hair: in order to remain at least somewhat separate from outside Western culture.

When a religious Jewish woman puts something on her head, it symbolizes the fact that she is one of G-d's own. G-d commanded the Jewish people to be holy and separate. Unfortunately, Western culture is all about shaking the booty: who has the best body, who is the sexiest, who has the most money, etc. That kind of attitude goes against everything Judaism is supposed to represent. Jewish women cover their hair to proclaim their loyalty to Jewish religion and to her husband.

On one hand, an Orthodox Jewish woman is supposed to take care of herself and to always look as good as she can because she is the daughter of G-d, the King. That makes her a princess (so yes, there is some truth in the derogatory acronym JAP: Jewish American Princess). But on the other hand, royalty has to be separate from the muck. When an Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair, they are saying to the world that the ideology they choose is one of Judaism and Torah vs. materialism and body-centric thought mode, which is an ideology or even a religion all of its own.

And the general rule regarding covering hair is that the more hair that is covered, the better. Many people make fun of the fact that in some Hasidic sects, the women shave their heads. Some people say that that was a practice initiated when the rulers of the host countries would partake in the "right of the first night", that these Jewish women would shave their heads in order to make themselves ugly to these rapists. However, many others say that because of the mystical properties of a Jewish woman's hair, the less hair visible to the outside world equals the more blessing available in the family and home.

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Please pull sources for this being an actual commandment by Hashem. I dont see any and still have yet to find them. Thank you. By Anonymous on 23-08-13 at 06:26pm
I think it's extremely worrying that you say "Western culture is all about shaking the booty; who has the best body, who is the sexiest" - that is so ridiculous; how can you generalise so many women into that category? You've basically just accused us all of being whores. Our culture does not encourage women to act like floozies, it encourages them to be liberated. If dancing and feeling free is the way we liberate ourselves, then that is just as fair as Jewish women wearing wigs. It's a personal decision. Be careful how you generalise. By Anonymous on 03-01-14 at 06:40pm
Jewish woman are considered a daughter of GOD and Christian and Muslims aren't? Jewish princess? GOD doesn't like people who think they are better than anyone else. We are all equal in GOD'S presence so long as we follow the rules of his commandments. Jews are not better, PERIOD ! By Anonymous on 09-01-14 at 12:26pm
If men have a problem controlling themselves when seeing women's hair, then maybe they should be the ones to shave and make themselves unattractive. Hashemite doesn't need women to shave their heads: its men trying to control women that demands covering and drastically actions like shaving. By Anonymous on 12-01-14 at 05:34pm
Ladies, Ladies. Calm down. Why are you all being so defensive By Anonymous on 18-04-14 at 08:02pm
How do you know its what God wants, and not mans own law, just to control women. By Anonymous on 29-04-14 at 06:14pm
Hey ladies, this is a Yishrealite speaking here, another woman. And I veil my hair entirely. Not out of subjugation but as an HONOR. My covering symbolizes that YHWH's beauty is more important than my own and I should not distract from it. And I'm a 19 year old California born western woman. You take pride in your looks and that distracts from the modesty we were meant to have, to live meaningful not lustful lives. And mind you I was not raised with this belief but came to it in my own studies and prayer. By Anonymous on 12-06-14 at 11:08am
Most religions ask women to be modest. Even western religions. They just don't heed God's command. In Islam, the woman's home usually has no visible windows at eye level for this reason among other reasons. The home gets its light from sky lights or a court yard in the center of the home. In America they should dress in long skirts & socks that cover as much as possible. Wearing hair in bun is also to honor God & out of respect for men. Leading men into impure thought, knowing this, is a sin of the woman. Any woman;) By Jen on 12-06-14 at 04:20pm
I think it's a good thing that Jewish women cover their hair. Because men are very attracted to long hair I think that it would be special to a husband if that man knew he was the only man to see his wifes hair. How precious. In the light of the torah, wouldn't you want to do everything humanly possible to make Adonai happy? Adonai looks on the heart man looks at the appearance. If we were all blind would people even wear makeup? Probably not. People who look at the appearance make their selves up for others. My husband loves it that I do this. I do it to identify with with my heritage. Where do you think the Minonite Women and The Amish Women get this practice of covering the hair. I mean really. By Sarah on 18-06-14 at 05:23pm
It is a similarity between Judaism and Islam Some have passed this issue many years ago and they adapting and moving forwards This indicates unbalance somewhere, maybe it is from the women side: feeling holy when doing what they consider a holy book, is telling her to do, or the unbalance is indeed from the man side and the women are behaving as a result One fact to be remembered: do whatever you feel comfortable doing but do not impose on others, By Anonymous on 23-06-14 at 09:05am
As a Christian woman who covers her head whilst praying and in church, my understanding is that it is in respect and an outward sign that a woman honors her husband / the man as the head of the her/the woman. This is NOT any disrespect to ANY woman. The woman should not do it if her heart does NOT agree with the commandment. Respecting a man as the head does not diminish the woman at all...we are all one in Christ but God has order. There is something to be said about a man being attracted to a woman's glory of her hair....hmmmm. but...let everyone be convicted in his/her own heart. Love God...love one another...that covers all the law! By Anonymous on 02-07-14 at 01:09am
I really se no difference between a wig and a tichel or a full Burka. They are equally as repressive. It is incredible how similar some of these rules are between Islam and Judaism By Anonymous on 18-07-14 at 04:07pm
Why cover your hair with false hair? False or real, it is still hair and if you are going to cover your hair so you don't appeal to men, then why wear a beautiful stylish wig. Doesn't that appeal to men? God gave us a head of hair, and we should not be ashamed of it. It is not a private part that is being exposed. A man can get turned on by an ear, by an ankle, by anything. Should a woman cover up herself entirely? By Anonymous on 22-09-14 at 04:50pm
I agree with you about Western culture. I've seen women showing off colored bras underneath a see-through top, thongs exposed by jeans that hang half-way down the butt and plunging necklines. Those women are WANTING males to lust. The wickedness of Hollywood doesn't help either (false heroes/heroines). Our bodies are meant for a spouse only (not prostituting it in skimpy clothing - "look at me!"). It's too bad, as it sends the wrong message to the young people, that it's OKAY to lust. You can be sure HaShem is not pleased. At least there are still secure people who dress modestly in this world! By Karen on 20-10-14 at 02:20am
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