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Wearing a wig is difficult; why must we continue this ancient custom?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Women & Judaism » Modesty | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Question:

I have a 38 year old son who is engaged to a relgious girl. My question is: why is it that important to be that religious or that observant as for her to cover her head. This seems to me to be an outdated and unimportant custom. After all how beneficial is it to keep the scalp from breathing?

Answer:

The law of covering the hair is indeed difficult for many people. Come to think of it, so is the law of not mixing milk and meat, not eating shell fish, not turning on lights on Shabbat etc.

I don't know anyone who ever claimed Judaism is easy, so you are not alone. I feel what you are feeling.

Covering the hair of a married woman is like the oxygen mask covering the face of an astronaut
However, while this law is longstanding it is not old. Jewish laws are divine and as such they are eternal. Eternity can never be new or old. They are as relevant today as they were 3000 years ago.

Laws in the Torah are portals for finite humans to connect to an infinite G-d. Covering the hair of a married woman is like the oxygen mask covering the face of an astronaut: yes, it covers his mouth, but it covers it in order to give him breathing abilities in whole new realms of existence. And yes, the wig/scarf covers her hair, but it uncovers whole new dimensions of life and existence.

On the simplest of levels imagine this: most people get up in the morning and get dressed, looking in the mirror to make sure they look good. The day starts with self. How simple, primitive, mundane and vain. She will get up in the morning get dressed and look in the mirror to make sure G-d is satisfied. Her day will start with G-d. How divine!

[See here for more information about about this Law - including sources. ]


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Daily Life » Clothing » Modesty

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.