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What is the mystical significance of women covering their hair?

by Rabbi Tzvi Shapiro


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


Preface: in addition to adding a mystical dimension to the Halachah of covering the hair, this article will also answer three questions: 1) Why is a wig adequate (and often preferred) if it looks pretty? 2) Why don't single women cover their hair? 3) Why do divorced women cover their hair?


A person is comprised of matter, and the energy that gives it life; otherwise known as body and soul.

This energy is more evident in, and connected to, certain clusters of the matter, and less in/to others. For example, the energy/matter ratio in the brain is extremely high, and thus even a tiny defect in the matter of the brain can cause tremendous damage to the energy flow.

Hair contains the lowest energy/matter ratio. That is why one can completely severe the hair all the way to the scalp (and beyond) with experiencing no (or minimal) pain.

There is energy in the hair and that is why it grows; but the energy is at a minimum.

Men and Women

Men and women differ in their energy levels.

Men are created with an abundance of untamed energy, and this energy must be channeled or contained. Left unguided, men (and their impulses) often wreak havoc. This is the reason for much of the aggressive, violent, and dominant nature so natural to men.

The man’s mind runs wild, his heart beats in a beastly fashion, and he gravitates towards forceful sports/activities. There is an obvious energy overdose.

Women, on the other hand, are created with a perfect balance of energy, and this energy must be nurtured and preserved. On their own and intuitively, women are more sensitive, subdued, and at ease.

The woman’s mind thinks practically, her heart beats with compassion, and she seeks serene and productive hobbies/activities. There is an evident energy/matter harmony.

Challenging and Channeling

Both men and women have their own unique challenges. The challenge of the man is not to let his energy run wild, and the challenge of the woman is not to let her energy run dry.

Whereas men need to reach perfection, women need to maintain it.1

Thus, the lack of energy in hair is actually a positive expression for men but could be a negative experience for women. In women the hair contains a reduced amount of an already perfect dose of energy, thus reducing it to a dangerously low level.

Although the energy we speak of has physical manifestations and evident consequences, it is essentially a spiritual energy with much of its functionality and consequences invisible to the naked eye. And it is particularly this spirituality that we must be concerned about.

Patching the Leak

When the spiritual energy is reduced to a minimum the potential for negativity and unholiness grows vastly. The fact that a woman’s hair can be so seductive is merely one, apparent, consequence of this drop in energy level. More importantly is the fact that the spiritual forces of darkness, the Kelipah, seek to feed off that type of weakened/darkened energy.


  • 1. Incidentally that is why men don’t thank G-d for making them any particular way (bcause they need to reach perfection on their own), rather they thank G-d for not making them a particular way. Whereas women thank G_d for "making me" according to His will, because they are created with a perfect balance.


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Daily Life » Clothing » Modesty

Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.
The most basic work of Jewish mysticism. Authored by Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai in the 2nd century.
(pl. Kipot). The head-covering worn by Jewish males. Serves as a constant reminder of the existence of a Higher Being.