Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Covering Up

I'm married, as you may have guessed- by my references to Mr. NMF, and by what it says on my profile.

When I got married, as I have grown up frum, I knew I would be covering my hair, and like the community which I lived in, that would usually comprise of buying a shaitel.

My mother wears shaitels (wigs), along with falls, berets, or hats outside the house, while snoods, and comfortable Israeli scarves inside the house. So, when I got married- I assumed I would do the same.

Hats were not really my style, or the style of the community in which I or my husband lived- and snoods were not commonly worn outside the house, as they were perceived as too casual.

Most people wore falls, or shaitels outside the house, while they reserved a comfortable pre-tied bandanna, or snoods inside the house. I also love Israeli scarves- they are the easiest for me to slip on inside the house, and the most comfortable to sleep in.

So, I wore a fall, and wore a shaitel for Shabbos- leaving my snoods inside the house, and my scarves just for sleeping. The shaitel was hot, and tiring, especially since I always had long hair growing up, so I wanted a long shaitel as well. I ended up clipping my shaitel into a banana clip or ponytail quite a bit, simply to escape from the heat.

And then I moved to Israel. I continued wearing my shaitel, and shvitzing, and watching it oxidize in the gorgeous sunshine. And then it hit me. I'm not in the US any more. So I started to watch and see.

My neighbors are mothers with kids- they wear snoods outside, almost all the time. I only see shaitels on Shabbos. Some are Sephardi- with the gorgeous scarves wrapped so elegantly. Some come from more chassidishe homes, with long scarves or cloths wrapped around every inch.
When I head to more JAPpy neighborhoods (Jewish American Princess, for those who don't know.) I see the women wearing shaitels, but mostly ponytail ones or really short- to deal with the heat.

And I said- Why in heaven's name am I wearing a shaitel? Why do I persist in wearing a long shaitel when there are thousands of stunning bandannas, scarves, tichels, snoods, and other beautiful items to wear? I belong to a community now where most women wear snoods- and they're right! It's hot outside! There are kids to worry about and places to go, work to do and people to see- wear something beautiful, colorful, and stylish- wear a snood, a scarf, a beret- but why wear a shaitel? Shaitels are beautiful as well- but can be saved for Shabbos!

And to think it took me so long to realize this- that there are so many Yidden here in Israel, and so many different ways that they all cover their hair- so many minhagim, so many different viewpoints- (for more information- read the fascinating book Hide and Seek by Lynne Schreiber, or Oz V'Hadar Levusha's section on hair covering (I know- I said the dreaded book's name- don't stone me.) )

So as of right now- I'm wearing a beautiful pink snood- excellently complementing what I'm wearing. And- I'm proud of it! I even walked into the JAP neighborhood, and had some stares- by all the shaitel wearers, but most just ignored- since there are so many different women all covering their hair different ways, everyone just gets used to it.

Mi K'amcha Yisroel- we women can all look beautiful, stylish, and gorgeous- while still listening to the Torah's precepts and covering our heads.


Bas~Melech said...

But how do you get the snoods and tichels to cover everything?

nmf #7 said...

:) We talked about this a bit on this post-

But- here's the secret. I asked a bunch of people, and here were the answers.

Firstly, there ARE snoods that
cover everything- you just may end up covering your ears.

Second- with tichels- try using 2, or 3 of the exact same color- it'll end up covering everything as well.

Third- According to R' Falk- the hair on the temple (the hardest part to figure out how to cover) is not considered "hair on the head". Check it up in his sefer. So- all those women who have a bit showing there- they are observing halacha. But- better to be machmir and cover a bit of your ears as well to cover these hairs.

Fourth- I discovered this really neat black lycra sock thing that covers all my hair- including the part on the temple- and then I put a snood/tichel over it. It's really light and comfortable- so I don't really feel the double layering. You could buy it at most hat stores. (It also prevents tichels from slipping backwards, as they are prone to do.)

Hope that helps! And, iy"H- when you get married- you'll be able to have some choices in your headgear!

Bas~Melech said...

Thanks for the tips! [clips 'n' saves for future reference]

(alas, covering my ears is not the most viable option for me as I have some hearing difficulties)