Exploring the Symbolism of Hair Covering
Rooted in the teachings of Jewish law, known as Halacha, this tradition is primarily observed within Orthodox communities and serves as a visible symbol of marital commitment and spiritual devotion.
Upon marriage, Jewish women often choose to cover their hair as an expression of modesty, commitment to G-d, and respect for the sanctity of the marital relationship. This deeply ingrained custom traces its origins to various biblical sources and rabbinic teachings.
By concealing her hair, a woman embraces a spiritual journey, emphasizing the private and exclusive nature of the bond between spouses. As well as following the Halacha that after marriage, a woman taps into a power inherent in intimacy, therefore her hair changes status and requires the need for an additional aspect of Tzniut (Modesty).
Beyond its religious underpinnings, the act of hair covering is a celebration of femininity and self-respect. Orthodox Jewish women approach this tradition with a sense of pride, finding beauty in the preservation of intimacy within marriage and the adherence to timeless values. The covering, often in the form of a scarf, hat, or wig, becomes a personal expression of faith and commitment, radiating a sense of dignity and reverence while contributing to the enduring legacy of Jewish heritage.
Over the years, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, underlined the great merit that a woman has in maintaining modesty and covering her hair, particularly with a wig, and pointed to it as a major source of blessing for her and her family. The tremendous benefit of wearing a sheitel is actually spelled out in the Zohar: “If she does so [= properly covers her hair], her children will be superior to other children of the nation; her husband will be blessed with spiritual and material blessings, with wealth, children and children’s children.”
In conversations about the observance of married Jewish women covering their hair, questions sometimes arise, such as those posed by an anthropologist critiquing the use of wigs, in place of natural hair. The anthropologist suggests that wearing wigs contradicts the original intent of modesty. However, this perspective overlooks the nuanced understanding of modesty within the Jewish tradition.
The anthropologist misinterprets the essence of modesty, equating it with unattractiveness, a definition incongruent with Judaism's perspective. From the Jewish standpoint, modesty is about privacy, not detracting from beauty. Wearing a wig becomes a manifestation of this privacy.
Far from diminishing beauty, modesty in Judaism serves to channel attractiveness into the sacred realm of marriage.
By covering her hair, a married woman communicates a powerful message: "I am not available to the public. Even my hair, the most visible part of me, is reserved for the sanctity of marriage." This perspective underscores the depth of meaning and intention behind the tradition of hair covering, reinforcing the connection between modesty, beauty, and the preservation of intimacy within the marital relationship.
At The Hustle Wig, we've dedicated ourselves to making the tradition of covering hair after marriage as seamless and accessible as possible. Understanding the significance and beauty of this mitzvah for Jewish women, we have crafted a product that prioritizes comfort, affordability, and accessibility. Our mission is to support the women who are wholeheartedly committed to preserving this cherished tradition. We take pride in offering a range of wigs that not only complement individual styles but also make it effortless for women to embrace this meaningful custom with grace and ease.
To learn more about this topic, watch the interview below with Rabbi Simon Jacobson. Gitty and Rivky sat down with him to hear his thoughts in response to all your insightful questions.
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