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  Home > Books > Women > Jewish Law / Halacha >

Hide and Seek: Jewish Women and Hair Covering
Hide and Seek: Jewish Women and Hair Covering
 
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Traditional Judaism considers the hair of a married woman erotic. As a result, married Jewish women are generally expected to cover their hair, except in front of their husbands, and sometimes in the company of other women. For most of Jewish history this practice was not disputed -- mainly because society at large also considered it immodest for women to let their hair down in its city streets. }}However, as the general definition of modesty has changed in the last two centuries, Jewish women have followed suit, debating the necessity of covering their hair in a world that remains "uncovered." Today, most observant, married Jewish women cover their hair in some way although a vocal minority declines to do so at all. Hair covering has, therefore, become the bellwether for religiosity, turning practice into politics.}}Sources dispute the when, why and how of hair covering, but nearly all agree on one thing: it is the obligation of married Jewish women to cover their hair in some manner. To be frank, it is not always an easy observance. It can, in fact, change the very nature of a woman's identity when her reflection fails to display what she once considered an identifying trait.}}This book explains the law, considers the customs and includes the voices of women from around the world who are very much moved by the nature of this challenging observance.}}"The social ramifications of Jewish law--how does observance make you a better person--is often asserted, but rarely studied. Hide and Seek: Jewish Women and Hair Covering is an excellent anthology of essays, written mostly by women, about how the mitzvah of hair covering affected them."}--Rabbi Michael Broyde, Rabbi of Young Israel of Atlanta, Georgia, Rabbinical Judge, and Professor of Law}}Lynne Meredith Schreiber is a journalist, college instructor and author of three other books. She lives in Oak Park, Michigan with her husband and son.

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