Monday, December 8, 2014

Hair Covering: The Women Speak

For part two of the hair covering discussion (can you say "controversial"?), I've polled women of all kinds on their feelings on hair covering - why they cover, or not; with what and when; and how it makes them feel.  I still have not heard from a woman who does not cover her hair as to why she doesn't, so open invitation for that, but here's a sampling of the responses I've received, including a woman who isn't Jewish (see Kajsa's response at the end).

Note: the word "tichel," not to be confused with "kichel," is a Yiddish word for kerchief.

The Questions:

1. Do you cover your hair?
2. If so, why?
3. If not, why?
4. Did you always know, growing up, that you would?
5. What is your preferred method of covering your hair - wig, scarf, hat, baseball cap, or any old thing will do?
6. What influences your answer to #5?
7. How has covering your hair, or lack thereof, impacted on your identity as a Jewish woman?

The Answers:


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hair Covering: My Midlife Crisis part 1

It seems I'm hitting my midlife crisis early, and it's called "wrapping."

In my community, covering one's hair is de rigeur for married women, and mostly that's done with a wig.  Lots of us cover our hair more casually, like with a chenille snood or pre-tied bandanna, but that would be akin to changing into your sweats.  Like, if you're "dressed," you're also wearing a wig.

But in my recent trips to Israel, I've become more and more gaga over these beautiful scarves that women wrap their heads with.  They are just magnificent.  No yoga-pants-look here.  These women are dressed.  There is just something about the sheer authenticity of covering one's hair with a scarf that grabs me.  And so, with the help of Wrapunzel and their cool YouTube tutorials, I'm wrapping more and more.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gezunta Goodies

This is our final post from our sponsor, Gezunta Goodies.  To advertise on the blog, email

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Monday, November 24, 2014


Some of you may have missed "Finding Meaning in Terror," my most recent post, if you receive notifications via email, since it appeared on the same day as an ad which appeared at the top of the email.  Please be sure to check it out.

"May G-d avenge their blood."

Sounds harsh?  This is a standard prayer that one might say when hearing of the death of a fellow Jew at the hands of a hate crime - of one who was killed for being Jewish.  Last week, I included this short prayer at the conclusion of a Facebook post. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gezunta Goodies

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Finding Meaning in Terror

a guest post by Gevura Lauren Davis

11: 32 Monday night
As I was trying to fall asleep, the first message came in from my friend. “OMG, Gevu, terror attack in HAR NOF!!!” Har Nof: the neighborhood in Jerusalem we were blessed to live in for six years. Where I studied. Where we were married. Where we raised our first two children. 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

In Defense of Conversion Rabbis

by Amy Newman Smith 

“And then the rabbis come in,” my friend explained.

“WHAT?!?” I shrieked. I had asked her, a recent convert with the same beis din (rabbinic court) that was handling my conversion, to walk me step by step through the process.

The rabbis come in? To the mikveh? My thoughts were rapid and panicked. I had met and married a fellow Conservative movement convert. Together we had grown in a different direction and were on the threshold of finalizing our Orthodox conversions after 18 months of learning and living Orthodox Judaism. We had upended our lives in more ways than I can count, lost friends who thought we had lost our minds, moved from an apartment we loved to one we hated in order to be within walking distance of the synagogue. And now, my panicked brain thought, I’m going to have to call it all off. I had learned the laws of mikveh, the ritual bath, and knew nothing could be between my body and the water. I had gotten rid of my pants, raised my necklines, started covering my hair. And now I was supposed to be naked in front of three rabbis? Oh no. That was not going to happen.