Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Liberal" Head-Covering And Israel

When I was contemplating my mandated rabbinical school year in Israel, along with all the other concerns on my mind (I'd never been before), I spent a bunch of time worrying about how I was going to cover my head while I was there.  I didn't have the guts to wear kippot of the normal variety.  Friends of mine had already shared plenty of stories ranging from awkward questions to accusatory statements.

So I planned to go significantly with the folded-scarf route.  However, I wanted some other option, and so I started playing with the idea of larger kippot.  I knew that plenty of liberal Orthodox married women wore hats that looked similar, although placed slightly differently.  

So I set to crocheting.  I took a lot of inspiration from various doilies that I was working on at the same time.  By the end of that year, I had quite a number of different colored, lacy kippot that cover a good majority of my head.  

These actually seemed to work out pretty well for what I wanted: I  don't know what my neighbors thought of me, but no one asked me awkward questions, and I got several requests from my Israeli peers at Machon Schechter for their own kippot of similar sorts. 

These days, I am a little unsure about how I feel about this level of coverage.  In theory, I think that I'm ok with it, paired with a braid/bun (instead of loose hair), but I haven't actually worn them as such outside.  In fact, except for a couple of my largest, they've gone to my "sell/give this away someday" pile.  It's a journey, as they say.  

In any case, here's an example: 

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