Sunday, December 30, 2012


I had a dream last night where I kept either discovering that my hair was down and my head was completely uncovered, or that my hair had somehow escaped my scarf.  On the other hand, when I realized it, there was a scarf that matched my outfit (or so I thought in the dream) sitting on a bush right next to me, just waiting for me to put it on.  The rest of the dream was a funny mix of anxiety and utter randomness (involving a car that drives itself, a trip to a university to look at its dorms where we mostly looked at their bathrooms/changing rooms, and a very flexible cast of characters).

I don't think that I've ever dreamed about my head coverings before.  Has this happened to anyone else?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another Collection of Coverings

 And here it is from the front:
 Friday: (As you saw, in preparations for travel):
Sunday:  (What do you think about the rather large twisted crown?  I was worried that it was a bit much.)
 Monday: (Definitely a work-day.)
And then I skipped taking pictures for a few days, and here's Thursday, a day off (main goal: comfort):

Friday, December 21, 2012

Traveling Time

I'm making a new stab at a covering for travel.  One of you lovely people (The fine howgiyoret) suggested braiding my hair and pinning it over my head, so that I would really eliminate the bulky stuff behind the neck issue that gets so uncomfortable on long bus trips.  It definitely took some bobby pins, but here's the result.
I'll let you know how it goes  And anyways- here's a slightly different silhouette  while I'm at it.

Any other good tips for covering your head while traveling?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Shulhan Arukh on Going Bareheaded

Shulhan Arukh 2:4
ולא ילך ד' אמות בגלוי הראש (מפני כבוד השכינה) ויבדק נקביו... 

And one should not go/walk 4 cubits with an uncovered head (because of the honor of the Shechinah [God's presence]), and one should check one's openings [i.e. keep yourself clean].  

This text codifies into what law (or what seems to be law- opinions differ, as we'll see at some point) the story from Kiddushin 31a- both the action (covering the head), the distance (4 amot/cubits), and the reason (respect for God's presence).  It does not reflect the reasoning from Shabbat 156b - there is nothing here about a covered head having any effect on our yetzer hara.  (Well, once could create a connection pretty easily, something about not sinning being how we show appropriate respect to God, but while it works, it's pretty obviously a created connection, just to weave in all the ends.)

I find it fascinating that head-covering is paired with basic hygiene.  It gives the practice this very basic feeling, as if it were something about general basic decency.  It isn't an sense that I've gotten anywhere else, yet, but it sure gives a different sense to things.  It makes me wonder if the honor of the Shechinah might be understood as "don't look like a shlump who can't take care of himself", or "don't be disgusting"- although that might take it a bit too far for me.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When You Hide Something...

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with some of my colleagues, and we were, for some reason, discussing hair.  I was mostly listening- I don't "do" my hair much, at this point (obviously).  Then one of my colleagues mentioned that I had beautiful hair (a surprise- I tend to think of it as very fine, and therefore mostly adept at escaping however I put it up)- and another woman responded: "How did you get to see her hair?".  (The answer?  We'd roomed together at a conference.)

I never thought of my hair as something secret or special, that other people would be interested in seeing.

I knew that my husband found it special that he was the only one who got to see my hair.  I'd seen women (well, college students) have this reaction to other women's hair.

But my hair?  What's the excitement in that?

Apparently, if you hide it, it does become special.  Even if it's your own- someone else will still find it exciting, even intimate.

I kept wanting to say- 'but I'm not hiding it from you!  You could see it any time, there's no problem in that.'  But it felt too odd.  Strangely exclusionary to the one man in our peer group.

I don't know what to make of that moment.  Brief though it was, it really surprised me.  I have now something special, off limits, that I never really thought about that way.  Making sure it was covered? Sure.  Feeling uncomfortable in boundary-stretching situations?  Sure.  Something other people were actively curious about?  Never thought in a million years.

Have any of you had a similar moment?  How did you feel about it?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Week of Coverings: In Which I Like Layers

Friday- The day after Thanksgiving.  Off to Goodwill, and a small variation in style: I've pulled the ends of my scarf through my bun, instead of tucking them in, to show off the fringes at the ends.  (This scarf was a gift from a former classmate and roommate, and I'm thinking gratefully about her, this morning.)

I rather missed taking photos on Sunday.  But, here on Monday is a scarf we bought at Goodwill on Friday (same style as Friday):
 Wednesday: (It went with a red and white blazer that I'd already shed by the time I got to the computer)
Thursday: Here's the full view:
 And here's a close-up, since the colors are pretty similar, and blend into each other at a distance.
And now a bonus: Shabbos (Saturday day)-
 And from the side:  Definitely a more dramatic look...  And a hat for once.
From the front: