Covering your hair.
Covering your hair? You look in the mirror and you see someone brand new. Its scary.
Not that many things are scary. Or if they are, we adjust. But covering your hair is so personal and so potent that it literally can feel like choosing to walk on a different planet.
What we women are constantly uncovering, is ourselves. I mean, our selves.
“What a pretty little girl” may be the first thing said to us in infancy and hopefully many times afterwords. And all through adolescence and teenage hood we either revel in it or we struggle mightily to achieve it. Either way, we spend years and years with our looks making up a huge amount of our identity.
I call it The unspoken world of women. Advertisers speak of it. And maybe only the most superficial celebrities would feel comfortable talking about it; but for most of us, it just is. We look in the mirror, this way and that. We smile and check out our teeth. We wonder why that outfit looks good on her but it would look awful on me.
It’s an inner world that we work to make peace with. We literally work to uncover the layers of external identity and see past it to our selves, our inner selves as the perfect piece of perfection G-d made us.
Ask any woman, it’s hard work.
Dressing modestly is the ultimate uncovering. We peel away the messages of unhealthy body image; we scrape off the dirt that says “he looked at me – therefore I am.” We set free the woman within that is all about innerness, grace and goodness.
The covered head is a strong head, a woman with a head on her shoulders. She’s not free with a wild mane. She’s not loose with men. She’s focused on one man. Her feminine energies are powerfully contained and channeled.
It is scary to be that powerful.
Remember, we all live in a western world. Our world doesn’t encourage holy power. It encourages the vixen, the seductress: all things fleeting and unholy – and few things that lead to a true “happily ever after.”
To my non-Jewish friends, I applaud you, you amaze and delight me with your yearning for modesty.
To my Jewish friends, both single and married, please remember to be Jewish is to be different.
Say it in the mirror. Say it with just the right amount of pride (not arrogance) and purpose. To be Jewish is to be different. You will not look like everyone else when you get married and cover your hair. You will not.
And hopefully, you won’t need to. By the time you get married, together with the love of someone who sees you for who you are, you too will love yourself for who you are; A strong and beautiful real Jewish woman