The Tichel Outrage

The Tichel Outrage

Linor Abargil is an Israeli lawyer who won the Miss World beauty pageant in 1998. Over the last 2 decades, she has become a global advocate in the fight against sexual violence, as well as an observant Jew. After Abargil was chosen as the MC of this year’s official Independence Day Ceremony, a former judge wrote a scathing post raging against Abargil’s head covering.

And in response, many people–including many secular Jews– have come to the defense of Linor and hair-covering in general. Some celebrities who don’t cover their hair have even chosen to post photos of themselves wearing headscarves, including (as seen in this slideshow below, in this order) Knesset member Sharon Haskel, and models Miri Bohadna and Corine Gidon. This is how Gidon explained her decision: “Everybody is entitled to choose the set of values they live by, and the way they express themselves to the world…and anyway” she added, “headscarves are super-chic.”


  1. i have been waiting for the women’s rights advocates to wake up and realize that protecting women’s rights doesn’t just mean protecting a woman’s right to wear LESS clothing –but SHOULD also include a woman’s right to wear MORE clothing!!!

    i am sorry that the narrow-minded judge was mean-spirited about Linor’s head covering, but the beautiful brocha in this situation is that so many women were made aware of this issue from a women’s rights angle, and will hopefully explore this mitzva in their own lives.

  2. Fascinating to see those TV set of political discussion groups consisting usually of one woman and two or three men. The men are in suits and ties. The women are in a few carefully placed (and one hopes firmly anchored) strips of fabric. These women are liberated? Why are they so exposed… because the men enjoy seeing them like that? They can’t enjoy it; they must be cold. After all the AC is set for the men in their shirts, ties, and lined jackets. In addition, what they say would be better heard and taken more seriously if they weren’t so undressed.

  3. On a lighter note…the women in the post look GREAT!

  4. From what I’ve read, it seems the judge was taking issue with the fact that although Mrs. Abargil wore a modest headcovering, her dress was, in his opinion, immodestly tight, and he thought that was hypocritical. I haven’t seen pictures of the dress except for the picture in this article, where it looks ok, so it may be misapplied here, but his point is valid. It’s great that women cover their hair, but if the rest of their wardrobe leaves little to the imagination (stretchy maternity tops that are so tight they reveal the baby’s gender; wigs that are longer than the woman’s skirt), it’s not quite the kiddush Hashem it could be.

    • JewishMom

      thank you for pointing this out! You made me go back and read the judge’s entire post which had been only partially quoted in the religious press. The way it had been presented in the article I read, with a partial quote, made it sound like he was upset by her haircovering. But if you read it all, what really bothered him was the religious headcovering contrasted with, what he felt, was an immodestly tight outfit. I understand why the religious press didn’t quote his whole post, since his description of her outfit is crude. but I do think it’s not right that they misconstrued his point. thank you reva for pointing this out!

    • Hi Reva,

      With all due respect, I couldn’t disagree more with your point.

      Every single Jewish and man has their own cheshbon with HKBH. There are women here in Israel who dress in a way that many people from outside of Israel find hard to understand- jeans and full head-covering, fully covered body and a strip of fabric as a head-covering, etc, etc. And it is not our business. Our relationship with H is our business, their relationship with H is their business.

      Even if this lady presented the Independence Day Ceremony this does not mean that we are entitled to comment on her dress or head-covering in a demeaning manner. The fact that the judge spoke in a vile way about her dress is simply his problem. We don’t need to get washed away with the current of the times which seems to be “well if she’s on television/ a celebrity/ fill in the blank we are allowed to comment on anything about her in any kind of way that we want.” We are believing Jews who know better than that.

      Kol Hakavod to this wonderful lady who wore such a splendid head-covering on national TV without feeling the need to explain away her actions to anybody. She knows that this is between her and H. In my eyes she made a wonderful Kiddush Hashem for presenting this national ceremony with her head covered and it made me so very proud as a Jewish woman.

      • Olga Rút

        Hi Rivkah,
        I agree with you completely. Honestly, when I’ve been watching the ceremonial, I was surprised by the combination of clear white dress and motley head scarf. But not outraged at all. The scale of “orthodoxness” is wide enough to everyone could find his place in it. And no one else has the right to judge it 🙂

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