Chana Jenny, Why Do You Really Cover Your Hair?

Chana Jenny, Why Do You Really Cover Your Hair?

Last Friday night we hosted 38 Australian tourists. As usual, after we served the soup, my husband announced “If you have any questions you’ve ever wanted to ask an Orthodox rabbi, fire away. I’ve got all night.”
Their first question was the most common question he gets asked, “Could you please tell us about those big fur hats?”
Their second question was another FAQ, “How realistic is Shtisel?”
But then something happened that doesn’t happen often. A question was asked that caught us off guard.
“This is a question for your wife, if that’s OK. Jenny, why do you wear a hat?”
My husband’s a master at answering questions. I could literally wake him up at 3 AM and say, “Josh, you’ve got 5 minutes to explain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a delegation of Berkeley professors,” and by 3:05 AM he’d have each and every one of them waving Israeli flags.
But I’m not like that. I’m an OK public speaker, but far from a master.
However, I do cover my hair. And I do speak English. So at least I could try to explain…
“When a Jewish woman gets married, on a spiritual level her hair becomes sensual, it becomes ‘Erva,'” and then pointed in the direction of the sefarim lining the wall, “it’s explained in these books over here…”
And I looked out at our guests and took in 38 blank looks.
So I tried again. This time from the heart.
“But you know why I love covering my hair? Covering my hair is a public declaration that I am married, that I belong to my husband. And that means it’s been 26 years since any man who is not my husband has flirted with me.”
And after I said that, I experienced something I don’t remember experiencing before, the wonderful sensation of a roomful of people, especially the women in that roomful of people, nodding a nod that whispered: “Wouldn’t that be nice?”


  1. Wow. Chazak.
    Hashem really put powerful words into your mouth

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email