I love the question behind the question. And this is one I get a lot. Why do I wear a tichel? This video will answer that for you. But now I want to ask another question. Don’t I think everyone should wear a tichel? And my answer is NO.
Our goal is to serve G-d, and the Torah gave us instructions on how to go about doing that. Our goal is to work on our character, to reach ever higher levels of holiness. And by following the Torah and being in constant dialogue with ourselves and with G-d, we will find our path to greatness.
The problem is, that as a society, we love rules, they make us feel safe. This is what we wear, this is what we don’t wear. This is done and this is not done. Rules are a natural part of any culture’s identity. They can bring a people together as they give more avenues for people to identify with each other.
The downside of this is when we start mixing up Torah guidelines with our own need to belong. Then our world becomes unecessesarily narrow, with countless rules, spoken and unspoken of what it means to be religious.
What we’re left with when we do that, is superficial judgments, superficial service of G-d and disrespect for anyone who chooses differently than us.
But none of it, not the color of your shirt or your choice of career or if you make gefilte fish or not makes you a better person.
None of it is our real barometer of success. The only measurement that counts is how much we’ve grown in our service of G-d. So if you make a choice that supports your relationship with G-d then the choice – not the item of clothing is what matters.
If wearing a tichel would somehow make me and you and every other person who put one on more righteous and improve our character and make us more perfect people – then yes, lets all wear tichels! But no piece of fabric can do that. We actually have to work on ourselves if we want to become greater Jews.
And this goes for kippahs and sheitels and tichels and sneakers and white shirts and blue shirts and black skirts and colorful skirts and sandals and black shoes and pink dresses and high heels and striped shirts and jeans.
It’s so much easier to follow a set of rules than to live with conscious choice. But if we challenge ourselves to do whats honest for us, not only will we be greater human beings, we can at last stop judging one and appreciate the beauty in each one of our precious Jewish brothers and sisters.
Rivka Malka, I LOVE it! What you say is so true! And as a fellow non-sheitel wearer, I can relate! (although here in E”Y I get much less questions!) Now if only I could look as awesome as you do in all those great colors…I’m more of a black pre-tied kinda girl- not daring enough (yet!) for so much color and height!
Thanks Yael!And I really, really hope you do get into some colors. Hashem made us with such warm, colorful features,it seems natural and to wear color. The black that we’re so used to is such a new thing and more appropriate for a nun then a Bas Yisroel. Have a great shabbos and thanks for stopping by.
I really liked this video and article. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. We live in a small community and i do get questions, only one bad experience so far. Typically all i have to do is explain i felt Hashem calling me to cover and out of obedience i have. While we are not Jewish, we do celebrate the Hebrew holidays. And have found it to be so enlightening (not even a strong enough word). There’s something about celebrating Pesach or listening to magilla and know so many around the world are doing the same thing. There’s such a sense of history and family that comes with it. I typically only cover when in the church or in public prayer, however i’m considering always covering. I recently had the “beautiful hair revelation” and i realized i really love how my beloved may be the only one allowed to see, how special that is. So after i pray on it for awhile and consult my husband a decision will be made. I shouldn’t be a bull right now… 🙂
I also often get the “do you think everyone should wear a tichel?” question. The answer is the same as yours. What I want is for every Jewish woman, man, and human being to walk through this world having made conscious, deep, and connected choices. To be happy! For every woman that covers her hair to do so with dignity, grace, and beauty. For her depth and holiness to shine out of her, with humility, warmth and love. And whatever way that happens to be… well, if that’s what she is giving to the world, and how she presents herself allows that to happen, then it doesn’t matter what is on her head!
As if a simple piece of cloth could do this… it’s so so much more!