When I was little, my mom used to lament that although I looked much better in hats than she did, I didn’t like wearing them, while she did. I never really gave much thought to the idea of wearing hats or anything on my head full time. In anticipation of our wedding, I bought my first hats and scarves in Israel and brought them back with me. However, as you can see from the picture at the left, my collection has grown somewhat from what I could carry back with me on the airplane. I’ve noticed as we get closer to rabbinical school that the pace of of the increase in my scarf and hat collection has increased, as I try to figure out exactly how I want to approach hair covering.
Initially, when we were engaged, R had mentioned that he would like it if I covered my hair, but that it was my decision to make. However, while we were in Israel we attended a bris that made us reconsider a little – at 21, I was the oldest person there who wasn’t married, didn’t have children, and wearing a long sleeved shirt and long skirt, I was also the least modestly dressed. They were college-educated women, and yet they seemed to disappear into their clothing and their roles in the community. It was a profoundly disengaging experience, and we’ve had to work our way back from it to try to find a balanced understanding.
A friend of mine says that her skirt is her kippah and her hair covering is her wedding ring. While that works for her, I think I understand hair covering as something that signifies that I am a married Jewish woman. Still, I am still working on the practical aspects of it. I cover for Shabbat and holidays, even just larger social gatherings. Still, it’s not full time, and I can’t seem to make that decision at the moment. I recognize that I’m on a path, but I haven’t determined the destination yet. I have been working to become more comfortable with hair covering, and doing it more often, but whether that will translate into full time hair covering still remains to be seen. I still haven’t fully grasped the halachic aspects of it, and that’s something I want to work on. I find that, at least in this case, I don’t just want to conform. I want to understand, and so we’ll see what happens in the future.