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The Mitzvah of Covering the Hair

The Great Exaltation of the Mitzvah of Covering the Hair

The head covering is one of the most cherished pieces of clothing a woman possesses. With it she fulfills a great Mitzvah Min HaTorah (a Biblical mandated commandment) and it bestows on her many exceptional side benefits that emanate from fulfilling a mitzvah that is founded on tzniut (modesty), the most important characteristic of the Bat Yisrael (Daughter of Israel).

We live in a time when the importance and far-reaching effect of kisuy saarot is little understood and is under threat, being presented by some as a matter of little significance. In truth, authentic Yiddishkeit (Jewishness) and the whole character of the Jewish home are dependent on women practicing all aspects of tzniut properly. The saying of Chazal, "They are like mountains that hang on a hair" (Mishnah Chagigah 10a) - is highly appropriate to our issue. It is most significant that the great Chasam Sofer zt'l and Harav Samson Raphael Hirsch zt'l who both succeeded in establishing healthy and vibrant centers of Yiddishkeit where great campaigners for this mitzvah and instilled a deep respect and reverence for it amongst their followers.

The Navi (Prophet) says, "The crown of our head has fallen; woe unto us for we have sinned" (Eicha 5:16). Due to our sins and lack of kedusha, the crown of our heads - the beautiful mitzvah of kisuy saarot, headcovering - has fallen. The crown is however not broken. It is up to us to pick it up and return it once again to its rightful place. With that we will awaken once again within ourselves the deep rooted feelings for real tzniut and kedushat Yisrael (holiness of Israel).


Modesty - An Adornment for Life, Halachot and Attitudes Concerning Tzniut of Dress & Conduct, by Rabbi Pesach Eliyahu Falk

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