Item description for Hide and Seek: Jewish Women and Hair Covering by Lynne Schreiber...
The traditional Jewish community has long been silent on the very personal yet also public matter of married women covering their hair with hats, scarves, and even wigs. Hide and Seek is the first book to discuss this topic, and includes legal and sociological perspectives of this observance, citing relevant texts and rabbinic discourse, as well as the history, tradition, and customs of Jewish communities from around the world.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Hide and Seek: Jewish Women and Hair Covering?
An important read Jun 22, 2008
This book, on such an underrepresented subject, is long overdue. With all of the books in recent years on women in Orthodox Judaism, it's surprising that there hasn't been a prior book devoted to just this subject, hair-covering after marriage. As the thought-provoking essays in the book show, this is a custom that varies from woman to woman and community to community. It's not something as specific and set in stone as, say, Kashrut or observing Shabbos. Each woman represented has found halachic justification for her own personal reasons for and method of covering her hair, and none of them are wrong or inferior, just different.
Some of the women struggled for a long time with the custom of hair-covering, others never had any qualms about it, some only started doing it after having been married for a long time, and one woman even stopped covering her hair after she'd been married for awhile. There's even a chapter on frum women who choose not to cover their hair. I personally enjoyed most the essays by the women who struggled or who continue to struggle with this admittedly difficult mitzvah. It's just more interesting to read a story from someone like Khaya, who goes against her community norms by wearing a snood, or Esther, who didn't cover her hair until decades into her marriage, got cancer, and chose to continue wearing a wig after she recovered, than a story from someone like Leah, the Satmar who accepts having to shave her head the day after her marriage because that's just what her community and rabbis dictate, or Devorah, the giyoret who, in spite of struggling with the exact method of covering, happily and excitedly shaved her head after marriage.
Though many of the women wear shaitels (wigs), a number of the women primarily cover their hair with tichels, scarves, snoods, or hats. Some of them do it just because it's halacha, but others have found different or additional reasons for it. Though I'm not even Orthodox, I've always really liked the idea of a married woman covering her hair, like keeping her beautiful hair as a special thing for her husband's eyes only. Only her husband has the joy, honor, and privilege of uncovering her hair, not to be enjoyed by any other man. And whatever one's denominational persuasion, the essays in this book are bound to make anyone think.
Thought-provoking anthology Jan 16, 2008
This is a well-edited anthology of essays by a wide variety of Jewish women who for one reason or other chose to cover her hair, according to traditional Jewish practice. (This applies to married women only.) For many, it was a difficult decision; one contributor took on wigs while undergoing cancer treatment, but chose to keep up the practice even after she recovered from her illness. The stories are surprisingly compelling, much more than philosophical musings, and even include one essay by a woman who covered her hair for years but then stopped. As one contributor wrote, "Covering my hair helps me remember that I am not only about what everyone else can see." -- Judy Gruen, www.judygruen.com
Humorous and Spiritual Account of Hair Covering Traditions May 26, 2006
"Upon arriving in Israel, I realized that here in the holy land, most married, Jewish women actually do cover their hair. I was thrilled! For almost as long as I had fussed about my hair, I had also wanted to marry. Now I had another good reason to do so - marriage would provide an answer for the endless question, what do I do with my hair?" ~Devorah Israeli
Traditional Judaism expects married women to cover their hair, except in front of their husbands and other women. In modern society this custom and religious observance has been widely challenged. This book explores the customs and history of this practice and gives voice to people around the world who have varied feelings on hair covering. Some women shave their heads, wear wigs and others wear various head coverings for different situations. The glossary of terms also helps to understand the various head coverings.
"It makes me feel honored, responsible, respected. Though it was at first glance an idea I rejected." ~Julie Hauser
Whether you cover your hair for religious reasons or have always been curious about this topic, this book has many answers for the observant and the observer. Lynne Schrieber has collected a variety of essays from various contributors, making this one of the most interesting, spiritually emotive and unique books I've read lately.
Hide and Seek takes a topic one might assume to be oppressive and makes it feel very freeing in the way you would feel free by loving God and keeping his commandments. Lynne Schrieber effectively unveils this topic in a serious of beautiful essays.
~The Rebecca Review
Interesting, lots of views May 10, 2005
This book has a lot of different angles and opinions of the same idea, but its not boring. Informative and makes you think. This is a great book for anyone interested in the subject. Halachot are included too!
Differing views of (covered) hair Jun 22, 2004
Lynne Schreiber has compiled a fascinating set of essays, mostly by women, on covering one's hair with wig (sheitel), scarf (tichel), snood, or hat. Some essays explore the historical and legal (halachic) background for doing so. Some essays discuss current customs and their nuances. For example, one woman writes of being proud to be seen wearing a hat in synagogue because everyone would know she was married. A Hasidic woman in Jerusalem writes about young girls growing up with the happy expectation of shaving their heads when they marry. And the Lubavitch Rebbe wrote that wigs are better than hats because the woman is less likely to remove it in public. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in why Orhtodox women cover their hair, and for anyone considering doing so.