I had a meeting with the Rabbi pretty early on and we were discussing all the various paths to conversion. When I told him there was no way we would be Kosher, he told me that I wouldn’t know until I tried. Well, I have not tried Kosher but I am trying covering my head. Yeah, I know I am Reform leaning Conservative, and head coverings on a daily basis is a real Orthodox thing. But there is something about it that is an outward expression of my religion to the world around me. I was inspired by a Muslim friend, interestingly enough. We were discussing her covering one day and I was mentioning how she always looked so put together. (She is always eye catchingly beautiful). After the conversation, I didn’t think much of it except that she was a nice person to get to know more.
It was a couple of months later when I was getting more involved in religion and getting the conversion back on track (my path to this point will be a topic another day). With that, I was thinking about my own religious practices and how I waned to demonstrate them to my kids. What will be my outward expression? Most people simply wear a necklace, but I am really not a jewelry person. (My husband loves this!). And it is always a choice not not have anything outward.
And then I came across the practice of head covering.
The concept of covering with a wig did not appeal to me at all. Luckily this is a choice so I can pick and choose. I love the beautiful scarves that Muslim women wear, so I looked at the Jewish version – Tichels. The more I researched, the more I loved them. So many ways to wear them, and so many color combinations. After educating myself, I went into my closet and got some scarves out. The first wrap was a full hair covering. I was only at home, but when my husband got home,he wasn’t too sure about it. I quickly figured that it was too much change too fast! So now I wrap only the front to the top of my head, allowing my hair to show behind. Still beautiful! I even went to a store this weekend and purchased some new scarves. I have been wearing them for about two weeks now.
I am amazed at how powerful and self confident I feel when I wear them! It’s also an outward expression showing that I am observant in my practice. I do have to admit that my religious thoughts do occasionally go into the Orthodox realm. That’s probably why I am open to trying some of their practices that are not done by Reform Jews.
An interesting side effect from head covering on a daily basis is my children. They are watching me more than expected. And both of them have started wearing head bands and bows in their hair! Today I asked 7 year old why she was wearing the hair bow today. She looked at me and casually stated that it was because mommy has been wearing pretty scarves in her hair. It made my heart smile. She was watching and I didn’t think so. Hopefully my self confidence will come across as well.
Eventually I will wear a full head wrap, but until then, baby steps! Either way, it’s a constant reminder about being Jewish and showing respect. I am a modern woman – if religious men can wear a kippah all day long, then why can’t I wear a tichel? It’s a personal choice, and I am loving every day!