Life in the Fast(ing) Lane

I didn't realize that it was a fast day when I ate breakfast this morning. It didn't occur to me because I didn't plan on fasting. Tzom Gedalia is a "minor" fast and I usually only fast on Tisha B'Av and Yom Kippur, so it wasn't even on my radar.

I woke up exhausted and starving, feeling "hungover" from Rosh Hashana and our late night drive home from my in-laws. The only thing on my mind was CARBS. After too many slices of toast, I put on gym clothes and went out to run errands. The plan was to eat lunch and hit the gym when I got home. 

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Wiggy Wednesday: Notes to My Newlywed Self

Starting a marriage is all about taking a relationship to the next level and with that comes a lot of adjustments. For me, the most remarkable adjustment of all didn't have a thing to do with the exciting new relationship I was in. No, my biggest adjustment occurred on my head. Navigating the new world of hair covering was quite the adventure and today I'm going to share what I wish someone had told me when I started covering my hair.

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Wiggy Wednesday: Just a Few Strands of Hair?

SometimesIblendmyhairlineintomysheitels. There, I said it. I know, I know, how could I do such I thing? I know, I know, a few strands of hair is not worth keeping me up at night.  

But it is a big deal and it does keep me up at night. Because I feel judged. Because I'm afraid of judgement. 

Do I have hair pulled out here? I don't even remember. 

Do I have hair pulled out here? I don't even remember. 

But who's judging me, anyways? No one to my face. And who would judge me?

Not the women who cover every strand of hair. If that does somehow denote that they're more frum than me, more pious and zealous, then they wouldn't look down on me. Looking down on another Jew's practices has got to be worse than showing a few strands of married-lady hair.

Definitely not the women who show more hair than me, or cover in different ways than me or don't cover at all. What would they judge me for? Not being "better" than them?

While we're talking "better," who's to say who's better, anyways? Maybe a few strands of hair truly don't matter and it's the same as "fully" covering? Maybe a few strands is the same as not covering at all and, horror of horrors, I'm no better than the married women who walk around bare-headed and proud?

I think the real issue is not whether I show a drop of hair or you cover every strand or she leaves her hair uncovered or they pull out three inches. The problem is the comparison. The obsession with "better". I don't really care about a few hairs showing, and while I do believe in the interpretation that every strand should be covered, there's a part of me that thinks my conviction has less to do with halacha and more to do with a desire to be "better". I want to cover every strand -- and I want to do it with a gorgeous sheitel that keeps people from knowing my hair is covered at all -- for a sense of superiority over everyone who covers less, for everyone who covers differently. And with so much hair covered, in such a specific way, there are a lot more women that fall into the latter categories of covering less, covering differently. Which makes me feel "better". 

Well, then. That feeling doesn't come from a place of holiness at all. It comes from a place of self-righteousness. From my animal soul, which wants to feel good -- now! -- by looking down on others. And I think we can at least all agree that's so not the point of hair covering.

Yeah, I'm sure there's the objective "right" way that Hashem intended, but with thousands of Jews and tens of thousands of opinions, we just don't know exactly what Hashem would deem "right". Also, part of His plan was to allow for multiple interpretations to be valid and for us to love and respect each other, regardless of our differences. In some way, we're all right. And whether or not I show a few strands of hair, I'm doing alright.

Do you cover your hair? How? Do you you ever worry about facing judgement?