Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Women and Head Coverings I

The Shulchan Aruch writes: “It is forbidden to mention Hashem’s Name or to enter a shul while one’s hair is uncovered” (91,3). The halachah does not differentiate between men and women, implying that this applies to both. Do women in fact need to cover their hair for tefillah?

Married women are obligated to cover their hair and do not go outside with their hair uncovered. This is considered the dignified way to dress, and is the way they would greet a distinguished person. Since this is their normal mode of attire, the custom is that they cover their hair when reciting Shemoneh Esrei, even if no one else is around (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as cited in Halichos Shlomo 2[28]).

Since the Shulchan Aruch does not distinguish between married and unmarried women, some halachic authorities suggest that single girls should also cover their hair for tefillah (Yaskil Avdi Vol. 7, p. 289; Yabi’a Omer 6,15,11). In practice, this opinion has not been widely accepted, and the custom is that most unmarried women pray with their hair uncovered (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as cited in Halichos Shlomo 2,17, Ohr L'Tzion 2).

Custom or Obligation?

“Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua would not walk four amos with his head uncovered. He sensed the Shechinah above his head and that it was disrespectful to the Divine Presence to walk without a kippah” (Kiddushin 31a). From the actions of Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua, we infer the halachah that a man should not walk four cubits if his head is not covered (Shulchan Aruch 2,6).

During the times of the Gemara, wearing a special head covering was not considered obligatory. Today, in most communities, this practice has become an accepted custom. As such, one is obligated to wear a kippah.

Halachic authorities cite another reason why a man may be obligated to wear a kippah. Since Christians consider it honorable to take off their hats, especially in holy places, anyone who goes bareheaded today violates the Torah prohibition of “going in the ways of non-Jews” (Taz 8,3).


Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Jealousy or Love?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

No Business As Usual
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

The Deeds of the Patriachs
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Genuine Kindness
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5765

"Steps" in the Right Direction
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

The Ordeal of Departure
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

ArtScroll

“The Place That I Will Show You!”
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Avraham Initiated The 2000 Years of Torah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

An Uplifting Experience
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

> The Landlord Is Still Home
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Wake-Up Call
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Kindness Factor
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Defying Natural Order
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Paradoxical Lot
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

The Ordeal of Departure
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information