The Tichel Orchestra

The following was written by Devora Sara Alon, Rabbanit of Kehilat Kol Yisrael Achim, after she hosted a beautiful Wrapunzel event in Great Neck.

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 7.31.41 PM“I originally became interested in Wrapunzel as simply another tool in the hair-covering toolbox.  I had not known how practically to keep all my hair covered securely in (nor thought that I had the features for)  anything other than a sheitel.

Upon revisiting your site, I was struck by how Wrapunzel is reclaiming beauty.  Society dictates that beauty means being young, skinny, have long flowing hair, etc. yet, we as Jews are supposed to be a light unto the nations. We should not be taking our cues from society at large. We know that aging is actually a gift (after all, Avraham Avinu asked for it), and older people are to be respected and venerated.  We know that our bodies are a vessel for our most essential selves: our neshamot.  We know that Hakadosh Boruch Hu created each woman’s body with intrinsic beauty, so much so, that we cover our bodies lest they detract ourselves and others from recognizing our true essence.  [Andrea’s] analogy of an orchestra really struck a chord with me: each instrument plays its unique part and together we have a symphony. Had we only recognized a single melody, without all the different and unique harmonic lines, our musical traditions would have missed out on a whole world of polyphonic possibility.  As a former amateur singer, (way back in high school) I loved singing in large choirs.  I loved having my voice blend with the other singers.  I vividly recall how on occasion, “diva” singers could completely throw off an entire section or choir simply because a singer was more intent on standing out than allowing her (or his) voice to be part of something bigger.  Yet, it is still each singer’s unique voice that creates the stunning quality heard in choral pieces.

I likewise like to use the analogy of a circle: each point on the circumference is unique, though equidistant from the center.  It is only when we have all the different points on that circumference that the circle is complete. We never, chas v’shalom, ultimately gain from trying to stand out alone at others’ expense.  When we recognize that everyone has intrinsic value and beauty, including ourselves, that is when we can begin to appreciate the artistry of Ribbonu Shel Olam.

When browsing through Wrapunzel’s website, one sees models of every size, color, and age.  Strikingly, every model exudes her unique beauty.  How do they do that?  Is there some special filter being used on the cameras?  No, there is no chicanery occurring.  Each woman is beautiful and in dressing modestly with joy, and her true beauty just radiates!   Thank you for reminding us what we should be realizing all along, for truly being a light unto the nations, and standing well above what society dictates as their  (false) version of what a woman should look like. This has undoubtedly led to unhealthy self-image in countless women and girls throughout the world, but Gd willing with all of our personal efforts towards change we will merit the coming of Moshiach and experience the joy of finally singing our unique melodies together in harmony.”

7 thoughts on “The Tichel Orchestra

  1. That was beautifully written! I loved the symphony/chorus analogies, and the reminder that we are standing above what society dictates as beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for these very true words! It is so liberating not to have to conform to what the media puts as the “ideal”, but to know that I am unique and that there is no other like me. That I am one of a kind. I also find it very liberating to know that I don’t have to try to fit any worldly “norms” – but to strive for the higher ideals – of which my tichel reminds me throughout the day.

    Liked by 1 person

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