Introducing… Batsheva!

Batsheva is our newest lady wrap star!  You may remember another Batsheva being featured on Wrapunzel (the one that makes gorgeous jewellery), and this Batsheva also lives in Israel!  So don’t get them confused…

I met this lovely lady through the wonders of the internet, since she also happens to be friends with Tamar, another previous wrap star.  I was immediately taken in by her honesty, humour, and insight, and after looking through some of her photos, I had many questions that I wanted to ask her!  Here she is!

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Hi Batsheva!  Can you tell us a little about yourself?  (Ie: where are you from?  Where do you live now?  How to you choose to spend your time?  Family, friends, special interests, etc.?)
Hi Andrea, and Wrapunzels!
I’m so excited to be featured as a Lady Wrap Star.
A little about me: I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and currently live in the City Center of Jerusalem, Israel.
When I’m not working, I love spending time with my friends, exploring new areas, catching up on my sleep (I’m going to be honest here), and cooking, and enjoying the company of my husband and kitty!!!
How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering my hair is November 23rd, 2012. This was the first day after I was married, and on this day, I started my ticheling adventures.
Tell us a little about your hair covering adventures;  What do you usually cover with?  What are your general feelings about covering?  How do you feel about the way other women cover and societal pressures, etc. and how has this affected you?
I have over 150 individual scarves, 12 flowers of different colors, hijab caps, and little pins to accessorize my tichels. 
On a daily basis, I wear a solid scarf and a patterned scarf together, with little something extra, currently I’m into the flowers.
I LOVE covering my hair. 
While I have always had very pretty hair, this is so much more fun.
I am able to match what I’m wearing with scarf colors, add little accessories that show my mood, like flowers verses spikes, and sparkles are always fun.
(I also love the reaction I get to my pretty and adventurous tichels!)
I love living in such a creative area, where women cover their hair a million different ways.
You can see women who wrap like me, wear sheitels (wigs), snoods, scarves that just cover part of their hair, and the list goes on.
I wouldn’t say that I feel pressure to cover my hair, or cover it in a certain way because of other women. I do look at the beautiful sheitels that I see around me, but I won’t be getting one unless my Fairy Sheitel G-dmother gets me one. I think I’m sticking to tichels.
How do others in your community cover their hair?
My husband and I daven/pray at Chabad of Rehavia, and so there is a great majority of women who wear sheitels, but other women like me wear tichels. Many of the younger women show some of their hair, whether it be the first inch or two, or the ponytail.
I cover all of my hair, and try not to let even the stays show, but I still love how other women wrap.
What are your favourite ways to tie your scarves?
I haven’t figured out my favorite way to wrap my scarves, but my husband loves and requests the twist! If I don’t have the twist, and I ask his opinion, he says “It’s beautiful, but where’s the twist?” He says it’s royal, classic, and just makes the whole tichel look better.
What do you look for when shopping for scarves?
That’s a great question!
I try and remember the colors that I don’t have, and believe me, they exist. But in the end I have just been buying patterned light scarves, because it’s getting very hot here.
I have been collecting scarves since 2004, and so I have everything from thick to thin, every solid color I can think of, and now accessories, and from all over the world.
I try and examine the scarf when I’m in the store, make sure there are no snags, and no holes. 
I also try and think to myself “Do I have any clothes to wear this with?!’, but if I really want it, I assume that a black outfit will work…
Let’s hear some of your hair covering advice + tips and tricks!
Sheitel bands! Buy them, buy more than one, and make sure you also have it on correctly!
Don’t worry about what other people are doing, or what others think. It’s easy for me to say that because I can work in an office and wear a tichel, and in America it might be harder to do so, but overall, make sure you’re happy.
I have a friend who gets a lot of problems from people for how she covers her hair, but in the end, she has to be okay with the mitzvah she’s doing. And everyone else should bud out.
Going from displaying your hair one day to covering can be hard and traumatic for some women.
Don’t cover for anyone but yourself, and don’t cover any way that you don’t feel comfortable!
Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with other religions/ways of life?  How has this influenced you to grow and how does it affect you as a Jew?
I love this question.
I grew up in an amazing area of Chicago which is very mixed.
I learned about different cultures, religions, sexual orientations, and way of life for as long as I can remember.
When I went to university for my undergraduate degree, I saw the real Chicago. Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the United States, and while the city might not enforce this separation anymore, people tend to live by others that look, feel, and relate like they do.
Long story short, I made a very serious effort to befriend and get to know the Muslim girls on campus. I love Islam, and saw the connection between it and Judaism.
I also was becoming religious, and was trying to find my place in the Jewish world.
My Muslim friends, especially the girls, taught me that I could be modest/tznius, but still be fashionable. 
They also taught me about a connection to G-d, how important it is, and that it’s not the outward appearance of being tznius that is what’s important. It’s what you do inside.
I also got great wrap ideas and skill from them! 
And it was re-enforced a lot to match match match! Hijabis have an amazing way of making the extra color of their shoes, purse, strip in their shirt to their hijab. I only try.
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Has hair covering enhanced these relationships?
I believe that if I lived in America, closer to my Muslim friends from university, that we’d be able to share tricks, scarves, etc. Now I just look on Facebook, Twitter, and follow Hijab tutorials on Youtube.
While I’m here, ladies look at one another, and give that look of “nice tichel”. It’s in the eyes, but it’s the look of approval and understanding.
 A cute story was when I was in Phoenix, Arizona for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I was in a mall when I saw this woman with this HUGE wrap on her head.
I have a twitter-feed, all about all kind of women who wrap, so I asked her if I could take a picture.
I also complimented her on her wrap, and she looked me up and down and said “You’re pretty fly yourself!” I was very proud at that moment.
What are your hopes and dreams for Jewish women and the future of the world?
I don’t hope for only one group of people. I’m not sure I know how to. 
I would say in general, I hope that we can all just get along.
In so many situations, differing groups live side by side, ride the same trains and eat in the same restaurants, and shop at the same stores. Yet they never speak to one another. How different could they be, if they are so similar as well.
I just think energy could be used better, than mindless hate. 
In many occasions in the past, the women have been the game-changers. I can only hope, as women, and hopefully as Jewish women, we can rise to the occasion.
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What are you grateful for right now?
I’m grateful for my health, my happiness, the ability to live in a world so far away from my home town, without calling home every day…
I’m grateful for my amazing husband who puts up with a lot from me, my unbelievable relationship with my parents, and their health and happiness.
I’m so grateful for my friends here, and all around the world, and all the joys and adventure this year will bring, and all the years to come.
I’m also very grateful for the confidence I have covering my hair, and how it makes me so happy!
 
Here is her twitter feed! – @togetherwrapped

Lady Wrap Star: Batsheva!

Meet this week’s lady wrap star, Batsheva.  Batsheva hails from the beautiful land of Israel, and has some very unique insights about hair covering to share!  She welcomes any questions we might have about her post, and will answer all comments!
[Tichel=the Yiddish word for head scarf.]
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Hi!  What do people usually call you?  
 My name is Batsheva Tova. I use my middle name often, but most people call me Batsheva. There is quite a story behind it. My father fought in the 1982 Lebanon war and lost 7 of his friends. When I was born in October ’83, he named me after them (sheva=seven in Hebrew).

How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering since I got married, 8 1/2 years ago. My mother covers her hair, so I always knew I would too.
What kind of climate do you live in?  How has this affected how you cover?
I live in the beautiful Golan Heights in the north of Israel (y’all are welcome to visi!) The winters here are quite cold in local terms, and I tend to wear more ostentatious arrangements in the winter. Summers are boiling hot and therefore minimalistic.
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Have you always covered your hair with scarves?
Mostly scarves. I had a couple of hats when I got married, but they didn’t last long. When I am not in the mood, I wear berettes.

Have you changed how you cover your hair over time?
Oh, yes. When I was newly married, the tichels and the way to wear them were very different. The tichels were all made of thickish cotton, and were monochromatic. No patterns, unless a gradual hue counts.We used to tie them in various “Rachel Imenu” styles; We wore square-triangles and we switched the ends behind our head and across the forhead. Some took one end under the hair and the other one over it. We sometimes did it with two tichels, one was the cap on top and the other one went around it. If anyone ties them this way today, they look very dated. When the scarves first came out, we use to tie them in a special way too, creating a kind of sack holding our hair and going above it. There were other covers too. There was a time when women wore small hats and wrapped their hair in black fabric like a black snake down their back. I saw a woman doing that the other day and thought:”Boy, we were peculiar”. Today, many women here wear “designed” tichels which are sewn from several fabrics with laces and decorations on them. They cost at least four times the price of a plain scarf.  Back when I started wearing them, there were only square-folded-into-triangle type tichels. I must sound like a tichelosaurus. If you ever do a retro-tichel post, I would be happy to demonstrate!
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Can you share with us some advice about the technique of hair covering? 
I always wear a tricot (tshirt material) triangle tichel under anything I put on. It prevents slippage and gives a nice smooth shape to my head.

What is the most important thing you have learned/realized from covering your hair?
Honesly? To always be comfortable. The rest doesn’t matter. And also to follow your belief. I believe that I should cover all of my hair, even though around me most women do the ponytail-out look.
How did you figure out how to wrap your scarves so beautifully?
A LOT of trial and error,and also jealousy of my sister. She has only been married for 9 months and is already a Ph.D. level tichelist. And obviously this site and Rivka-Malka’s one have inspired me.
How do you wash/care for your scarves?
Most of them are hand-wash only. I also fold them an extra fold in the front so they stretch a little less over my forehead. I included a photograph of the AMAZING tichel cupboard my husband got me for my birthday. The drawers underneath store my pins, brooches, lace ribbons etc.
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What are some of your recommendations that you would give someone with your hair type, face shape, colouring etc.?
I am quite pale, but lucky enough to be olivish toned. Most colours look good on me. The only colour that I should really keep away from my face is black. I don’t like black, so this is rarely an issue for me. In my experience, black tichels make pale women look sick and swallow up the dark-skinned ones.
My face is roundish and quite full, so I like volume in my tichels. If there isn’t enough volume, I feel I look like a balloon, or a bald person!
My hair has nothing unique about it, just a wavy brown. I do recommend keeping it long – it helps holding up the whole thing. I know a girl with very frizzy long hair, and she doesn’t need a volumizer or an extra scarf or anything – if some of you disliked your frizzy hair, you’ll have a lot of fun when you start covering. For extra volume I use big velvet scrunchies on myhair, and also use a special sponge shaped like a bagel which is quite popular here.
One more pointer – I have a big head, so I always try to get the longest scarves/biggest squares, otherwise I have to work really heard to make them fit…
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What do you love most about covering your hair?
I love having this neon sign on my head declaring that I am an observant Jew and a lawfully wedded wife.
To me head coverring is as much a part of tzniut as wearing a shirt is.
On a more materialistic view, I feel it help sme complete my outfit and make a match between garments that wouldn’t go together without it.
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What is your favourite way to wrap your scarves?  What is your favourite scarf/accessory?
My favorite way is when I get a “chassidic” look, with a lot of volume – like the Breslev women do. My favorite scarves change from time to time, but it is always an item which I like for being comfortable more than the colour or any other criteria. I have many accessories and I also make some (such as the brooch on the pink-and-gray do photograph). I don’t know if I have a favorite, but there are some I wear often like the bobby pin with the creamflower on the mint green-and-maroon look.
What are you wearing on your head today?
I haven’t gotten dressed yet, so I am still wearing the dark green berret I sleep in.
Do you have any stories (funny, meaningful) you would like to share about hair covering?
I don’t have many stories, though I do remember as an inexperienced newlywed wearing a silk scarf to shul.  It slipped off and I ran out to rearrange it. I also remember at my wedding, during the dancing, knocking the hat off my newly married friend. You can see it quite clearly in the DVD. She doesn’t wear hats anymore…
Before I gave birth 4 months ago, I had a serious discussion with a friend about what to cover my head with in the delivery room. We decided on either a berret or a snood (I love charedi snoods – very lite and comfortable) or a very comfy tichel. When the time came it was shabbat morning, and I couldn’t stand the thought of getting in the ambulance in plain clothes. So I put on a shabbat dress, tied a sparkly shabbat tichel with a lace ribbon and got on the ambulance. I only changed in the delivery room.
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What are you grateful for right now? 
I am grateful for the biggest treasures Hashem has given me. A lovely supportive kind-hearted husband, and my two beautiful daughters, aged seven years and four months old, and for the being a stay-at-home mom. I am grateful for the lovely house we have built recently in which we live, and for our loving families and friends.
Thanks for giving me this opportunity for self reflection. It was very interesting.  Have a lovely day!!