Tag Archive | lady wrap star

The Fascinating and Beautiful Heather!!

Our lady wrap star, Heather (yes, our second last lady wrap star is also Heather – I couldn’t plan this sort of thing if I tried!) has been part of the Wrapunzel community since… well.. since before it was the Wrapunzel community!  Over the years I’ve caught bits and pieces of her story and about whom she is.  She always came off as such a warm, stable, articulate and just, well… such a cool person that I really wanted to know!  She is all kinds of awesome and I’m so happy to introduce her to you officially!  In a word, her story is FASCINATING.  A must read.  Here’s Heather!

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First, I am INCREDIBLY honored to be asked to write for Andrea’s blog. It is definitely a high point for me in my covering journey! It’s been a rather bumpy one, and something that is not seen often where I live, in Southern West Virginia.

You don’t see many women like me in this community and buying from the store: women with beautiful tichels and adornments covering their hair. I’ve not had any rude comments as of this writing, but I HAVE had many compliments. My family is a mixed bag of support and reluctance. My husband is supportive of me covering (now), my father hasn’t said anything for or against it. My mother, though, is okay with it, so long as I don’t wear it in places that it would be seen as unusual. She asked me if I was going to “wear that thing” to a job interview. I told her that I was, that it was my head and if they had an issue with that, then I wouldn’t want to work there in the first place.  I have many cousins who love my tichels, and have expressed interest in purchasing and wearing their own (and I have offered my time to help them as soon as they want me to!) I see a few ladies covering their hair; it’s rare, but I have seen them. They wear the hijab, and it’s lovely, and I think quite brave of them, in all honesty. I always brace myself for a nasty comment when I leave my house, and while I HAVE gotten strange looks, I have yet to hear a snide remark. Good thing, too. I’m not as apt to take it as I was when I was younger.

As for religion, I’m not Jewish. I’m not Christian or Muslim either. I’m a very secular lady who has no religious reason at this time to cover. I did have one at one point, but I have done a lot of soul searching and found that religion is just not something that I feel is necessary in my life right now. It took a long time for me to admit, even to myself, that I fall into the agnostic atheist category, but I’m there, and I feel perfectly happy (though I do wish I had a local community to be a part of sometimes). I won’t reveal what religious beliefs I had after I left Christianity (I don’t want certain people to see this and decide they wouldn’t want to be part of my life anymore), but I will explain my coming to my current position as best I can.

Photo collage by Heather's husband - Heath!  He is a graphic artist and does awesome work!

Photo collage by Heather’s husband, Heath! He is a graphic artist and does awesome work!

So, where to begin the story of how I came to covering my hair? Well, I’ve heard that it’s best to start at the beginning, so here goes:

I have always had a love/hate relationship with my hair. Ever since I was a child, I would take a lock of my hair and place it between my index and middle fingers and let it slide through. I loved (and still love) the silky, cool feeling of my hair moving between my fingers. A few strands would come out, but nothing major. It drove my parents up the wall, and they would always tell me to stop if they were in the same room with me. I also never could fix my hair properly. I tried so hard, and got so upset every day. It got to the point where I was begging my mother to help me fix my hair – and this was all the way into high school! I was just terrible with my hair. Makeup, I could do that! I rocked out makeup, manicures, etc. I even got asked to do prom makeup for people! But my hair just never did anything I asked it to do. So most of the time, when I was in college, I would just pull it back into a tight bun or a ponytail and let it go at that.

I also love coloring my hair. My natural color is a light reddish brown, but it’s currently dark brown/black (I’m a community theatre actress and I colored it for a role last summer). I have always wanted to wear funky colors in my hair, and I even went so far as to bleach it and color it teal in 2004! I LOVED it. Every morning I would get up and look at my hair, and was just amazed at how gorgeous the color looked. Unfortunately, it was a wash out color, and when it started looking dingy, I colored my hair black. It stayed that color until I moved home from college.

Well, that covers (no pun intended) how I feel about  my hair. Now let’s discuss how I came to love covering my hair:

I was raised Christian. I went to church, belonged to Christian school groups, read the Teen Bible, etc. I started seeing a guy who had books about OTHER religions. I had no idea that anything else really existed. We don’t have much religious diversity here (other than different denominations of Christianity). Anyway, I found a book that struck a chord in me and I devoted myself to the religion within its pages. I won’t elaborate on what that religion was, as I am not totally open with a lot of people in my area. (Following a different religion usually gets you harassed here.) During college, I grew apart from practicing ANY religion, mainly due to depression and sadness (I married the guy I was seeing and he became abusive). I left him in 2006, right after I gave birth to a son. After I met the man who would later become my actual husband, I began practicing my religion again, and I did so until recently.

During my reawakening, I began reading about the priestesses of Hestia and Hera, the Greek Goddesses of the hearth and home, and marriage and family, respectively. I have always been fascinated with ancient Greek mythology/theology and in all the research I did, I discovered something: both of those Goddesses wore VEILS! Their Priestesses wore VEILS! They all covered their hair! I was fascinated. I still am! I had never thought about covering my hair aside from doing it to keep it out of my face, but I saw that women used to cover their hair, that they would wear it like a crown. They were the Queens in their homes, in their marriages. That appealed to me greatly, and is a reason why I cover. I am the QUEEN of my life, and these tichels are my crowns! Then I found Andrea’s and Rivka Malka’s YouTube channels. I was absolutely smitten! I started wearing bandannas frequently around the house, doing my chores with a smile on my face. I felt much more connected somehow, and I couldn’t figure out why.

I was on Facebook a lot (as I still am) and a friend and I discovered a group that was for women with similar beliefs to me who covered their hair. I decided to give it a try, both the group AND the covering. The group wasn’t really for me, I found, and at the time, I wasn’t very good at covering. I didn’t have many scarves or veils, and I felt a little silly covering outside of the house because you just didn’t see that sort of thing here where I live. Not to mention that my husband wasn’t too keen on the idea (then anyway).

So, I stopped. For nearly 3 years.

During that three years, I became an agnostic atheist, which is to say that I am unsure if any higher power exists, and while I doubt, I cannot prove or disprove it. I lean towards the belief of no Deity at the moment, though I still believe Nature itself is divine and I celebrate the passing of the seasons, and mark the days with celebrations, even if it’s just a small acknowledgement of it. Because of that, I have no religious reason to cover my hair. None whatsoever.

But I rediscovered my love for it.

One day, out of the blue, I started covering again. It wasn’t something I set out to start doing, but I revisited Andrea’s blog and YouTube channel, and discovered Rivka Malka’s blog and YouTube channel. I went into my room and dug out my scarves and Israeli tichels (as I mentioned above, I didn’t have many at the time) and immediately began covering.

I suppose you could say I heard a call, not with my ears, but with my heart. I don’t believe it was a call from a Deity, personally, but more of my own desire to acknowledge something beautiful within myself. Right before, though, another group that I’m in had a couple of girls who decided to try and cover during domestic duties. They began to ask me about it. That reaffirmed my desire to start covering again. I cover every day, even at home, as it keeps me from sweeping up hair all the time and pulling my hair as well. Plus, it makes me feel gorgeous, and since it sits on my head, it keeps me mindful of things. It reminds me to use my head when I would rather use my heart when reacting to things. I am a very emotional person, and I have issues with anxiety and my tichels and headcovering practice helps me deal with it by giving me something to focus on rather than what is causing my anxiety. It also reminds me that I am a QUEEN – and I mean capital Q-U-E-E-N! I use that term to remind myself that I am in control of myself, my body, my mind, my spirit, my entire being. My tichel is my crown, and now my husband is on board with me covering (as he put it, it’s  my head and he would love me no matter what). I love discovering new combinations, new ways to tie. I even made a tie myself, that was inspired by The Girl with the Pearl Earring painting.

I have begun to do tutorials for women who are just starting out, because I can show my hair. I can show from beginning to end how I do it, and give them tips that they may not be able to see anywhere else, because I am able to show my hair as a secular woman with no commandment from a Deity to keep my hair to myself. Of course, I’m not knocking those who DO. It’s just not my particular calling, and if I can help a woman who feels it IS her duty to keep her hair for her husband but doesn’t know where to begin, I will do so. And I will love every minute of it!

Lady Wrap Star – *Yael* !

I am so excited to introduce Yael to you!  I was lucky to get to see her during my recent whirlwind trip to Israel, and during our time together, so many beautiful thoughts about hair covering spilled from her mouth that I had to whip out my video recorder.  There is so much to say about this woman, so instead of telling you all about her, I will instead let her speak for herself:

I know, eh?  Our first Lady Wrap Star on video!

Can you believe that Yael’s married name is Sunshine?  How perfect is that!  Here are some photos of her with her husband:

Yael is incredibly vibrant, warm, and honest.  I’m sure y’all want to ask questions and hear more from her, so please tell us what you think in the comments section and Yael will do her best to respond!

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!

batsheva lady wrap star wrapunzel

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.
batsheva lady wrap star wrapunzel
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

Introducing… Nava!

wrapunzel nava
Hello, world of Wrapunzel! I’m Nava – I am a graphic artist by day, and a musician by night. This is actually how I met Andrea a few years ago, and we have been great friends ever since. A few years after meeting Andrea, I was fortunate enough to meet my wonderful husband, Jonathan, and we have now been married for just over one year.

My husband and I identify with a community where not all of the married women cover their hair every day, and this is what I have chosen to do because this is what usually makes me feel most comfortable . I always cover my hair on shabbat, chagim (Jewish holidays), and at Jewish events (such as weddings, bar mitzvas, bris’s, etc). I cover my hair at these events because I feel it is important for me to send a open signal to the community that I am a married woman, and it makes me feel more comfortable when I know I am making this clear (eg. not every guy does the finger check). I also feel that by covering my hair, I am acknowledging the religious importance of the event and am making an extra outward effort to show respect for that fact (rather than an inward effort) – just like I make an effort to wear nice clothing on shabbat and chagim to make these days special, I also want to cover my hair in beautiful ways for the exact same reason. As well as being a sign that I am married and devoted to my wonderful husband, covering my hair also gives me a way of portraying a membership to my community that I also love very much and am most grateful to have in our lives.

I have always loved scarves and have been building up a collection for years. Before I was married, I always wore these scarves around my neck, but now that I am married, this is what I use to cover my hair!


I love all of the different ties and combinations you can do – I really love mixing colours and textures, and using different accessories. Every dollar store or used clothing store trip is a treasure hunt for new accessories or scarves to add to my collection! I also love incorporating braids into my ties, I find them so wonderfully regal-looking. And since I was never really able to make beautiful braids in my own hair (since it is so curly and knotty), I enjoy having the chance to make braids in my tichels (headscarves)!

Lady Wrap Star Melissa!

Meet Melissa, a woman with an infectious smile and well-thought-out Modern Orthodox Jewish perspective!  After discovering her blog through a friend’s post, I knew that we had to have her on here as this week’s Lady Wrap Star.  [drumroll]… here she is!

Wrapstar Melissa

Hi Melissa, can you tell us a little about yourself? Such as how to do you choose to spend your time, interests, family, where you live, how you describe yourself, etc.?
Hi! I feel like there are so many possible answers, but I don’t want this to become the whole post. So the short answer is that I currently live in Jerusalem with my husband and am learning full time at Nishmat (and next year I will be joining my husband to learn at Pardes). I am a social worker by education, a Jewish communal professional by vocation, and a writer and educator by passion. My primary interests are women’s issues, halacha, and social media and my long term goal is to combine them – so stay tuned to see how that pans out over the years!

How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering my hair in some fashion for over five years now! I started working up to it before I got married, and then transitioned to full coverage thereafter. I actually wrote about that recently here

You have a blog where you have written some of your thoughts on hair covering already. Could you share with us links to those articles?
This is such a fun question because it got me to read back into the archives of the blog to see all the various posts I have made on the topic, and it made me realize that I don’t write about it nearly as often I used to when it was new and unusual – both to me and my community. (I identified as a “Traditional Conservative” Jew when I got married, and even after moving to the “Modern Orthodox” world full time coverage with anything other than a wig was very uncommon. But now I’m in Israel and its just so normative!)

Here are some of my favorites:

General:
It’s all about the Hattitude!
Head covering in the hospital
When the personal is public
How much is enough
Reflections on a year of hair covering

Scarves:
Sneakily Styling Scarves
Happy hair-aversary

Sheitels:
Life without a sheitel
I’m only going to say this once

What is your favourite aspect of covering your hair?
Honestly, I love that I get an extra accessory! Even better is that I get a spiritual and religiousness connection from putting it on.

What do you dislike about hair covering? (This can be personal or communal.)
Ironically, the only thing I can say I truly dislike is both. I dislike feeling personally judged by communal norms and expectations about covering. There are often ideas of “if you cover like X than you must be Y” or “if you are A you must cover like B” – and I generally don’t fit any of those ideas, expectations, or boxes.

How do you usually answer people when asked about why you cover?
Now that I am living in Israel, it obviously doesn’t happen nearly as often so I’m having a hard time remembering how I used to address it!
I do find that more often than not a simple “I cover my hair for religious reasons” tends to be enough to strangers, and to those looking for a more real answer, it can be catered to the moment and the person. When it is old friends who ask I answer very differently and more emotionally, while to people I am interacting with in a professional environment I am apt to keep it more simple and legalistic. As with anything, I like to be cognizant of where the other person is coming from and how I can make something which can seem so bizarre make sense in their world view.

Have you feelings about covering changed over time? If yes, how so?
Yes and no.
On a personal level my feelings about the big picture have remained very stable, but there are small things which shift frequently like how much I am comfortable showing and what types of coverage work best for me. I’ve recently accepted that I don’t have to have just one model and its ok to interact with it differently on different days or in different settings – so now I anticipate even less changes.
On a communal level, this is another area where being in the middle of Jerusalem after being in a community that was not so diverse has also been a really interesting experience. My understanding of the variety of ways in which women interact with hair covering has greatly expanded.

What is your favourite way to cover your hair? Do you have preferred scarf/accessory type?
I love to wear scarves during the week and hats on Shabbat, though in the winter I wear more knit beret style hats. How many scarves I wear and how I tie them depends on the weather, my planned activities for the day, and whether or not I have a headache. (I also always keep an extra plain cotton tichel and/or knit beret in my bag in case I need to change if I overheat or get a migraine.)

What do you look for when selecting/shopping for scarves?
I look for fun and interesting patterns, designs, and colors. Some of my favorite scarves were purchased from Target or other similar stores where they were clearly not intended to be headscarves!
I also look for random things which can serve as accessories, like fabric belts, pretty ribbon, or fun hair-ties. I am of the mentality that head-covering inspiration is everywhere – you just have to look for it!

What have you learned about hair covering in regards to your personal style, face shape, colouring, hair type, etc.?
I look best with a bit of hair showing on my hairline, either my bangs out or tucked back but with a finger or two’s worth of my hairline exposed and have to put my scarves behind my hears because of my piercings. (I have six holes in my middle and upper ear.) I also have a lot of hair, but it is very fine, so I like to wear a wig grip and something to add volume, but what that is also depends on what sort of scarf style I am tying. I also don’t like having a lot of height on top of my head (I’m tall enough) or bulk to the sides (I’m pretty narrow), and I don’t like having tails hanging down (distracts me) – that means I often wind up with a lot of bulk on the back of my head.
As for hats, I look best in the cloche style hat which sits close to the face. As much as I love big floppy hats, they just swallow me up!

Wrapstar Melissa

Can you share with us one of your happiest and/or most vidid hair covering memories?
I have to share two, ok?
I remember having a huge dilemma for my wedding. I had already been wearing wide headbands for months and couldn’t imagine not having some sort of head covering on my wedding day – despite people reminding me that it was my last chance to not cover my head. So, I knew I needed a veil for the ceremony, but I didn’t really want to wear a veil all night because it just wasn’t going to work with my style. Eventually, I decided to wear a birdcage veil and just folded it back on top of my head for the reception and got my wide headband look and veil in one, and it worked with my style! It was a total win-win.
The other distinctive thing is a total Israeli thing. Here I have discovered that if I am wearing a knit beret or a hat, people tend to speak to me in English or give me an English menu, but if I am wearing a scarf I am approached more in Hebrew and always given Hebrew menus. One day, I told someone I didn’t understand what they were saying and they repeated it in Hebrew, and I again told them I did not understand, and the person yelled back at me “but I am speaking Hebrew!” to which I had to clarify that I don’t speak Hebrew well. So sometimes now when I want to just want to do my errands quickly, I intentionally wear a hat and don’t respond in Hebrew and get to play tourist a bit.

You have a very interesting and informative blog that you and another woman have created. How did this blog come to be? How has it evolved and what are your hopes for it?
We actually wrote a post recently for our third anniversary about how the blog came to be:
As for my personal hopes, I have to say that they have all been vastly exceeded at this point. We wanted a fun outlet to share our thoughts and hoped we’d get a few readers, well we have many more than a few now and are constantly amazed and humbled by the community which has developed from it. I can only hope that I continue to have things to say which other people are interested in reading, and give a unique perspective which adds to the conversation.
I do also hope to have a spin-off project (for lack of better vague description) in the future which has largely been inspired by the wonderful conversations and connections which Redefining Rebbetzin has provided.

What are you grateful for right now?
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to live and learn in Israel for two years with my amazing husband.
I also want to thank you, Andrea, for adding your blog to the communal conversation. We need more women who are willing to stand up for the beauty in covering and the meaningful ways to enhance this mitzvah. It is an honor to be included in your Wrapstar project amongst these other fabulous women!

Meet Myriam!

I am happy to introduce you to a woman that knows a lot about looking beautiful with very little time required.  Here is Myriam and her marvelous hair coverings!

wrapunzel lady wrap star miryam

Hi Myriam, what is the most memorable thing that has happened to you today?
I am running a lot of errands today instead of working (my office is closed for maintenance, what can I do ) but I am also cooking and bringing a meal to a friend of mine who just had a baby (last week). Our community organises a meal rota for new moms. The best thing: this friend asked if she can also be on the rota for the next two of moms who are due in a couple of weeks! Some women are incredible!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am French but have lived in Israel, Ireland and now England for the last 7 years. I am doing a PhD in international law which I am hoping to finish in the next 6 months. I am hoping to lecture at university and be a consultant on my main expertise, which is counterterrorism.
My husband and I hope to move to Israel in the next couple of years, where my four sibblings already live.
I also absolutely love baking and, when I have time, I make costume jewlery.

How long have you been covering your hair?
Since I got married, almost three years ago.

Have your feelings about hair covering changed over time?  If yes, how so?
Before I got married, I wasn’t sure how often and how I would cover my hair. My husband always said I had to do whatever I felt was right and once I got married, I actually didn’t even think and covered all the time (although not when alone at home with him). What has changed is the way I cover: I used to have short hair and so would cover most hair but have some sticking out.
I have now grown my hair, so I now ‘put it all in’ and cover everything.

What is your favourite aspect of covering your hair?
I never particularly loved my hair so it wasn’t too hard to cover. I love the variety of it, and also, I never have a bad hair day! I have always loved hats so it’s mainly fun.

How do you normally cover?
I tend to wear hats/berets during winter and scarves during summer, although I have light cotton berets and warmer scarves. I quite like the seasonal aspect of my covering.

How do you cover your hair on formal/unique occasions?
I have a couple of fancier scarves which I tend to wear at all formal occasions. I do buy expensive scarves and hats in general because I am not original at all and am useless at ‘wrapping’ with various colourful scarves. So I tend to be lazy and buy scarves and hats that are already a bit special. I am always so impressed by what Andrea comes up with, and the jewlery etc, but I guess I am either too lazy or not brave enough to try. I’ll tend to go for a scarf which has a wow factor already. My bank manager would probably prefer I didn’t….

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Has covering your hair affected your work/study?  How so?
Interestingly, no one has ever commented or asked about why I started covering my hair (although the Brits are way too polite to ask anything anyways 🙂 My thesis supervisor never mentioned anything.
I must stress though that I am a student and even if I attend conferences and teach, I do not work as a lawyer, or have clients. I do think that if I did, I might feel more comfortable with a wig, even though I do not want to wear one (and don’t have one). I also know that I always feel more ‘normal’ covering when I am in Israel.
I have had a couple of muslim colleagues ask for recommendations of where to buy scarves.

What is your most vivid hair covering memory?
Presenting a paper at a conference and having a couple of people commenting on how nice and elegant my hat was. One even said ‘women used to cover their hair when they went out in public, things have changed’. It just felt funny to be discussing such things in the middle of a very serious conference on state sovereignty and the european union. I guess everybody needed a break!

What kind of community do you live in, in terms of hair covering practice?  How does this affect you?
In my community, most women only cover their hair for shule, if at all. There are only a couple of us who cover entirely and all the time. I have always been a very independant person so I don’t really care what people do and think, although most people comment on how nice my hats are, which doesn’t hurt 🙂
Our community is very intellectual and cultured so I feel that this is what matters most, not particularly the physical appearance or the religious practice.

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What is your favourite hat?
Hard to choose, usually changes on the season. I have a favourite designer though (see below).

Can you recommend some of your favourite places to find hats?
I buy A LOT from Chirelle D, a former student at my Jewish school in France, who makes scarves and hats. They are all unique and handmade creations, which means they are very expensive.
But because I cover everyday and feel like I have to look professional, I have invested in many of her creations, which always make me feel glamorous, original and professional at the same time. She has such an amazing creativity and, as I said, for those of use who can’t make it beautiful wraps, her scarves and hats are the answer. She has people who sell her creation in France, the UK and Israel and will soon sell online. I usually try to wait for sales but it is my guilty pleasure (on the contrary; I have like 3 pairs of shoes…)
I have bought hats from arts fair in Toronto, shops in Jerusalem and brands like H&M, etc. Israel is always a great place for diversity and price.

What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for having a really supportive family and an amazing husband; for my good health and for the internet that allows me to share my passions (cooking, hats, etc) with so many people and which allows me to connect with everyone dear to me.

Meet Rivki :)

This week’s Lady Wrap Star is Rivki Silver!  I discovered Rivki through her blog, Life in the Married Lane, and after reading her “about me” and seeing that she was a fellow musician (clarinet and piano) and also liked Star Trek, I had to send her a message!  My husband and I recently met her in person during a recent trip to where she lives, and I must say that she is even more lovely and inspirational in person!  I was very excited to ask her some interview questions:

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Hi Rivki!  Can you tell us a bit about yourself, ie how do you choose to spend your time, where do you live, hobbies, family etc.?
Let’s see, where to start?  We currently live in Baltimore, though we’ve also lived in Cleveland and Memphis.  My “official” occupation is a stay-at-home-mom, and much of my day is spent with my three kids, the oldest of whom is four years old.  So, that keeps me pretty busy!  In between the meal-preparation, diaper-changing and playtime, I’m also in charge of the laundry, cooking, and general tidiness.  It really is a full-time job to keep a house running, but our home is our own little sanctuary, and it gives me pleasure to work to create a happy space for my family.
So, in the free time which somehow still exists, I also write and play music, do a blog and vlog for Partners in Torah, try to post weekly on my personal blog, Life in the Married Lane, participate in Rabbi Aryeh Nivin’s chabura, learn with my Partner in Torah, and play in a community band.  Wow, that seems really crazy, but somehow it works.

How long have you been covering your hair?
I started covering my hair when I got married a little over five years ago.
When people ask you why you cover your hair, how do you usually respond?
It’s been a while since anyone asked me why I cover my hair.  If someone does ask, I usually offer a brief explanation about how Jewish law teaches that once a woman gets married, her hair becomes spiritually charged, and she keeps it covered to protect the holiness.  The only man who gets to see it is my husband, and it’s like a special treat just for him.  If the person seems interested, I’m happy to talk more about it, but generally, I keep it relatively short.
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What do you tell your children about it?
My children are still small, so we haven’t gotten beyond “Mommy covers her hair.”  They know the difference between my different hair coverings (sheitel, tichel and hat), but that’s pretty much it at this point.
Can you give us some scarf tying advice, based personal experience?  (ie you hair type, face shape, colouring, lifestyle, etc.)
I started out using square-shaped scarves, folding them in half to make a triangle and doing a basic bun-style tichel.  Sometimes I would put a stretchy headband underneath to hold it in place more securely.  I like cotton-blend scarves because they don’t slip as much.  In the past year or so, I branched out to rectangular-shaped scarves, which gives me a little more height, as opposed to the bun-style, which tends to be flat to my head.  I have an oval-shaped face, and I’ve found that both styles work with my face.  For the rectangular scarves, I like to work with a cotton-based material, as opposed to jersey.  It also helps  to do a big bun-style tie underneath the rectangle, to provide some volume in back.
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What are your favourite kinds of scarves and colours that you like to wear?
My current preference is to use colorful scarves.  I used to stick to more neutral colors (they match more outfits!), but I’m trying to make my wardrobe more vibrant, so now I keep my eyes out for scarves will more personality.  I gravitate toward navy blue, purple and teal.
How did you feel about hair covering before you got married? What about now?
Before marriage, I never really thought much about hair covering; it was just something I was going to do.  Now it has become such a integral part of my life that I feel a little naked if my hair is uncovered.  It’s like a part of me is missing.  I love how each hair covering gives me a different look.  My absolute favorite part is that it drastically reduces the amount of time needed to get ready in the morning.  When I’m running out to take my four-year-old to his preschool, I can get stick my hair in a bun and pop on a hat.  It is the best.  If I want to be a little fancier, I can put on a beautiful tichel, and it makes me feel so regal.  Much better than the washing, drying and straightening routine I had with my hair pre-marriage.  Also, my hair is super-healthy now that I’m not constantly abusing it.  Bonus!
Do you have any funny or inspiring hair covering stories that you would like to share with us?
When I was newly married, I worked in an office where I was the only Jewish woman.  It was in a town that does not have a large Orthodox population, and it’s likely I was the first (and perhaps only) Orthodox women my co-workers had encountered.  At the time, I only owned one sheitel (wig), and the time came for it to be washed.  It wasn’t ready by Monday, so I wore a tichel to work.  One of my co-workers asked me how many times a year I had to cover my hair.  When I told her “all the time,” she responded, “but I see you with your hair all the other days.”  So I revealed that it wasn’t my hair, but a wig, and she wouldn’t believe me until she was able to inspect it the next day!
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You have a beautiful blog called Life in the Married Lane.  What made you start blogging?  How has your writing style and the topics you choose to discuss evolve over the years?
I started blogging when I was studying for a year in Israel.  That first blog was called “Inspirations from the Holy Land.”  Its purpose was a way for my friends and family to keep up with me while I was abroad.  When I came back from Israel and got married, I started a new blog (I was no longer in the Holy Land, unfortunately), and it served the same purpose.  That was over five years ago, and slowly, it has grown into a beautiful community of women who I am so glad to have in my life.
My style has evolved because now I’m aware that people I don’t know personally are reading my blog, and that I’m kind of representing Orthodox Judaism, so it’s a certain level of responsibility.  I would say I’m more thoughtful about my posts now, and take more time to try and clearly express my thoughts, to make sure that I’m accurately representing Judaism, and myself.  I’ve also scaled back on sharing details about my personal life, unless I think they would be helpful or inspiring to others.  I’ve started writing a lot more about Judaism than I intended, but someone my religious posts seem to be my most popular.  So that’s what I’ve gravitated toward.
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What music are you loving lately?
 Lately I’ve been really digging Anat Cohen, who is a phenomenal clarinetist/saxophonist/composer.  She plays jazz.  I heard her on Fresh Air, and I was smitten.  I purchased her newest album, Claroscura, and it has been in heavy rotation.  I’ve also been listening to Shalsheles Junior, which is simple and upbeat, and gets my energy flowing.  Also Beethoven’s 4th and 5th piano concertos, Chopin’s preludes and etudes, Ast by Pachora (another jazz combo with clarinet) and some Yosef Karduner, who really speaks to my soul with the simplicity and devotion of his music.