Dreaming of Moshiach

Friday, August 22, 2008

Going Under Cover

In a town lived a woman that was married but did not cover her hair. The Rav of the town rebuked her a few times but she paid no heed, saying "I was given beautiful curly hair and unwilling to cover it".

When she passed away, the Chevre Kaddishe placed her body in the ground but one of them accidentally dropped his wallet inside. Inside the wallet was money and important papers.

That evening, when he noticed his wallet was missing, he remembered that while bending down to bury the woman, the wallet fell inside the grave. He went to the Rav of the town, HaRav HaGaon Aryeh de-ve Ilai, zs'l, to receive permission to reopen the grave. The Rav answered that in this case he gives permission but on one condition; that all the town residents and the bet din must be present.

The following morning, all the town's Jews gathered at the grave and were witnesses to this unique happening. The Rav and the bet din also arrived and the grand Rav gave the permission to open the grave and the missing wallet was found right away.

Suddenly, weird noises were heard coming from the burial ground. Inside the hole of the burial they saw the scariest view ever seen before: The hairs of the dead woman were torn off and stuffed inside her mouth so that her mouth was completely blocked. Her skull was bald, covered by thousands of worms and set in a way the woman used to set her hair when she was alive.

The town's Rav seeing this revealed miracle, woke up the residents to do Teshuva and said: This incident is directly from HaShem. It is no coincidence that the wallet fell inside the burial of the immodest woman. HaShem is showing us how severe it is for a woman to reveal her hair and use it as a weapon for beauty.

The whole town was greatly influenced to see the judgment of this woman and how the judgment is measure for measure.

Women who are or have been married (widows and divorcees) are required to cover their hair. The Talmud in Kesuvot 72a states that the source for this prohibition is from BaMidbar (Numbers) 5:18 which deals with the laws of a sotah - a suspected adulteress - and states, "The priest shall stand the woman before God and uncover her hair...". Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitchaki, zs'kl) provides two explanations for the Talmud's conclusion, one, that from the fact that she is punished midah keneged midah (measure for measure) for exposing her hair to her paramour we see that this is prohibited and, two, from the fact that we expose her hair we see that under normal conditions a Jewish woman's hair should be covered.

Kabbalistic master Baba Sali, Rav Yisrael Abuchatzeirah, zsk'l, the 'praying father' of Sephardic Jewry, said Sephardic tradition obligates women to cover hair only with kerchiefs and not wigs. He added that even if women are ultra religious, prays three times a day, occupied with chesed, etc. but does not cover her hair only with kerchief, she'll not see Olam Haba.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו