From Tichels to hair bands: Modern orthodox women and the practice of head covering

Valeria Seigelshifer, Tova Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Over the past fifteen years, cultural practices involving the covering of women's heads have been discussed extensively in academic and popular discourse. Although the practice of head covering can be easily interpreted as one of the various forms of the regulation of women's bodies within religious systems, such an understanding, leaves unanswered, perhaps unasked how women living in traditional cultures experience their commitments.In this paper, we examine the experiences of modern orthodox women vis à vis the practice of head covering. What emerges from women's narratives is a multivalent and nuanced experience in which the commitment to halakha and the search for self expression are in a permanent and dynamic interplay. Characterized by a high degree of cultural reflection, rather than living in a state of false consciousness, the experience of these women points to a conscious decision to embrace tradition without the need to silence conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011


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