Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why don't girls cover their head when davening?

This is a really simple question which does not have a simple answer.

The Shulchan Aruch (סי' צ"א סע' ג) paskens that it is אסור to say a Beracha without a head covering. The Shulchan Aruch is based on 1 opinion in מסכת סופרים which Rabenu Yerucham paskens like l'halacha. The Mishna Berura (סי' ב' ס"ק י"ב) paskens like the shulchan aruch.

By issurim, there is no distinction between men and women, issurim apply to both equally. Therefore, this issur of not saying berachos without a head covering should apply to women as well. We don't find any source to distinguish here between men and women.

In fact, the sefer ישכיל עבדי draws exactly this conclusion. He quotes the shulchan aruch and says he doesn't understand how the Beis Yakov's allows the girls to daven without covering their heads.

R' Ovadya Yosef has a teshuva about this (יביע אומר ח' ו' סי' ט"ו). He has a long discussion about whether it is an issur to say a beracha bareheaded or just a מדת חסידות. He brings rishonim and acharonim on both sides and concludes that the minhag today must be to rely on those who hold there is no issur. However, he recommends that for Shemoneh Esrei and Bentching that girls should cover their head to be חושש for the shulchan aruch.

It is absolutely fascinating how this din is completely ignored by the חרדים לדבר ה. After all, the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Berura both pasken that it is assur, why are we not at least חושש for their opinion? The Charedi world has adopted so many wilder chumras why is this one left behind? There is no question that this chumra has much more basis then disallowing certain color stockings.


Beisrunner said...

It's reminiscent of women wearing kippot, so it has non-frum associations.

Elan said...

Again (I've left you a comment elsewhere) you mistake "then" for "than." Then means after something and than is used for comparisons. Don't confuse the two like you did in the last sentence: "...basis *then* disallowing certain color stockings."

Other than that...excellent blog entry :)

Not Brisk said...

I am kicking myself for not thinking of this chumroh on my own.

I already trademarked the new female yarmuka.

I wonder if the Ponevitzer Rov, retroactively, improperly distributed the 'not-for-yarmuka- money' to a Beis Yakov

thanbo said...

Yeah, so? It religiously empowers women, while stockings and sleeve length are about socially repressing them. And anything that religiously empowers women is modernishe and assur like the plague.

SpaceFalcon2001 said...

What else are all those doilies things in front of the women's section for?

Maybe it's just ignored because women have head coverings anyhow once they get married?

someguy said...

You have to remember that in the days of Reb Yosef Karo the girls did cover their heads scarves or bonnets. Unless they were very young, where there is no chiuv or married and wore custom, french part, personal weave with skin, natural colored hair belonging to someone else, so that EVERYBODY would know they were married.

Unknown said...

Thank you. very interesting blog. It really makes you think.