Traditions

Why Some Hasidic Jewish Women Shave Their Heads

The wardrobes of Hasidic Jewish men and women are very strict with historical roots. Hasidic Judaism developed in 18th century Eastern Europe, and a lot of the Hasidic wardrobe stems from the dress of that time.

The men are easily identified, as they must wear black pants, white shirts, and black jackets. They also have long beards and curls on either side of their heads called payots. The women must dress modestly in long skirts, and must have sleeves longer than elbow-length. Because hair on the head is seen as a symbol of beauty, it is covered to create privacy. Uncovered hair in the culture is equated to physical nudity.

After marriage, some Hasidic Jewish women shave their heads as a symbol of fidelity and a way to denote they are off the market. Wigs are common for women with and without shaved heads, as it covers the head to create privacy and modesty.

Rachel Freier, judge in Brooklyn's 5th District, the first Hasidic woman to win elective office in the US.

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Written By
Curiosity Staff
November 10, 2015