Are you ready to tichel?

Shalom, chaverot (girlfriends)! Welcome to the place to get creative with your head covering.

My journey with tichels/mitpachot has been, I think, rather typical. It began with attendance at a Messicanic Jewish synagogue in 2006 and only recently has blossomed into a love affair. Why did it take so long, you ask? Skill and fear.

When I began to cover my hair, I had no knowledge, no mentor to aid me in such an utterly foreign endeavor. In the early days, I was a copy cat. I observed women wearing simple newsboy hats which were providentially easy to find in stores. I also experimented with scarves; however, much of it was guesswork.

As with many well-meaning habits, I entered a season of neglect. I do think much of this came from lack of support in my life from close friends and family who did not feel the conviction as I did, as well as the influence of the secular. I stopped covering my head and began to try to dress per culture for a few years. Baruch HaShem, I have two chaverot whose influence has been a great boon to my walk with Adonai, as well as recently meeting my wonderful, godly husband-to-be.

I’m not married and I cover my head? Yes, I have felt an overwhelming need to veil myself when in prayer. Adonai has used a number of passages to convince me of this, most notably Paul’s 11th chapter to the Corinthians in the first letter and Yeshayahu’s (Isaiah) vision in chapter 6 – even the seraphim covered their faces in the Presence of the King. Simply put, it is a physical act that trains me to enter The Throneroom with fear and reverence. From that point, Adonai reminded me that I should be “pray[ing] without ceasing,” as exhorted to us by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 who is quoting David HaMelech (Tehilla 109:4).

Now, this wasn’t an instantaneous transformation but a slow t’shuvah (turning or repenting). I was afraid, mostly of what others would think of me. I didn’t want them to have the wrong idea and place me in the wrong “box.” I didn’t want to be connected with a religion that I don’t believe is correct AND knowing how many Americans feel regarding that religion. Added to that was the sense of disdain I would receive from those who viewed head-coverings as a form of oppression. Finally, came the overwhelming sense of the absence of knowledge about how to actually tie my scarf and not look frumpy or have to fix it every 5 minutes.

Praise Adonai, for He often answers prayers even before we reach a situation! I eventually made the decision to start daily covering up and – pop – I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if there are any instructions on how to tie scarves from Orthodox Jewish women?” In one evening, I came across Rivka Malka’s youtube videos and subsequently Andrea Grinberg’s plethora of teachings. (You can check out Andrea’s information either on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/wrapunzel, or here on WordPress http://wrapunzel.wordpress.com/. Rivka Malka’s site is rivkamalka.com.) I literally learned how to skillfully wrap not just one style of scarf but all sorts of shapes and sizes, even mastering the layering effect!

It has been maybe 6 months since I have been proudly wearing tichels with ease. I even feel the most beautiful I have ever felt! Some credit must be given to my fiance; however, being able to utilize my creative outlet with stunning scarves and accessories has greatly increased my self-esteem. Not only do I feel like a princess, I feel the most protected when out in the world.

Therefore, I want to share this newfound sense of beauty and modesty with my chaverot and my achyot (sisters), to encourage you to move closer to HaShem, to find the beauty He has given you.

I am going to post a picture of my tichel combinations each day. I do hope soon to make a video showing you how I wrapped some of my favorite combinations and how to accessorize with embellishments like lace and ribbon. I want this more to be a source of creativity in your tichel-tying than a how-to. For beginners, I would suggest delving into Andrea & Rivka Malka’s videos. If it seems overwhelming, stick to the basics until you find your niche, but I guarantee you won’t stay a novice very long when you find out how easy it is!

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