Recently, I received the honor of being interviewed by Leelach.com’s originator Nava Fried. I thought I would publish it here, too. If you want to go to the actual post here’s the link: http://www.leelach.com/tichel_interviews, otherwise, check out Leelach.com for awesome art handmade by Israeli women. This is where I discovered my favorite sinar tichel designer, Sara Attali.
My relationship with tichels has a complicated and, perhaps, unusual history. I began covering inconsistantly about 7 years ago and all of my journey has been while I was single until last month when, Baruch Hashem, I was granted the gift of marrying the man of my dreams, my best friend. My journey during singledom began when I was introduced to Torah after a close friend invited me to a congregation. When I saw that many women covered their hair, it resonated with my soul. Granted, my understanding of the purpose why one should cover was severely limited since my background is not Jewish and I chose to do it for my own appeasement as I was troubled by my thinning hair. I was more concerned about my outward appearance and feelings of worthlessness associated with that than the real reasons why tzniut (often, “modesty” in English but that is a very shallow and restricted definition) should be incorporated into one’s lifestyle. Since the focus was on myself, it was a rocky love-hate relationship. I gave up and returned to dressing and decorating myself by way of the masses in America. Subsequently, I began to turn from my initial level of Torah observance to leniency until HaShem brought one of my closest friends into my life. Her desire to serve G-d spurred me on to reaching out for Him and to allow Him to clean up my life, my wounds, and to fill my holes. It certainly wasn’t long before I began to feel the desire to cover. This time, I felt it was very important to be covered during prayer, and shouldn’t prayer take place at all times? From there, I was introduced to teachings on tzniut which has further deepened my reasoning for covering – even for those who are single. I say that because this world is going further and further into darkness and chaos, tzniut can protect women from being wounded and abused by that darkness. Tzniut is more than just “modesty,” it is closer to a “protection” for your whole being. Tzniut is the introduction of boundaries for your soul manifested by clothing and action – a lifestyle.
I am not sure I really have a favorite style; however, I would say that I typically wrap my scarves in as many layers as I can comfortably fit with a cute embellishment or two. I tend to use a long rectangular scarf and create a bun with it, then adding my layers and wrapping the tail of the intial scarf around the “bun” part ontop of all the others. Often I use a strand of ribbon or lace to top off the look.
Honestly, once you have down the art of tichel-tying, it doesn’t take long at all. I think I would have to rephrase this and say, what tichel do I use when I don’t feel like putting much effort into being creative? I have a number of simple scarves I use that are very multi-colored and can achieve that layered look by only wrapping one scarf: two are long rectangular scarves with different striping and one is a square, silky, floral scarf in shades of purple that I fold into a triangle.
Teach your daughters, nieces, cousins, granddaughters – whoever comes across your path – the art of hair wrapping. Get creative. If someone makes a comment about your headcovering that may be mean, have compassion on them for they have been taught lies about what freedom really is.