The Out of Town Jew

Family, Judaism, and Travel.

Tag: Orthodox Judaism

Rebel in a Headscarf

If you’d like to read more about why other women cover their hair, please see my friend Sefira’s project: https://thewraproject.com/

In traditional Judaism, women typically cover their hair once they are married. This is often attributed to the Sotah ritual described in Numbers (5:18). There are many sources on this online, which go into a lot more depth. In this post, I am just going to talk about my own personal reason, beyond the common tradition, for covering my hair.

 

When I first started to cover my hair, it was kind of fun. It was different and instantly I noticed a change in how people interacted with me. Suddenly I felt that people were looking at me like I was more than just appearances. I noticed that my conversations with men weren’t as friendly and seemingly flirtatious as they had sometimes seemed before.

 

Then as time went on, I got bored and started to panic a little. I LOVE my hair. It’s one of my best features. Every single morning I would get up, get ready for work, put my makeup on, and think, “wow I look great”. Then it would always hit me that I cover my hair. And I would get a little depressed and the rebel in me would think, what if I just didn’t cover it today?! (At this time, and even now, I could not afford a good wig (called a sheitel in Judaism) and I figured that scarfs are comfier anyway).

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Thriving Jewish Observance Outside of New York

The term “out-of-town”, in Judaism, is often used to refer to anyone who lives outside of the Tri-State area, or even just the greater New York area.

My husband initially suggested the name for this blog and I really liked the sound of it. To me, it means more than simply just living outside of New York. I am proud that I grew up in a very small town in Montana. “Out-of-town” living was literally where we lived, 8 miles outside of a small town of about 2700 people.

Now, years later, living in a city and being a part of a smaller Jewish community, I can see that I will always be an out-of-town girl. One who enjoys the occasional challenge of working a little harder with limited resources. And it is a great feeling to know what it means to be an integral member of a community. Sometimes in a large community it is just too easy to blend in.

Living in an “out-of-town” smaller Jewish community has its pros and cons. It is easy to know most of the wonderful people in our community, and overall everyone is pretty laid back and welcoming. There is a connection amongst each other that cannot be broken. You don’t have to “dress to impress”. For the most part, you just have to be yourself. Most smaller communities also have better housing prices and job opportunities. While we live in Seattle, where tech jobs are pretty abundant, but housing prices and the cost of living in our neighborhood are pretty high. With all the positives of living out of town, on the other hand,  sadly we don’t have a lot of kosher restaurant options.

Another aspect of this blog is to include tips and info on traveling. Getting out-of-town and exploring. And all our journeys along the way. Honestly, this blog is something I want to do for fun in my spare time. Blog posts may happen a lot or a little depending on life and of course, my motivation.

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