Root Source interviews Devra Ariel, the wife of Gidon Ariel. In part 2 she talks about head coverings, the rules of physical contact with the opposite sex, and her view on “coincidence.”

Part 2 of 5. (11:03)

5 thoughts on “Interview: Devra Ariel – 2 – Head Covering, Physical Contact & Coincidence”

  1. Avatar
    Abigail Wolfer

    Bob, it actually used to be protocol even in our country for a man to wait for a woman to offer her hand. I have been moving more and more away from touch unless it is a close friend of mine and my husband’s (like family) or another woman. It is interesting how there are a variety of ways to think about this. I have been in some assemblies where everyone is huggy and some where no one is huggy. I have also felt violated by men walking up and hugging me without my permission and I could just sense in my spirit something was not right in them. I actually appreciate the no touch rule. I trust you, which is why I hugged you when we met. But even that is slowly changing…not that I don’t trust you, of course, but that I am pulling away from touch beyond a handshake more and more. The culture does come into play.

    I am curious to ask Devra…she mentions only family and spouse, but what about other women? Is that also considered off limits? Men I can understand. Women not really. So would love to hear the reasoning behind that.

    I also curious about headcoverings. What do menopausal women do who get hot flashes? Do they just suffer through? I know having my head covered, which I typically do when going out, makes me a lot hotter when the weather is hot or when I was having hotflashes.

    Beautiful thoughts on coincidence. I have always looked at it like they are “G-d incidences”. I have heard the tapestry concept and love it, too. Hashem is always working…sometimes blatantly and sometimes behind the scenes.

    This series is SO interesting!

    1. Avatar

      I am amused at myself. I am accustomed to using gender neutral language! I should have made clear that there is NO halachic (Jewish law) problem with women touching women or men touching men. The issues are between genders only
      Regarding headcoverings, I think it goes along with all modesty conventions. In hot weather, a tank top and short shorts might seem the order of the day, but we don’t dress that way. You get used to it. I have to say that wigs can be pretty warm, but a light cotton scarf is not usually a burden–and might even be a good idea anyway if you are out in the sun.
      Very happy you are enjoying the series!

      1. Avatar
        Abigail Wolfer

        Thank you, Devra! I really appreciate your taking the time to respond. I know you are very busy. I was disappointed to see Bob had not posted the rest of the videos yet!

        I hear you on the dress. I make the effort to dress modestly myself. I was just wondering about the headcovering. I know there are thinner scarves, but aren’t they also kind of shear? I am wondering if it is about hiding the hair, in which case shear would not work? Or is it about sending an obvious signal of being married, in which it case it could. Although, a wig wouldn’t really do that unless it was obviously a wig. I have done quite a bit of reading on this and agree that it is a bit convoluted…different opinions. So, I am asking about your personal perspective.

        Regarding touch, so no men at all? Not even close family friends? I assume male relatives are OK. But how far out does it go? Spouse, sons, SIL(?), uncle(?). I hope I am not asking too many questions, but I have been exploring the idea of boundaries for awhile and kind of flipflop on them. I am very interested in what boundaries others draw and why. It gives me things to consider for myself, too, as it is a decision each one of us has to make.

        I am so excited about this interview!

  2. Avatar

    Hi Abigail–so a sheer material would probably not do, but there are many light cotton indian scarves. There are Facebook groups for women who cover, and probably pinterest as well. As I think I did mention, there are many sources and perspectives on head covering–is it modesty or an indication of status? I was taught that it’s a modesty thing, and in fact there are early sources that indicate that young women, even if not married, should cover. But we don’t do that today. Since you have no divine command to cover, you should be comfortable. And be careful about going too crazy. There is a small sect of ultra-orthodox Jewish women who actually wear burkas and hide their faces except for the eyes–like in Iran! Also, some rabbis say that a wig is not modest, precisely because some wigs cannot be distinguished from natural hair. On the other hand, the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that wigs are the ideal head covering. So there you are.
    I don’t touch my son-in-law, nor he me. I do touch my husband, sons and brother. I am also less particular around boys under the age of Bar Mitzvah (halachic adulthood at 13). But as I said to Bob, I also do not embarrass people. Technically sitting next to a man on a bus is allowed, but personally I am uncomfortable sitting next to a man.

    1. Avatar
      Abigail Wolfer

      Thank you for your reply, Devra. I have read of people doing the burkah thing. No thank you! I agree that is extreme. I have worn hats and scarves…some of them draped and some of them wrapped and tucked. I think they are very pretty. I switched from scarves to hats due to getting a strange look from someone who I think thought I was Muslim. Go figure. Sometimes, my hair is tucked into my hat, sometimes not.I have read about the modesty aspect of it and looked at scripture. You mentioned one that struck me years ago. That is part of what led me to consider covering. The idea of covering in prayer and also the modesty/married aspect. It is something I pray about for I want to walk the way Hashem leads. I have been checking into different possibilities for comfortable, affordable covering.

      OK. Another question, which I am sure has variable answers. LOL Do you cover always? At home? Is it a not around family thing? An around anyone other than Gidon and children? Thank you for your patience with my questions! I ask them here rather than on FB because I am sure others might have the same questions I do!

      Thank you, also, for backing Gidon up in his idea for Root Source. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to be a part of it.

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