Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Halachic rulings on hair covering

24 March, 2013


I am B'H getting married this summer. I intend to cover my hair, but I am confused by the various halachic rulings that are out there. What are the different sources for Rov Rosh versus having a Tefach showing? Thank you so much for your help.


The leniency for leaving up to a tefach of hair uncovered is based on a teshuvah by R Moshe Feinstein and has wide halachic support.  Covering only rov rosh (most of the head) is widely understood as satisfying the Torah-level obligation of hair covering, but not the rabbinic level.

For sources, please see the relevant chapter of R Getsel Ellinson's The Modest Way.  For a more developed discussion of what may or may not be left uncovered, please see R Yehuda Henkin's Understanding Tzniut, pp. 33-42, in particular his treatment of Igrot Moshe.

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