In this upcoming week’s Torah portion [Parshat Yisro], we are told of the mountain held above the Jewish nation’s heads as we accepted the Torah at Sinai. Kinda like a wedding canopy, G-d stretched out and suspended Mt. Sinai. We are told G-d was trying to make us aware that when we try to base our whole beings around rational expectations, we often miss the spiritual experiences and don’t strive for all we can be in terms of soulful living. Therefore, G-d suspended the mountain above us and told us we must learn to curb our limited rationalizations and expand our trust in Heaven.
In our individual lives, we do the same, have something above us, trying to remind us of a lesson learned long ago at the giving of the Torah at Sinai. We call this custom Kisoy Rosh – -the covering of one’s head. For a man, we can learn of some of its significance of what they are doing when donning a Kippah through the word Yarmulka, which is a composition of two words: Yaray M’elokah – Awed by G-d. We put the head covering right over our skull which houses our brains to proclaim we know G-dliness and spirituality goes beyond the limits of our brain. That is why you will see Jewish men proudly sporting all types of head coverings, from knitted kippot to big, furry shtraimels. It is their tool to focus on G-d.
Yet, for a Jewish woman there is an additional reason to why she covers her head. That second reason is through covering of the married Jewish woman’s hair she is proclaiming she will be focused on channeling her passion on building a healthy marriage. Since there are two reasons to a woman’s head covering, there are many Jewish women [especially within the Sefardic and Chassidic groups] who are careful to cover their heads with TWO layers. This can be accomplished by doing a fold in the scarf so that two layers of scarf covers. Another way of doing this is by wearing one of the stylish head coverings and wearing either a band or a hat or some other layer right on top of it. And then there are always those women who have a wig and perch atop of it a little hat or scarf.
Ah, now you know, why some folks have two layers. And, yes, it is extremely pretty, too! That, my friend is just the added benefit.
So, as we go through this week, remember that more than a cloth covers a Jewish head. An awareness of G-dliness must always be there perched right atop our personalities.