Jewish Women in Therapy: Seen But Not Heard (Women & Therapy S)

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Susan Tawil points out that covering ones hair is the litmus test of strict adherence to Torah observance. Who are the women who author these chapters? Regular gals from the neighborhood just like you, who run car pool and attend PTA meetings. You'll enjoy sitting down with them and "hearing" their take on this practice that has captured a generation of Orthodox women by storm.

The halacha is discussed briefly and there is a short piece on the history of this observance, but the book is largely anecdotal. It consists of a series of short chapters, written by different women one chapter by a husband , expressing their personal feelings about head covering. There are women who grew up with it, baalot tshuva who took it on with all the other mitzvot and Orthodox women who added this practice to heighten their level of religious observance. Some of the stories are heart warming, like the story of the woman who wore a wig to cover her balding head while in chemotherapy, and then took on this observance in gratitude for surviving the illness.

Another chapter is based on an interview with a charedi woman who never considered another way of life. The chapter "A Day in the Life of a Sheitel Macher" offers a unique insight into a very private profession.

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Some women admit that covering was a convenient solution to bad hair. And although Jewish women have participated in the therapeutic process, as clients, scholars, and therapists, seldom have Jewish Women in Therapy: Seen But Not Heard. Hair was never their best feature and covering it took the issue off the table. Though all of the women cover their heads, for most of them, this practice has exacted a toll.

In one day she lost her name and her signature hairstyle. It is months before she can finally say that she is comfortable covering her head.

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This book is not about whether to cover or not to cover. Covering is understood. Although there are sacrifices, like all mitzvot the benefits far outweigh the costs. For some women head covering is her admission ticket into a community. For some women hair becomes an intimate item to be shared only with her husband. The great conflict in this book is whether to cover with a scarf, a hat, a wig or all of these. Many criticize the wig solution, which covers your own hair with someone else's attractively coifed locks. This tough position is defended in a captivating chapter on the Lubavitch approach to head covering.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe held that not a single strand of a married woman's own hair should be seen.


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An elegant wig serves two purposes: it covers the whole head, thus fulfilling the mitzvah, while it enhances the woman's appearance. Since it is an aesthetic improvement women gladly accepted the practice. Does this attitude patronize women?

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Does the rabbi believe that women prioritize their appearance above their observance of halacha? These are some of the things that you will consider in this thought-provoking book. Women who cover their heads will empathize with these articles and find sisterly compassion in these pages.

This is a fast and easy read and a book that you will not be able to put down, whether you cover or not. Debbie Lampert. The book is impressive on several levels. First, for any of us who still hold the outdated stereotype that observant Jewish women have little secular education, the brief bios of the authors at the end of the book is positively humbling.

This Monday morning we begin our Momastory series. Monkees, meet- Rachel Held Evans. All the theology, doctrine, creeds, and confessions in the world can never explain it like Emily does. The bad news for the domestically-challenged among us is that the life of the Proverbs 31 woman is like a Pinterest board come to life: She rises before dawn each day, provides exotic food for her children, runs a profitable textile business, invests in real estate, cares for the poor, spends hours at the loom making clothes and coverings for her bed, and crafts holiday wreaths out of coffee filters.

Okay, so that last one was straight from Pinterest, but you get the idea. I had a bit of fun with that last one, but the rest proved exhausting.


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  4. The woman taught me to make homemade challah, so we were to be forever friends. Like all good poems, it was intended to highlight the glory of the everyday; it was never meant to be used prescriptively as a to-do list or a command. All women can do that in their own way. I bet you do as well. We are Proverbs 31 Women, not because of what we do, but how we do it—with guts, with vulnerability, with love.

    I heard from a pair of best friends who, having both recently navigated some scary spaces in their lives, decided to overcome their fear of heights by repelling down a sheer cliff together. I heard from a woman who had survived sexual abuse, depression, divorce, and the rejection of her church. So to all the monkees who are tired, who think those daily acts of faithfulness at work or at home or in relationships go unnoticed—you are women of valor. Eshet chayil! To all the monkees who do hard things, who dream up Love Projects, and who belong to each other—you are women of valor.


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    8. To all the monkees who are feeding sweet babies, or longing to feed sweet babies, or going to meetings, or staring at medical bills, or turning in tardy slips, or making macaroni and cheese for the third time this week, or jumping back into the dating scene, or learning to waltz just for the hell of it, or knitting to keep your hands busy, or hammering out that first draft, or starting all over again—you are women of valor.

      So glad I found this in my research of what is a modern day woman of valor.

      A lady that falls and gets back up, no matter what and tries. Thank you so much, I needed this boost in my daily routine… as wives and mothers the mood of the entire house is dependant on how we feel about ourselves… the moral of our children, the confidence of our husbands etc… but not much care or encouragement is given to us especially this part of the world in Africa even as born again Christians… much appreciation, ESHET CHAYIL. Be ahava.

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      Hi Rachel. Pray life is treating you better than you could ask for or think. Many Blessings To You. For the rest of us, though, it […]. In her […].

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      That is you. A mom worthy of the praise-phrase eshet chayil! Link is to a guest post by Rachel on another […]. Neither is a kingdom woman called to perfection. Thank you for your perspective in your article. I want to tell them that I learned something just this year that made me laugh until I cried. I started reading Momastery after my sister-in-law went on about it. I must sa the first Blog i read captured me. I am not yet a mom or a mother but some of the things that are penned down touch me, move me and have brought tears to my eyes. Eshet Chayil has captured my attention to the extent that am about to get it inked on my wrist.

      So thank you! Thank you for reminding me to smile and keep hugging and loving people! Eshet chayil, […]. Finally found the time to read this post and boy, does it rock!

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      Thanks for throwing it our way, Glennon. I love the idea of finding glory and honor in the daily tasks of life. I needed something new to read!! Thanks so much for letting me know about this. Books are my therapy! Thank you Glennon for sharing your spot light and introducing us to brilliant and inspiring women we may not have found on our own.