Rav Waxman said: (in reference to a thread on beards) "2) In terms of hair covering, lehalacha, there are two different levels, as the gemara in Ketubot 72 makes clear. There is the Biblical level and the level of Dat Yehudit. The Mishna is not talking about the hair entirely uncovered, but rather with a basket-hat, a kalta. This is not "erva" in the Biblical sense, but if a woman violates Dat Yehudit, her husband is able to divorce her without paying her ketuba. Meanwhile, going out with her hair entirely uncovered is derived from a derasha from Sotah as an azharah, and thus it is a derasha and so rises to a Biblical level. But an important point is that not every minhag rises to a Biblical level. Specifically, the ones that we have derashot for rise to the Biblical level."
What is the modern ruling on this in Orthodoxy?
When I was married, my hair was always covered in a snood. When I got divorced, I kept it covered. A friend of mine asked me why my hair was covered. I told her I didn't want everyone trying to fix me up. She said it was wrong, because it was like lying to the community. I haven't worn it covered (in a snood) since. Is there truth to this? If you like, we can start a discussion about this.
Indeed. There are different ways of interpreting the various gemaras requiring head-covering (and the interactions of those gemaras). Some interpret it to encompass all Jewish women, even unmarried. Others interpret it to mean married women. And some extend this interpretation to include divorced and married women in the halachic requirement as well, a fairly accepted (though I am not sure universal) practice.
Some divorced and widowed women have received individual heteirim to not cover their hair, where it is an impediment to getting remarried, since people will misinterpret this as the woman being married -- as you noted yourself. The concern about lying to the community is not really a concern, then. So the best thing to do is to consult your local Orthodox rabbi. (In your place, I would not feel guilty at all about having gone with uncovered hair in the past, though.)
I am not totally certain. Both might well tell you that hair-covering is obligatory, though perhaps the Chassidic Rebbe would be more likely. Hopefully, whoever you ask would be answering in accordance with your particular circumstances and present spiritual needs.
All the best,
I have TONS of snoods- and hats (I was married, remember?) I don't need shopping advice on where to buy the cutest colour while trying not to look cute. The question is whether or not being openly duplicitous is WRONG-- or not, in this instance. Since Torah says some lies are appropriate, I'd like to know if this one of those strangely sanctioned lies.
As to Ravs, I can pick and choose. Some say yes, some no. So my reason for coming here was to see if we could get some kind of uniformity in a decision. If I just want to do something borderline, I can always find some Rav to give me the justification I need. I'm not looking for that, else I'd just do it anyway, since what's the point? I was trying to do something a little less self-serving and find out if it was actually right or wrong.