As a newly married woman and one who is still learning Torah - I must ask what I feel is an important question: Is my head to be covered in the home as it is out in public? And, is a Kippah preferred over say a scarf or hat?
Given that even wives of installed shul rabbis in some modern communities seem to practice a different standard, outside their homes -- when Rav Mitterhoff says "all hair needs to be covered" could we please also see here a summary of the halachic basis for other opinions, and how Jewish men are supposed to relate to Jewish women who act differently than the established community standards?
You're Welcome. Also those that advertise "Tzitzis/Tzitzit" for women are in error. The reasons for this are not even from the Torah; from what I understand - it is about "equal rights". The only rights for men and women are what the Torah says. These groups that advertise and say that women should wear a Kippah and Tzitzit, are not Orthodox (and don't follow correctly, if at all, what the Torah says).
My understanding is that it is not appropriate for a woman to wear anything called a kippah or tzitzis and that women have no mitzvah in wearing tzitzis. My source is that there is a Torah prohibition of cross-dressing.
It is also my understanding that there is a huge difference between a married woman (who is a man's wife) and a single (or divorced) woman with respect to the death penalty for adultery versus the same activity if she is not married. Perhaps this would be consistent with why only married women are to have their hair covered in public, that viewing of their hair is a private matter reserved for her husband only?
Modesty is the basis of Jewish life- diffferent people are at different stages and in different situations. So there are basic ruls for everyone depending on where they are at. Finding a Rav or Rebbetcin whom you feel comfortable with helps a lot.
These things are dictated by the standards of the community you live in. As far as Jewish law is concern a scarf is just fine. No a woman would not wear a kippah. (Actually the kippah as an outside garment for men is sort of a recent innovation). As far as Jewish law is concerned, you do not need to cover your head in your home (or courtyard if you had one.) Again these things are dictated by your community standards. If you live in a community were all the religious women cover their head a certain way, you go along with it. The same thing about wearing pants. There is no law against wearing pants but if in your community women do not wear pants and you wish to identify with the "in" crowd, you don't wear pants.
There is no reason why women shouldn't wear tzitzit. We just don't do it. If the majority of women started wearing tzitit or talit, it would become alright. If there are decorated kippot for women, I don't see how it would be any different than a small hat. Again we just don't do it.
Divorced and widows usually keep their head covered. I have never seen otherwise but I guess if one felt that it prevented getting remarried, some Rabbi could give an opinion.
Cetainly no one should consider it unacceptable that a woman does not keep her hair covered. It was quite common in the early 20th century for religous woman not to cover their hair. And certainly not to consider a woman wearing pants in a society where women where pants. Many Jews lived in countries like Teman and Afgansitan were all women wore pants. Again, these things (Shulchan Aruch) as determined by community standards. Some Jewish communities in moslem countries wore veils. It depends where you live.
As for the Mishneh Brurah, if you are a Polish Jew, you may consider following him. However, the MB people just ignore him if the don't like his opinion like skirts just have to cover the knees.
Bottom line: You have to go along with the "in" crowd if you want to be accepted. Just don't feel you are doing something wrong if you want to be different.
One Rebbetcin wrote: "The role of the Jewish woman is far subtler than the role of the Jewish man. I want to feel closer to God in my own way, not by copying the ways of Jewish men. By requiring me to make an unmistakably feminine, explicitly Jewish decision every morning of my life, covering my hair helps me stay connected to my identity as a Jewish woman, yearning for holiness."
A kippah is for men. Exactly what to wear and "how much" to cover and in what locations are dependent on personal feelings and halacha. You should discuss this in depth with a Rabbi or Rebetcin that you feel close to. If you do not yet have a personal connection with a spiritual guide, then write me and i will give you a few names and phone numbers.