Thursday, February 17, 2011

Women wearing Re'ulot


I found an interesting teaching in the Talmud Tractate Shabbat 65a which immediately reminded me of the "Taliban Mother".

The Mishna says that Jewish women may go out on Shabbat wearing "Re'ulot". 
What does this mean ?

Rashi explains that it refers to women whose entire head is totally covered except for one eye. However, this way of dressing is considered provocative, as it entices men wanting to see more of the face. 

Honestly, I have never thought about that !:-)

This is why it is called "Re'ulot - Poisons". Further, Rashi says that "Re'ulot" are thick coats a woman wraps around herself. On the other hand, the Rambam considered "Re'ulot" to be bells hanging from the woman's clothes. 

The thought that men who see a today's Jewish Burka woman may feel the desire to see more ... Maybe this was true in ancient times but not today. The Breslover Burka women running around in Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem or elsewhere probably cause the opposite, as there is nothing female around them. Not even anything human but just a walking Schmattes. 

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