Update: Edah Claims to Object to Shawls, Poster False

Update: According to comments on the Kikar Shabbat website, the date of the posters recommending shawls for all wmoen is from six years ago. Someone must have reprinted and posted them.

The Edah Haredit claims they are not behind the current poster. They claim to have considered prohibiting “shalim” altogether, but in the end did not go that far.

Thimagee other day I wrote that husbands of women who cover their faces requested that the Edah haredit rule against the practice. Miriam Shaviv from the Jewish Chronicle reports that it will soon. But in the meantime, a poster went up with a ruling that all women should wear shalim (redidim). But it was six years old.

Background on cloaks/shawls: Thee custom of wearing cloaks to obscure the contour of a woman’s body began in the Toldot Aharon community in Jerusalem when its leader recommended them to his granddaughter, as she was unable to get pregnant. Her relatives wore the cloaks, known as shalim in Hebrew, to show solidarity with her. After the baby was born, and other women began experiencing good fortune, the trend caught on and extended to communities of returning Orthodox Jews, especially Breslav. (Source: article in Mekor Rishon by researcher Sima Zaltzberg).

Bruria Keren, a mother of 10 from Beit Shemesh, attracted national attention when she adopted the cloak, multiple layers of clothes, and other extreme behaviors including covering her face. I am not sure if she was the first to cover her face, but she was the best-known.

In Elad, near where I live, you can see many women in cloaks. The number of women who cover their faces is still small, but growing.


Interview with a Former Kannai


  1. very strange! you added a new word to my vocabulary , redid. i am always surprised to see women dressed this way .

  2. Leah Peretz says

    I never heard of redid
    before either.
    Women wearing full cloaks (from head to feet) are also not many in Ramat Bet Shemesh Bet. They aren’t like Bruriah Keren though. These women still show their hands and face. Like you wrote, tied under the chin.

  3. “It also warns men that impure thoughts about single women are prohibited.”

    So impure thoughts about married women are OK?

  4. Mekubal,
    Lesson learned!

  5. Chanan, I didn’t translate all of it! It mentions married women too.

  6. The Eidah has denied these Pashkvelim and is actually considering imposing an issur upon the Shawls. See here:

    Hence you shouldn’t believe everything you read(on a Paskveil).

  7. I haven’t come across the term ???????? before (except in the works of Josephus, referring to the Zealots who led the revolt against Rome). What does it refer to?

  8. Oops, the Hebrew didn’t come out correctly – sikarikim.

  9. Does the Torah not say, “you shall not walk according to their laws” as quoted in Sanhedrin 52b?

    Full-length robes and veils are Muslim law in many areas (see: burqa). Thus, it should be simple to show that the pendulum swings both ways – neither should you adopt the methods of Christians (“less” religious), nor should you adopt the methods of Muslims (“more” religious). You should merely follow your father’s traditions – that has been the guiding principle of Hareidi Jews everywhere and I don’t know a single one whose mother covers her face.

    Donning burqas, in my view, is a Chillul Hashem; even if one wears a burqa in pursuit of greater modesty, there are clear connotations applied to burqas by the wider world that would cause Goyim to think that Jews oppress their wives and female relatives into wearing such garments. An issur should be issued without a second thought.