We are continuing in siman 5, discussing the halachos regarding covering hair. It is clear in the Shulchan Aruch that a woman who has never been married does not need to cover her hair, as we have learned (shiur 1552). We learned from the Magen Avraham that although her hair does not need to be covered, it should not be paruah, loose, but braided. When the MIshnah Berurah brings this down, he adds that the Machtzis Hashekel and Magen Giborim are meikil and do not require an unmarried woman to braid her hair. Rav Nissim Karelitz is on record that if a woman’s hair is short, all opinions would agree she does not need to braid it.
The above all applies to a woman who was never married.
A woman who was never married, but is no longer a besulah, technically needs to cover her hair. However, if she will be embarrassed to do so, we cannot compel her, as there is an opinion that she is not chayav if it was not in the context of marriage.
Regarding an arusah, the Mishnah Berurah says explicitly in siman 75:sk 11 that she should cover her hair, as we have learned previously. Rabbi Reingold’s personal mesorah from Rav Chaim Stein ztl is that a kallah should cover her hair under the chuppah, because she will become an arusah and nesuah by the time the chuppah is finished, and according to the Mishnah Berurah, she is already chayav to cover her hair from the time of erusin. The veil is often not sufficient, and it is anyways pulled back at the end of the chuppah. Rav Chaim Stein ztl was makpid and would not be mesader kiddushin unless the kallah would cover her hair from the beginning of the chuppah.
Many women in America are meikil in this regard, and the kallah does not cover her hair until the following morning.
Rabbi Reingold heard from Rabbi Shlomo Gissinger ztl, that Rav Ahron Kotler ztl held like the opinion that the chiyuv to cover hair does not apply until after a kallah is intimate with her husband, so throughout the wedding she does not need to have her hair covered. The talmidim of Rav Ahron Kotler are meikil, and since a large part of American Jewry are talmidim of Rav Ahron Kotler, the minhag has become to be meikil. Some places in Eretz Yisroel are meikil as well, but others are machmir from erusin or after the yichud room.
We learned that Rav Ovadia Yosef holds the chiyuv begins from after nisuin. However, the sephardim anyways hold that the primary nisuin is not the yichud room, but when the chosson brings the kallah into his home. If so, the nisuin is not until later that night, and the chiyuv to cover her hair would not start until after that point, and the kallah can leave her hair uncovered throughout the wedding.
If one has a halacha lemaaseh question, they should ask their rav.
We will next discuss sheitels, be’ezras Hashem.
- The Mishnah Berurah holds that a woman who was never married can rely on the lenient opinions that she does not have to keep her hair braided.
- If a woman’s hair is short, all opinions would agree she does not need to braid it.
- A woman who is no longer a besulah should cover her hair; however, since there are opinions who are meikil, we cannot compel her to cover it if she is embarrassed.
- The Mishnah Berurah is machmir regarding an arusah. Some, including Rav Chaim Stein ztl, were makpid to follow the Mishnah Berurah, but the general minhag in America is to be meikil, following the psak of Rav Ahron Kotler ztl.
- Sephardim hold a kallah does not need to cover her hair until nisuin, and that the primary nisuin is not until the chosson brings her to his home after the wedding.
- If one has a halacha lemaaseh question, they should ask their rav.