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Minhag HaMakom – Modest Dress and Hair Covering

Literally “the custom of the place”. I think this is the Jewish equivalent of “when in Rome do as the Romans do”.

Can we apply this to dressing modestly and hair covering? If you are married and don’t cover your hair, and perhaps dress more modern that your chareidi (ultra religious) cousins – if you go to a chareidi  event like a barmitzvah or wedding – will you make an extra effort to blend in by dressing appropriately? If you know that 95% of the women there are wearing hats or wigs, will you cover you hair too out of respect? Do you think this is asking too much?

When I go to the boys’ yeshiva I always dress more covered up than I usually do. I make sure I have sleeves to my wrists, my skirt is way past my knees and I don’t go in bare legged. Even though I might dress differently outside, when I visit the school I am respectful of their sensibilities. Some people say this is hypocritical. I say it is common courtesy. What do you say?

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