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Hair covering for widow

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Rabbi David Sperling

Tishrei 26, 5774
Question
I am a widow for over 7 years. Do I still need to cover my hair?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. From the time of marriage a woman is obligated to cover her hair in front of men (other than her husband or children). Even if she ceases to be married, because she is divorced or widowed, she still must cover her hair – that is a lady after having been married covers her hair, and not just a lady who is presently married. Based on this, even though seven years have passed since your husband of blessed memory passed away, you are still required to cover your hair. There are rabbinic opinions that hold that in certain situations when continued covering of the hair may hinder the woman's chances of remarrying, then she is allowed to uncover her hair. If you think this might apply to you, then you should certainly discuss the issue with a rabbi to get a ruling for your individual situation. Blessings.
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