In Israel, Some Jewish Women Take Up the Veil

Say God favors Muslims' modest dress; rabbis disagree
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2008 3:48 PM CST
A woman wearing a headscarf watches a football match in this file photo.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – As she walks through Jerusalem, the veiled figure draws stares and curses. “They shout things at me because they think I am Arab,” she says. In reality, the woman is part of a small movement of Israeli women who are taking up the sal, a veil resembling the Muslim hijab. They say it is Muslims who are imitating old Jewish custom, the Times (UK) reports.

“The women of Israel are lessening in God's eyes because the Arabs are more modest in dress,” said one adherent. “If the Jews want to conquer the Arabs in this land they must enhance their modesty.” But women face widespread pressure to ditch the scarves. Jewish teachings tell women to avoid drawing attention to themselves, rabbis point out, and the sal draws plenty of attention. (Read more Islamic veil stories.)