Why Do So Many Israeli Women Wear Scarves On Their Heads?

Wondering why you've been seeing so many scarves as headwear for Israeli women? What's going on here? Are head-scarves the new fedora?


We've got the scoop for you!


What you are seeing is a Mitpachat. Mitpahat is the word for the headscarf worn by religious Jewish women after they marry. Tradition teaches women to cover their hair after they marry, in part as a symbol to show the world that she is a married woman- the same idea as wearing a wedding ring!


You may also hear it being called a tihel, which originates from the Yiddish language and comes from Eastern European culture. Picture the women of shtettle life back in Poland and Russia- many are wearing similar tihels!


While most religious women in America, England, and many other Anglo-speaking countries wear a wig to cover their hair, scarves have become somewhat of a cultural thing here in Israel, and a true fashion statement, as well as religious! In Israel, mitpahot are an art form!


Woman wearing a light grey headscarf to cover her hair

A mitpachat can range from a simple headband or plain scarf tied at the back of the neck, to the elaborate wrapping of multiple fabrics and tying techniques. Think turban style!


Sometimes, women even put pouches of cotton underneath the scarves to add volume to their look! (It's called a bobo or bobble- sounds classy, right?)


Check out this video to see how to get that perfect mitpachat look!


These creative and elaborate scarves truly are a sight to behold!