Law And Not Merely Custom

In response to your question, quoting your words, about "the problem of Kisui HaRosh , and what this custom is based upon:

It is an explicit law1 and not only a custom of the Torah that a (married) woman is to cover her hair, Kisui HaRosh. Moreover, from the great reward received for performing this law one can apprehend that there is great import to fulfilling this law....

As the Zohar states2 in Parshas Naso , [quoted in Mishnah Brurah , Laws of Krias Shema , Chapter 75) and I choose to quote only the blessings mentioned there, omitting the negative aspects resulting from failure to comply with this law: "Her children will enjoy increased stature over other children; moreover, her husband shall be blessed with all blessings, blessings of above and blessings of below, with wealth, with children and grandchildren, etc."

I would also add to the above, that it boggles the mind that this should be a "problem" for anyone who has a spark of faith in their heart and desires that their married life be truly fortunate and blessed these blessings and good fortune extending to the husband, wife and the children that G‑d will bless them with.

Can there be any comparison whatsoever of the unpleasantness (even if you wish to say that there is unpleasantness) that exists in Kisui HaRosh in comparison to G‑d's blessings, the blessings of He who formed man and created and conducts the world?! Such an attitude is exceedingly irreverent, even if there were to be but a scintilla of assurance about this requirement, and surely when this matter is stated explicitly.

It is self-understood that I am aware of the objection to the above, to the effect that there are many who do not observe this law. But this question already exists for thousands of years, for "you are a minority among the nations," and how is it that "our laws differ from all other nations." And unfortunately, within the Jewish people there are still to be found individuals who for the time being publicly desecrate the Shabbos and even intermarry, Heaven forfend.

Surely this does not at all affect in the very least, G‑d forbid, the vital aspects of our Torah, the Torah of Life and its Mitzvos concerning which Scripture states, "You shall live by them," just as the making of the Golden Calf in its time (close to the time of receiving the Torah) did not diminish one iota from the importance of the Ten Commandments, and subsequently the entire Torah and all its commandments up to the present day.

Finding ourselves just several days before Purim objections such as the above [that "our laws differ from all other nations," etc.] was the complaint of Haman, whose conclusion was not only the spiritual destruction of the Jewish people, but "to annihilate all the Jewish people, from young to old, children and women."

For the existence of the Jewish people in all places is exclusively through performance of the Torah and its Mitzvos, that were given by the One G‑d to the "one nation on earth."

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIII, pp. 345-346

Why Cover The Hair?

In response to your letter of the 13th of Iyar in which you ask how one is to explain the necessity of Kisui HaRosh (for a married woman).

One wonders at the very question. Especially since we now find ourselves in the days of preparation for receiving the Torah, which was only received by the Jewish people through their prefacing "we will do" to "we will hear."

And as in the well-known section of tractate Shabbos,3 where the Sadducee asked: how is it that they did not first desire to understand. The response to this was the verse, "The simplicity of the upright shall guide them," ("but of the others, etc."). Known as well is the allusion of the text,4 "He should accept upon himself the yoke of heaven ... the yoke of Mitzvos." It is but that G‑d in His goodness and kindness enabled us to understand some infinitesimal aspect of the reasons for the Mitzvos.

Even then, one is to perform Mitzvos out of a sense of accepting the Yoke of Heaven, not because his limited mind, the mind of a created being, understands the reason for the commands of the Creator who is infinitely removed from him.

It is self-understood and plain that man's belief in G‑d forces him to intellectually accept G‑d's commandments without seeking reasons for them in human intellect. For even simple sense, if it is but healthy and sound, understands that it is impossible for a finite being to comprehend the infinite.

Indeed, it is a principle of faith among all the Jewish people, "believers, children of believers," that G‑d and His understanding and will are truly one and infinite, while man is finite in all aspects of his being.

In addition to the above, when one takes in account the explicit reward received for Kisui HaRosh (see at length in the sacred Zohar III, 126a), then even if one were to be extremely doubtful of this, G‑d forbid, it would still be worth covering the hair. Surely then, when the words of the Zohar as part of our Torah of Truth are completely true, perpetual and everlasting in all places and all times.

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIII, pp. 102-103

Overcoming Imaginary Difficulties Regarding Kisui HaRosh

With regard to your writing about covering your hair there is absolutely no question regarding this matter: Since G‑d clearly said that for the benefit of the wife, her husband and their children the hair should not be revealed, surely it is so. Thus it is impossible that by keeping G‑d's commandments the head should hurt, etc.

For example, when you write that wearing a sheitel makes your head hurt, it is possible that: A) This is a falsehood of the Evil Inclination who does not want Mitzvos to be performed and does not want Jews to be showered with blessings. B) If indeed it is true then this proves that you should cut your hair that it be short. Then it surely won't hurt when you wear a sheitel.

Excerpt from a letter of the Rebbe,
Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXXIII, p. 264

Convincing OthersTo Practice Kisui HaRosh

You write that you tried to speak to the person about covering her hair with a kerchief [but you were not successful] and you did not want to apply force or make a commotion.

[You were correct in doing so,] for Heaven forfend, Heaven forfend [to act in too forceful a manner], for the path to success is not through anger but through gentleness. Merely explain that Kisui HaRosh brings with it success from G‑d's hand for herself, her husband and her children.

This being so, what possible comparison can there be between the difficulty (even if this were to be considered a difficulty) in wearing a kerchief in relation to what G‑d rewards for doing so.

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. VI, pp. 117-118

Kisui HaRosh As A SegulahFor Bearing Children

In response to your letter of the 23rd of Iyar, in which you ask my advice regarding your brother having male children, and healthy children:

.... You should also find out from your brother whether his wife is careful to observe Kisui HaRosh. For the Zoharic statement is known, that a woman's observance of tznius and especially Kisui HaRosh brings about "blessings of above and blessings of below, with wealth, with children and grandchildren, etc."

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 259

Kisui HaRosh As A SegulahFor Sustenance

Parenthetically, that which you mention about the difficulty of earning a living after your writing about [a lack of] Kisui HaRosh :

Why the surprise at the financial straits when the holy Zohar (III, 126a) explains that when Kisui HaRosh of the wife is in order, then "they shall be blessed with all blessings, blessings of above and blessings of below, with wealth, with children and grandchildren, etc."

And our Torah is a "Torah of Life," instructing us how to live our lives, even on a daily basis.

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIX, pp. 326-327

Kisui HaRosh As APrerequisite For A Match

Concerning that which you write that the parents of the intended (and it would seem the intended as well) do not agree to the observance of Kisui HaRosh :

If this be the case, then if they do not change their minds, G‑d forbid, it definitely is not worth pursuing this match. For in addition that this is the "Law of Moshe and Judaism" as mentioned in Shas and Poskim , this itself shows that they wish to begin and establish the match in a manner which is opposite G‑d's will. (See also Zohar III, beginning of p. 126a).

There is no need to belabor so fundamental a matter. However, if they change their minds and she will conduct herself as a kosher Jewish daughter, then may it be G‑d's will that the match be in a good and auspicious time.

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. XI, p. 115

Not Permitting Kisui HaRoshIs The Height Of Irresponsibility

Should one say that it is impossible for him to give in that his wife should observe Kisui HaRosh with a kerchief or a sheitel (wig), and it makes no difference to him that by doing so he is placing in jeopardy his fortune and the fortune of his partner in a life partnership of many decades, then this person lacks any feeling of responsibility, duty and obligation.

Nor does this person possess the proper measure and knowledge of the meaning of a shared life, and how much it is worthwhile foregoing even more important matters, as long as it leads to a united, fortunate and happy life.

And as stated above, such a life is impossible to achieve for a Jewish man and woman unless it is lived in accordance with the Torah and Mitzvos.

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. IX, p. 112

Why Kisui HaRoshDoes Not Apply To A Besulah

The law and source of the law with regard to besulos , virgins, (that they need not cover their hair):

It is explicitly stated in Tur and Shulchan Aruch , Orach Chayim chapter 75. See also commentaries on Shulchan Aruch , Even HaEzer 21:2.

We may say that the reason for the difference is: The verse "He shall uncover the hair of the woman" (see Kesuvos 72a) is stated with regard to a married woman. Most importantly, it is similar to that which is stated in the introduction to the Rambam's commentary on Mishnayos , where he states that matters that have been accepted from generation to generation going back to the times of Moshe Rabbeinu , cannot have divergent opinions.

With regard to the above, we see that this has been the practice of besulos from generation to generation. And according to R. Yishmael (Sifrei, Bamidbar 5:18) there is an allusion in Torah to the fact that besulos go with their hair uncovered.

We may say that the inner reason according to Nigleh is: Covering the hair is a punishment for the sin of the Eitz HaDa'as (Eruvin 100b), for she caused her husband to succumb. Thus it does not apply to a besulah.

Excerpt from Igros Kodesh, Vol. XI, p. 200