Harmony & Synergy

From My Life to Yours ~ Let's Build Some Bridges!

This Past Weekend…

exotic fruits

Something happened to me over Tu B’Shvat this weekend that I want to share.  I would love to hear if you have had similar experiences and/or if you have any feedback for me.  This is not your usual “harmony & synergy” video.  No inspiring conclusions, no exciting ideas… just something that I am dealing with and need your help to figure it out!


  1. Cynthia Doniger

    Because of my husband’s work…we are living in Grand Rapids MI for a few years. There is a Reform shul & a Conservative shul (which is as liberal as the Reform & there is talk of merging due to a very small & shrinking community) We attend Chabad House as it is the only other choice. Chabad women wear wigs….there is one other women besides me–who wear a headwrap…..not an issue inside Chabad…..but at Jewish Community events I am shunned by the Liberal Jewish women….some have been hostile. They take my choice of observance (headcovering & modest dress) as an accusation of their non-observance. It is not anything I have done or said….I have in conversation even said that I support every woman’s right to choose her level of observance, I truly believe that G-d grants each of us our own journey and that we should do the same. Why must another be made WRONG for me to feel I am RIGHT?—-But I think this is what I am encountering here. Maybe that was a bit of what was going on with your lady….she did not know how to accept you (and your beliefs) because she felt threatened by them. I continue to reach out to all the Jewish women in this community, but I cannot make myself less of who I am….because who I am makes them uncomfortable with who they are….this is an issue between them & Hashem

    All I can do is remain loving and open and hope that I may be an influence. I know that one woman (who still thinks I am meshuganas with my headcovering) has since associating with me & joining us for Shabbos dinner—-begun separating meat & dairy in her home and no longer brings pork into their home.

    • Hi Cynthia
      You just gave me so much chizzuk – thank you. You are totally right… I find very often that by simply covering my hair and keeping Shabbat, other Jews feel that I am judging their level of observance, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Perhaps this woman was dealing with her own current issues that had nothing to do with me. Thank you – and it’s also nice to know that there is someone else out there who is the only one in a tichel at events!

  2. Bruce Herzog

    Your picture is reminiscent of the Frida Kahlo painting: The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened. Not only does your photo look visually similar, but I think she was attempting to describe a similar spiritual experience.

    • Hi Dad! This actually isn’t a picture that I took but thank you! (Wish we could have taken pictures… did a crazy elaborate fruit thing but alas, it was Shabbat.) Thanks for posting the picture online for me.

  3. Beth

    Not sure if I should comment or not….feel free to delete if you’d like.
    I am a Christian and cover as directed in the New Testament. I just wanted to say I have often experienced the same thing among women who don’t cover. (which is more common in American Christianity than covering.) I have felt hostility and even scorning. Like somehow I think I am better than them. This is so far from the truth. I really don’t want to cover at times because I don’t want to look differently…but I just feel so convicted about following the scriptures to do so. I just wish that somehow those who don’t could see this in me. I wish I could find a way to let them know that I do not judge their level of spirituality in any way.
    I enjoy your blog and am especially enjoying the new Wrapunzel. Blessings to you.

    • Beth, it is actually a wonderful thing for me to know that other people have to deal with similar incidences. I just find it so sad when it happens, because I am generally used to my hair coverings creating connection. Thank you for your thoughts and keep doing what you know to be true. Kol tuv (all the goodness in the world.)

  4. Like Beth, I am also a Christian who chooses to cover per the instructions in the New Testament. I started with prayer caps (similar to what Amish and Mennonite women wear), and switched to scarves when I got tired of untying and retying the cap every time I had to adjust my hearing aids. I am the only woman at my large, contemporary church who chooses to cover. I stick out like a sore thumb. I don’t really try to, it just happens. It’s such a relief to discover that I’m not alone in feeling like there can be a wall between women who choose to cover and women who don’t. I think it’s about more than just the headcovering itself. I think our headcoverings say something about what our priorities are, and what we believe this life to be about. In my experience, the more a person’s priorities don’t line up with mine, the more threatened they seem to feel. I know this has been the case with me at least some of the time, because I’ve been told it’s “stupid” that I don’t use hairspray or wear makeup. I think that kind of attack comes out of feeling attacked.

    I agree with Beth: I think sometimes people feel judged. And as you said in the video, Andrea, that could very well be because they were mistreated in the past. If that’s the case, maybe there isn’t really anything we can do other than be loving and compassionate, and pray for healing and forgiveness.

    I don’t know that I have a definite conclusion either, but like I said, it’s refreshing to know I’m not alone! I will probably write more about this on my blog soon. I’ll share the link when I do, if that’s alright :).

  5. Eszter

    Hi Andrea, I often thought writing here but this is my first time. (I’m from Hungary so sorry for the grammar mistakes). I think if someone feels that you are wearing something or acting somehow to remind her that she should do the same means that she thinks she should, and what you are doing is better. If someone is in peace with herself and feels that she is in a good place in life I don’t think she would think that. Maybe you don’t want to but you do remind them something they could do better or more. From that it’s their choice to be angry with you or just start doing what you have showed them.

  6. Eszter

    An the other thing is: you and this woman were a part of different groups. It just happened to be seen on your heads (and yet you can have so many things in common).

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