Re: Covering Hair

Louis A. Gamerman (gamerman@erols.com)
Thu, 26 Jun 1997 22:44:10 -0400

Torah Forum wrote regarding the Sotah (suspected adultress):
> ...Relevant Halachoth (laws) are Rambam, Sotah 3:5,6,11 To
>disorient her we tear her clothes, remove people she knows (like
>servants), etc. Other woman are required to see this but it is only
>optional for men to come. At any rate this is done on Temple grounds and
>not in the street. Care is also taken that she not be stripped naked (3:11).

However, her hair is uncovered, which akin to nakedness, as it is highly
immodest for a married woman to appear in public with her hair
uncovered. Indeed, since she behaved like a beast, who has no concept of
modesty, her offering is of an animal-like food, barley.

As for the option of men "attending", I believe it was Rashi who warned
that any man who saw a woman involved in thr Sotah procedure should
become a nazir. Men attending was probably not encouraged. (The pesukim
about the Sotah immediately precede the pesukim about the Nazir).

Additionally, walking her around the Temple grounds was done the long
way, so that she would have time to think about her situation and, so
that the Kohanim might have time to discuss her situation with her.

Eliezer Gamerman (gamerman@erols.com)