I’ve gotten a few messages from readers wanting to learn more about women in Hasidic life and Hasidic women rules. So I decided to write a post about the “takanot” or decrees in the Toldos Aharon sect that relate to women. All of the takanot in this post can be found in the sefer Takanot Vehadrachot. This is the front cover of the sefer:
Before I get into specific takanot, it’s important to understand that in Hasidic life in general, there is a lot of emphasis on Hasidic women being ultra-modest and playing the primary role in raising the children.
However, the Hasidic women in the Toldos Aharon sect are particularly strict in regards to modesty. They generally only wear dark colors (so as not to attract attention), long stockings, skirts down to their ankles, and shave their heads when they get married. Unlike most other Hasidic sects, Toldos Aharon Hasidic women will not cover their heads with a wig when married, but instead wear “shmattes” (cloth/scarves) on their heads.
Now, let’s get to the takanot:
- A man and a woman should not walk together in a market. The man should always walk in front and his wife behind.
- The concept of modesty applies to women more than men and therefore women must be extra careful in this regard.
- When there isn’t modesty in the home, God’s presence leaves.
- A women that dresses modestly receives a tremendous reward in the world to come. Therefore, women’s style of clothing should not change even one iota over time and they must continue to dress with modesty.
- Women should go with long skirts and long sleeves as is the custom for Haredi Hasidic women in Jerusalem.
- Married women must shave their heads completely. Even showing one hair is forbidden.
- Women should not wear wigs (sheitels) (Hasidic women wear wigs in most other Hasidic sects).
- Women should preferably wear dark clothing, ideally black.
- Women’s clothing should be both simple and thick to show modesty and not draw attention to themselves.
- All of a woman’s skin below her neck should be covered.
- Hasidic girls should maintain long hair, only wear long and dark clothing, and should not enter a room where there are God-fearing men learning or davening.
- Women and girls are forbidden from reading secular books.
- If a member of Toldos Aharon does not go with modest clothing, the group’s leadership should be informed.
- When a man and woman get married every member of the sect is obligated to join in the simcha and make the couple happy.
- Men and women should only marry within the Toldos Aharon sect.
- Each woman must sign a contract once a year agreeing to keep all the takanot.