A fascinating clip from the documentary ‘93 Queen’. The documentary is about Ruchy Freier’s quest to start a female-led EMS in the Hasidic community. In this clip, we see how Hasidic women think about the unusual custom of shaving the hair. Outsiders have a tremendously hard time with the lack of “explanations” for why the custom is practiced, but again and again I come across a completely different perspective among Hasidic women, who themselves don’t feel the need to have a rational explanation. The fact that it is practiced is valuable in and of itself. And the lack of an explanation is in a way, seen as an act of faith.

I tend to believe that in the larger Society acts of tradition are rationalized rather than necessarily understood. I believe that humans value many traditions just for the sake of its continuity, and that the “explanations” are often only a front to create a satisfying narrative to make the tradition tenable in an age in which tradition for traditions sake is no longer accepted. But these Hasidic women have no compunctions about practicing tradition as an act of faith, and I find it really fascinating. And the fact that outsiders refuse to accept that this is a reason Hasidic women practice this custom is another layer of fascinating.