Rabbi Hizkiyah opened [his discourse and said]: "Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine..." (Psalms 128:3) Just as a grapevine does not [crossbreed] with other kinds but with its own, so a woman in Israel is the same in that she will not accept anyone except her mate, like the dove that accepts only her mate. Therefore [she is] "like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your house." What is indicated by "fruitful [in Hebrew, 'poriyah']"? It refers to that which is said: "that bears/produces [in Hebrew, 'poreh'] hemlock." (Deut. 29:17) Fruitful means that it blooms and sprouts branches in every direction. And where does it take place? "In the recesses of your house" and not out in the marketplace, because she will not be false to the supernal covenant.

And Solomon said [concerning promiscuity]: "Who forsakes the friend of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her G‑d." (Prov. 2:17) What is "the covenant of her G‑d"? It refers to the place of the covenant that she connected to. Therefore, it is written: "In the recesses [literally, 'thighs'] of your house."

Rabbi Hizkiyah said: a muddling of the mind shall come on any man that allows his wife to let the hair of her head be seen [by others1]. This is one of the household modesties. A wife who exposes her hair outside to show off her beauty to others causes destitution to visit upon the house.2 She causes her sons to be undistinguished in that generation3 and she causes a spirit of impurity to dwell upon the house. [Hair is almost dead and therefore already close to tamei/impure.] What is the root cause of all these? It is the hairs of her head that are seen uncovered. If these results happen [if her hair is exposed] within the house it is even more so if it is in a public place [because there she causes men to have sinful thoughts because the uncovered hair of a married women is likened to nakedness] and certainly more so if she is otherwise impudent [showing other parts of her body immodestly will certainly lead to even more stringent punishment]. Therefore, it is written "like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your house" [and not seen outside]

Rabbi Yehuda said that the exposed hairs on the head of a woman cause another kind of hair [of the sefira of malchut] to be exposed [to external impure forces] and impair her. Therefore, a woman should be careful that none of her hair is visible even to the beams of her house, and all the more so outside.4

Come and see! Just like for the masculine aspect [Zeir Anpin] hair represents the harshest of severe judgments.5 So it is by a woman [whose hair has a stronger attraction to external forces, and thus is necessary to not be revealed since that empowers them] so it is by a woman [whose hair can have a strong connection with external forces, and thus is necessary to not be revealed].

Look how many misfortunes the hair of a woman causes. They incur
[misfortunes] Above [in malchut of Atzilut] and they incur [misfortunes] below [since they arouse a strengthening of bad forces like lustful urges in the physical world]. They cause her husband to be cursed [since he does not prevent the revealing of the beauty of the Shechinah to wickedness and they incur poverty [by causing the bounty to flow to the external forces]. They cause another thing [a spirit of impurity to dwell] in the house. They prevent her sons from achieving positions of importance. May the All-Merciful save us from their impudence.

Therefore, a woman should be covered even in the innermost parts of her home. If she adheres to this, it is written: "Your children like olive plants." (Psalms 128:3) What does it mean "like olive plants"? Just as an olive tree does not lose its leaf cover in winter or summer and always has more value than the rest of the trees, so should her sons be elevated in respect to other people. Her husband will also be blessed in everything, with blessings Above and with blessings below, with wealth, children and grandchildren. This is what is meant by [the continuation of this psalm]: "Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears G‑d" (Ibid. 128:4) and "G‑d shall bless you out of Zion: and you shall see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life. And you shall see your children's children, and peace upon Israel." (Ibid. 128:5)

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does the above mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

We have learned a mouthful. Or should I say a head-full [of hair]! The Zohar above does not deal with aesthetics. It deals with supernal spiritual realities, realities that seem to not jive with current societal norms. Years ago women in most cultures covered their hair. Were they all sensitive to this energy? Are we moderns the wiser for not doing this?

Many observant folks justify the covering of the hair as one of modesty: only her husband can see it. The Talmud associates revealing a woman's hair [and her singing voice] with immodesty. The above seems to say that not only is it bad for her, but it is bad for her family and family.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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