An adult TorahTutors student wanted to learn about hair-covering for women, straight from the sources, and to develop her textual skills. One of the primary sources is the Gemara’s discussion of whether the requirement is on the level of Torah obligation or of Dat Yehudit – a category of established practices that women have accepted over the years. It determines that both levels exist, with a difference between them being the question of whether a kalta suffices.
Using the Talmudic text both for its content and as an opportunity to work on text skills (through great visual aids, such as different colors), the tutor challenged the student to fill in blanks in the translation and answer comprehension questions. They then began to brainstorm and explore the following key questions:
- What is a kalta?
- What’s wrong with a kalta (from the perspective of Dat Yehudit)?
- What’s right with a kalta (from the perspective of the Torah obligation, or Dat Moshe)?
- Does it matter? If Dat Yehudit is still binding, what practical difference does it make which kind of requirement we’re talking about?