Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Muslim man who couldn't identify his dead wife..until she put the veil on.

Admittedly this has nothing to do with the normal topics of this blog. I just found it somewhat bizarre, and couldn't help but comment on it.

Jihad Watch is reporting this weird story:
"After nearly 10 years of marriage that produced five children, Mufleh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia still has not seen his wife's face.
Mohammed Hilal, another Saudi husband, could not identify his wife who was killed in a road crash until her veil was put back on her face."
Honestly this story sounds too fake for me to believe. However I guess you don't need to go to bizarre websites for this kind of story.. we have our own "Taliban Mom" in Israel! I wonder if her husband would do any better.   

Now to try and salvage this story. The story of Judah and Tamar has a similar elemnt to it. Judah does not recognize Tamar because she covered her face with a scarf. Rashi brings a Midrash that Judah did not recognize her because while Tamar was married she had always covered her face, and therefore he could not recognize her. This is against the pshat - which seems to say he did not recognize her NOW because she NOW hid her face while wearing a scarf. Rashi's explanation does make some sense though. I would find it hard to believe that women who were working in that ancient profession - as Tamar was pretending to do,  would get many customers were they to hide their faces.  If we accept Rashi, it would seem that possibly in the time of the Avot women did hide their entire faces after marriage.
Other hints that this is so can be seen by the fact that  Rivka is mentioned to have covered her face with a scarf when she first meets Isaac. There is one other very compelling argument that seems to prove the point.  t Jacob does not catch on that Lavan has switched Rachel for Leah on their wedding night. It seems that he caught on to the switcharoo only the next morning. Commentators have had a hard time explaining how he was so tricked. This problem would be easily solved, were we to accept the possibility that in the times of the Avot woman covered their entire face right after marriage. 

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