« Father Don't Cry | Main | Racheli's 1,000 Calorie Gluten-Free Coconut Lemon Muffins »

Friday, 16 June 2017

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Elena Kuchik

the following is just my opinion - of course i am not in the position to argue with r Brody - just general opinion on the topic of wearing sheitels
as we know there is no real idol worshiping in our time, it was removed together with prophesy.
most idolworshiping that we see is either people worshipig money or themselves. And in this situation we wont be able to buy anything from anybody.
Lubavicher Rabbi told women to cover hair with sheitels and never warned anything about idoltry.
I do not think we should be worrying about this when we have so much more bigger problems going on around us (like if woman doesn't cover hair at all - wouldn't it be much worse?)
And the main problem is sinat hinum - why beit hamikdash was destroyed.
I don't think fighting against sheitels will increase ahavat isroel. Living in Israel i saw a lot of sinat hinum just because of the sheitels

ahuva gamliel

I resist a lot of "religious" practices because I can clearly see that is adulterated and has become big business $$$ and has NOTHING to do with authentic spirituality and devoteei-sm. This article is no news for me. I knew long ago about the wigs from India. But even European hair should be a concern because Kabbalah teaches us that a person's thoughts and sexual klippot are transferred and stored in the hollow tube inside the hair. Even "kosher" wigs are disturbing to me, let alone wearing the hair of an idolater (which is a cardinal sin punishable by death). Which, by the way, so is adultery and how do you know your European wig didn't come from an adulterer??? You DON'T! BESIDES all of this...there is NOTHING modest about those sexy long hair wigs which attract FAR more attention than the woman would have with her real hair so I feel it is a huge hypocrisy on top of it all. So you can judge me as a sinner for not covering my hair and I'll remind you that when you point a finger at me, 3 fingers point back at yourself.

Elena Kuchik

how do we know that any product we buy in a store today not coming from idolworshipers?
as the response from the person above says - even though done with good intentions - articles against wigs turn by haters into sinat hinum
different things are worshipped different ways. In Egypt they worshiped ship by NOT eating eat - and we took same WORSHIPED by idolators ships and used them for our sacrifice
In India now cow is a sacred animal - not allowed to be killed; and even though its worshipped this way - we allowed to use it and sheht this product of their idolworship and eat it.
We already see that a person from a previous response uses this as excuse not to cover her hair (even though she could use tichels) but at the same time uses finger math forgetting to add her own 3 fingers pointing to others.
Mashiach is coming very son and every person should decide for themselves what they want to be responsible for. Why do we have to point fingers at all?

Elena Kuchik

when we buy a coat in the store - we are required to check for shatnes, not is the wool in the coat was used by idolworshopers (what if it was?/). WHy?
When we clean for Pesach, its very important to remove all the chametz under fear of kares - but we only required to clean where our hand could reach.
The same is here. We will never be punished by Hashem for something we didn't know and have no way to find out.
Every time we buy something, maybe , we should say a little prayer - please Hashem help me to make a good purchase, nothing to do with idolworshiping etc.....
the only reason i am so emotional about this topic is because all the sinut himum going on around sheitels

Chana Rifka

Each person has to ask their Mashpia. My Mashpia (Lubavitch) told me it does not matter where the hair came from or whether or not the woman used to worship idols. Once the hair is cut it is no longer alive. Also what's the difference? If they worship idols in India, most European women go to church which is also considered idol worship.

Shai Bar Levy

Rabbi,

As there have been so many issues of wigs/sheitels being not kosher and we know that everything is from Hashem with exacting precision, isn't Hashem telling the Jewish World again and again that women should not wear wigs/sheitels?

To both Ms. Kuchik and Ms. Gamliel, you are ignoring Torah law for your convenience. I am personal friends with the man from India (who is a very religious convert) who Rav Elyashiv consulted for his decision. He did so with full information from a person with knowledge of the culture from the inside. Just because PEOPLE do bad things, that does not mean that normative Torah practice and halachic obligation is wrong. Married women are obligated to cover their hair. Excuses that people have done wrong will not give you an exemption in Heaven. A married woman who does not cover her hair or who is dressed immodestly with a wig/sheitel will have to answer for every bad thought that every man who looked at them had. You cannot control what men think but you can follow normative Torah practice and halacha and cover your hair. At least fulfill your obligation on your end.

wrapunzel.com

Dear readers and Rabbi Brody, we appreciate the support of women who cover their hair with scarves but would like to clarify that despite the link in this article, Wrapunzel does not have an official position against the wearing of sheitels. We have respectfully requested that the link be changed. Please see the following post and video where our position is clarified. https://wrapunzelblog.com/2015/05/20/tichels-vs-sheitals-what-wrapunzel-has-to-say/

Elisheva

Rav Yisroel Belsky ZTZL held that there was NO problem with hair from India. I asked a religious Hindu friend about the hair and she told me it is NOT an offering to a god; rather the ACT of cutting one's hair off is the offering. For some women it would be a terrible burden to give up their shaitels--There are certainly poskim who allow them, and some even strongly favor a shaitel over a scarf or hat. I think we need to be very careful before we decide there's a real problem.
For myself I wear only mitpachot at this point. I never felt comfortable in a shaitel (on a spiritual level. Mine were quite easy to wear) and it was a total relief when I finally found Rivka Malka and learned how to tie tichels so that they would 1) stay on (lol) and 2) look good. But "Shivim Panim La-Torah--my daughter wears gorgeous shaitlach and I'm totally fine with that. We are both keeping the Torah.

RGV

Elana Kuchik:

Firstly, you are somewhat correct about the removal of idol worship many years ago. However, that was only the removal of the desire for Jews to worship idols. Today around the world there are many people who are worshipping idols - that's a fact.

Secondly, this article isn't fighting against sheitels. On the contrary it is here only to warn the public of the probability that many wigs have hair which would be forbidden for use. The basis of this isn't rabbinical - it is directly from the Torah! And if the lubavitcher Rebbe would be alive today or 10 years ago when the matter surfaced, we aren't allowed to assume that anyone who is a Torah Jew would be ok with this, let alone one of the leaders of Jewish people. Of course he would stipulate that one must only purchase hair that has no doubt that it had anything to do with Idol worship.

You can compare this to lard found in ingredients of an otherwise kosher food product - would you or I hesitate to make sure that our brothers and sisters know about it?

Rav Brody is only tryi to help his brethren.

Have an awesomely uplifting, amazingly enjoyable and restful Shabbos Kodesh!

Fieda Slaves

Bringing up the Indian sheitel thing again is just a chilul hashem. The ruckus when Jews found out that their wigs came from Indian women was nothing short of racist, and so a supposedly "halachickic" excuse was raised in support of such a shameful emotional and bigoted reaction. It cannot be possible that one believes that Russian Christians whose antecedents murdered our people for centuries are any less idolaters with their religious icons and wearing their hair is somehow more Jewish than wearing the hair of an Indian. It's pure racism. Let's don't bring this shameful chapter of using frumkeit to reinforce xenophobia into the light of day for anything else.

FC Allen

Why not just keep your beautiful hair for your husband and cover your head with a scarf when outside????

Scheitel is the worst of both worlds - look like a floozy outside and a convict at home.

Yonatan

I happen to be in India at the moment and can attest that idolatry DOES definitely exist. Big time. But what does that have to do with the hair? Do they offer there hair to avoda zara and then sell it to 'sheitel machers'?
Is the problem simply benefiting from the hair of someone who happens to worship other gods? I don't see why there would be any issue whatsoever

racheli

Hey Ahuva, it's Racheli. You have a great point! I also can't get past the hypocrisy. Even fake hair still looks like hair, and how exactly does putting a hat on top make it more kosher? One of my kids pointed at a woman who was wearing a very modest, ugly, and short sheitel, and he asked me why she doesn't cover her hair. But there are rabbanim that give a heter, and I have to respect that. I can tell you that it's definitely not easy for me to cover my hair with a piece of cloth, but that is my self-sacrifice for the sake of halacha. Also, if you happen to get your hands on the book, "The Coming Revolution" by Rabbi Zamir Cohen, he has great pics of the aura of a woman with a tichel vs. a wig. You can probably find similar videos online. Thanks for writing in!

racheli

Hi Shai, it's Racheli. Although I absolutely agree with you that every Jewish woman has a halachic obligation to cover her hair, I can tell you that you need to be more understanding of the tremendous yetzer that's involved. Our hair is not only our beauty, but a major part of our identity and femininity. It's much, much harder to cover your hair than put on a skirt. It's like telling every guy to shave his head completely bald. How many guys would willingly go totally bald for the rest of their lives? Second, you have to be more understanding of the fact that each person has his spiritual process to go through, and no matter how much you tell someone "The Torah says..," unless they're ready and looking to change, they simply won't. The best way to get people to grow spiritually is to be accepting of them and where they're currently holding, and to show them by example how wonderful it is to lead a Torah-observant life. I think you just gave me an article right there!

racheli

Hi FC, it's Racheli. By your comment, I'm assuming you're a man. If you are, read my comment to Shai. If not, oops!

Sruel

Let's get a few actual facts down in black on white.
1] The Hhatam Sofer zassa"l who is most often quoted as THE source for permission & even as if command to wear wigs is grossly misused. He did it as a "tsav hass'ah" temporary command for a passing reason. The ultra-hhiloni maskilim in his region had gotten the local goy government to pass a law to forbid women to go in public with headscarves! So he made a temporary psak that Jewish women in that region must shave all their hair, wear wigs with very short hair only to the jaw line & that the hair look like goats hair, PLUS a hat must be worn on top of the wig. That & ONLY that was a "kosher" wig.
2] I was for a while connected to some people in the international hhareidi women's head wear trade & that included manufacturers etc who were Chabad Chasids. From what I heard the reason that the Rebbe ordered wigs was because he had been told (falsely by those people) that women who wear scarves always cover only part of their hair & always tend to remove the scarves in public when they feel too warm. Both claims were false but they did what was desired by those who said to gain his support for their businesses. By the way he NEVER approved of the long fancy wigs, nor of wearing a wig without a hat. Look at what his wife wore, only that gained his approval!
3] The ONLY avoda zara cancelling that happened was - the desire for it by Jews in the Holy Land & Bavel. In the rest of the world avoda zara is alive & kicking & even gaining more & more people practicing it! Did you know that the Ramba"M (Maimonides) zassa"l called xtianity avoda zara? Roman Catholicism, Greek & Russian Orthodox xtianity are steeped in it! Druidism is alive & practiced avidly in northern France & England. What about the Sata"nic cult that has gained so much fervor & people around the world? In India avoda zara is rife as well (I know people who were born & live there). These are a mere sampling. Chaza'l also predicted that it would gain popularity & power in the last generations before Mashiach.
4] ALL the Chasidik greats mentioned by Rav Brody (Hashem bless & guard him) permitted ONLY short wigs with a hat or scarf on top of it. Just take a look at what their wives wore.
And as for the Lithuanians - THE GREAT Rabbi of their group - the late Rav Shach za"l was always lambasting his public for their women daring to wear wigs! He was fiercely against wigs.He shouted out loud in his lessons that any kollel that permits its men's wives to wear wigs should be closed down!
nuf said

Pnina

Well I do both. So either I offend everyone or no one. I wear a sheitel that has just the net on the top part and a tichel on top of that. So some people think I'm only covering half my hair because they don't know it is a wig. My general answer to these kinds of posts are "I'm not playing." Seriously this is an old issue and aren't there more important things to do in life than spend time on hair coverings? But I definitely agree with the person who said that sexy sheitel wearers just don't get the point.

Sorah

Hi,
I think many people are missing the point here. It's not about sheitel vs. tichel. It's about understanding WHY we cover our hair. There is a reason for the mitzvah of kisui rosh- the reason that the Torah prohibits a married woman to reveal her hair is because of "pritzus degavra"- hair is pritzus, immodest towards men. Since the hair of a married woman is attractive to another man and can cause him to sin, it must be covered. As the Rishonim and Achronim have said that this is the reason that a woman must cover her hair in public.
So if a woman puts on a head covering that looks like nice hair she is defeating the entire reason for the mitzvah of kisui rosh. In fact, many of today's wigs are doing the opposite of the mitzvah- they are attracting male attention! If one really studies this topic, one will discover that while there is a heter for a wig (and that heter was a big machlokas with many Rabbanim assuring wigs) the heter was only given for a very wiggy wig. Rav Elyashiv only allowed a wig from a hundred years ago- he spoke very harshly against today's sheitels calling them ervah. He also clearly stated that it's preferable to wear a scarf rather than a wig (The Unique Princess by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Abramov, pg 105)
Most great poskim held this way too. How could a tichel not be preferable? A wig was a debate among the poskim and it looks like hair. The less like hair the head covering looks the better the mitzvah is being fulfilled.
If we're covering our hair because hair is so atttacting to men, how could today's wigs be okay? Actresses and models are wearing these same wigs for glamour! To attract male attention!
And all this talk about how debating this issue is causing hatred among people- the atttactive wigs are causing hatred! They are destroying marriages. They cause competition and jealousy among women. And they have become a complete obsession in our society- almost like a golden calf. The yetzer hora is really doing a number here. He has convinced women that they are doing a mitzvah by wearing nice wigs when in reality the wigs create a stumbling block for men. And that is the worst sin of all - causing others to sin.
An wig is a costume, it's a great way to hide the fact that one is an orthodox married woman. We're supposed to be a light on to the nations. We left mitzraim because we kept our Jewish names and clothing.
Hashem is waiting for our mesiras nefesh. For women, modesty is the biggest nidsyon today. Wearing a beautiful wig is not what the mitzvah of kisui rosh is all about!
I highly recommend The Unique Princess by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Abramov and Adorned with Dignity by Mrs. C.T. Friedman for clarity and education about this very important mitzvah

Ahava Margaretten

Hello everyone! This is the person who compiled the info in the report. I would just like to announce that I am not judging anyone based on what they do, will do, won't do, etc.
I used to wear a wig, and now I wear a scarf.
Why am I announcing this information to the public by writing the report? Because I figure many women will want to know the truth that has been hidden until now. It's our right to know.

I would like to suggest, for women who are going to ask their Rabbi about the Indian hair issue, please print out the report and show it to them when you ask them. This new information may take a little while to circulate, so you may be the first one presenting the report to your Rabbi.

Sending much love to my Holy Jewish Sisters out there! Have a fantastic week!
Sincerely,
Ahava Margaretten

Sorah

Thank you Ahava for the incredible report!
This is definitely not about judging. We shouldn't judge anyone based on their choice of headwear BUT we can and should acknowledge that the wigs have become a great breach of modesty.
And a short wig might be less provocative than a long one, but nice hair is attracting to men- period. Actresses don't only have short hair- look at the actresses from the 1950s like maryln Monroe, her hair was short but she was still incredibly provocative. It's not so much the length of the wig, it's the appearance of the wig. A wig has to be stiff and wiggy looking for it to be considered halachically okay. Like the ones our grandmothers wore. And who is wearing that today? Who is making those type of wigs today? Since all hair is so attractive to men we cover it after marriage- as married women we are supposed to look less attractive to other men not more attractive in nice wigs. Women don't realize how provocative hair is- there was a scientific study done on men to see what were the most attracting parts of a woman to a man- it was a woman voice and hair that won! When a woman brushes her bangs out of her eyes, or twirls her hair, or flips it around- it is really provocative. It doesn't matter if it's her own hair or someone else's hair.
The mitzvah of kisui rosh has been reinvented! The Torah didn't say that after marriage a woman should arrange her hair in to a short "refined" length- it says we are supposed to cover it so it looks covered!
Of course we can't judge anyone who is wearing a nice wig, but it's very important to educate women about this mitzvah. Women are only wearing these wigs because there is a lack of education about the mitzvah of kisui rosh.
There was an excellent worldwide Womens teleconference recently about this topic with very powerful speakers. Women could listen to the replay of this life altering teleconference by dialing 917-924-9900.

Marti

No offense to the Rabbi but we women are told to follow what our rabbis tell us. I think you need to direct this article to the men who give the kosher certification on the wigs. Women look for a kosher certification from a rav they are told is righteous. So now you are telling us to ignore that hashgocho and not trust these rabbonim? As I said before, if you truly wish to stop any incident of chas veshalom wearing hair that was offered up as an offering to a strange god, then organize the people who give the certification. Otherwise you are just rebuking the wrong people.

Elena Kuchik

by the amount of responses to this article looks like it got a lof of interest..or just a lot of mahlokes? as if we didin't have enough

Elena Kuchik

Dear Ahava, you said that you want women to know the truth..but according to Torah - if there is no Sholom, there is no Truth. Creating mahlokes couldn't possibly be spreading truth

Tzvi Deutsch

A Response To “Is Your Sheitel (Wig) Kosher?” by Rabbi Lazer Broyde
Author: Tzvi Deutsch
Link to original article: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2017/06/is-your-sheitel-wig-kosher.html
Full Disclosure: I manage a wig business and have been working in the industry for 6 years.
There were several worthy issues raised in this article and I will address and clarify each point.
1. “all wig-wearing observant women moved over to hats and scarfs until the wigs reappeared with "rabbinical kosher certificates", that the hair was either European... or synthetic...”

Response: This is not entirely accurate although it may have been at one point. The major world sources for hair include Europe (Russia & Ukraine), Brazil, China, & Mongolia. For example, the hair we sell is Mongolian which is a geographic area bordering on Russia.

2. “Hair which was hand selected here from brokers coming straight from Ukraine would be sent to China only to return blended and processed…The factories always offered tags for my wigs which stated "100% European hair" even if we had just negotiated using Brazilian, Mongolian, or Uzbekistan hair…They also always offered the "kashrus" label with the blessings from "the rabbi" which of course they told me didn't exist”

Response: These claims are generally true. Many Chinese factories do not have scruples and will lie to their customers, or offer false labeling of their products with false claims of Kashrut, false claims of the hair type etc. However, it is not impossible to know with halachic certainty the nature of the hair you are receiving. It does take some education and due diligence. I have worked in this industry for 6 years. The CEO of our company and his wife/partner have combined experience of 36 years. With that experience behind us, we can tell the difference between Mongolian and Indian hair (Indian hair is the one that cannot be used). The texture of these two ethnicities is very different. Mongolian hair is naturally straight and sleek with less body. Indian hair can be frizzy, curly and much less manageable. But we do not rely on our expertise alone. We have a hashgachah who visits the factory and ensures that the hair is the correct ethnicity. The kashrut is established in several ways. Separate rooms are used for processing of “Kosher” hair. The rabbi can drop in anytime he wants. I am not familiar with the full process of establishing chazakah but that is what is done. Just as with kosher food, most places do not have a mashgiach temidi. Instead a chazakah is established which means the hair is halachically guaranteed to be kosher.

Is it possible that some wig companies naively trust Chinese suppliers to tell them the truth? Of course. Is it possible that some suppliers are lying outright to their customers? Unfortunately, I have heard that this may be the case. What does all this mean? It means that as a consumer, you must do your due diligence. Do you trust the person/company you are buying from? If they have a hashgacha, you can ask them who provides it and check with the rabbi/beit din to make sure they really do have the certification. It also helps to ask someone in the business who you trust to find out about the different ethnicities of hair, and the differences between them.

3. “Many shaitel machers have no clue that they are being duped”

Response: This is definitely true which is why it is important to ask your sheitel macher what the ethnicity of the hair is and how she knows. On the part of the sheitel macher, it is the responsibility of the business owner to not just trust what a supplier says but to take the necessary steps to make sure she is educated enough to identify the ethnicity herself, and to engage the services of a reliable hashgachah so her customers can know with halachic certainty that the hair is kosher.

In summary, the concerns raised in this article are valid. But if you do your due diligence, just as you do to make sure the food you eat is kosher and under reliable supervision, you can easily avoid any hair of questionable kashrut.

Sorah

This topic always generates lots of interest! And it has nothing to do with machlokas.
The wigs represent more than just a head covering. This topic touches a raw nerve for everybody. The chofetz Chaim said that the final war before Moshiach will be between morality and immorality. This is very obvious in the secular world and unfortunately in the frum world too. We are living in a world of externals with so much emphasis on physical appearance. Women define themselves by how the look. The wigs have become part of their identity - and they don't want to hear that there's anything wrong with them. They don't want to take them off. It means looking less beautiful, less attractive, less glamorous. And that is exactly what Hashem wants from us women. He wants us to look beautiful for our husbands ONLY in the home and modest in the streets where other men can see us. Hashem is waiting for us to sacrifice for him that which is so important to us- our external looks.
A mans biggest yetzer hora is to look at women and his hardest nisayon is to guard his eyes. A woman's biggest yetzer hora is to look beautiful- and we should, in the home for the eyes of our husbands only.
Women think chesed means helping the elderly and making meals for the sick- and it does! I'm not minimizing chesed! But the BIGGEST chesed a woman can do is to dress truly modest. To downplay her beauty in front of other men. That's a huge chesed for the other half of the population. And it's the hardest thing to do. Putting on a tichel is the biggest sacrifice a woman could do for Hashem. The yetzer hora knows how much is involved here. This topic is huge! And people get very angry about this debate because they don't want to hear that what they are wearing on their head is not ideal and is very likely problematic. They don't want to give it up.
A nice wig represents an attachment to externals, to the secular world and its values- for a woman to give that up, she is truly giving up a part of herself for Hashem. That's why there are countless stories of yushuas by women who gave up their wigs to wear a Tichel. Hashem knows the sacrifice involved and rewards greatly. Many Gedolim have promised countless brachos to the women who puts on a tichel. A woman once approached Rav Elyashiv asking if she could have a heter for a wig- her mother only wore scarves and she wanted to wear a wig. He told her he could give her a heter for a wig from a hundred years ago but if she wore a tichel like her mother he promised her olam Haba!!
Rav shach screamed how the Muslims are winning in tefilah and tznius- we need all the bracha we can get now! It's in the zechus of the women that we will be redeemed!

Sorah

Ahavas article is excellent and does raise very valid concerns, but the main issue with the wigs is the immodesty. To just reiterate, if it's clearly stated that we cover our hair after marriage because hair is so provocative to men, than the wigs we are wearing today DEFEAT THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THE MITZVAH! it doesn't matter then where the hair is from- it's the appearance of the wig that is the problem.
The modern wigs are creating the biggest chillul Hashem- non Jews and secular Jews mock the wigs.
And to say how we shouldn't speak about this because it causes machlokas is missing the whole point! The wigs are causing machlokas! Hashem HATES pritzus more than anything else. The only time that it says that the shechina leaves us is in Devarim- where it states clearly that Hashem turns his back on us if we are immodest and immoral. It doesn't say that in regard to any other sin. And being immodest causes the men to sin, and that is the worst sin of all. Causing another Jew to lose this world and the next world is the worst thinking possible.
Hashem wants us to be united in serving him properly. When women are modest, they are not a threat to other women and their husbands. Everyone is equalized and there is no resentment, jealousy etc...
There is only ahavas yisrael.
It's a great cop out to say this debate causes machlokas. Again this is not to say anyone has a right to judge a woman who is immodest. BUT to bury our heads in the sand and not discuss an obvious terrible situation with immodesty which Hashem despises is just wrong. We need to help educate people why women cover their hair. And we need to think of solutions to a situation that has gotten so out of hand.
And then we'll have really achdus!

Elena Kuchik

i would really want to know r brody response to all the comments on this article..is there a way we could hear rav's opinion?

EW

A better parallel would be the kashrus of shaatnez rather than kosher food industry. Avodah Zara and items used in avodah zarah cannot be nullified, and so the chazakah method should not be applied to the inspection of wigs. The PDF article talks in detail about what can be batel and what cannot. Similarly if there is even a trace of shaatnez in a garment, the entire garment is forbidden.

Elena Kuchik

if hair is real provocative for men then the main immodest people will be young unmarried girls.
it says your married woman hair could only be seen by her husband..and her sheitel is not her hair
Anyways, i will repeat what I emailed to breslev.co.il
in this case I am with pursued - people who do wear sheitel

Shira M

It always struck me a little odd that the Shaitel vs. Tichel debate (or hair covering in general...) takes up such a central place in defining who we are and in what our relationship with G-d is, when in reality this is actually not a central tenet of our faith!

Let's examine the cold, hard facts:

Hair covering for women is not one of the תרי"ג מצוות! It's not even on the same level of other איסורי דרבנן. It's simply the normative behavior of a Jewish woman (דת יהודית).

The type of covering changed dramatically throughout history. Originally, simply braiding the hair was considered modest (כתובות ע"ב)! All other forms of hair covering evolved over time.

Now I'm not saying this to belittle anything. But that hard (and sometimes shocking!) fact, is that this Mitzvah is simply NOT on the same level of requirement as anything else. So, let's all cover our hair the way we deem modest. There's no one way to do it.

Obsessing over hair covering is an easy distraction from things that really count. Let's focus on the more important things in life.

Yehudit

Thank you, Rav Brody, for bringing up this issue for our awareness.

Sarah, your posts are spot-on! May each of us, regardless of whether we wear wigs or wear scarves or keep our hair uncovered, look to continually improve our level of tsiunut. Every small improvement gives HaShem tremendous gratification and works to bring the geulah b'rachamim.

Sorah

The mitzvah of kisui rosh which is essentially about modesty is the most important mitzvah for a woman.
The Vilna Goan stated that modesty for women is equivalent to Torah learning for men. The Peleh Yoetz stated that the majority of a woman's reward and punishment in the next world is based on her modesty.
When Hashem created Chava He repeated over every limb- let her be a modest woman. Hashem didn't say let her keep Shabbos, let her make challah etc... which of course are super important. BUT the most important mitzvah for a woman is her modesty. Of course this is not what many women want to hear because that means they have to work on an area that is very difficult to do. As I mentioned in my previous post, for a woman to be modest in this day and age, it's quite a sacrifice.
Single girls are not obligated to cover their hair because they are looking for a mate (not that they could have loose wild hair). The sin of a man looking at a married women inappropriately is very great, therefore upon marriage a married woman requires an extra level of tznius. A married woman is also more enticing to a man- "forbidden water is sweeter". Therefore she covers her hair after marriage to create a barrier between herself and other men.
Not all head coverings are equal! While her head might be physically covered with a nice wig she is not creating that barrier with other men at all- she is most likely attracting more attention.
And this mitzvah and all the other areas of modesty do define a woman. It's not like shabbos which is between a person and Hashem. If a woman is not modest on her dress and head covering she is spiritually destroying the men who look st her. Not something to be taken lightly at all.
And as I stated before- all hair is provocative to men, short or long. So as long as the wig is natural looking it's not modest. It will attract men.
The Unique Princess and Adorned with Dignity really explain this mitzvah quite well. As does the teleconference I mentioned earlier by Rebbetzin Tehilla Abramov and Mrs. Orit Esther Riter- which any woman can hear by dialing 917-924-9900, option 1

Elena Kuchik

i am watching this post commentaries carefully..waiting to see at least one that says something like 'i was wearing sheitel but after this post i decided to do teshuvah and to buy tichel'.....but so far all we see are commentaries of people who do wear sheitel and defend their position or people who wear tichels or no head covering and very proud of themselves being 'tzaddikim'.....interestingly thought provoking....

Sorah

I just had to post this.
I spoke to a very chashuv Rebbetzin yesterday who knew Rav Elyashiv zt"l personally and she told me that Rav Elyashiv never allowed any Indian hair in wigs. He definitely said that if a wig contains any hair from India it's assur to wear.
The only way a wig was allowed after the Indian hair scandal 13 years ago was if there was a "hechsher" on the wig that the hair was definitely not from India. Since it's clear from Ahavas article that there's no way of knowing this information and almost all the hair is from India there's MAJOR issue here.
We are so careful to stay away from any food item that has a trace of trief in it and we are so careful in all other areas of yiddishket were going to suddenly try to be lenient here?
While the main issue with the wigs is the immodesty and how they cause men to sin this issue of Avoda Zora can't be taken lightly.
It seems to be coming from all sides. The traditional Jewish headwear for women has always been a headscarf. A wig is a more recent development adapted from the non Jews during times of persecution. They were first allowed as a head covering about 200 years ago when the Jews were being persecuted by the czar in Russia who declared that Jewish women could not go around in public with their heads covered. Therefore some of the Rabbanim at that time allowed the use of a wig so women were not going around bareheaded. It was a huge machlokas at that time with many Gedolim screaming about the wigs- saying they are assur! And these were wigs that looked like horse hair!
After the war, Jewish women in America were not covering their hairat all. The Rabbanim allowed wigs but these wigs were also very wiggy! Over the past few decades the wig industry began booming until it became what it is today- catering to Jewish women for "modesty" and to models and actresses for glamour. How could we be wearing the same headcovering for modesty that non Jews are wearing for glamour?? None of the Rabbanim and Poskim that allowed the wiggy wigs would have allowed the wigs of today!
We have to really look at this situation and ask ourselves what does HASHEM want here. Obviously there's a big issue with today's wigs from a modesty perspective and an Avoda Zora perspective. Why would any righteous woman want to put this on their head right now?? We need Moshiach desperately, we are living in historic times. It's in the zechus of us women that we will be redeemed. If we show Hashem that we want to sacrifice our physical desires for him, He will shower us with so much bracha and the redemption can occur.
A tichel is a sacrifice for many women! But when a woman wears a tichel she is showing Hashem that what he wants comes first- before ones own honor and vanity. We can do this together! There are Bh many women returning to the traditional way of covering the hair- the most ideal and modest way.
Women reading this- please don't dismiss these words! I'm coming with no judgement! I used to wear a long wavy wig until I researched the topic. I truly just want my sisters to have the same information that I was fortunate to uncover. There's so much more to the mitzvah of kisui rosh than just physically covering the hair. Kisui rosh is an incredibly powerful mitzvah- it's part of our tikun. please please read the books The Unique Princess and Adorned with Dignity with an open heart.
They will change your life forever.

Yehudit

Thank you, Sorah (I misspelled your name in my previous post), for responding! I also wore a beautiful wig until the scandal 13 years ago. At that point, I switched to a scarf along with most of the women in my workplace. (These women were already wearing only the short, blended wigs - not the custom, lush-and-plush, long human hair wigs. Nevertheless, they immediately switched.)

The geulah will be in our merit, so this is definitely not the time to cut corners! Let's show HaShem that His honor means more to us than our looks. Every small change brings HaShem great nachas-He surely understands how difficult such a change is in our crazy times.

Gutman Locks

Wigs – Huge False Alarm

There is an enormous outcry within the religious community claiming that Jewish women cannot use wigs as the hair in the wigs may have been offered up to an idol and is therefore forbidden. This claim is “substantiated” by wig-makers who say that no matter where the hair is bought there is no way of knowing where it originated. This means that there is a chance that the hair in your wife’s wig was donated to a god in a Hindu temple, and according to the rabbis who are warning about this, that wig is forbidden to be used.
Here are the facts as far as I know. The Hindu women wanting to get their god to answer their prayers go to a Hindu temple and donate their hair. It is cut off by a temple barber and the hair is sold to wigmakers for its monetary value and the temple uses the money as it sees fit. For the temple this is a substantial source of income, even millions of dollars. Note that the hair is not donated to be used on the idol or to be used as a sacrifice to the idol, but is donated solely for its monetary value.
Some people in India have complained that the temples make millions of dollars and the women do not get even one penny. Temple officials have defended their decision to sell the hair, arguing that the hair would otherwise be thrown away, but the money the temple earns from the hair sales can be used to fund orphanages and hospitals.
“For example, with the money we received in exchange for the hair we financed children’s education by building schools. We distributed approximately 30,000 free meals every day for the poor and needy, and we have built hospitals to cure those who, otherwise, could never afford such expensive treatments,” said a director at the Tirumala temple.
If this is in fact the reality, then that donated hair is not forbidden as a sacrifice to an idol.
There are different levels or types of holiness and tumah (spiritual uncleanliness). When something fitting to be offered up in our Holy Temple was given to the Temple as a sacrifice that animal or wine or flour attained the status of kedushat ha-guf (holiness of its body). This means that that item itself became holy and even if it were somehow sold or transferred to someone it would still maintain that level of holiness.
As opposed to this, if something unfit for an offering, such as a deer or a broom was given to the Temple, this was given as bedek habayit i.e. given for the use of the Temple.
When the Temple sold that item the holiness would leave the item and go onto the money that the Temple received in its place. This means that that item could be used however its new owner wished to use it. This second type of offering more parallels the Hindu donation of hair. The hair is given only for its monetary value or to be thrown away and not to be used in their temples.
Assuming all of these facts are indeed true, particularly that the cut hair is used solely for its monetary value or thrown away, then the donated hair that might end up in a Jewish woman’s wig would cause no problem at all. Its tumah left it when the temple sold it for money.
When it comes to halacha (Jewish religious law) there are often many different opinions. In this case of the problem with wigs there are many learned rabbis giving their opinions, and almost all of them say that the wigs are forbidden. These posekim (Jewish law deciders) know more about Jewish law than I will ever know, so I place this article before them saying, if the facts are as I see, then it seems that the conclusion I have stated, that the wigs are not contaminated with the idolatry, is the proper conclusion.
I am sure if they object I will hear about it.


Ahava Margaretten

Dear Ladies, This is Ahava, who complied the Indian Hair Report.

I responded to Rabbi Gutman Locks's article on his website, but I see the Rabbi posted it here too, so I will likewise post my response here also. For the women who are reading this, I just finished researching and writing another article that is over 16 page long, carefully documenting what Hindus themselves say about their intentions when sacrificing their hair. I listed some quotes below. I don't believe at this point I can post the whole report since it contains detailed info about another religion's falsehood, and I would need to get a rabbinical approval before publicly posting it. I originally wrote it to send to Rabbonim.
Well ladies, I certainly found ample proof to show that at least some of the time, the hair itself certainly is meant to be a physical gift offering to the temple idols.

Here is my response to Rabbi Locks:

"Dear Rabbi,

I have a 17 pg article here that proves the hair donation is a gift offering to their gods. This report consists of quotes from Hindu people themselves. Would the Rabbi wish to see it? Please email Emesofwigs@gmail.com and I will happily send it to the Rabbi. Please check out this excerpt from the report:

Source #2: New York Times Article titled “A Religious Tangle Over the Hair of Pious Hindus”
Written by Saritha Rai

“When she came to the temple three years ago, Ms. Subhasri, 35, offered her a waist-length hair to the temple deity, Venkateshwara, in a sign of absolute devotion. She then prayed that her husband, Satyanarayana Raju, be cured of his acute stomach ulcers.

Last week she was back, offering her hair again in thanks for the recovery of her husband, and saying a new prayer for the success of her older son, Veeraraju, 15. ''He has scored 490 marks out of 600 in his recent school exams and, god willing, he will be a doctor one day,'' Ms. Subhasri said, wiping her tears with one end of her sari...”

or

Source #5 from a Question and Answer Forum for Hindu People on Quora:
Question: Why is it believed to do Mundan (donating Hair) to lord Tirupati Balaji? What is the story/significance behind it?

Some of the Answers Given:

#1) By Lalitha Bhattiprolu on April 3, 2016:

Mundan [hair donation] is the favorite sacrifice for lord Venkateswara.
The story behind it goes like this: Once NEELA a devotee of the lord offered her hair for him when he lost it accidentally which deprived her of her beauty.
Lord balaji promised her that he will repay it by taking the hair from his devotees as an offering. Thus, mundan became a favorable offering for him.
The legend says, when we offer our hair we bow in front of him. It is a common practice that along with hair, mustache also should be given to him. Then only our offering to him will be completed.
We must go for his darshan [visiting the temple to see the idol] after mundan to show him that we kept our promise of offering our hair."

As shown above, the Hindu people themselves state they're giving their hair as a sacrifice...Thank you Rabbi, I look forward to your response."

So here is proof that the hair is truly a sacrifice.

Sending my love to all you Holy Jewish Ladies out there! Have a fantastic week! As I said in my previous post, I don't presume to judge anyone by what they wear on their head. I am trying to spread knowledge of what is really going on, so women can make informed decisions for themselves.

Sending much love to all,
Ahava Margaretten

Ahava Margaretten

Dear Ladies,

For anyone wanting to learn how to tie a scarf in a beautiful way, check out the new Scarf Tying Tutorial, hot off the press!

Click on the links to view and print PDF tutorials on how to tie scarves in elegant ways. Enjoy!!

http://view.publitas.com/discoverwhywecover/scarf-side-tie-tutorial-pdf/page/1

http://view.publitas.com/discoverwhywecover/scarf-updo-tutorial-pdf/page/1

Have a truly blessed week!
~Ahava

Ariel Mizrachi

There was some mention in this article about Chabad, and in the comments section several people raised points about what the Lubavitcher Rebbe said regarding this issue. Pasted below, for everyone's reference, is the exact text of what the Lubavitcher Rebbe said. I love Rabbi Brody, but he's not the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Nobody is. The Lubavitcher Rebbe is the Navi & Nasi HaDor, Moshe HaDor. And we should all listen to what the Rebbe said. This article about the hair was first posted on Lazer Beams two days before Parshas Korach. I am in no way suggesting anyone to be Korach, G-d forbid, but it can be dangerous to form our own opinions opposing the Moshe of the Generation, such as we saw what happened with Korach and his followers when they didn't listen to Moshe Rabbeinu and "thought" they knew best. And yes, they were very knowledgeable people, and smart rabbis. But they erred severely in publicly opposing Moshe.

I know Rabbi Brody's article is well intentioned, but it can be divisive amongst the Jewish people, G-d forbid, and what we need most to bring Moshiach is Ahavas Yisroel and Achdut (unity). Furthermore, a tzaddik on the level of the Lubavitcher Rebbe sees past, present and future (every word to come from his holy mouth has always come true), so we should all have complete faith in everything he says and not think our own personal logic is somehow superior to the tzaddik. He is the Moshe HaDor. B"H

FROM THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE:
"Considering the great reward which is promised to the woman and mother who wears a sheitel [wig], it should surely be worthwhile to do so even if the wearing of a sheitel would entail serious difficulties and conflicts. How much more so where the objection to it, as you write, is only because it is 'old-fashioned.' This is not a real objection, not a valid one, and it is rather based on the 'opinion' of others. Let me also add that even considering the general attitude towards this and other mitzvos, there has been a radical change in recent years, one of respect and admiration for people who are consistent and live up to their convictions and ideals, and are not influenced by the mob. There may always be some individual who might make a joke about the person's convictions, but where a person is sincerely dedicated to his faith; such a person can only call forth respect and admiration. Furthermore, if you will eventually settle in a Jewish Orthodox neighborhood, you will find that other young women will wish to emulate your good example, and thus you will have the additional zechus of being instrumental in influencing others in the right way. The reverse is also true, for a Jew must always consider how his or her conduct affects others. This should be an additional consideration why you should overcome your superficial objection to wearing a sheitel.

"It is no less important to bear in mind that marriage is called 'an everlasting edifice,' meaning that it is an everlasting institution which is of vital importance not only for the husband and wife, but also for future generations. Every parent desires to ensure the happiness of their children and will do everything possible to take out the utmost measure of such insurance.

"Of course you might point to this one or that one who does not wear a sheitel. However, it is surely unnecessary to point out that every person may have a particular weakness, and if one is to follow the principle 'He is wise who learns from every person' [Avos, 4:1], he will be wise to learn from only the person's strong and positive qualities and not from his weak ones."

(From a letter written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in the Days of Chanukah, 5721)

"The necessity of wearing a sheitel and not making do with a hat or kerchief is explained in many places. It is a readily observable fact that wearing a hat or even a kerchief leaves part of the hair uncovered (at least for a short while), leading a person to transgress a serious prohibition, as ruled in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, Chapter 75."

(Likutei Sichos, vol. 13, p.187)

When the hair is covered with a kerchief and one meets a non-religious friend or acquaintance, then frequently the kerchief slides up or disappears completely into the pocket, something which cannot be done with a sheitel. Therefore, eventually, habit, [i.e. wearing a sheitel] will become second nature. (Igros Kodesh vol. 10, p.186)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Support Emunah Outreach


Search Lazer Beams


ספרים בעברית מאת הרב אליעזר רפאל ברוידא

Meet Lazer Brody's Teacher: Rav Shalom Arush


More of Breslev Israel's English-speaking Rabbis

Beam of Emuna


Beam of Encouragement


Beam of Melody


Subscribe to Lazer Beams