We hope and pray to see an end of suffering in the world. In light of the recent disasters in North America and the imminent threat of global strife, we must all search our souls and look for areas that we can immediately improve in. We pray that everyone is blessed with a wonderful New Year 5778. But, with Rosh Hashanah - the Day of Judgment - a mere week away, we feel solemnly obligated to bring the following halachic ruling to the public's attention.
Five major poskim - rabbinical authorities - recently issued a statement forbidding all natural-hair sheitlach, wigs. They are:
Rabbi Chaim Meir Halevi Vosner, Rabbi and Head of the Rabbinical Court, Zichron Meir
Rabbi Sariel Rosenberg, Rabbi and Chief Rabbinical Justice, Bnei Brak
Rabbi Yehuda Sillman, Rabbi and Head of the Rabbinical Court, Bnei Brak
Rabbi Shimon Baadani, member of the Council of Torah Sages
Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Karp, Dayan and Posek, Southern Hill, Modiin
Listen, ladies, I know how hard it is to cover your hair with a scarf. To be totally honest, I'm not crazy about it. Remember, I'm a BT that spent her early 20's having fun in Miami Beach, one of the world's most exotic locations for barely dressed beautiful people. I'm not a little sheltered girl that grew up in Jerusalem's Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. I enjoy feeling and looking beautiful, and I totally understand all of your reservations and objections.
A scarf can't compare to a gorgeous wig in beauty, nor can it compare in the way it makes you feel: feminine, complete, and confident. I had some pretty stunning wigs, but I got rid of them when I realized that they just made me look more beautiful instead of adding modesty to my look. I'm all for female empowerment and independence and all that stuff. But I realize that this isn't a power struggle between old men with ancient beliefs in a woman's role versus the strong feminists of today.
It's simply a matter of following the Torah. Saying that a man shouldn't be involved in women's halachic issues is ridiculous. Maybe we shouldn't keep family purity too? Maybe we shouldn't separate challah or light candles? After all, Moshe Rabbeinu was a man. So was the Shulchan Aruch and the Rama. Maybe we shouldn't see male doctors, especially obstetricians just because they're men. It's reverse discrimination and it's not fair.
Anyone who really believes in our Divine Torah knows that Hashem only wants what's best for us. No one's out to get us or put us down. The fact that we don't understand what's best for us is apparent when we resist and protest the rulings of people who know much more Torah than we do.
In my opinion, this is a matter beyond the wigs. It's a matter of if we believe in our Torah, or we don't. If we believe in it, then we must accept ALL of it, both the parts that we agree with and the parts that make us cringe. That doesn't mean that we have to be on the highest level of observance! It means that we should recognize where we're holding spiritually, and strive to raise ourselves up, level by level.
Trading in your wig for a scarf or hat is one of the hardest decisions a Torah-observant woman will ever have to make. I understand, believe me. But I must also believe with all of my heart that there are others in this world who know more than I do, and trust that their opinion of what's best for me is the right one. I trust that my family will be benefit from my sacrifice for generations to come. I fully believe that I made the right decision. Because if I don't, what does that say about my belief in the Torah as a whole?
Ladies, I encourage you to do some serious soul searching regarding this matter. What's keeping you from making the switch? Peer pressure? Fear of looking ugly? Your husband wants you to wear a wig? Do you think it's a bunch of oppressive nonsense?
Whatever it is, once you gain clarity, your decision will be so much easier. And, if you want some great tips for stylish hair covers, there are tons of instructional videos online of women who cover their hair with style and class. If you don't want to go online, send me an email and I'll give you a few pointers. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hashem should bless you with clarity and the strength to do what's right!
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