I get so much mail about "community coverups" of the worst type of crime - the ugly, disgusting abomination of child molesting. There are many stories about the villains who go free because they're the relatives of important and influential people. This phenomenon is disgusting and every person must do everything he or she can to uproot this immoral and inhuman plague from within our midst. We all ask, why are so many rabbis silent on this issue? In the 12-minute clip you're about to see, Rabbi Elchanan Tauber shlit'a breaks that silence and calls for an end to the coverup. Check out this very important 12-minute video:
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
Click on the posters below to see them enlarged and more clearly:
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 email@example.com.
Hashem should bless you with clarity and the strength to do what's right!
Don't wait until the last minute! Pidyon Nefesh is a very special and powerful prayer and blessing that has the spiritual strength of a sacrifice in the Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) to atone for sin and to mitigate severe judgments. As such, families who desire to invoke Divine compassion and sweeten harsh judgments make a special effort to do a Pidyon Nefesh some time during the month of Elul in preparation for the awesome Day of Judgment on Rosh Hashana.
The "Pidyon Nefesh" - translated, "Redemption of the Soul", is charity money used for saving other souls and bringing them closer to Hashem, like Rabbi Arush does with Emunah Outreach, spreading emuna all over the world. This invokes phenomenal Divine compassion on the donor and on his/her loved ones. Here in Israel, Rabbi Arush makes sure that every Israeli soldier who so desires can attain emuna books and CDs at no cost to him (photos above and right, from Jordan border) - you have no idea how powerful this is. When you help protect Israel and its soldiers, Hashem protects you and your loved ones - measure for measure. Emuna Outreach, as you see in yesterday's post, goes way outside Israel's borders as far as US Troops in Afghanistan and Korea, to prison inmates in Israel, Canada, the UK and USA, all of whom seek a welcome a shot of spiritual encouragement.
Any amount is acceptable with a recommended $180 per family or equivalent; for a Pidyon to be especially effective, one should give with dedication. One cannot hope for a major salvation without giving to the limits of one's capability. Donate to Emuna Outreach and Rav Shalom Arush will do your pidyon nefesh for you; your contribution is US tax-deductible and you'll be our full partner in spreading emuna, especially where it's needed most. Blessings for an inscription in the Book of Life for a wonderful New Year 5778.
Several years ago, it was discovered that many wigs that observant Jewish women were wearing contained natural hair from India, where many women are idolaters. Jewish Law strongly prohibits using or deriving benefit from anything connected to idolatry. It caused a tremendous scandal, and here in Israel, 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 (which is very expensive) or synthetic (which many women call "donkey tails" and is considered unfashionable).
For those who are skimming this article and won't download the whole report, here is a shocking excerpt that one cannot ignore:
Interview with a shaitel macher (wig-maker) with 18 years experience:
“I would like people to know... that myself first hand can attest to the utter misrepresentation we are handed with our shaitels. I have been a shaitel macher for almost 18 years. I have learned from some of the industry's leading members how to identify hair, physically hand tie hair into a wig, how to construct a wig from scratch, as well as cutting, coloring, and washing techniques only know to the top artist. Approximately 8 years ago I began the difficult process of starting my own line of wigs. Making contacts and having representatives in China is not an easy process. I learned quickly that there are no morals in business in China. Hair which was hand selected here from brokers coming straight from Ukraine would be sent to China only to return blended and processed with other hair which I did not send or request.
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. At that point I realized that there was no way that I could create a product which I really believed in or stood by. I myself who was dealing directly with the factories would never really know if the hair which I sometimes cut from a woman here in the states would actually return unadulterated or blended with something else. The fact that the factories clearly had no scruples regarding misrepresentation to my customers meant that they would most likely swindle me too. I decided to forgo manufacturing my own line and the money that would come with it.
It's important for women to know that factories will insert any tag necessary to make a sale. Many shaitel machers have no clue that they are being duped. They are told it's European hair and that it has a hashgacha, but the reality is far from such. They simply don't know.”
-Quoted directly word for word on June 11th, 2017. Shaitel macher chose to remain anonymous in this report.
Who wants to play Russian Roulette with Halacha and even take the slightest chance with such a serious d'Oraita transgression as benefitting from idolatry, issur hana'a me'avoda zara. I want to clarify that although Rav Arush's and my wife and daughters cover their hair with tichelach (scarfs), I never interfere in the debate between the pro-sheitel and the pro-tichel factions, especially since many righteous spiritual leaders such as the Rebbes of Gur, Chabad, Vishnitz and Belz allow their female followers to wear wigs, as well as most of the Lithuanian and Yeshivish world. Yet, when it comes to such a serious breach that could be a tremendous stumbling block for the public, we here at the Beams found the urgent need to sound the alarms and flash the warning yellow lights. Please be very careful.
One thing is for sure - if you wear a wig, consider the advantages of moving over to synthetic. And, if you do make the commendable move from wigs to scarfs, we'll be happy to direct you our own Rebbetzen Racheli Reckles or to Rebbetzen Rivka Malka Perlman who'll be happy to show you how to look gorgeous in a scarf. Blessings for a lovely Shabbat!
Breslev Israel, Emuna Outreach and the Beams all mourn the passing of Shlomo Nechama, ob"m, father of Yosef Nechama, General Director of Breslev Israel. Shlomo was 82, and he returned his pure soul to the Creator after fighting a 5-month battle with an excruciating and painful illness about which he never complained - only smiled.
Shlomo was a combat veteran of the Six Day War and an unsung hero who spent years serving his country and his people as a covert warrior in Israel's defense establishment. He is survived by his wife Renata and his sons Shmuel and Yosef and their children. He was buried yesterday in the Nes Harim cemetary in the Judean Hills and was eulogized by Rabbi Shalom Arush and Rabbi Lazer Brody. May his soul rest in eternal peace and may Hashem console Mrs. Renata Nechama and her sons Shmuel and Yosef among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, amen.