Thursday, September 14, 2017


The Chumrah Brigade Misses the Point or Religious Propaganda for Fun & Profit

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Thank you to all the commentors on Lies on Wigs and Posters and Attacks on Emunah.  I must assume I did not explain myself well, so let me try again...

In the holy Satmar community in Williamsburg, New York, USA, these holy chassidic women shave their heads, to protect against even one hair showing (as it states should be avoided in the Gemora) as well as galactic concerns relative to mikvah.

If you live in their community and do not shave your head, you are NOT TZNIUS (not dressed modestly).

In the holy Temani (Yemmenite) Jewish community, the women cover their hair, necks, and wear a face veil.

If you live in their community and do not cover your neck and wear a veil, you are NOT TZNIUS.  (I should note that recent arrivals from Yemen have been in some of the most religious Jewish communities in Israel and WERE SHOCKED at what they saw as a lack of modesty because the women's faces were visible.)

And if you are part of the "cat sha'alim", the shawl covering extremists in Israel and/or overseas such as Lev Tahor, besides the women being required to cover their necks and faces, they must also cover their hands (wearing gloves).

If you don't cover your hands in this community, you are VERY IMMODEST.

Almost every year like clockwork statements of major modesty violation come out, almost always before Rosh Hashana, to guilt the holy Jewish communities into additional zealousness.

If your community rabbi sees issues in his community, he can and should address it if he can do so and be effective.  HOWEVER, a statement from 5 rabbis from very particular Jewish religious style communities in Israel should NOT be used to set world standards for every style of every religious Jewish community world wide.

And the blog that's pushing this statement should realize they are reaching a world wide audience and potentially freaking out women and causing religious damage in homes and communities world wide... destroying shalom bayis and causing women emotional pain as well as damaging their emunas chachamim (what, their own rabbis can't be trusted to bring up important issues?  and their own community standards in their holy religious Jewish community could be not kosher?)

So let me be clear... I am not endorsing nor banning wigs, natural hair wigs, long wigs or short wigs.  I am not saying they are ok or that they are not ok.  I am saying that making a statement "it's official X type of hair covering is not kosher" due to a wall poster or a blog post out of Bnei Brak or Beis Yisroel Jerusalem is itself a not kosher statement, and one that can cause great damage.  

And those that want to tell me women wearing a particular type of wig the poster has declared problematic is on my head because I challenge a random blog post and wall poster, I say to them all the shalom bayis, agnos nefesh, financial impact, possible job loss from removing a sheitel, loss of paranosa to wig makers and sheteil machers and the starving of their families, and loss of parnosa on the kosher supervisors in the industry and starving of their families, and women who may choose to uncover their hair because they will or cannot or are embarrassed by a scarf, is all on their heads.

On an unrelated note, I wonder how many women are wearing their scarves because supervised sold non-temple based Indian hair is suddenly non-kosher are on their way to yoga class and performing actual Indian non-kosher religious practices without realizing it?


  1. First of all I have to commend you for being so open to posting comments that are against your posts- that is very honest of you!

    That being said I must send this comment to point out to you that these five Rabbis are not making a public statement to ruin the lives of women worldwide. They spent a lot of time researching the origin of the hair in the human wigs today and found (with much evidence) that most of the hair originates from Indian temples and according to the Gadol Hador Rav Elyashiv, this is considered avoda zora and absolutely forbidden

    If this information distresses women and puts them out of the wig business than so be it- this is the emes (and the Torah) and the emes is not always what we want to hear. if a hechsher on meat was discovered to be a fraud, should people still continue eating it because it will cause the butchers and stores a monetary loss?? Of course not! that would be a grave sin and the spiritual ramifications of eating that meat would most definitely outweigh the monetary loss experienced by many.

    Since when is our religion about pacifying people and telling them what they want to hear? Our religion is about keeping the mitzvos properly and doing what Hashem wants. If these wigs were found to contain avoda zora after much research (have other Rabbis done any research on the topic? It doesn't seem like it)and they are immodest too (which many of them are), than they are forbidden to be worn- period. Wearing them will cause sin which will bring shalom bayis issues, financial issus, kids at risk... Wearing a wig that is made from Indian hair that is natural and pretty (which most wigs are today) will CAUSE problems not alleviate them.

    By posting these views on your blog YOU are treading in very dangerous water- you are encouraging the wearing of these wigs by confusing readers and implying that this letter and poster shouldn't be taken seriously and that ones job and money comes before what is dictated by the Torah and our Gedolim. This will most definitely cause a loss of emunas chachachim.

    Please do some research about the topic of Indian hair in wigs and the halachos and purpose of the mitzvah of kisui rosh before shmearing reputable Rabbanim and Gedolim.

  2. I dislike Sheitels.
    I think they can conform to Tzniut by the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law.
    The idea is not just to cover the hair, it is to make a woman look "Plain" and be a sign that they are married, to dissuade men from being attracted to their physical features and from attempting to chat them up.
    A headscarf or snood type covering does this much better, and is not expensive, and is easy to wash.
    A Sheitl made from real hair in a fashionable style can too easily be mistaken for a natural hair covering and leave room for error and improper behaviour, and might contain hair from idol worship.
    I think it is correct that we as a people move away from Sheitls, but in a way that can help the Parnassah of the Sheitl makers.
    Perhaps we can have a community fund for retraining them as hairdressers, whilst keeping their skills for children who want wigs because they might have no hair because of illness?

  3. I'm very glad this has "hit the airways". After I married I wore a wig because it was what all women in my community did. What did I know then. After a couple years, I met via email a very frum woman in BayitVegan Who educated me about sheltels, the history, the terrible abandonment after WWI when many women threw off their sheitels, et al. Some time later when all this new info sunk in, I threw off my sheitel for a mitpachat (scarf or cloth covering). I am still in my mitpachat even though the women in my Haredi mixed area here in ERETZ YISRAEL wear wigs. How could anyone wear someone else's hair? Wearing a sheitel uplifts the feminine ego to where it does not belong. In fact after each new purchase of a new sheitel length which is mostly suggested by some sheitelmachers, next comes even shorter skirt lengths, tighter. We don't see this among the brave settler communities. Sorry to say mainly among the ashkenazi religious and some new immigrants from untsnius countries.

    A mitpachat stimulates modesty within a Jewish woman's neshoma. This is where she needs to be to raise erliche frum boys and girls, and being a successful homemaker. Its a fact. I am embarrassed by this type of non-Jewish behavior.

    The above was a comment to the previous article on the same topic.

    Now, let me add that the sheitel business does not have to suffer, just change to a more kosher product!

    I believe you, Akiva, should be against improper untsnius bedecked women, raunchy hair cover, immodest clothing, and unbecoming behavior in public. We all need to improve, because each generation falls lower and lower each generation. They are now infecting children with repulsive "educate your children about their gender". The evil is rampant. We must protect the Jewish home for the future Kosher Jewish generations.

  4. In some countries of the world, wearing a patterned scarf/tichel would promote more attention than by just wearing a regular [medium length] wig.

    The reason why women wear the natural hair wigs as opposed to the synthetic kind is because they keep the head much cooler and are far more comfortable.

    And by the way, hair covering is not meant to make a women look unattractive, there is no law that says a women cannot be beautiful. The mitzvah is to cover the hair, not to cover the beauty. A beautiful woman will turn heads whether she is wearing a scarf or a wig.

    Actually most people I know wear both [at different times]. Wigs are for special occasions or work situations, and tichels are for home and casual days.

  5. Racheli, did you check that the sourdough starter is NOT dairy? It may be made from gluten flour and may contain whey. Check this thoroughly. Otherwise a nice recipe. I couldn't post at Lazerbeam's because I don't use typepad, or twitter, or Facebook, only blogger for my own blog. (I have no need for them) I hope you see this. Shana Tovah to you.

  6. Anonymous 1 - I very honestly doubt the 5 rabbis "spent a lot of time researching". Almost without a doubt somebody came to one of the rabbis and presented his "horrific finding" in search of a signature. Then he went to the other 4 with this "horrific finding" and the signature and added 4 more. At least that's how it usually works, sadly. And, in the usual situation, nobody researched the person bringing the "horrific finding" to check if he or the people involved in gathering it had a self interest. I DO NOT NOW if that is what happened here...but that's what has been happening in most of these URGENT POSTER FINDINGS.

    As far as "puts them out of business, so be it", well the Gemora and halacha disagrees with you--if you want to be kosher about it. Community rulings are not dikat, they are supposed to be contextual and take into account impact. Yes, glaring violations have to be dealt with directly. But in a field that supposedly currently has kosher supervisors there is plenty of room to rule that the existing is grandfathered (as an example - I don't know the details and am NOT making any ruling nor any statement that should be relied upon halachically - consult YOUR rabbi).

    LondonMale - "to dissuade men", ok, I'm interested, please quote me where the Shulchan Aruch or Gemora says that. Because I don't think so, but I'm happy to be corrected.

    Neshama - as I've mentioned, tznius has base standards but then has a community context. There are a variety of reasons for wearing a sheitel, as one example job appearence assuming one does not work in the frum community. The Lubavitcher Rebbe also noted that midpachot come off easy and hair sneaks out from all sides easy, and this is not the case in a sheitel. But hey, how a woman chooses to fulfill the requirement to cover her married hair is between her, her husband, her community, and G-d.

    Anonymous 2 - Exactly, a Jewish woman should be elegant like a queen. There is NO mitzvah to uglify.

    Neshama - I suspect your last comment is in the wrong blog?

  7. Another reason why a wig is preferable in some places:

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Reb Akiva

    I base my interpretation of the idea that a married woman's hair should be covered to dissuade men other than her husband from being attracted to her, on the below paragraph etc.

    "Elsewhere in the Talmud (Berakhot 24a), the rabbis define hair as sexually erotic (ervah) and prohibit men from praying in sight of a woman’s hair. The rabbis base this estimation on a biblical verse: “Your hair is like a flock of goats” (Song of Songs 4:1), suggesting that this praise reflects the sensual nature of hair."

  10. Once upon a time when Sheitels were just artificial/natural hair coverings there was no need for opposition.

    It is the fact that the long Indian Hair Sheitels for Sale, draped around faces and down the back, nearly to the waist, is enticing, less than a covering, more like an attraction, is what has become the norm now-a-days. This is a taivah of degrading proportions. It is so obvious to everyone. [the appearance can be compared to “those women who work the streets for a living”]

    And about the Indian Hair: = Link to video of "Where Brazilian Hair Comes From".

    I’ll admit there are some innocent young married women that just don’t understand this issue of tsnius. I feel for them.

    That last comment was for Rachaeli who writes for Rabbi Brody, of which I cannot leave a comment because of their requirements for posting. I was hoping she would be able to read it here because of the topic of your blogpost. Maybe not however.


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