Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wigged Out

Back of the Hill at DovBear et al has this post on sheitels. Like every other mitzvah that is not bullet-proof, DovBear bloggers takes their best shot(s).

You wanna make fun of sheitels? Make fun of this.

Let's just assur up anything and everything that might make a sheitel look half decent. No, it's got to look like a freakin brillo pad or it's treif treif treif. And btw, snoods? Not kosher either. Headband or
hat falls? You pritzusdik harlot! Hats with sheitels? Only if they look like crap. Lifelike scalp? You whore. Baseball caps? Chas v'shalom! What are you thinking?

"The peak-cap, or more accurately the baseball cap, has a very sporty look to it and also imparts a distinct masculine type of appearance -- both of which are negative features which detract from the refinement of the woman, although she may not realize it. In addition, with the baseball cap, hair from the area around the ears often peeks out and remains uncovered."
The horror! The horror!

The Jewish world is coming apart in so many important ways that WE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO, and I'm reading a treatise on why the front of my (former and G"w future) sheitel can't be too flat because it might look too good? Aaaarrrrghhhhh.

Focus people! We ladies are trying to do a really hard mitzvah out there. Please cut us some slack here and for Pete's sake, get help for that OCD.

1 comment:

Nice Jewish Guy said...

The whole issue of hair covering is, at least IMO, a complex one, and not quite so cut-and-dried (pun intended!). First one has to agree that the correct interpretation of the word, "u'fra'ah" when referring to the hair of the Sotah actually means "uncover", and not "to make wild", which is the interpretation upon which the whole matter really hinges. The implication is that the Sotah, being a married woman suspected of having an affair, had her hair covered all along, and that this was in fact the custom of married women. However, this may not have actually been the case. Like so many things that are not actually spelled out in the Torah, this halacha is "learned out" from a related procedure. The problem is that there is no consensus on the correct translation of the crucial word. In fact, the Torah uses the same word not too far later on, when discussing the Nazir's hair, which he should let "grow wild".

There are many conflicting views on hair covering even within Orthodoxy. The mechaber (Shulchan Aruch) states that even unmarried girls' hair, that of betulot, requires covering. Obviously, we do not do that today. But if in fact hair is indeed akin to ervah, or nakedness, then it shouldn't matter wether a girl is married or unmaried, and it should be covered just like girls cover their preadolescent breasts. So we could conclude that hair is in fact not ervah.

R. YB Soloveitchik was of the opinion that hair covering is actually only a siman nisuin, a sign that one is married and unavailable, and that a hat covering a nominal part of the hair is sufficient. In today's society, where a wedding ring is considered much the same thing, it could be argued that hair covering is not necessary for this purpose. In fact there are many Orthodox communities where a majority of otherwise Observant women do not cover their hair.

I found the following correspondence on the subject on the internet some time ago. From Rabbi Michael Broyde:

"...for a list of halachic authorities who
pasken that there is no obligation for a women to cover her hair in a
society where modest women generally do not, see:

Sefer Yehoshua (Babad) #89
Sefer Chukat Hanashim (by Ben Ish Chai) chapter 17
Sefer Sanhedria pages 201-202
Shut Mayim Chaim (Masas) 2:110 and his otzar michtavim #1884
Shut Vaheshiv Moshe (Malka) 34 (of Rav Moshe Malka)
Yad Halevi (Hurowitz) Aseh 165

This can also, perhaps, be implied from Machatzit Hashekel EH 21:5

Yet other poskim understand that the obligation is not to have
dishevelled hair, and neatly uncovered in a bun or the like in

Penia Moshe EH 21:5
Yad Efraim 75:1
Etz Efraim OC 12a (of R. Efraim Sulutz)
and perhaps Divrie Menachem (Kasher) OC 5:2:3
Vayashev Moshe (Burla) YD 1, 2 3 in the name of Rav Mattityahu Tzurmani.

One can add, perhaps, to this list those poskim who -- while they do not
rule this conduct permissible -- classify the issur in a way which
allows or compels one to conclude that covering is not mandatory when
other modest (jewish) women do not cover. Included on that list is:

Sefer Aleh Hamittzvot (Chagiz) 262
Sefer Hamitzvot LeRav Sadia (Perlow) 1:650
Shevut Yaakov (Resiher) EH 103
Shut Dai Hashiv EH 4
Shut Teferet Moshe (Cohen) 2:10.

Similar understandings of the sugya in ketubot 72 which indicate that
thee obligation is time and place bound, can be found in Nitzev
commenting on Sifri Naso 5:10 and Minchat Ani 1:45-46(R. David
Sondsheim). Someewhat similiar rationales can be found Shut Rav
Yitzchak Halevi 9 (The Taz's brother), and Shut Moshe ibn Chabib EH 1
both of whom discuss whether an arusa must cover her hair in a manner
which indicates that the obligation is time and place bound.

*****It is important to note that the vast majority of halachic
authorities of the last generation clearly reject the psak of any of
these poskim. Among those who rule the obligation to cover immutable
and timeless in a public location are Rav Ovadia Yosef Yechave Daat
5:62; Rav Eliezer Walenberg Tzitz Eliezer 6:48; Dayan Weiss, Minchat
Yitzchak 6:106; Rav Moshe Feinstein, Iggrot Moshe EH 1:53 and Rav
Y.Y. Weeinberg Seredai Eish 3:30. Many others could be added to this
list. Caveat Emptor, and this list is provided with that

Michael Broyde

Also found was the following from Rabbi Alan J. Yuter:

"Re: Re: head coverings Rabbi Alan J. Yuter 10-05-2004 / 09:04 PM
1. According to a literal, philological reading of the
Gemara, the wig does not count.
2. Several rabbis have reported to me that R. Soloveitchik did not endorse the wig
3. R. Ovadya Yosef argues that the wig is unsatisfactory even for Ashkenazi women
4. R. Moshe calls the wig a kula gedola, hardly
a ringing endorsement
5. Rav Mesas, Mayyim Hayyim 2:110 claims that today
the obligation may not be applicable.
6. the claim that the the head covering obligation is deoraita is contented by Rambam and Terumat haDeshen.
According to the method of Rabbi M. S. Feldman, when the Rambam rules against the talmudic text we have he rules against the Aramaic anonymous Talmud, which may well have been an interpolation. Thus, the section which claims that the woman's head covering fits into the style of the anonymous Aramaic level of Talmud, which the Rambam does not treat as Talmud
7. the normative halakhah, it seems to me, is that
married women must cover their head [not all the hair--Rav Moshe, R. Maharam AlShaqer] when in public with a
hat, snood, teichel, or the like.
8. Given R. Mesas's minority report, which while not
convincing to me, is nevertheless credible, we must not
ostracize or otherwise criticize Orthodox women
who are otherwise observant who do not observe this rule. Ein tsaddiq, and in this egalitarian age,
tsaddeqet, asher yaaseh/taaseh tov ve-lo techeta.

But what I think we can at least agree on here is that the Chareidim have gone way overboard. Their sstance seems to be that, in order for a sheitel to be kosher, it basically has to look bad. That's a pretty sad development. I certainly don't think that's what halacha intended.