Monday, February 4, 2008

The Latest Poll--Hair Coverings

The brouhaha over the wig store in Flatbush vs. Yeshiva Chaim Berlin has an element that goes beyond the factual matters of the case. Many commenters across the blogosphere have expressed highly negative opinions about the sheitles and falls worn by married women to cover their hair. There have been calls to ban sheitles outright. Some commenters have come out in favor of the sheitles.

Which is it for you--ban the sheitles or allow them? Please scroll down and vote below.

17 comments:

G said...

Oh no, it's not gonna be that easy.

First you have to define the reason(s) behind the need for one.
Then we can move on to whether there is a problem with the current product.

ProfK said...

G,
It's going to be just that easy. Few will argue with the idea that a married woman is required to wear her hair covered. Many, many will argue over why and how. Depending on how you hold, sheitles either are a legitimate covering or they are not.

This poll doesn't ask you to debate the intent and content of the halacha; it asks "How do you personally hold with sheitles as a hair covering for a married woman."

G said...

That would be true if the issue was sheitels in general. Correct me if I am wrong, but is not the issue "today's" sheitels?

ProfK said...

G,
The problem with generalizations is that there are always exceptions that disprove the rule. And just what is "today's" sheitles? I buy sheitles as do my friends, neighbors and relatives. And the sheitles run the gamut of styles, lengths and colors. Is there a tendency for the very young married women to wear very long sheitles? A tendency yes, but a 100% rule no. Of my daughters' friends I can think of only one who wears a very long sheitle or fall. And this is a question of style, something which changes fairly constantly. Stick around a few years and the style will change yet again to shorter more geometrically cut sheitles--history repeating itself for the sake of making a buck.

How about their mothers? Some do, some don't. Very long hair is not flattering for someone who is older. Define older? Not going there.

The point is this: even as "today's" sheitles are being debated by men, a "today" that is far more eclectic then the debate shows, today is becoming tomorrow. What seems to be needed here is not a clearer definition of the how and why of hair covering but the dictates, mechanisms and history of style.

You might want to reread the 4-part series I did in September on The Great Snood Wars.

ProfK said...

Readers,

Someone just sent me an email in which they said that by "today's" sheitles is meant provocative sheitles. Here is the problem. Provocativeness does not lie with an object but with a viewer. Something is provocative only if it provokes in a specific someone a particular feeling. One man's provocative can just as easily be another man's yuck. The identical sheitle as seen on one woman may be viewed as provocative by some, and yet worn by another woman may not be seen as provocative.

Far, far fewer women are going to look at sheitles and call them provocative then men will do. Perhaps men need some real introspective thinking.

G said...

Ahem...duh!

"Oh no, it's not gonna be that easy."

See 8D

ProfK said...

G,

Okay, I'm number challenged. See 8D where?

Anonymous said...

So you are saying that no item is provocative as it is? Have you seen some of the clothing for women that is for sale? Even just hanging in the store it yells provocative.

ProfK said...

Sorry anonymous but if you think that garment is yelling at you, it is you that are hearing its voice.

G said...

Sorry:

"Oh no, it's not gonna be that easy."

See...:D

Lon said...

Chaim Berlin has issues with sheitels? Can you clarify?

ProfK said...

Lon,

For a fairly comprehensive look at what caused the whole to do between Chaim Berlin and a local wig store please click on the Serandez link below and when you're there find "And More" and click on the 3 links there to see and read what put the bee in my bonnet.

Anonymous said...

Some men are going to say that they consider tichels as just fine and they don't need or want sheitles. That's because they haven't been put in the position where only tichels are being worn. I bet a lot of them are going to be unhappy if it ever comes down to only tichels. As for me, it's my head, my look, my styule and the men better keep out of it. Wonder how many borderline covered heads are going to get uncovered if sheitles aren't an option any more?

SephardiLady said...

Some do, some don't. Very long hair is not flattering for someone who is older.

No kidding! I was recently sitting with a friend at a wedding. In front of us where two ladies with the most incredible sheitels you have ever seen. .. .long, highlights, lots of volume. One was dark, one light. We only had seen the face of the dark sheitel wearer and thought the women were sisters. After the chuppah, I was in shock when I finally saw the face behind the blond sheitel. This was a mother! The young sheitel and the young outfit really weren't too becoming for her face, which had aged a bit. :)

nowaynever said...

Can't say for sure but the way the numbers are in the poll any rabbanim who are going to try and ban sheitels are going to have a fight with the women. Do they really want to start a man/woman war?

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many borderline covered heads are going to get uncovered if sheitles aren't an option any more?
This is actually a scary comment because I can see it coming true. Are we looking to scare away people who are becoming frummer? For some the difference might just be wearing a shaitle or wearing nothing.

frima said...

Its not for people on a blog to decide what halachah to follow about covering hair. Daas torah will make that decision. To even act like anything regular people says is important in the decision is not to be acting frumly.