May 24, 2010

what a goy understands....

This is a pashkevil pasted around Jerusalem. I love it. I think it is funny and humorous, even if it might not be meant to be. I love the presumption that we have to decide our halacha based on what some non-Jew thinks.

The pashkevil relates a story of a haredi family that traveled to to a Druze village in the Galilee to daven by the grave of Yisro. The Druze guard the place carefully and do not allow in anyone who they considered to be not dressed appropriately, including women with no head covering. So this haredi woman comes to the grave to daven and the guard refuses her entry because her hair is not covered. She unsuccessfully tries to convince him that she is wearing a wig, but he refuses, insisting her hair is uncovered. The guard said, "In my opinion it is as if the hair is not covered, and I will not allow a desecration of the holiness of the site."

As the sign starts off - "What a goy understands..." presumably should be so obvious to us as well that wigs are not considered hair coverings...


  1. Yet another example of why Jewish and Islamic fundamentalists are a match made in heaven.

    May they find someplace to live tzniously ever after.

  2. I was at Kever Yitro! (and other Druze Holy Sites).

    You missed one important point: Even unmarried girls have to cover their hair at Kever Yitro. The druze are very machmir!


  3. This sounds like a case of "mesiach lefi tumo" where we do rely on the non-Jew.

    I don't think it's directly applicable to halacha, though, because they demand that all women cover their hair (like we demand they cover their thighs), while we only demand it after marriage. Which shows uncovered hair is not as inherently provocative as other kinds of "erva", and covering yourself with someone else's hair would not lead other people to inappropriate thoughts.

  4. So, in order to push your agenda you can use any method, even if not necessarily true?
    Since when do we even compare the halacha to the customs of non-Jews?
    Are we shortly going to see pashkevilim saying that the Taliban have sex-segregated busses so therefore we should too? There are muslims that kill their sisters if they are suspected of illicit affairs. There are Christians who vow celibacy. There are groups that had male-only communities because of tzniyot reasons - so we should too?

  5. When i rec'd my get, I was wearing a sheitel but was asked to still cover my sheitel with a veil.

  6. Miriam - why did they make you wear a veil? that is very interesting and I never heard of that before.

  7. Of course, you could look at this the other way - requiring that a wig be covered is a goyish practice.

  8. what's amusing is that many frum people hold sheitels are not allowed either. many chasidishe people have a hat on top of the sheitel to show a headcovering. the MB seems to say that a sheitel is a kula, not prefferred, so the Druze are simply being machmir.

  9. yoni r. you're always a little out of the box! (sheitl or hat box?)

  10. The Torah's reference to covering the hair (for married women, even tho 'back then' even young girls covered their hair) is with a MITPACHAT which means a cloth covering. Just like one covers the Shabbos table and the Challot with a cloth cover.

    The sheitel is a recent invention based primarily on the woman's vanity. Prior to the 20th Century women covered their hair with scarves always, even the female goyim.

    It would be well for readers to do some research into this matter before sounding like empty barrels.

    Many "messages" from Shomayim come to us thru the non-Jews (because we have forgotten the laws and scoff at the suggestions).

  11. The torahs reference with covering hair has nothing to do with the hair being covered.It simply states "U parah et rosha".Literally translated he unbraided her braids.No mention of cloth,wig or anything else that we do today.The Amish sect women who are strong bible believers keep their hair in braids.

  12. I dont find this amusing at all. As the husband of someone who wears a shaitel, I have constantly been uncomfortable with the way a sheitel makes my wife look in public.

    And even though we do rely on the FEW opinions which permit sheitels (the majority DO NOT) are these anything like the sheitels that those MATTIRIM permitted???

    SO maybe the goy did know a thing or two....

  13. anonymous - you have made me curious. My wife does not wear a sheitel, by her own decision, but we have nothing against sheitels per se (some people are anti, we are not).

    I have no idea who you are and how you live your life, but based on the little you wrote I deducted (perhaps incorrectly) that you are probably fairly "lechatchila" and machmir in most things you do, living a mostly mehadrin lifestyle, as far as being makpid on the mehadrin hechsherim, for example.
    That being my assumption, why is it, as you yourself say, that you are meikil on the sheitel, if you yourself consider it to be not as good. If you choose to live the best level of frumkeit possibel in other areas of your life, and you consider the sheitel to be a lenient position that you are not confortable with, why do you not do what you think is correct and have your wife stop wearing sheitels (of course she might not agree with you and maybe it is not worth fighting about, but my question is assuming she agrees with you or would listen to your concerns)?
    Just wondering.

  14. It seems, so i'm told, that if you want your daugter to get into the "proper" beis yaakov school that her mother has to wear a shaitel (and not a tichel).
    Go figure.

  15. Here is a quote from “Modesty - An Adornment for Life” by Rav Falk, page 248 - 5:D:4 - “A SHEITEL SO WELL MADE THAT IT IS BARELY DETECTABLE: (a) It should be immediately apparent that the hair is covered: In our day and age, it has become necessary to stress something which is of a most elementary nature. This is that it is totally incorrect and against the will of the Torah for a woman to wear a sheitel that has been manufactured to such perfection that to an onlooker (who does not know she is married) she appears to be an unmarried girl. As is well known, many custom-made sheitels are made to this level of undetectability.
    Wearing such a sheitel contravenes the commandment that a married woman must cover her hair, which the Poskim say is so that men other than her husband are not attracted to her when she is an eishes ish…It is therefore obvious that it should be immediately evident that she is wearing a sheitel, and that the chein which is apparent is due to a sheitel, not to her true hair. To circumvent and outwit this Torah obligation completely violates the spirit of the law and is forbidden.
    The following is written in Responsa Chesed L’Avraham…..loosely translated this means, ‘Since it is ossur to uncover hair because she thereby displays her beauty to people, what difference does it make whether she reveals her own hair or displays a wig which looks as if it were her own hair?’”

  16. I never really liked that argument. There is no issur to be pretty or beautiful.
    The issur is to have your hair exposed.

    Obviously anything you wear on your head, whether snood, tichel, sheitel, hat or anything else should be tzanua, just like your shirt should be tzanua, sdress, skirt, mens clothing and all that should be tzanua.
    If the sheitel is not tzanua, it is no better or worse than other clothing being not tzanua, but the hair is covered, just in a not-tzanua way.

    There is no issur to be beautiful (tzniyusly, of course), just the hair has to be covered.


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