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  • Family and Society
  • Head Covering

Sheitels

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Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Tevet 8, 5782
Question
I was walking in the street in Israel and this lady comes over to my wife and tells her that her sheitel is good for wearing at home. My wife asked her to explain and she said that her sheitel is long and beautiful and will cause men to look at her and the torah says not to place a stumbling block before the blind. Is what she said correct? If yes than how come so many Rebbetzins wear these sheitels?
Answer
Modesty dress code tends to be a very sensitive subject in religious communities. Especially since many communities from different parts of the world who have different customs and sensitivities came together and are living among each other. One cannot give a specific answer to your question without knowing your wife and the lady who came over to her. I will therefore only point out general facts and guidelines. Married women covering their hair with a wig of any kind has been in a disagreement among great Halachic authorities for generations. Therefore, both sides, the ones who wear wigs, and the ones who are opposed to it, have who to rely on. As far as modesty of the wig, length, style etc. The guidelines are similar to other parts of women’s dress code. Anything which is extremely outstanding, whether it is objectively loud, eye attracting or provocative or because it is locally not acceptable to be worn, is not modest. The Gemara in Taanis 23 teaches us that a wife should dress attractively for her husband, by telling us the famous story about Abba Chilkia’s wife who used to dress attractively in order to greet her husband when he came home from the field. A woman should dress in a nice respectable manner in public, and can dress attractively but modest for her husband even in public.
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