Rabbenu HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv shlita recently
related his opinion and pain regarding the inadequate degree
of modesty many of today's shaitels afford, saying ladies who
wear such wigs fall below the obligation referred to by
Chazal as "Das Yehudis." He also noted that many of today's
shaitels do not look like wigs at all, in which case they are
certainly forbidden to wear.
Jewish communities around the world have been buttressing the
walls of kedushoh and tznius, both in terms of
clothing and wigs in response to appeals by gedolei
Yisroel shlita reiterating the obligation to improve the
current state of affairs in these areas and to guard against
breaches, particularly in light of the terrible tragedies
that have been visited on Am Yisroel both in Eretz Hakodesh
and in the Diaspora.
Many inquiries have been directed recently to the Mishmar
HaTorah Beis Din, which runs a special hotline for questions
regarding modesty and shaitels, and heightened interest in
tznius is also apparent in the high demand for more
chizuk gatherings for women with programs that include
gedolei Yisroel, rabbonim and prominent educators. To
reach the beis din call 057-3144535 or write to, fax
02- 5856376 or, PO Box 57768, Jerusalem.
In his regular gemora class, which recently touched on
a sugyo in maseches Shabbos related to shaitels, Maran
HaRav Eliashiv shlita expressed his opinion and pain
over the serious decline in the standards of today's
shaitels. He said today many shaitels show no indication they
are a head covering rather than the woman's actual hair.
Maran noted that although many leading poskim permit
shaitels (see Pri Megadim, O.C. 75, Eshel Avrohom 5 and
Mishnah Berurah 15) clearly they never intended to permit
shaitels that cannot be discerned to be wigs.
In response to inquiries Maran said to clarify the details of
what is permitted and what is not a tznius beis din
has been set up and anyone with doubts should consult the
beis din to receive a reliable halachic response.
Forty years ago gedolei Yisroel zt"l vylct"a issued a
notice on the issue of shaitels: "Since as a result of our
many sins there has been a breach of late, leading married
women to wear wigs that resemble actual hair of different
types that our forefathers never imagined could look so much
like uncovered hair chas vesholom, we hereby feel
obligated to make known the position of our holy Torah is
that this is absolutely prohibited, for even in regions where
it was customary to permit wigs, such wigs were never even
under consideration. One aveiroh leads to another, and
there is no permission to wear such wigs."
In Tammuz 5750 (1990) a notice was published, reading, "A
plea to Jewish women to restore the garland of splendor to
the head of the bas melech and to make sure to wear
HaRav Eliashiv's remarks have had a widespread impact as
apparent in the many inquiries brought before Mishmar HaTorah
as well as requests to organize chizuk gatherings.