Ultimately, we will follow the ruling of daas
In the meantime, though, the sweeping magnitude and vast
extent, the massive weight and intense volume of the current
sheitel shayla that has caused us to replace our
beloved wigs with tichlach, snoods and berets, has
also brought in its wake much discussion, evaluation and
There is something tremendous and indescribable about being
one among a staff of over two hundred teachers in a Bais
Yaakov high school who, without any prior discussion or
preplanning, all turn up in school one morning without their
usual and familiar headgear. All pangs of embarrassment (at
having to face smirking students and amused associates) are
quashed by the overwhelming sense of pride of being part of a
Kiddush Hashem of unprecedented proportions.
Throughout Geula, no less teeming than on any other Thursday
morning at the particular time I pass through daily, I
counted only five women wearing wigs (presumably synthetic or
otherwise permissible) among its crowd of Erev Shabbos
shoppers. A unique beauty is shared of being united in an
eternal mission, sharing a common Divine goal... of being
Hashem's representatives in this world, His emissaries
fulfilling the dictates of His Torah...
After all, how do we married women cover our hair to begin
with? Is it not a mitzva which requires a certain
degree of courage and mesirus neffesh to cover our
sleek black hairdo or our lovely golden tresses?
Perhaps at one time, the answer was `yes.' But if we are
honest with ourselves, today absolutely no such concept
exists. As young girls, we look forward to the day we can don
the hairstyle of our choice, the perfect color, desired
thickness and ultimate cut that suits us best.
The wig industry has developed and improved its wares to the
extent that the ever-so-natural looking sheitlach look
so much more glamorous than our hair could ever possibly have
hoped to look. The time-honored custom of wearing the wig has
been replaced by the tell-tale honor of wearing the
The tzniyus factor, which is the underlying core of
the commandment of hair-covering, is traded in for multi-
directional hair protruding from an all- natural-looking skin
top, perhaps leading some to think they are actually being
mehader in this mitzva which by Halacha simply
requires that one's hair be covered. The very idea that the
married woman's appearance, refined and put together as it
may be, must be downtoned to avoid alien beholdings etc., is
overlooked, if not completely ignored.
Then there is the issue of the cost. Recent years have
brought about a heretofore incomprehensible sum being spent
on a wig. It follows that the more particular we are about
achieving that perfect look (to keep up with society's
standards), the more we are prepared to spend to achieve that
look (again, in keeping with the standards of our
The astronomical figures parents, already burdened by the
cost of making a wedding and setting up house, must lay out
for their daughter to be a knockout, or that kollel husbands
must pinch and scrimp together in their otherwise selfless
pursuit of Torah learning in order to get their wives the
custom wig of their dreams, has reached a point which is most
ludicrous. (The absurdity of it brings to mind Abie
Rotenberg's song mocking exaggerated wedding expenditures,
ending with words, "for we are dealing with a crowd that's,
oh, so very proud... of how to keep the laws of modesty!").
Indeed, what are our values? How far has modern society
allowed us to fall?
The recent finds should hardly surprise us, as we ourselves
have made an avoda zora out of our sheitlach.
We worship the absolute, flawless, ultimate look, and we
sacrifice to that end nearly all that we have. Definitely
something worth thinking about.
As mentioned at the outset of this article, we will do as our
poskim tell us. In the meantime, I am quite
comfortable, cool, and content in my snood, in both a
physical and spiritual sense. The beauty of tzniyus
which shines through, the absence of ostentation apparent on
every woman we pass in the street -- this is beauty in its
After all, in Whose eyes do we seek to be beautiful?!