Thursday, November 7, 2013

Modest or Too Sexy? Los Angeles Jewish Community Debates Merits of Beautiful Wigs


There are a number of reasons women wear wigs: medical reasons, celebrities want sexy hair, and some Jewish Orthodox women want to remain modest. But what happens when the wigs they choose to wear are just too long, too wild, and too sexy? 

Israeli Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi of Kfar Chabad entered the debate in February by saying that long-haired wigs are not proper head coverings because they look too much like a woman's real hair, or better.

Rabbi Ashkenazi wrote that “Rabonim, and chiefly the Rebbe, preferred that women cover their hair with a wig and not with a tichel (head scarf) since the wig will cover the entire head along with the hair on the sides.” He added that it's obvious that this should be noticed as a ‘foreign’ covering and not like natural hair.

In his letter, which drew many comments, pro and con, he said that “long and wild wigs, even more so when they are made of real hair whose purpose is to look like real and natural hair, cannot be considered as a proper hair coverings by a wig.” He asked the administration of his seminary to only allow wigs that fall till the shoulders and not any longer.

Those are exactly the kind of wigs worn by Chava Tombosky in Los Angeles, who began wearing a wig after getting married, as is custom. She's a mother of three and a popular Jewish musician.

Most long wigs constructed with real hair cost more than a thousand dollars and many are designed to turn heads.

JN1, the global Jewish-interest news channel, joined the debate by showing examples of the wigs and interviewing Tombosky and Geula Newman, a Jewish head covering expert. 

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