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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities


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Many women may not agree with you — I know how most of them feel about the issue, even as singles. And their “Bais Yaakov” education doesn’t do anything to help; they come out thinking they know best, yet have very little self-esteem. (They often mistake their self-regard for great self-esteem… what a shame!)

A single frum male   Dear Rachel,

I’ve always worn a sheitel in a low-key style, and to be honest I’m one of those who could never see myself going out with anything but “hair” on my head. So you can imagine that I really appreciated the open and honest way you approached the subject in your reply to the tichel-wearing LA girl.

I would also like to thank Rabbi Gil Student for going to the trouble of commenting at length on the column (Letters to the Editor 10-14-2011). His detailed explanation on the married woman’s head covering, as defined and decided by highly regarded halachic authorities, was something I needed to hear. I’m the type who appreciates black and white explanations and will save a copy of that letter for future reference.

A Middle-Aged Grandma


Dear Rachel,

I was very surprised at the generalizations you made in your reply to the LA tichel wearer. You made it seem like only the tichel wearer is capable of understanding the transient nature of this world, as learned from the sukkah. It is interesting to note that Chazal tell us that one should decorate one’s sukkah, make it beautiful and bring into it all of his finest possessions.

I still can’t get over the recent tremendous loss of our dear Rebbetzin Kanievsky. The reason I mention her is that in her house EVERYONE was welcome and everyone came — women in hats, tichels, wigs, and even women without a head covering.

Rebbetzin Kanievsky accepted everyone, listened to everyone and gave everyone chizuk and a bracha. It would be an incredible aliyah for her neshama if we would try to do the same and not be so judgmental. Let’s leave the judging to the Judge of all Judges; it is for Him to decide the sincerity of each individual, whether she be a tichel or sheitel wearer, or is bareheaded. Who are we, who only see the exterior of an individual, to decide – based on what is on one’s head – how sincere or religious a person is? That to me seems like a great miscarriage of justice.

I am sorry that LA girl had a bad experience during her return to Yiddishkeit, but that does not give her or anyone the right to label all of the beautiful sheitel wearers as not as sincere as she is.

As Hashem admonished Shmuel HaNavi:

Man sees with his eyes but Hashem sees the heart.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

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