The Rebbe Urged Sheitel Hair Cover
I am disappointed that a chassid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe was not asked to contribute to “Word Prompt” about the word sheitel in November 3rd’s issue. The Rebbe encouraged the sheitel, beginning at the time of his leadership (1950), as the ideal way for a Jewish woman to fulfill the mitzvah of kisui rosh. I wish I could have included the recently published book, Holy Intimacy, by Sara Morozow and Rivkah Slonim, as a resource in my memoir, God Said What?! My Orthodox Life, as they explain in beautiful detail the halachic and Kabbalistic reasons regarding the sacred mitzvah of married women covering their hair as well as the Rebbe’s emphasis on a sheitel being optimal.
In terms of halacha, Morozow and Slonim share the opinions of Shiltei Giborim and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in regard to the permission of wigs as hair coverings.
When the Rebbe would serve as mesader kiddushin at weddings (1950-1960) it was with the condition that the kallah would commit to wearing a sheitel. The Rebbe even went so far as helping to pay for these sheitels with an emphasis on the couple purchasing the most beautiful ones available.
Miriam Racquel Feldman
Unreported Facts About Hamas
There was never an independent nation or country called Palestine. The British conquered the land from the Turks during World War I and controlled it after the war until the United Nations divided it in 1948. The UN voted to divide the land into three parts, one for the Arabs, one for the Jews, and the area around Jerusalem that nobody owned. The Jews agreed, and the Arabs disagreed and tried to take the whole territory but were unsuccessful. There were always both Jews and Arabs living there.
Additionally, as it applies to the current war, Hamas terrorists hide behind civilians, including children, and have done so for years. Schools, nurseries, hospitals, kindergartens and playgrounds seem to be their selected choice locations. Recently it was revealed in an Israeli interrogation video that the main headquarters of Hamas in Gaza was under the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. This is the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas personnel also block Gazan residents from fleeing the war zone in northern Gaza to reach safety south of Gaza. Hamas members set up roadblocks, and refugees who ignore the roadblocks are often shot to death. However, the biased news media rarely mention this. The media also ignore the fact that dead Gazan civilians give Hamas points in the propaganda war and Hamas treasures those points.
Ticking Time Bomb
Many people recall the importance of Jewish immigration into the United States in the past. But those were different times, and the open border situation today is very different. In those days, immigrants arrived orderly and legally; they were documented, vetted, examined, and had specific destinations before being allowed to enter. Most of today’s immigrants are illegal and storm the border in waves –unvetted, unexamined, and with no specific destination on record. Their sheer numbers are overwhelming the ability of many major cities, both North and South, to absorb them, and threaten to make these cities virtually uninhabitable.
Even worse, another major red flag today can be seen from the situation in Israel today, where hordes of Hamas terrorists crashed the Gaza border and committed unspeakable acts of savagery and brutality on the civilian populations in the area. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to picture hordes of terrorists infiltrating the U.S. southern border amongst the millions of other illegal immigrants, and spreading out into the American heartland to form sleeper cells. Continue to imagine the havoc those terrorists, armed with easily obtainable automatic rifles and explosive materials, can cause to Jews and Americans. Remember when just one pair of snipers in 2002 killed 17 people and almost paralyzed the entire Eastern seaboard between New York and Washington.
Administration officials have no accurate account of how many terrorists may now be infiltrating our southern border, and I fear that America is going to pay a heavy price for its open border policy.
Highland Park, N.J.
Campus Ethical Drift
We are learning that the Supreme Court didn’t go far enough in tidying up our colleges when it derailed racial preferences in admissions. Many schools still hire faculty and administrators based on another form of affirmative action: far left-leaning ideology. These ideologues then “educate” students while applying that bias. We are seeing the result as faculty members and students in various colleges applaud Hamas’s heinous acts.
The courts aren’t responsible for righting colleges’ left-listing hiring practices, but the court of public opinion, which includes university donors, can and should pursue such efforts.
According to a Gallup survey published in July, public confidence in the usefulness of a college education has been in something of a free fall for most of the past decade. In 2015, 57 percent of Americans expressed a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education. Today, that’s down to 36 percent.
Moreover, trust in college has fallen broadly. It’s down among men and women, among Democrats and Republicans, and among people with and without a college degree. The cost of attending college, which rose by 169 percent between 1980 and 2020, according to a Georgetown study, surely is a major factor in this trend. But so are radical campus politics, such as those displayed at some of our most prestigious institutions of learning since Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel earlier this month.
The Israeli civilians who were abducted, tortured and killed – including women, children and senior citizens – weren’t bystanders caught in the crossfire. They were the intended targets. Entire families were executed in their homes. NBC News reported that documents recovered from the bodies of terrorists mapped the locations of elementary schools and youth centers and instructed the gunmen to “kill as many as possible” and “capture hostages.” Denouncing the perpetrators of these wicked acts shouldn’t be difficult, yet the response on too many campuses has been to fault Israel for the atrocities or to equivocate.
A coalition of more than 30 left-wing student groups at Harvard issued an open letter stating that the Israeli “regime” was “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” It has taken Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, three tries (and counting) to issue a statement distancing the administration from the letter and making it clear that the university condemns the terrorist attacks. Worse, Ms. Gay acted only after being pressured to do so by former Harvard president Larry Summers and some of the school’s biggest donors.
If your school is so ethically adrift that it needs to emphasize its position on antisemitism, something is very wrong. And if Americans increasingly are hesitant to leave impressionable youths in the care of institutions run by people who have trouble rebuking openly genocidal terror campaigns, who can blame them?
Hamas has never hidden its intentions. It is an Islamist organization dedicated to eradicating Israel by killing the Jewish people who live there. Hamas isn’t interested in a “two-state solution” or any other compromise. Its objective, stated explicitly in its founding documents, is the annihilation of the Jewish state. Period.
Academia has been an incubator of leftist causes going back at least as far as the 1960s. Since that time, however, double standards have proliferated in admissions and faculty hiring. Ideology has become more important than scholarship, and political correctness dominates decision-making to the point that calling an act of terror an act of terror is to risk upsetting significant numbers of students and faculty. Many administrators are captive to those on campus who believe that higher education is about indoctrination and thought control rather than open inquiry, civil engagement and the rational examination of competing viewpoints.
The old joke among college presidents is that A students become their professors, while C students become their donors. We’re starting to see some donors throw their weight around. Let’s hope it continues.
Oak Park, Calif.