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In some cultures and traditions implied in some of the Jewish communities. There is a custom that every woman of these Jewish communities must wear a wig, hat or any head coverings after the celebration of their marriage. Married women prefer to wear different forms of head coverings such as scarves, hats, and wigs. Jewish wigs are commonly known in the word sheitels that can be read as SHAYtulls that features several hair lengths. Many Jewish women usually wear their head coverings when they will attend or pray for the synagogue, but other women reject this custom. If you are asking about the basis of this Jewish custom, and the social and legal reasons for implying this custom, then you are reading the answer for all of your questions. If you want to gain some ideas about the Jewish wigs or the sheitels, keep on reading this article and enjoy!
What is the History of this Jewish Custom?
The Sotah ritual is the origin of this custom. The Sotah ritual is a kind of ceremony that will test the obedience of a Jewish woman that was filed a case of adultery. In the ancient history of Jewish, the other priests at that time will unbraid or uncover the hair of the accused woman as one of the different parts of the embarrassments that come before the ceremony. You can read this in the Hebrew Bible in Numbers 5:18. Through this, the Talmud concluded that under the normal conditions, hair covering is a custom that is considered as one of the biblical requirements for Jewish women.
According to the Mishnah, written in Ketuboth 7:6, shows that it is not an obligation in the biblical origin to cover the hair of the Jewish women. Covering the hair of a Jewish woman will just show the divorce grounds just like talking to any other man, weaving in the marketplace and public appearance with loose hair. These violations of divorce grounds are being called as the Dat Yehudit, which has the meaning of the Jewish rule that differs from the term Dat Moshe, which has the meaning of Mosaic rule. With this type of categorization, it suggests that covering the hair of a Jewish woman is not an absolute obligation that originates from Sinai and Moses, but it is rather a modesty standard that was explained by the communities of Jewish people.
It was suggested first that it is a biblical requirement for Jewish women to cover their hair with some hair coverings such as scarves, wigs, and hats. This custom is derived from the Sotah ritual as stated earlier. And the Talmud teachings stated that it is only one of the products created by the communal norms. And according to the Ketuboth 72, they claim that covering the hair of a Jewish woman is a biblical requirement, but the community will determine when the right time and how you will cover your hair.
In Berakhot 24a that you can read in the Book of Talmud, you can see that some of the rabbis explain that the word “Hair” is similar to the word ervah, which is a sexually erotic part of the body. Jewish men are also prohibited from looking in the hair of a Jewish woman while praying. From the Songs of Songs 4:1, the rabbis get this theory in verse saying, “Your hair is like a flock of goats,” which means that the hair is a sensual nature of the body. However, it will always be important for you to know that this verse out of several biblical verses, also require you to praise the face of your female spouse, which is said by the rabbis that Jewish women will not necessarily need to cover their faces as well.
But some people disagree with this theory. Mordecai or Mordecai Ben Hillel Hakohen is the German commentator during the medieval era, defines that all of these theories for the rabbinic modesty, even though all of these came from some of the verses in the Bible, are just all based on communal norms that are subjective. Thus it might be changed anytime.
According to the history of Jewish people, almost all of the female Jews during that time would like to use hair coverings such as wig, hats, and scarves that will hide their hair, all of these anecdotes can be read in some rabbinic works of literature. For instance, you can see in Bava Kama (90a) that has a written anecdote that talks about a female who filed a civil case against the man that leads her to be seen by the public with an uncover hair. The judge of the court gave his side to the woman because the judge thinks that the man is the real cause to violate the custom of the Jewish woman tradition. Another type of anecdote that is written in the Book of Talmud, also define a woman that have seven sons that became High Priests. And according to Yoma 47a, that woman explained about how she takes care of his seven sons all by herself, and she said that even the curtains on their home never had the chance to look at her hair.
Why Do Married Women Wear Hair Coverings?
It is never intended for a married woman to look not that pretty through wearing any form of head coverings. We all know that all women in this world are beautiful. And in the traditions and cultures of Jewish people will encourage both females and males to take good care about their physical look to look more elegant and presentable. This culture will encourage modesty as well. Not because it will just detract a woman or man’s beauty, but it will take a good care about your attractiveness and beauty to remain safe from the instances, it might encounter. All of these traditions can be done after the marriage of a Jewish couple.
“I am not available. You can see me, but I am not open to the public. Even my hair, the most obvious and visible part of me, is not for your eyes,” that is the exact statement of a Jewish married woman who covered her hair as long as she wants.
To sum it up, the Jewish wigs or any other head coverings are being worn by Jewish people, particularly the female Jews to hide their hairs. The wigs of a female Jewish will serve as the wall between her and stranger. She still had the beauty she possesses since she was born until the time when she already married. She wears head coverings such as wig to enhance her beauty but will always remain inconspicuous.