link: Wigs pose dilemma for religious Jewish women
By Megan Goldin Wed Jun 7, 12:38 PM ET
TEL AVIV (Reuters) -
To wear them or not to wear them?
That is the question for ultra-Orthodox Jewish women caught in a dilemma after the wigs that many of them wear to cover their hair under religious modesty regulations were found by rabbinical sages to violate Jewish law.
"It was a big scandal because they found out that the hair that was collected in India was used in rituals for idol worship," said Amir Zahavi, the manager of a wig factory on the edge of Tel Aviv.
Hindu rituals, such as those performed in the temples, are considered sacrilegious under strictly monotheistic Jewish law.
The hair used in such practices certainly can't be used to make wigs that ultra-Orthodox women wear under religious edicts that require all married Jewish women to cover their hair in public or when in the presence of men other than their husbands.
The problem arose about two years ago when Israeli rabbis discovered that hair cut from the heads of Hindu worshipers at Indian temples was being used to manufacture wigs worn by religious Jews.
The discovery about hair used in Hindu rituals caused pandemonium. Rabbinical experts went from wig factory to wig factory in Israel and abroad to ensure that wigs for the ultra-Orthodox market did not include hair from India.