May 1, 2004 | Issue 11

Chief Rabbi: Wigs Out

article pic NEW YORK, NY — [] A crisis has erupted in Orthodox Jewish communities around the world. On Tuesday, the Chumradika Rav paskened against the use of shaitels that contain hair from India.

The ruckus started when someone let it slip to the rabbi that many shaitels are made from Indian hair. According to eyewitnesses, the rabbi asked, "Red dots or feathers?" When informed that it was from the country of India, he banned the use of the hair since it was supporting Muslims, who are terrorists. When informed that India is not a Muslim country, and that the hair was from Hindus, he banned it for being used in polytheistic rituals. His decree said, in part:

"In our struggle to oppress women, head-shaving was a tremendous advance, but the gains were mitigated by the insidious shaitel movement. The news that Indian hair is used in a non-Judeo-Christian-Muslim ritual makes a perfect pretext for banning shaitels. It was with great difficulty that we managed to keep our wifes cooped up by quashing the Brooklyn Eruv. With the help of God, someone will find that all Shabbos robes are shatnez, and we can promote burkhas."

The decree was immediately implemented by his followers. In Israel, piles of wigs were burned in bonfires. One man, praised for his zrizus, burned the offending wig while it was still on his wife's head.

The suddenness of the pronouncement created a major vacuum in the head-covering market that is still struggling to be filled. Preferred replacements, such as snoods and synthetics, sold out within minutes, leaving women scrambling to find alternatives. The circus resulting from the mad scramble caused a crisis in the actual circus. The sudden surge in demand for shaitel replacements caught the clown community by surprise as the supply of clown wigs was diverted to Jewish communities.

Wigs R Us, a Boro Park shaitel store, was packed with shoppers hoping to find something for Shabbos. "It's not that bad," said Yenta Folga, comforting her daughter-in-law, who was trying on her first clown wig. "The purple really brings out your eyes."

Still, it's not all good news. The rush for replacements has caused some friction. Shprintza Kuchfellel, the owner and head shaitelmacher, was forced to call the police when Bumpy Giggles, a local clown, started a loud argument in her store. "He wanted to buy a wig, but I have to give priority to desperate women," she said.


Pencil Mordy Ovits is a network security engineer employed at a major financial services company. You don't need Mordy's email address. Just send yourself the message; he's already hacked your ISP's mail spool and has been reading your email for years.


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