26 May 2009

Irony...A very serious issue

Rabbi Pinchas Winston has written a superb shiur on Parshas Nasso, Why Cover Your Hair? that relates 'perah' (wild), 'pharah' 'peruah' uncovered, and 'parah' restrained (or unrestrained), and 'Paroah' "the very symbol of immorality and sensual living from which the Jewish People were to resist and flee!"  

* * * * *

Let me take his analogy a bit further (based on a personal viewpoint):


'Irony' and its definition -

* an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

* the incongruity of this.

* an objectively sardonic style


'Pereh' is also used to describe Yishmael (pere adam, a wild creation) and his descendants, which includes that less than human clan residing in Aza.


Perhaps we could connect the 'wildness' of the 'perah' with the brazenness (going uncovered peruah’) of married Jewish women not covering 'pharah'  their hair?   


And maybe there could be a further connection between 'peah', using foreign hair to cover one's own hair, which davka ends up looking like one's own hair, or better or much better, and 'perah' - wildness, which gives rise to sensual living and thus the immorality of 'paroah'?  Rabbi Winston in discussing Western society, elucidates how hair can symbolize sensuous living, narcissist behavior, and brings there a discussion from the Talmud.


[And contrary to what some may say, the teichel "was in use until Russian laws made it illegal for women to wear, enforced with great cruelty; it was these wicked laws which resulted in many women in Russia and Russian Poland to stop covering their hair." (Yerushalayim). And hence the phenomen of Rabbis’ wives when they arrived in America from Europe, wearing no head coverning].  An outward sign of a frum man is first and foremost his head covering, and then (depending where he resides) his tzitzis, tefillin, and on Shabbos his talis. Is there less of a distinction for women?


Contrary to some commentary, the softness of a scarf, worn properly with an undercover, creates a majestic appearance, and allows the head to be clear of hautiness, and more receptive to divine understanding, 'bina'.  It is not the way of the modest Jewish woman to appear as if she is wearing her own hair, or mistaken for being uncovered altogether. It is her spiritual and halachic responsbility to do this properly. Western society has made “individual freedom” and the expression thereof (carried to great lengths) into an ‘idol’ of accumulation and gashmius (which includes designer this and that). It matters most delicately that men not be drawn to gaze at a woman. All learned men know this (Avoda Zarah 20a and Devarim 23:10).  [Even Rav Winston alluded to this in his shiur.] 


With that 'perah' on your head, you cannot possibly think rationally and resist the notion or suggestion that you just may be creating spiritual havoc among Klal Yisrael. Because of the sheitel, you are not able to connect your head (bina) to your body, covering your hair with hair that blinds your eyes from seeing your own brazenness in exposing your body in clingy tight material that shows every nook and cranny, even during pregnancy. What fashion will be invented next, to immitate your sisters, blinded to the downward spiral of fashion's pritzus.  [ed. In no way does Rabbi Winston make a distinction of the type of covering. He even invites questions of clarification.]


Midrash Rabba says "R’ Joshua of Siknin said in R’ Levi’s name: Vayiven is written, signifying that He considered well from what part to create ‘her’ … from the modest part of man, for even when he stands [unclothed] that part is covered. And as He created each limb He ordered her, ‘be a modest woman’.  G-d said to each limb of Chava 'be tznius' - to each limb." (Midrash Rabba, Bereshis XVIII 2).


“Vayiven” as Rabbi Winston explains, "is also in common with the word “bina” (understanding), referring to the woman’s extra intuitive understanding, which is particularly endowed at her marriage to man. She gains this extra insight … intricately dependent upon her covering her hair."  There are coverings and there are coverings; intuitive understanding would lend itself to a ‘cover’ and not another layer of hair atop her own hair. A ‘sheitel’ is the antithesis and contradistinction to the spiritual intent of a Jewish woman covering her hair. It is just plain counter-intuitive!


Contrary to what some may say, there is a prevailing custom for women to cover their hair with a simple cloth cover (going back to Talmudic times and earlier as the parsha of the Sotah clearly shows). This was in effect for thousands of years, until the vicious antisemitism of the turn of the century. Western society, since the two world wars, has become an antithesis to modesty.


As the Rabbi states further on in his shiur, “there is a concept that, although the same mitzvos apply in all generations … some prove to be more of a test for one generation than for other generations. ‘Eretz Yisroel’ and ‘hair covering’ are proving to be tests of Jewish spirituality specifically in this post-way, glamour-oriented generation.”


Women, wake up, open your eyes, take off the sheitel, replace it with a modest covering, allow your 'bina yeseira' to breathe and guide you on the correct path, do not be pulled by 'designer fashion' or 'they're all wearing them' or 'I want to look pretty'. You should want to look like a bas Yisroel of Sarah Imeinu, Rochel Imeinu, and grow in Holiness, as Hashem has asked us, Sefer Vayikra, Parshas Kedoshim:


"Hashem spoke to Moses, saying: 

Speak to the entire assembly of the 

Children of Israel and say to them: 

You shall be holy, for holy am I, 

Hashem, your G-d."


*  *  *  *  *


Here's another strange ironic twist we might take as a 'siman'.


The sub-humans (pere adam) kidnap young Jewish girls into marriage (and have been doing this over 20 or more years), make as many babies as they possibly can, and then raise those babies to be Shahids, to martyr themselves by killing Israelis. Isn't this a sordid twist of the imagination. [I heard this first-person account with my own ears at a presentation by Yad L'Achim]


Well maybe from this we can extrapolate a message that we Jews need to be more forgiving, understanding, and kind to our fellow Jews no matter at what level of frumkeit we find them. Instead of condemning them, reach out and share something beautiful about Shabbat, or even invite a not-yet observant Israeli to spend Shabbat with you and your family!


As the nations of the world spin their twisted anti-semitism into a rabid nuclear foaming storm, bent on irrational chaos, we Jews need to take history and bend it benevolently toward Hashem with the ways of pleasantness taught by our Torah, and save the world from destruction.


6 comments:

miriam said...

A simply beautiful piece! We have recently begun taking in birthright people for Shabbat. I hope I have the courage to do more.

Neshama said...

May Hashem Bless you Miriam, and keep doing Mitzvos, it is the only currency worth having.

Deborah Shaya said...

The Halachah has been MISinterpreted. It is not being interpreted correctly, and the Torah is being Twisted.
The true interpretation of the Halachah is as follows:

• A married woman is required to cover her hair when she lights the candles to welcome in Shabbat and Yom Tov – lechavod Shabbat ve Yom Tov - and when she goes to the Synagogue, because that is the place of Kedusha.

The Halacha does not require anything more from married women.

Rabbi Menachem Schneeersohn tz”l, was unfortunately wrong in this instance. He gave the directive that a married woman must cover her head with a “sheitel.” This needs to be corrected.Rabbi Schneersohn a"h, was a Tzaddik, – but on this – he was, unfortunately not correct.

To any man who is reading this, imagine that it is you who has to wear this wig/hat - for the rest of your life - especially in a Heat Wave.

If it is beyond your imagination to imagine wearing a wig/hat constantly and in a Heat Wave, I will make a similar demand upon you. This will take you back 500 years to the age of Louis XIV and the fashion item that non-Jewish men used to wear called, "la perruque."

Furthermore, I will call it "Halacha," and I will give you pages of sources that have all twisted the Torah, and MISinterpreted the Halacha.

If you, as an intelligent Jewish man, are telling a woman to cover her own hair with hair - that belonged to someone else, I will tell you to do the following:

1. If you ever speak to a woman, or your wife, make sure you cover up all of your face.

2. And make sure you are wearing long white stockings, even in the summer; a fur streimel; a long beard; a black hat and black coat all the time in all seasons.

Use the spark of Kedusha that Hashem has given to you.

Remember that the Jewish women are very, very holy. They are much more holy than the men. The women never sinned at the Eigel, and so are greatly elevated. It was the men who ran after a calf made out of a lump of gold - after they had just been given the Torah and seen the greatest of all Revelations. The women refused to give their gold for the avodah zarah of the men. And therefore, the women are not even required to pray. They did not forget Hashem in 2 seconds like the men did. Nor do the women have to make up a minyan. They can pray on their own. That is how holy the Jewish women are.

The men are telling the women to put the hair of a non-Jewish woman who may have eaten things like snakes and sharks and alligators, and has prayed in churches, Buddist temples or Hindu temples : on their own Heads. They had better wake up.

If the men don't want to wake up to the truth, and the true interpretation of the Halacha, the women will wake them up - whether they like it or not.

Deborah Shaya said...

I am writing to inform you that there is No codified Halacha that a married woman must cover her hair totally and constantly whenever she steps out of her house.

The Halachah has been MISinterpreted.The true interpretation of the Halachah is as follows:

A married woman is required to cover her hair when she lights the candles to welcome in Shabbat and Yom Tov – lechavod Shabbat ve Yom Tov - and when she goes to the Synagogue, because that is the place of Kedusha.

The Halacha does not require anything more from married women.

This misinterpretation of the Torah is completely Assur, and a TWISTING of the Torah.The Torah must remain straight.

In ancient times, a woman would only cover her hair upon entering the Beit Hamikdash. Similarly for the Sotah-otherwise she would not be required to cover her hair ordinarily, day to day.

It is very important for people to know and realise that when a married woman covers her hair with 'Real Hair' the woman is covering herself with 100% Tumah. This is totally against the Torah.

Nothing could be more nonsensical than for a Jewish woman to cover her hair with someone else's hair -who was not Jewish as well! She can never fully be sure that this 'hair' has not come from meitim-despite any guarantee by the seller. This 'real hair' is doubly and in some circumstances, triply Tumah.

1.It will contain the leftover dead hair cells from another person - however much it has been treated, the tumah is still there.

2.This other person (likely to be a non-Jew who most likely was involved in some kind of Avodah Zarah) may have eaten bacon, ham, lobster etc, all of which are totally forbidden as unclean and non-kosher foods in Halacha.

3.If the woman happens to be the wife of a COHEN, then she is bringing her husband into close contact and proximity with meitim and Tumah Every day, and throughout their married life. This is clearly strictly against the Torah.

There is nothing more degrading and demeaning to a woman than to make her cover her hair For Life upon marriage.It is an abhorrent practice.

It is extremely unhealthy and unhygienic for a woman to cover her hair constantly. The hair needs oxygen to breathe. A woman's hair will lose its natural beauty and shine, she may have scalp problems, some of her hair may fall out, she may get headaches, and she may end up cutting it short like a man, when she always wore it long, in order not to have too much discomfort from her hair covering.

Do you think that HaKadosh Baruch Hu commanded this of women? I can assure you that He did not.The commmandments are not meant to cause so much repression and oppression in women. Was Chava created with a wig? Of course not! Did she start wearing a wig? Of course not!

Not a single “dayan” or “rabbi” has the slightest bit of interest in correcting the situation for the women. Therefore, the women will have to correct the situation for themselves.

Whether you wish to accept the correction–which is true–is up to you. Are you going to live by the truth? Are you going to use the spark of intelligence that Hashem gave to you and all women? Or are you going to follow "rabbis" and "dayanim" who tell you to wear a wig in a Heat Wave–and you thank them for it as well?

Please Wake Up.

And use the spark of intelligence that Hakadosh Baruch Hu gave to you and blessed you with.

And give your wig back to your husband if you wear one.

Deborah Shaya said...

1. To all the women who are wondering about the sources:

We have all been created, "Betselem Elokim" - "in the image of Elokim."

This means that we have been given something called "intelligence." The source is the very first Parsha, Bereishit - 1:27.

It is time that people use the spark of intelligence and Kedusha with which Hashem has blessed them.

If your rabbi will tell you to go and jump into the depths of a glacier, would you do that too – and give me a source for it?

“According to the Zohar”, I should also be covering my hair with a wig when I have a bath. “According to the Zohar and the Gemara” and all the sources that have misinterpreted the Halachah, and MIStranslated the Zohar, I should also have been born with a WIG on my head.

Those who tell me about their sources which are incorrect, should also tell me about these “translations” and these “sources.”

2.Remember that the Jewish women are very, very holy. They are much more holy than the men. Look at the exemplary behaviour of the women at Har Sinai.

The women never sinned at the Eigel, and so are greatly elevated. Many of the men, unfortunately, ran after a calf made out of a lump of gold – after they had just been given the Torah, and seen the greatest of all Revelations. The women refused to give their gold for the avodah zarah of the men.

The women were greatly elevated after such a wonderful display of Emunah, and they are regarded very highly in Shamayim.

That is why women are not even required to pray. They can pray at home on their own. Nor do women have to make up a minyan. That is how holy the Jewish women are. Men have to pray 3 times a day to remind them of their Creator.

The men are telling the women to put the hair of a non-Jewish woman who may have eaten things like snakes and sharks and alligators, and has prayed in churches, Buddist temples or Hindu temples : on their own Heads. They had better wake up.

If the men don’t want to wake up to the truth, and the true interpretation of the Halacha, the women will wake them up – whether they like it or not.

3. Look at the Jewish women in history, and remember how holy they are.

(a) Yaakov, who was the greatest of the Avot, came to marry the 2 daughters of Lavan, Rachel and Leah. Lavan was not exactly a tzaddik. Yaakov went to Lavan, of all people, to marry his 2 daughters – not 1 daughter, but his 2 daughters. Nothing could be greater than that.

(b) Rut, who came from Moav, became the ancestor of David Hamelech.

(c ) Batya, the daughter of Paroh, was given eternal life because she rescued Moshe from the river. No one could have been more evil than Paroh.

(d) Devorah, was a Neviah, and also a Judge.

Women, who came from such adverse backgrounds, with wicked fathers – were able to become builders of Am Yisrael. That is how holy the women are, and how much more elevated they are than the men.

This was never the case with men. It never happened the other way round.

Don't tell me it is holy for me to wear a WIG! Hair over my hair. This is ridiculous!

Please Wake Up.

Use the spark of intelligence that Hakadosh Baruch Hu gave to you and blessed you with.

And give your wig back to your husband if you wear one.

4. Remember: Not a single “dayan” or “rabbi” has the slightest bit of interest in correcting the situation for the women. Therefore, the women will have to correct the situation for

themselves.

Whether you wish to accept the correction–which is true–is up to you. Are you going to live by the truth? Are you going to use the spark of intelligence that Hashem gave to you and all women? Or are you going to follow rabbis and dayanim who tell you to wear a wig in a Heat Wave–and you thank them for it as well?

William Dwek said...

The next things the bloody "rabbis" will come up with is to tell the woman to wear a CARPET on her head. Not a sheitel AND a hat, but a Carpet. Or you could go for 5 shaitels on your heads and a rug.

And do you know what the Jewish woman will say to her husband?
"Yes, husband! I am now wearing a carpet on my head!"

You women must either be extremely thick, or petrified.