Hi, I’ve been curious for a while but never knew who to ask. I’m worried if I ask a sheital macher that they will think this question is rude or judgemental. But I’m really only wonderig for myself, I am not judging someone else who wears a sheital.
The thing is I’d love to get a sheital but I’ve heard most wigs are made from sources of avodah zara. There’s actually a pretty well known youtube video by Refinery 29 on it (https://youtu.be/VlZ1SWLBfPE).
Where can one find a sheital that is actually 100% kosher? I’ve seen ones that say “kosher” but obviously there is no Rabbi (or anyone) overseeing it.
Thank you so much for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
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Many sheitels are fully acceptable for use. Practically speaking, we would recommend that you begin by asking your Rav about his halachic position on the issue and under what conditions he would or would not be concerned about sheitel use. You should then not hesitate to speak directly with sheitel machers about the source or supervision for the wigs that they sell, as necessary. They field these questions frequently as part of their business, and a God-fearing sheitel macher should be trusted to answer honestly.
To provide a little more background on the ongoing controversy over sheitels and avoda zara, here is a collection of links. A central question in the sheitel controversy is whether cutting hair in certain Hindu temple ceremonies is meant as an act of submission, with the hair at most a donation to the Temple, or as an outright act of worship, with the hair serving as an offering.
While it is widely acknowledged that some subset of Hindu pilgrims view the cutting as an act of worship, and see the hair cut as an offering to the gods, this seems to contradict official Hindu doctrine.
Whether the hair has the definite status of an offering, tikrovet avoda zara, doubtful status, or no status of an offering remains subject to debate. Its status is critical, since it is prohibited to derive any benefit from tikrovet avoda zara and tikrovet avoda zara cannot be nullified. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 139 for a discussion of tikrovet avoda zara.
If the hair from these rituals were definitely considered tikrovet avoda zara, then it would be prohibited to derive any benefit from it, even as filler in a wig. If the status of hair from these rituals were to be in doubt, then there could be grounds for leniency, especially regarding wigs not certain to contain such hair. If this hair were clearly not considered an offering, then wigs made of it would be fully permissible for use.
See more Q&A here.
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