There’s a lot of talk about tichels versus sheitals happening lately, and Wrapunzel seems to be brought up a lot in this debate. Here is what we have to say about it! (Scroll down for a written transcript.)
(Btw I made a mistake with the job titles in this video-oops! Yedida is our On-Site Coordinator. Naomi Rose is our Director of Operations!)
Here is a transcript of what I said in the video – thank you Tamar Adina for transcribing this!!
I want to speak to you a little bit about tichels versus sheitels. For those of you who don’t know, tichels refer to a headcovering that Jewish women wear. It refers to a scarf, or kerchief in Yiddish, also known as mitpachot (plural) or mitpachat (single) in Hebrew. So tichels are the scarf type of covering. Sheitels are when a woman uses a wig to cover her hair.
So there’s been a lot of talk lately on tichels versus sheitels. And for those of you who don’t know, my name is Andrea Grinberg, and I am from Wrapunzel, which is a hair covering community and website – just this huge explosion of women who have started wrapping their hair with scarves. And with all this tichels versus sheitels talk, I’ve often heard it said that I’m on “Team Tichels”. And I’m used as an example for that. So this is the official video where we actually come down and talk about this, and I’m actually going to be making a statement as Wrapunzel.
The title of this video: “Tichels Vs. Sheitels” is actually a misnomer. I despise the word versus. And I think that there has been a lot of polarization in Judaism lately, which in many ways is fine. To be different, to have differences is fine, and we’re actually supposed to have differences, but to say that “I’m right and you are wrong” is where the problem lies.
So I’m going to say a little bit about the word “Shalom”. Shalom is often translated as “peace”. And a lot of people believe that in order to have world peace, we have to all think and do the same thing. And that’s simply not the case. Shalom actually means harmony. And harmony means that we are all playing the same piece of music, and that we have the goal of making the world a beautiful, vibrant place, but we are all playing different instruments. We are all playing different notes, we are doing different things. That is what ‘shalom’ is. And that is what I hope I’m doing with my little part in Wrapunzel. That is what I hope is going to happen in the world one day.
So let me tell you a little bit about Wrapunzel, because I think that not everyone knows how Wrapunzel was created. In a nutshell, I was a blissfully happy newlywed who had just moved to Chicago from Israel, and I loved covering my hair because it honored my marriage and it was allowing me to be creative – and it was just really really really fun! People were always asking me questions about it and I realized very quickly that somehow I was an “odd one out” because I loved covering my hair. All the women, really, ALL the women that I talked to in Chicago, did NOT love covering their hair. They saw it as a burden, they weren’t finding any joy in this mitzvah. And I felt so sad for them! Here I was in my little blissful newlywed boots covering my hair, and these women weren’t finding joy through it. So the reason why Wrapunzel was created was through a very naïve hope of mine that if I could share my joy in covering my hair, maybe these other women could find that joy as well. I in no way wanted to tell women to stop wearing their sheitels. I just wanted them to find joy. A lot of women [in Chicago] were telling me that they felt like they either had to wear a sheitel (a wig) or they had to wear a black pre-tied snood, and they felt like they had no other options.
So when I created Wrapunzel, I just wanted to give women options.
That’s really all I wanted to do.
So that’s how Wrapunzel was created. And thank G-d, it seems that we’re able to do that, because we’ve all come together as women to give each other options.
In Judaism we have the halacha (Jewish law) that a married woman should cover her hair. It doesn’t say with what, it doesn’t say how, just that a married woman should cover her hair. And whether you cover your hair with a tichel, a sheitel, a hat, or a combination, you are fulfilling the mitzvah. You are covering your hair. And that is that. That is what I believe.
For those of you who don’t know, I have a sheitel. I own a sheitel. And even with all these years of never wearing it, I haven’t given it away, because you never know. I’m keeping it, and I think sheitels can be beautiful (and modest). Okay?
So, the halacha is to cover your hair. How we do that, how we find ourselves in that, how we reveal our unique personal light, that’s up to us. And we really really have to look to ourselves and be honest with ourselves about how we are going to do that.
Now, I will mention that there are sects of Judaism that really hold strongly that covering with a tichel, a mitpachat, is the only way to cover and that sheitels are not valid. And there are some sects of Judaism that hold that covering with a sheitel is the only way to cover your hair. I’m not talking from any of those vantage points. Both of those vantage points are valid, and both I will point out, acknowledge that there are other sects of Judaism that have valid ways of looking at things. Judaism is not about all of us doing the same thing in the same way. We all have the same goal, but we are not doing things in the same way. That’s the whole point.
So, this video is not talking to those that have to do one or the other. I don’t come from those sects of Judaism, and the majority of women that have found Wrapunzel do not come from those sects of Judaism.
I want to give you an example. Because I hear often that the whole “tichel movement” has become this huge movement and women are feeling liberated and joyous for the first time in their lives, and somehow they feel that “if I go back to wearing a sheitel” then somehow I’m a failure, or somehow Andrea won’t approve. No. No. No. No. No. No. Really. No.
I really want to give you an example, because we are supposed to find our own unique joy in doing this mitzvah. And I want to give you an example of someone that might have found her joy actually through stopping wearing a tichel. And how she is really really doing this mitzvah. This is a completely hypothetical example. Let’s say that there is a woman who is very introverted, spiritual, and very soft and kind, and absolutely beautiful, a wonderful graceful woman. And she’s been wearing tichels. Now, because she’s so beautiful and so kind she gets a lot of attention for these tichels. She is a very modest, very introverted woman. But she gets a lot of questions when she goes out about what she’s wearing and how she’s doing it and she doesn’t like that. Because she feels like first of all somehow it’s not modest, she doesn’t want to go out and make this constant statement about who she is. She just wants to be a Jew instead of constantly being asked about what this is on her head. And it’s distracting her from her family and being with her kids and doing what she wants to do – it’s this constant conversation starter. And she doesn’t want to have that conversation. That is not her avodah. That is not what she wants to be doing in this world.
And she’s found that once she switched to a sheitel, she could actually, finally be herself. She could finally leave her house and not get those constant questions. Now for me, I love getting those questions and I love expressing myself in this way, but for this woman, this is not who she needs to be. She doesn’t want those questions and she shouldn’t have to deal with those questions. And for the first time in her life, now that she’s covering with a wig, she actually enjoys covering, because now she really feels like she is honoring her marriage instead of being part of some doctrine, or some movement it’s like making a constant statement about how she covers her hair. She doesn’t like that. Now she feels like she is really covering her hair for herself, her marriage, and for Hashem.
I really want you to think about that because that woman is completely valid. She has found herself, she has finally found her joy in this mitzvah. Now will she go back and forth? Maybe. Will I ever wear a sheitel? Never say never! You never know! We are constantly evolving and constantly trying to find ourselves. You have to be honest and really true with yourself. So in that example, this woman who has found herself and found her joy through covering with a sheitel, we have to acknowledge that a woman might need to do that.
I just want to clear something up because I have a lot of friends that get married, and they seem to think that if they get married and they choose to cover their hair with a sheitel, oh well, “don’t tell Andrea, she’s going to be disappointed with me.” You know, G-d willing if I have a daughter I don’t want her to think that she has to be me. Or that she has to cover with a tichel. That’s really not the point here. We want people to find their unique joy through doing this mitzvah.
Now I have been asked numerous times, and so have other women who work at Wrapunzel have been asked to come out and make a statement about tichel wearing versus other ways of covering (ie wearing a sheitel). And I want to say this now and I want to say this clearly: that’s not going to happen. That is not what Wrapunzel is about. That is not what I set out to do. I’m not here to make “sides”. Sides are not the point. I’m not going to do that and I don’t believe that. It’s not going to happen. So please, if anyone wants to send any more people to me asking me to do that, just. don’t… The answer is no. Because that is not the point. And telling someone that what she is doing is wrong when she is covering her hair, she’s doing the mitzvah. That’s not what it’s about. Yes, I want to expose people to the joy of covering their hair this way, because that’s my joy and I want to share that. But beyond that, I’m not interested.
So interesting fact, and I’m going to leave you with this. There’s a woman that works for Wrapunzel and her name is Yedida, she is basically the mover and shaker, everything, she keeps the tichel room from falling on my head when I walk in. She is so organized and wonderful and joyous. Yedida is our on-site-coordinator. Now, don’t get me wrong, Wrapunzel is an extremely tiny, just women-coming-together business, we only have three people actually that work for Wrapunzel, but we need those three people to make things happen because there is a lot that needs to go into sending out your tichels all over the world and bringing women together. When Rivkah Malka had to step down, and I was about to have a baby, we really really needed some help to make things happen so things would not fall apart when I had Shalomy.
So, who is Yedida? Yedida is our on-site coordinator. She is amazingly organized and has innovative ideas about how to makes things better and how to make things work, and she is the person that allows me to be here making a video like this instead of having tichels fall onto my head when I walk into the room. That’s why I’m able to make this video and I’m able to take care of my baby.
So, thank G-d we have Yedida.
What does that have to do with this video? Yedida is a sheitel wearer. She wears sheitels I’d say 95% of the time. Sometimes she wears hats, and once in a while she wears a tichel. But she wears sheitels. And she looks beautiful and modest and wonderful and absolutely shining in her sheitels. When we hired her, some people expressed some surprise. We had a lot of women applying for this job, and many of them were big tichel wearers. When we hired Yedida some people were like, “Why would you hire someone that wears a sheitel to work at Wrapunzel?” And my answer was “How could I not hire Yedida?! She’s amazing!” I didn’t even really notice what this woman was wearing on her head. The whole point of Wrapunzel is bringing women together and this woman is going to help us do that, she’s going to help us be able to do that. In the end, this is really what Wrapunzel is all about. Bringing women together. Helping women reclaim their joy, express their creativity, and shine their light upon the world in their own, unique way. So it’s not that we hired Yedida because she wears a sheitel, but it’s actually perfectly fitting that she does because that is what Wrapunzel is all about. It’s about all women. It’s about the full woman.
I hope you enjoyed this video.
Again, there are no sides.
There’s just us as Jewish women trying to reclaim our joy, express ourselves, to be who we need to be, and giving women options.
All the best.
30 thoughts on “Tichels vs Sheitals – What Wrapunzel Has to Say!”
Love this video, I am so happy you don’t take sides, this makes me think very highly of you. I have bought quite a few items from your store, and have bookmarked a few tying tutorials, so I can take them with me to watch while trying out different types. I also have wigs, but when my hair all fell out from chemo, they were not comfortable at all but the scarves are great, I will wear them forever, everyone that sees them loves them. I am pretty sure I am the only one in my tiny town that covers. I can’t wait til I go to a big place with one on!
You did an amazing job of bringing shalom to a contentious issue. AWESOME.
No judging! I love it”
I am not Jewish, rather Christian, but for the last year have covered daily, both during prayer, and going out. Three years ago, after committing to try to follow my faith completely, my husband brought me a big box of scarves to cover with, since his grandmother who raised him covered going out, and that was just the modesty for women in Mexico at that time, and he liked it. But the way she covered was loosely draped over the head, and draped over one shoulder, with her chin/mouth covered loosely. As a Christian, I knew I was taught to obey my husband (unless it was something sinful), but I was shocked and told him I couldn’t work at the hospital covered like that! I didn’t cover, and felt bad, but he didn’t push it.
Three yrs later, my hair started falling out, from health problems, and I felt so self-conscious that I started looking for a way to cover my bald spots on top, though my hair was long. Many friends suggested wigs, but I couldn’t find any that were “me”, and they were hot. That’s when I found Wrapunzel! Now I wear scarves all the time. But as I studied the meaning behind headcovering, both in the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian cultures, and my own Christian Bible, I felt compelled to cover during prayers.
Now, since I work at hospital, and pray often when I least expect it, so I like having the beautiful scarves on all the time. Wrapunzel has given me the opportunity to express my inner beauty, and outer beauty, with the scarves, even though I am not Jewish. I appreciate that so many women from different backgrounds can come to their site and as she said, find “harmony”!
In visiting my elderly father last week, my husband said to my family that he likes my scarves. That’s the first time he voiced that either to me or someone else, that I know of.
Maybe you might consider adding a few special wigs, or wigs having attached scarves, to the collection. It may help some who want to cover with a scarf, but still have the hair, too. I can see some people liking the extra style, if Jewish wrapping is not their style. I think wigs could be a beautiful addition for the Wrapunzel fans!
Andrea, I LOVE your video! I didn’t realize that shalom also means harmony which is a great way to not only bring Jewish women together, but as I read in the other comments, it is great for other faiths and those who have had hair loss for various reasons.
I agree that whatever makes a woman feel comfortable as well as beautiful is what is important. Also, as you mentioned there are various times or occasions when one mode may work better than another. For example, working out as Noami Rose shows in tying the Israeli scarf is much better than getting your wig all hot and sweaty:)
I am a quilter and fiber artist. So, for me, to wear scarves is another way I can express my creativity and love of fabric. Putting on my tichel, allows my hands to feel fabrics especially when I cannot get into my sewing room. I have a pattern for making a snood, but I will save it for really cold winters. And, I have thought about making my own scarves, but with the gorgeous selection I have found and purchased from Wrapunzel, I can’t see how I can do any better. I love choosing the scarves to go with my outfits and it helps me feel put together.
I am old enough to remember when it was the fashion to wear hats: look at photos of Jacqueline Kennedy (Onassis) when she was First Lady. I remember my mom and friends commenting on her hats.
I grew up very Reform and before I became more observant, I used to wear kippot that I created (one from matzo fabric) to services. Ironically, since I began covering my hair, my husband has been wearing a kippah more often so definitely has been influencing our marriage.
One big problem, though, even after watching the videos numerous times, it can take me 15-30 minutes to get the tichel just right the way I want it, and that is just using ONE! Normally it isn’t too much of a problem except when we travel by van between our homes in Albuquerque, NM and Maine since my husband likes to be in the road by 4am. Getting up at 3am is hard enough for me, so I will do the easiest tichel, usually the Israeli scarf the way Naomi Rose did hers for workout (but I like having the tails hanging) just to get out of the hotel on time. I tried a different one and ended up redoing it as we are driving our cargo van (no vanity mirror) and using the side mirror. I can imagine what the truck drivers we passed were thinking:)
I have been covering now for nearly a year on a daily basis. I have stopped coloring my hair and now my husband enjoys my natural “salt and pepper” hair. (And saves money for more tichels to buy:) I have also been growing it so I can put it up in a bun, and my hair stylist who does my trims showed me to do a French twist. She discouraged me from a sheital saying it is too hot, especially in Albuquerque. But the Rebbetzin at our Chabad wears one as does her newly married daughter. (The Rebbetzin hasn’t commented on my tichels, but did complement me wearing one of Wrapunzel’s burgundy 3/4 sleeve tops. I would love to see more of the tops in more colors T Wrapunzel, if possible. It is so hard finding tops that don’t cover well enough and don’t make me feel I am choking which turtle necks and too tight tops often do.)
I have thought of getting a sheital, but with no one to guide me at this point and seeing the various types online, it has been confusing. I would like one, though, as you said that one day, it might work better for a certain occasion. I will be in Israel in July to visit my son, DIL, and two granddaughters (ages 6years and 4 years). They are Israeli secular so seeing the change in me will be different. I plan on visiting Jerusalem so if you know a place there or from Tel Aviv in Bnei Brak.If you can recommend a place, please let me know. Also, I would love to check out Israeli tichels and I love your skirts and dresses you wear over the tops. Did you get any in Jerusalem? If so, where is a good place to shop?
And I love that you hired both Yedida and Naomi Rose to help with Wrapunzel. Having worked in business (besides being an RN where I miss the nursing caps, too), I know that for a business to do well, you need to hire the people who can do the job well. It sounds like Yedida is fantastic. And Naomi Rose has been great adding videos and ways to tie the tichels. That is the way a business can succeed.
By the way, when do we get to see a photo of Shalomi? I can tell that motherhood really becomes you. You have been glowing in the videos since his birth!
Hi! First, as always, LOVE your videos and your attitude, Andrea!
Now to Jocelyn: I have had these same questions forever, and if I ever come to a complete and settled conclusion, I’ll come back and post another response lol.
The one thing that I found is that when I was modest in the sense of quiet colors / no makeup / subdued jewelry if any / simple scarves / etc., I spent all my time focusing on myself. I’d see a beautiful covered woman with makeup and nail polish, and I’d think to myself (immodestly) that at least I wasn’t all painted!, I’d look with envy at her, spending all my time comparing us in my heart, telling myself that I may not look as attractive but I was certainly more devout.
Which was missing the point entirely.
My husband has no problem with makeup. In fact, he prefers that I wear it. Once I let myself be “me” (and that may not be the highest form of halacha, but I am still evolving) then I was free to not spend all my energy looking horizontally and comparing and envying but instead look vertically at HaShem and put my focus there.
The Almighty must love variety because look at the trees and flowers and animals around us. I am not a little grey sparrow or mouse. I’m more of the black panther or the peacock. And I’m okay with that now :).
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This is a wonderful video and I love your analogy of music and shalom. It was really perfect and I can think of many ways of expanding on that thought and theme (for another time).
This brings up a question I would throw out to all Wrapunzel ladies, especially Jewish ones but to all women who cover for modesty reasons. The question is (and I haven’t resolved this in my own heart) if one is covering to be modest and not simply for fashion, does a head covering that becomes a focus of conversation and makes us stand out defeat some of the purpose of covering in a modest way that married Jewish women are enjoined to do. The reason some groups don’t wear bright colors (both men, women and children) is so as not to be a focal point or to stand out in a crowd, to blend in. I personally love color and wear a lot of it and wear lots of colorful tichels but I know that walking around in a mall or down any street in the States (not when I’m in Israel) if I’m wearing a colorful scarf — or two — chances are that a comment will be made and the focus will be on me (I can be a bit shy) and what I’m wearing on my head. When I wear hats this happens less frequently even if I’m wearing one of my crocheted creations that are really very nice and unique. And what is the definition of modesty? There is modesty in dress, in attitude and behavior and in the image we project to others. Our sages teach that women are to conduct themselves in a modest manner and dress modestly. I think that the definition of modest dress changes over time. What was considered a perfectly acceptable dress length in the charedi (ultra-orthodox) world when I was in college over 40 years ago is too short today. We are ever evolving as it should be.
But, I personally want to thank you — again — for making beautiful tichels available and making videos that help us be as creative as we want to be. I’d be interested in other thoughts on this subject.
Very liberating message:) I appreciate that you allow all of us to blossom in our own bouquet!
I have always admired your business, but now I admire *you. I am a Lubavitch sheital wearer and as a chassid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe I follow his direction…which is wearing a sheital. But I do wear techels around the house and would love to look as beautiful as the wrapunzel ladies do in their gorgeous techels. (ha! just too rushed for time I guess to do the multiple wrapping/pins/headbands…but love them!)
I admire my techel-wearing sister in law who looks gorgeous and modest in her head wraps! Thank you so much for not judging, giving harsh opinions or taking a side as one is better than the other. You acted as a TEACHER and LEADER here. Thank you so much!!
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I think this is a nice message, but in my opinion (and according to many Rabbanim), enjoying covering is not the most important factor to haircovering. The most important haircovering is to follow halacha and to concur with the biggest halachic deciders. of our day (and yes, there are different streams, be it modern orthodoxy, chassidish, litvish ashkenaz charedi, sefardi, etc.) But according to MOST gedolei hador – from any of those groups – many modern day wigs are immodest, since they look so natural and attractive. The only sect that encourages such wigs is chabad, and it is questionable if the Rebbe really did prefer sheitels over tichels. I think the biggest success of Wrapunzel has been the encouragement of tichels and to be proud of looking like an obvious headcovering woman.
Dear Shani. For me (and many gedolim agree), a mitzvah without joy is an empty shell, and therefore joy is an essential part of doing mitzvot. In no place in my video did I encourage the use of sexy sheitals and as I said (and I hope this is clear), I will not engage in this debate.
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Of course I agree with you about the joy factor – It is a pasuk in the Torah that we get punished (c’vs) if we don’t serve G-d b’simcha. A mitzvah without joy is not complete. I was only saying that enjoying this mitzvah is not the most important factor – one should first make sure with a well-versed Posek that their hair covering method is a valid method.
Chag sameach, and may you be blessed for sharing this wonderful site with all of us!!
Agreed – and in terms of what is valid, there is lots of debate about that engaged in by people that know a whole lot more than I do – and I’ll leave that debate up to them! Chag sameach!
Thank you Andrea for this video and thank you for being an example of harmony!! I have always wanted to wear tichels but never knew how to wrap them and what to wear underneath to make sure they don’t slip off, until Wrapunzel came around! I wear a shaitle to work because I feel more comfortable that way, but mostly everywhere else, I go with a beautiful tichel. You mention in your video that you wanted to share the joy of tichels with other women and you did that for me! You gave me the ability to wear a beautiful tichel from teaching me about HOW to wrap and how to make it not slip off, so I am SO grateful to you!! Thank you!!!
Love my tichels and love my sheitls. They each have their place in my wardrobe and I love having options. I love colour and to express my creativity by mixing and matching colours, I also find tichels very comfy and practical for my life as a stay at home mummy, whilst still allowing me to feel pretty through the day. But I like the glamour of a sheitl sometimes, or being able to go incognito and just blend in with everyone else, or just feel some hair swishing around, and at certain events in certain communities it just feels more proper to wear a sheitl and I don’t want to “make a statement” with what I am wearing (and sometimes I plan to wear a sheitl for those reasons then at the last minute the perfect wrap to complement the outfit comes to mind and I can’t resist anyway!)
In a nutshell, I think wrapunzel is all about empowering women to have choices, but regardless of what choices a person makes we shouldn’t be too quick to label them as falling into any particular “camp”. I can eat kosher Lima bean stew or kosher mushroom ragout, either way I am keeping kosher….
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I loved this video! Yasher koach, Andrea!
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I want to start off by saying that I love wrapunzel and the tichels that you sell! They are all so beautiful!
But I was a little disturbed by the hypothetical story you said about the woman who felt she was getting too many comments about the tichels so for her a wig is more modest. That’s totally not a correct way of viewing the mitzvah. Since we cover our hair for modesty reasons, if we stand out by being more modest that’s not standing out for the wrong reasons. If I went to a wedding and everyone was in strapless gowns and I was covered up for modesty reasons I would receive a lot of glances and possible questions/ comments about my attire- does that mean that I should go put on a strapless gown to fit in? of course not!
It’s the same with the head covering. If a woman walks in to a room and everyone is wearing beautiful wigs or hair and she is wearing a tichel- yes, she does stand out. But she is standing out for being more modest then that is not something that one should feel uncomfortable about or think that it’s the wrong thing to do. It’s such a misconception. Hair is alluring to men, that’s why a Jewish married woman is required to cover it when she gets married. Of course there are wigs that are way more modest than others, but it’s still hair. Many actresses and models wear wigs to beautify themselves! A tichel is not remotely alluring, it’s regal and beautiful but completely not attracting to men.
It’s not about sheitels vs. tichels- it’s about what is modest. And yes, many times when a woman is modest in the secular world today, she stands out. That’s just the way it is. We are not supposed to feel embarrassed about it- we are supposed to be proud of it!
And we especially are not supposed to compromise on our modesty levels to “fit in” with the world- that is not a Torah value!
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
Obviously, I agree with you in terms of my own personal decisions, but for this woman, we have to understand that she is not in a place that she can deal with such attention in the right spiritual way currently. For HER, switching over to a sheital is the right decision. And it is halachically permissible. I don’t think we should assume that she is compromising her values… I’m sure she thought about this long and hard, and had guidance from her Rav as well.
Please understand – I am not interested in division, or debate about this issue. I hope I made that clear in the video. If one is interested in this, there are many other people doing exactly that. I am interested in helping women grow and reveal their true essence through how they cover their hair. Interesting to note: I have two spiritual mentors, both who are at a level that I hope to achieve a fraction of in my lifetime, and both wear sheitals.
I do have to counter your statement about tichels not being remotely alluring to men. Unfortunately I have seen ones that are. What is modest for one woman may not be for another. It is up to us to get in touch with our bina and be honest with ourselves about where our personal boundaries lie within the framework of halacha.
Of course we are not supposed to compromise our modesty values to fit into secular society. Never did I say anything remotely like that.
My video was made to promote understanding and build connection. I hope you can see that and internalize the message I hoped to spread.
Wishing you all the best,
True, a wig is halachically permissible (although there are many Rabbanim that hold that it’s not an acceptable head covering for a Jewish married women), but it’s not halachically or hashkafically on the same level as a tichel. And many of today’s wigs don’t comply with what’s halachically permissible for a wig. This comment is not meant to cause devision or debate- it’s just a fact that should be noted. Besides for the Lubavitch Rebbe (that’s very complex too), almost every posek and Gadol will agree that a tichel is the ideal head covering. It’s what all Jewish women wore throughout history until recent times!
Yes, for some women there are many factors that could make it difficult to wear a tichel (an unsupportive husband or family, a work situation, feeling socially awkward in an exclusive wig wearing community etc…), but it doesn’t mean that it’s the most modest level of head wear for those women. It just means it’s what they could do right now (as long as the wig is modest), but we have to still understand and acknowledge that it’s not the most ideal. I know some very wonderful and holy Rebbetzins that wear modest wigs that have told me that it’s definitely a certain level to wear a tichel!
And I have to respectfully disagree with your comment about some tichels being alluring! I have heard tichels being described as colorful, artsy, Isreali, fun, casual, funky, strange, ethnic, bohemian, regal, beautiful etc… but never alluring or seductive! It could be that a woman wearing a tichel looks provocative because the rest of her attire is not modest (too much makeup, immodest clothing, etc..) but the tichel itself is most definitely not alluring to men. There are many Chassidush Rebbetzins in Israel that wear big and colorful tichels and they don’t look remotely alluring! And then there are women who will wear a tichel but will also wear tight provocative clothing so yes, they will appear immodest but it’s not because of the tichel. Modesty is the whole picture.
Hair on the other hand, when not wiggy looking, is very attracting. That’s why there is a huge hair industry trying to sell hair products with lustrous results that beautify the women. Many women choose to wear wigs to beautify themselves even if they are not religious. Hair is beautifying. Jewish women have to cover their hair when they get married precisely for that reason- to save their beautiful hair exclusively for their husband, so that other men don’t see it. So a wig that looks like hair defeats the purpose of the mitzvah. A tichel best serves that purpose because the woman wearing it always looks married and appears to most definitely have her hair covered.
Thank you for offering beautiful tichels to women to help them connect and grow in this very special mitzvah!
I’m glad we are on the same page and that you understand that I am in no way trying to encourage women to wear wigs! I am simply trying to promote understanding.
The provocative tichel I’m referring to… you should have seen it. If you want to privately email me, I can describe it to you 🙂 Never did I say it was one of the big, colorful ones.
Sorah, I totally agree! I have stuck out many times at weddings, due to my tichel, but I am so proud of it. Why should I try to hide covering my hair?
Shani, kol hakavod to you for feeling proud to wear your tichels to wedding! (I have also experienced sticking out at weddings and other events with my tichels!)
And kol hakavod to Andrea, Naomi, Rivka Malka, and all the other inspirational wrapunzel ladies for bringing so much joy and light to the world through the magic of hair covering and tichels!
I’m a Christian so, of course, unfamiliar with a lot of modern-day Jewish customs. I’m surprised that there are groups that feel that a sheital is the only modest hair covering. Were all of the Jewish women in the Bible wrong for wearing veils? I’d also raise my eyes, though, at those who think a tichel is the only modest option. Again, women covered their hair quite differently in biblical days and early church fathers argued that the neck must be covered as it was alluring to men. But, most headcoverings I see show the neck. Long, Mennonite coverings and Muslim hijabs cover the neck, but most others show it. But in my move to full-time head covering, I’ve been so drawn to tichels. My husband made a comment, though, when I was looking at some. He prefers a simple white kerchief covering I made out of organic, un-dyed cotton jersey material (I try to stick to linen and organic cotton so my sensitive skin won’t be irritated), but I’m drawn to the lovely colors and combinations I see on Wrapunzel. Anyway, he said, “Isn’t the point to be modest and not draw attention?” It had me thinking. Certainly I don’t mind drawing attention for being the only modestly-dressed woman in the room, but would wearing those awesome tichels be fulfilling the call to modesty or would I be trying to draw attention and letting my outward adornment shine instead of my inner beauty? It’s a tough call. I know my husband would think I’m gorgeous in a gunny sack, but a girl likes to feel pretty. Besides, God gave us all the colors of the rainbow and adorned the flowers of the fields in rainbows of colors. And I don’t think G-d doesn’t want us to look nice. I think He just wants us to not let our outward beauty be our only beauty or let our outward beauty outshine our inner beauty.
I LOVE this blog!
You have expressed some of my own thoughts and inner feelings about fancy wraps. I wrap primarily because Jewish law tells me a married woman should. I wrap secondarily because it’s the right thing to do (I know that sounds like the same thing but they are not). But I have to say my own vanity does rear its ugly head because I want to look nice and do fancy things and get compliments especially in certain situations. It’s a bad inclination — yetzer ha’ra in Hebrew — I’ve been fighting.
Thanks for posting.
Beautifully said by a beautiful lady!
Beautiful!! I live in Perth where there are not many Jews, and we have an eclectic community with different minhagim. It’s become very acceptable here to wear a variety of headcoverings. Personally I wear sheitels to work as I am a Psychologist and it’s not appropriate to reveal too much about myself and it’s considered more professional (although in one job tichels were more effective in bonding with the clients, as they were mostly Muslim migrants). Sheitels can be safer in larger public events where we can come across racists. But in my personal life I prefer tichels, so beautiful and creative an extension of my outfit and self expression. I love the variety. We have only had one person here who was a stickler to sheitels, a sweet lady who offered to lend me one when she saw me in a tichel, but she didn’t live here long. I think it’s beautiful that we can all find so many ways to keep this mitzvah.
I’m not Jewish, but as a follower of Yeshua, I have begun wearing tichels. I do it because of 1 Corinthians 11 in the New Testament.
Ty for your beautiful creations!
Wish i could read the article. Please change the background as it’s very hard to read! Thank you!
Mine is not so much a comment as a request for your opinion about my struggle to cover or not. I am a Christian and I’ve recently done a lot of research about head covering. My original purpose was to hide my thin, very sparse hair. I have no choice when it comes to length as if I choose to wear it long, it is ugly, as in scraggly. It makes me look like an old hag. I am “older”. My age is 67. My hair problems, I suspect are heriditory and from medication I must take. I wear my hair very short as in manish short. I hate it, my husband hates it. I sometimes wear ball caps, in winter I wear crochet beanie type hats. I stumbled on hair covering for religious reasons about 6 months ago and have been obsessed by it. So, to my question. Is it vain to cover for this reason? Just because I think I look ugly and unfeminine with my short hair? I have ordered some lovely tichels but feel very conspicuous wearing them. I’m a very introverted person and don’t want to draw attention to myself. My husband says to do what I want about covering. He likes me both ways. Thanks for your time! I’m going to bookmark your site and try to find your blog. Happy New Year!