Keren Interview III: She burned her wig in front of everyone: Maariv Keren Article Part 3

The following is a continuation of the translation/summary of Hebrew Maariv article by Sherry Makover-Balikov where the journalist interviews Rabbanit Bruria Keren and her followers.

Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII

To view all posts on the subject at once click the label hyper-tzniut.

The reporter quotes the Rabbanit telling her followers:

A righteous teacher came to school with a shawl on her head in addition to a scarf and hat. They asked her why she is so “tzanua” (modest), and she said that a great rabbi told her, “My daughter, when you see women on the street covered from head to toe, you will know that the Messiah is at the door.”

The Rabbanit has 50 followers in Beit Shemesh, about 70 in Geulah in Jerusalem [my friend in Beit Yisrael says that she knows of three face-coverers in her neighborhood, and one in Geulah. But clearly not all of the followers cover their faces–yet.], and dozens more in Tzefat, Beitar and the Haredi section of Elad [too close to home for me]. They “speak to Hashem” each night and recite Psalms, are careful to eat healthy food and rarely go out.

They dress their daughters in “redidim” [this could mean veils, capes, or shawls, but usually means veils in this context] but only married women cover their faces. They are quiet in the presence of men and communicate with the outside world through the husband. They meet at the Rabbanit’s house once a week, a different group each time, but they all get together on Erev Rosh Hodesh (the eve of the new moon) and other holidays. They have prayer evenings.

The reporter describes how Keren’s followers congratulate a woman who put on a veil a week ago. The woman tells how her husband doesn’t approve, the neighbors point and a Haredi man, who turned out to be her small son’s rebbe, shouted and threw fruit at her. Her son, who was with her, started to cry.

The rabbanit is upset that someone would waste food, but proclaims that “insults are a gift.”

One woman’s husband’s tires were cut. Another’s neighbor wrote on her mailbox, “Expel the Taliban.” A young woman says people mistake her for an Arab.

Rabbanit Keren has ten children and works as an alternative therapist. A large number of women make a living by selling organic food and nutritional supplements. “Modest women are clean inside and out.” One woman says the Rabbanit saved her child’s through an herbal concoction she prepared him. He began to breathe on his own despite having already been connected to an oxygen tank.

“I speak to God, and He gives me the strength to help others,” explains the Rabbanit. “Once I gave a lecture in a small hall. There were a few women wearing wigs instead of scarves. I stopped speaking and privately asked Hashem to give me strength, to help them repent. I began to speak in praise of covering one’s head and face. Hashem helped and a commotion began in the hall. Women got up from their chairs, cried and threw off their wigs. One woman had brought hers in a bad and burned it in front of everyone. Women wrapped their bodies in an additional cape and shawl.”

I hope you are not expecting any brilliant comments from me. I am speechless. To be continued. . .

Check out the 2016 fashions at Hydrochic modest swimwear.

Comments

  1. In truth, there is something to be said about other haircoverings being preferable to wigs. That is the position of R’ Ovadya Yosef, so it is not without merit. On the other hand, though, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was an advocate of sheitels as haircoverings. So it is rather absurd to regard the bewigged women as sinners.

  2. Lion of Zion says:

    let me guess, these are mothers who do not vaccinate their kids.
    monday nights i catch a maariv minyan in my building that follows a shiur given by a yemenite rabbi. sometimes i come in while he is finishing up. last week he was talking about how it is assur to bring a girl older than 3 to shul, even if she is on the women’s side. this develeoped into mussar about separate seating at simchas and at home, etc. finally someone asked did the men and women sit together for meals in back in yemen. he responded, “there were no women in yemen.” the funny thing is that some of the people at the shiur probably aren’t 100% dati and the rest are centainly not haredi, yet they soak this all up.
    ARIELLA:
    “the Lubavitcher Rebbe was an advocate of sheitels as haircoverings”
    from what i remember, he did not think sheitels were intrinsically better, just that a woman is less likely to remove a sheitel when in an uncomfortable situation.

  3. mominisrael says:

    LOZ:
    “There were no women in Yemen.” Classic!
    You’re probably right about the vax. Rav Aviner had a long article in one of the alonim about the importance of vaccinating, which means it is becoming a big issue in the RZ community too.
    I guess Yemenite shuls don’t need an ezrat nashim.

  4. The Yemenites in my neighborhood have a very normal looking shul, and there seem to be happy, social women who appear to be very tzanua coming out of there.
    In every group you’ll find your extremists.
    I used to say that sometimes a women’s wig is nicer than her hair, but then again at the time I wasn’t even covering my hair, so really who was I to criticize. And I guess I shouldn’t criticize these women, but I can’t help it. I do think they are totally off base, and even dangerous to a certain degree. And maybe we shouldn’t even be validating them with any kind of publicity.

  5. Lion of Zion, I don’t know this first-hand, but from the account of a woman who puts out “The Sheitel Advantage” with the words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on the subject (in it he assures the Freeda wig manufacturer that the day will come when women will have a sheitel for everyday and for Shabbos, and her business will prosper.) It includes a piece in which he tells a woman wearing a hat over a fall (called a “half” wig) that she is only doing the mitzvah of haircovering half-way, and from the context, clearly it was the sheitel half that counted. I also know a Lubavitch woman that says non-sheitel coverings are frowned upon in Kfar Chabad.

  6. Amy Balila says:

    “One woman’s husband’s tires were cut. Another’s neighbor wrote on her mailbox, “Expel the Taliban.” A young woman says people mistake her for an Arab.”
    I never thought I would sympathize with women like this, who took our beliefs to such an extreme and began to dress like Arabs unil I read this line.
    I live in a very “Christian” town on the west coast of Florida. Recently our area has seen an influx of Arab (Muslim) residents. Hajabs are now becoming a more normal sight around here. As an orthodox jew I wear floor length skirts, long sleeve shirts, and more often than my wig I wear a techiel.
    I get nasty looks everywhere I go. I hate it and I hate being looked at as an Arab or a Muslim. People look at me like I am the next suicide bomber. This is an even more frequent occurance since the hijackers from 9-11 trained in my city.
    For that reason ONLY… I sympathize with these women.

  7. “the Lubavitcher Rebbe was an advocate of sheitels as haircoverings”
    from what i remember, he did not think sheitels were intrinsically better, just that a woman is less likely to remove a sheitel when in an uncomfortable situation”
    He thought they were better – partly because they cover the hair entirely, mostly because nowadays they function better, especially in western society.
    sheitls are not about “modesty” generally. In chazal’s time, gentile women covered their hair too – we see a gentile woman is considered divorced when she goes out in the marketplace with hair uncovered. In a society in which all married women cover their hair, uncovering hair is the equivalent of removing a wedding ring in a bar – passing for single for nefarious purposes. The purpose is not so much to prevent men looking at married women, as to prevent arayos.
    For this purpose, it does not matter if the headcovering is attractive or ugly.
    Similarly, meikar hadin a woman doesnt have to cover her hair in front of unrelated men (or a small number of them) at home – again, we see that preventing histaklus is not the issue.
    In Western society, hair covering – whether hat, snood, or wig – does not signal marital status. The spirit of the law is largely lost in the West.
    What the LR said is that sheitls are difficult to remove, and women do not like to remove them – much less explain them – and therefore are preferable to a scarf, that a woman might easily remove. In this way, wigs are closer to the spirit of the law than scarves – or as close as we get today.
    For this purpose, a wig can be as attractive as one wishes – in fact, a woman is probably less likely to remove an attractive wig, and certainly more likely to wear one in the first place.
    It is noteworthy that ROY who is in favor of scarves is speaking from Israel, where headcovering is understood and a social norm.

  8. “I used to say that sometimes a women’s wig is nicer than her hair, but then again at the time I wasn’t even covering my hair, so really who was I to criticize. And I guess I shouldn’t criticize these women, but I can’t help it. I do think they are totally off base, and even dangerous to a certain degree. And maybe we shouldn’t even be validating them with any kind of publicity.”
    As above, what is wrong with it? You are making the assumption that the wig is intended to limit how attractive a woman looks.

Trackbacks

%d bloggers like this: