A Mystical Look at Wigs

By Shterna Althaus
Essays 2017

MyLife Essay Contest 2017

In this essay I would like to highlight the great blessings promised to a married woman who covers her hair properly, based on Kabbalah and Chassidus  . This mitzvah was a  Bakasha nafshis , a deep personal wishe of the Lubavitcher Rebbe that married women wear specifically a shaitel , a wig , to cover their hair once they are married. This is something so important to the Rebbe and something we can do to purify the world around us .

Did you ever wonder about hair covering why has it become so important to cover it after marriage , and why did the Lubavitcher Rebbe stress that women should wear a shaitel ?

In a letter from the Rebbe in volume 19, page 326, the Rebbe writes that covering hair is a Segula for parnassa, financial sustenance (1) . Hair covering is directly linked to financial success and the Zohar says it actually brings blessings for everything , when a women covers her hair well. In the words of Zohar, there are three things a woman is blessed with (1a)  when she covers her hair properly 1. בעותרא riches

  1. בבנין family
  2. בבני בנין- children.

Her husband will be blessed with material and spiritual blessings . The Rebbe believed that only through a shaitel is a woman’s hair covered properly . Even if a shaitel is nicer than your own natural hair , this was considered fine by the Rebbe as this is what the Rebbe wanted , that women should feel comfortable to go out in public with a fully covered head and that others will follow suit as they will see a nice sheitel and will want to wear one too.

The Rebbe told Rabbi Nemes to buy his wife the nicest shaitel ,so that other women will also want to cover their hair well with a shaitel.

The Rebbe learns this from the story of  kimchis who had 7 sons who all became kohanim gedolim. (2) This was attributed to the fact that the walls of her home never saw her hair.

We see that one must do the utmost possible to get the utmost possible. The gemora tells us that the fact that hair is covered and revealed only for her husband makes it more special.

The Rebbe told Mrs Zelda Nemes , who was wearing a hat and half shaitel, that for half a shaitel it is like having half of one’s health etc. She was very concerned so the Rebbe told her in Yiddish

פאר אנטאן א שייטל ווערט צוגעזאגט געזונט פרנסה און נחת פון קינדער און קינדס קינדער

That for putting on a sheitel one is promised health, sustenance and nachas from children and children’s children ( grandchildren).

In the time of the Rebbe Maharashtra in 1854 czar Nicolas 1, who was famous for his anti semitic laws instituted the decree of knofin. Knofin were a type of hat or tichel with which the Jewish women of that time covered their hair. Suddenly the knofin were outlawed and those who defied the decree were at great risk. 20 years later in 1874 there was another terrible decree that all young Jewish men were forced to conscript into the Soviet army. It was clear that not one of the children of the women who withstood the decree of removing their hair covering  twenty  years earlier , none of their children were taken away . But those who unfortunately succumbed , came to pour their to me ,they suffered terribly R”L ,

said the Rebbe Maharash, the fourth Chabad Rebbe.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke so much concerning the profound effect of the woman’s tznius on her husband , their children and the entire world. It says in Mishlei chapter 12, possuk ד :

אשת חיל עטרת בעלה –

A Jewish woman who covers her hair properly is the crowning glory of her husband.

According to the Rebbe ,the best possible way to cover a woman’s hair is specifically through a shaitel and not through any other medium as this way a woman will not  be tempted to remove it , like one can easily remove a tichel or hat. (3)

If you sincerely want to reach unbelievable blessings ( and who doesn’t want to ) let’s try and cover our hair as best as possible.

The simple reason one covers their hair according to Torah,  is because after marriage a woman’s hair is considered naked to other men just as any other part of her body is private for her husband only.  This we see in Parshas Naso with the  Isha Sotah ,a woman who was questioned if she was inappropriate with another man, and the Kohen would uncover and unbraid her hair. From here we learn that married women covered their hair after marriage.

Let’s look a little deeper at the holy Kabbalah for the reason we cover our hair after marriage .

According to Kabbalah, that which is holy we cover, because it contains kedusha, holiness. When a woman gets married on the day of her chuppa the shchina ( Gds glory) is revealed on her face. That is why her face is covered under the chuppa . Under the chuppa the shchina is revealed and it remains there after the chuppa for the rest of her life , on her crown , her head. The impure forces in this world called kellipos, are very strong and they want to attach themselves to holiness. As they are like parasites and as they cannot get  lifeforce  directly from Hashem , they rather live off the holiness of other holy items being that they cannot get Chayos- life force directly from Hashem (4) .The kellipos are like lice which live on a persons head ,which are a parasite and suck other’s blood to live. The woman’s head is a perfect candidate with so much holiness bestowed by Hashem at her chuppa , that these kellipos would love to attach themselves there and get free life force.  Therefore, we cover our hair so as not to allow the kellipos to connect to our head, because they can Gd forbid cause harm Chas vesholom .

The Rebbe was mesader kidushin for those couples who agreed that the woman was to cover their hair with a shaitel.

There are many women I personally know who saw incredible blessings in their life , through starting to cover their hair and beginning to wear a shaitel.

I want you to sample these awesome Brachos promised by the Zohar.

As it says in the Zohar , ״her children will be superior , her husband will be blessed,blessings will flow upon the entire family .״ As the Rebbe writes in the words of the Zohar, it causes us to be “blessed with all blessings, blessings of above and blessings of below, with wealth, with children and grandchildren.”(5)

The Rebbe writes  in a letter found In Igros kodesh (6)

״The Gemora and Zohar elaborate that a woman’s  strengthening of the conduct of tznius brings blessings in a definite way for good health, livelihood , and nachas from children and grandchildren .״

Let’s bring these beautiful blessings into our life!



(1)  326 אגרות קודש חלק יט עמוד

(1a) Likkutei Sichos, vol. 13, p. 188.

(2) Yoma 47 A

(3) Igros Kodesh, vol. XVI, pp. 330–1 dated 10 Adar, 1958.

(4) תניא פרק ב

(5)Igros Kodesh, vol. XIX, p. 428, 10 Elul, 1960.

(6) volume 8, page 204 אגרות