A Sheitel Helps Assure a Chassidic Home

In response to your request for a blessing that it should be a “Chassidic home,” surely you on your part are doing whatever you can to affect her in this spirit.

Wearing a sheitel is of primary importance to the fundament of the entire home, as this is something which is perceived by all. This is especially so, as I have heard that there has begun to be some laxity in this matter, i.e., with regard to wearing a sheitel. Thus it is of the greatest import that one be tenacious about this matter — that it is impossible otherwise.

Surely, your desire [to have a Chassidic home] will assist you in finding the right words so that you succeed in bringing this about.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 232)

Ensuring that the Wife Will Wear a Sheitel

I received your pidyon nefesh (petitionary prayer) on behalf of yourself and on behalf of your kallah, Miss ... . When I will be at the tziyun, the sacred resting place, of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory, I will read it there. Surely he will rouse abundant divine mercies for the fulfillment of all your needs.

In particular, concerning that which you mention at the conclusion of your pidyon nefesh with regard to your kallah — that you establish with her “a Chassidic home, etc.”: Surely you, on your part, are doing all you can to influence her in that direction.

That your wife wear a sheitel is of particular importance to the general posture, comportment and establishment of the entire home, since wearing a sheitel is something observable by all, [and as such makes a clear statement as to the manner of the conduct of the home.]

Particularly so, [i.e., it is of even greater urgency for your kallah to agree to wear a sheitel,] in the environs in which you live — since it is rumored that the people there have become somewhat lax in their observance of wearing a sheitel, for which reason there has to be even greater firmness [on your part] in ensuring that your kallah wear a sheitel, and that anything else [i.e., covering her hair in another manner] is out of the question.

Surely, your desire [that your kallah don a sheitel after the marriage,] will assist you in finding the appropriate words that will help you succeed in bringing about this desired result.

With blessings — and awaiting glad tidings with regard to the above.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 232)

Difficulties Should Not Stand in the Way Of Wearing a Sheitel

It has been some time now that I have been debating whether to write to you about the matter that follows, but ultimately I have decided that I have no other choice in the matter, it being incumbent on my part to write ... that it is imperative that your daughter tichye [and ....] wear sheitlen.

I understand that there are many difficulties [regarding the implementation of this matter] — and surely I need not enumerate them. However, I do not see how it can be possible to do otherwise.

It has already become customary in the United States as well as in other countries that the younger generation takes upon itself customs and hiddurim that their parents have not yet undertaken [such as wearing a sheitel.]

Particularly so, when wearing a sheitel is not only a hiddur or a custom, but much more than that. For eminently understandable reasons, I do not wish to dwell on this at length. Surely, the fact that I am writing in Lashon HaKodesh notwithstanding, you will find the proper words to explain this matter both to yourself, as well as to your daughter and wife tichyena.

I await the glad tiding that you have accepted this matter in a satisfactory and understanding manner, which will then surely result in the matter coming to fruition in a pleasant manner, without difficulties.

The Kiddush HaShem that will result from this (particularly in your environs where the closest scrutiny is given to all aspects of you lives, and where this [i.e., the conduct of wearing a sheitel] has opponents, etc.) is truly very great. And from the positive [effects of fulfilling the above], etc. [one can understand the negative effects of not doing so.]

Asking your forgiveness — if asking your forgiveness is indeed necessary — I hope to receive a notice from you at the earliest possible opportunity, that the matter has been accomplished in the best possible way — in a benevolent and gentle manner.

Surely this will serve as an additional conduit and vessel to draw down from above and to be able to receive G‑d’s blessings for the young couple in all that they need, both materially and spiritually.

.. I reiterate: My words are not meant theoretically. Rather, my sole reason for writing is for the sole and express purpose that these words be actualized — that your daughter tichye should don a sheitel.

May the wedding take place in a good and auspicious hour.

With blessings — and awaiting glad tidings [with regard to the above.]

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 24)

Wearing a Sheitel — A Condition for the Shidduch

In reply to your letter of Tuesday, in which you write about the suggestion of a shidduch with Miss ....:

The suggestion is a proper one — understandably, after she takes upon herself to conduct the home in a Chassidic manner, [accepts upon herself] to wear a sheitel, etc.

May G‑d will it that it be in a good and auspicious hour.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XV, p. 8)

Wearing a Sheitel is Non-negotiable

In reply to your letter of Iyar 28, in which you write about the suggestion of a shidduch for your son ... sheyichye:

It is obvious and self-understood that a non-negotiable condition [that has to first be made] is that of [the young lady’s taking upon herself to wear] a sheitel.

For it is patently clear that there can be no similarity between elderly ladies and those who have come from other countries [who may not be wearing a sheitel,] to a young couple who are now about to begin their Jewish home, and moreover, doing so in Kfar Chabad, which was established and is under the direction of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory.

This is not merely a private matter, but something that comes under the heading of a general matter and brings about merit to many (zechus ha’rabim).

On the other hand, the above does not mean that my intent is that one must speak about this tumultuously and severely, taking the form of a directive and a command. For that which is most important is merely that the matter [of wearing a sheitel]is actualized and that this be assured prior to the Chupah.

In light of the description of the nature of the young lady, and how she accepted upon herself the management of the Beis Yaakov School — and it would seem that she is faithful to the wishes of the school’s director, who surely will assist in accomplishing the above — I am sure that you will be successful in getting her to agree to the above.

Particularly so, as this matter [of wearing a sheitel] has an impact on the masses. For even if one were to say that it makes no difference to her how she will cover her hair, for at any rate the covering will be proper, it is self-understood that she cannot guarantee this with regard to others [who if they don’t wear a sheitel may well cover their hair in an improper fashion.]

If the above [matter of wearing a sheitel] can be assured — something that will truly benefit both chassan and kallah and their families — then the suggestion is a proper one, and may the shidduch take place in a good and auspicious hour.

It is possible that some women will say [in defending their opposition to wearing a sheitel] that their mother’s failed to wear them.

The response is clear {in light of the known teaching of Chassidus that all those matters in the Torah that seem to be the antithesis of blessings, are in point of fact, blessings (see Likkutei Torah, Parshas Bechukosai)}:

These, too, are of the blessings of Ikvesa d’Mishicha — that [the seeming malediction of] “the daughter will stand up against her mother, etc., etc.” [is fulfilled in a positive and blessed manner,] through [the daughter] increasing and elevating the level of performance of Torah and mitzvos [to an even greater extent than that of their mother.] ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XV, p. 198)

Make Sure the Future Chassan Agrees To the Kallah’s Wearing a Sheitel

.. In light of the above [details of which you informed me,] you should conclude the shidduch [with your chassan] in a good and auspicious hour (if your parents sheyichyu also agree to this).

However, in order to prevent any future debates [about how the home will be established,] it would be worthwhile that you converse [with your chassan] not only in general terms, that your lives will be lived] “in accordance with Torah and mitzvos” and the like, but also about specifics — [that he agree to your wearing] a sheitel, that he study Torah daily, as well as how much and where, etc.

Please provide as well all his names [as well as his mother’s name], so that I shall [be able to mention you both] at the tziyun, [the sacred resting place, of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory.]

(From a handwritten response of the Rebbe)

Wearing a Sheitel — A Foundation in Life

I was informed that your daughter ... shetichye has already met with her chassan [and that they have become engaged.] I hereby tender my blessings of Mazel Tov, that their engagement be in a good and auspicious hour, and that you and your wife sheyichyu derive from them, as well as from all your other children, much nachas and delight — Idishen un Chassidishen nachas.

However, on the other hand, I was also told that there is a fear that your daughter’s resolution to wear a sheitel has been weakened.

I have no idea what caused her resolve [to wear a sheitel] to weaken, but surely you are making an appropriate and gentle effort to see to it that she keeps her promise about wearing a sheitel. And as I said [to them] when they were here, that this is not merely a question of wearing a sheitel, but it has to do with the entire manner of the foundation [they are setting up] for the rest of their lives.

Although I surely need not mention this again, I will reiterate that an affectionate approach and gentle words can accomplish so very much. ....

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. IV, p. 195)

Willingness to Wear a Sheitel Is Indicative of the Woman’s General Jewish Moral Character

.. You write about the suggestion of a shidduch for your son ... shlita.

Since you write that she is a G‑dfearing woman and that she was raised as a fine and upstanding Jewish young lady (k’bas Yisrael keshairah), and she will soon see him and observe that he has a full beard and she will be clearly told about the need to wear a sheitel, [it follows that]her response to the above will serve as an indicator [as to the worthiness of the shidduch].

For if she agrees to the above with a willing heart, then this demonstrates her complete willingness and resolve to conduct herself in a proper manner.

Understandably, however, [before drawing any permanent conclusions as to the desirability of the shidduch] you should also find out additional details about her, e.g., her health, etc. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVII, p. 195)