COMING SOON — My first long-form story in serialized editions will be presented in the coming year.  Please look for it on this blog.  I’ll let you know when.

Since this is “Rochelle Week” with the pic, and a good one at that, I, too, have some of my own memories of that great Land to the East.  So, now MY contribution.

The following first appeared November 13, 2013.  The story title’s meaning is at the bottom of the story itself.

It’s always a great thing to poke a little fun at culture.  To wit —




I spoke my best Hebrew to the passerby.  “Chaim Glicksman.  Where is he?”

The passerby answered in English.  “Down that way.  Christian Quarter.”

Chaim saw me right in the street.  “Shalom, my friend!”

I shook his hand.  “Chaim, what’s a nice Orthodox boy like you doing in the Christian Quarter?”

“Not every Jew is an Israeli, not every Israeli a Jew.”

“How is Ayelet?”

“My wife is fine, although we suffered a loss recently.  My daughter lit a candle and accidentally set Ayelet’s hair on fire.”

“That’s terrible!  Is Ayelet all right?”

“Of COURSE.  She wasn’t home at the time.”



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69 Responses to Sheitel*

  1. Dear Cuzzin Kent,

    This is one of my favorites of yours. It reminds me of the time my Orthodox youth adviser dropped a cherry tart on a lady’s head while we were serving a dinner at the shul. His red face turned even redder when she slipped off her wig and said, “No harm done.”
    Thought you and your readers might enjoy this video explaining tradition of the sheitl.


    Cuzzin Shelley

    • wmqcolby says:

      Super vid, Cuzzin’ Shelley thanks for this! You have helped our readers understand the story better.
      Reminded me of that time on the plane, yes?
      But, if the woman’s hair is considered a sensual part of her, why a WIG??? Doesn’t make sense … especially if the wig is very natural looking, won’t it incite a riot STILL? Now a wig made of coconut shells would be more practical, I would think. It would act like the so-called “birth control glasses” we got in the Army to wear. 😀

    • wmqcolby says:

      As for the youth advisor, he should have said, “Gee, you look really good in red.”

      • Poor Herschel, he was such an innocent soul.

        As for the wig question, there’s actually a video on You Tube where a rabbi(?) addresses one woman’s behavior while wearing a sheitel. It seems it was so realistic the men she was chatting with didn’t realize she was married. And from another video I watched there’s a bit of a tug of war within the Orthodox communities, ie Tichel (scarves and snoods) vs Sheitel. No one agrees. How very Jewish is that? Did that answer your question?

    • wmqcolby says:

      Yup, shore did. Par for the course in Orthodox communities, yes?

      Now personally, I would go with the snoods because I really do like the various styles, materials and they can be versatile as well. They just look classy and elegant! Although the wigs these days are terrific and they are useful in various situations outside of the Orthodox’s, I think it defeats the purpose.

      “Silly rabbis, wigs are for actresses.” Or kicks are for trids.

  2. Moon says:

    A very lovely story . 🙂🙂

  3. Lynn Love says:

    A lovely, warm story and thanks, Rochelle for the video!

  4. HA HA! Great story! Had me going there for a sec! 😉

  5. Dale says:

    That was fun!

  6. granonine says:

    Made me laugh 🙂

  7. Iain Kelly says:

    Ha ha, a proper chuckle at this. Excellent.

  8. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    You set up the punchline perfectly. Nicely done.

  9. So funny! Plus I learned something new. Thanks.

  10. rgayer55 says:

    You should be on the stage. I hear there’s one leaving in ten minutes.
    Very entertaining post, Kent.

  11. draliman says:

    I must admit, I was thinking “Voodoo” before reading about the wigs 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Yeah, it’s hard to write something that people might get wrong, but that’s the risk and challenge with 100 words, right? Thanks for reading, Ali. Yours was a HOOT!

  12. Well, I have learned something! Or perhaps corrected a misconception. I always thought the Hasidic Jewish women wore wigs for the same reason Christian women wear — or used to wear — head coverings. (Though that is a New Testament teaching.)
    But I see it has nothing to do with a sign of submission; instead they wear wigs for the same reason Muslim women cover all their hair. In which case I agree with one comment: if hair is sensual and a temptation to lust, why wear a realistic-looking wig? Especially in a hot climate!
    I also was under the impression Hasidic women cut their hair very short, but that video would indicate otherwise.

  13. Nan Falkner says:

    “I love the line Silly rabbis, wigs are for actresses.” Or kicks are for trids comment. Very clever indeed. Nan

  14. wmqcolby says:

    I put that in because my dad told me that old joke and that was the punchline. I figured someone like Rochelle has heard it before — it had a rabbi in it! 😉

  15. Great little story. Re covering one’s head, I was recently looking at some old photos of English (Manchester) millworkers in the late 19th C and all the older girls and women wore scarves over head and shoulders; the context seemed to be just a street scene, nothing formal. These would have been Christians not Jews. Maybe covering wasn’t all that special not that long ago.

    • The teaching comes from the New Testament, the first part of I Corinthians Ch 11. To the best of my knowledge that’s the only place in the Bible, OT or NT with this teaching. over the centuries it morphed into women wearing hats to church. Back in the 1950s — here in Canada at least — in a lot of churches, women wouldn’t set foot in a church without a hat.
      And conversely, this passage of scripture is where the teaching that a man should take off his hat in church or during prayer derives from. You see in old movies where they bury someone, in the cemetery scene when the preacher prays the men all take off their hats.

      • wmqcolby says:

        Yes, I’m very familiar with the passage. Now, the Orthodox Jewish men always keep their kippas on their heads and their women cover their heads, too, if they are married. Why the men use head cover, I don’t know where it came from. It is probably an ancient tradition. Maybe Tevye was right — they always keep their hats on their heads when they have to leave suddenly. 😀

  16. wmqcolby says:

    No, it probably wasn’t. There is a lot of things that come down from antiquity that get dropped for whatever reasons. I should probably do a study on head coverings through the ages. For some reason, this is starting to fascinate me. Shows you how retirement is affecting me. 😀

    • I have often wondered how things got so turned around. In the NT women are to cover their heads when praying or teaching. If a man covers his head, he dishonors his Head (having only one Head, Christ.) And yet the Hasidic and other Jews have it just the opposite: the men should wear a prayer cap — yamulka? kippa? — all the time.
      So you get Amish & a lot of Mennonite groups, Old German Baptist, River Brethren, and a few other groups where the women wear their prayer covering all the time and Jewish men who do.
      I had a visit with my JW bus driver one day and he says they believe in a head covering for their women, but it’s a very restricted use. Only when a woman is leading a meeting where men are present but she’s doing the teaching, then the speaker alone puts on a head covering. Otherwise their ladies can go out and expound Bible doctrines to all and sundry and needn’t worry about a head covering.

  17. Hi there, that is so funny! I didn’t get it initially….but then the penny dropped. Brilliant! 😆 And as you say, it never hurts to poke some gentle fun 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Exactly. Thanks for stopping by to read.
      I like your last name, Rebecca. We have in America a singer named Randy Stonehill. He’s quite brilliant. Have you heard of him?

  18. L.E.R.T says:

    Very funny and thanks to Rochelle’s video I understood a little bit more. I like me some dry humor and this one has it. Cheers, Varad

  19. jellico84 says:

    And yet, ye wonder why I soooooo miss my prayer Kapp. Really, seriously and honestly, I do. And yes, I do often cover my head for church, though it’s not required. I don’t see the purpose of a wig, though. A simple cloth cover will do the same. Love the story. An excellent humor on the trads!

  20. yarnspinnerr says:

    This is a hoot to read. 🙂

  21. You got a laugh here.
    And I learned something from the video because I was wondering why she would have a wig.

  22. wmqcolby says:

    Yeah, it’s stated in the story, but a lot of people might not truly get it. One of the hazards of writing. Glad you got something from it and enjoyed the story! 🙂

  23. Michael Wynn says:

    Very funny and informative then funnier because there’s more of a reason for her to be wearing the wig than the usual ones we are used to

  24. That last line is a corker!

  25. wmqcolby says:

    Glad you thought so, Clare. You have such wonderful words where you’re from. 😉

  26. I hadn’t read this story so It was new to me, Kent. It was cute and funny. Good writing. 😀 — Suzanne

  27. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Suzanne. 🙂 It was a fun write.

  28. I had no idea…but what a fun way to learn about this!

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