May 30, 2011 6:18 am at 6:18 am #597162
In the not too distant past I went with my husband to the Skulener Rebbe for a Bracha. I got the Bracha, and on my way out, just before leaving the room, I asked if there’s anything I can take upon myself for special Hatzlacha with important things. The Rebbe said to shave my head.
Im torn. I dont want to feel like I am disrespecting the Rebbe, but I cant see myself feeling “normal” with a shaved head.
Have any other non-Chassidish people shaved their heads because of a situation like mine (a Rebbe suggested it)?
OTOH, I believe, as do many others, in the special Koichos of the Skulener Rebbe, but on the other hand, Im Litvish and didnt expect that drastic a Kabalah.
If you were me, what would you do?May 30, 2011 6:29 am at 6:29 am #773161MasterMember
I’m not commenting on the specifics of your question about shaving, but will make a general comment that the Skulener Rebbe is from the Malachei Elokim for our generation.May 30, 2011 6:44 am at 6:44 am #773162
Are you bacon or are you eggs?
The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.
Really though, here is my question for you:
I personally find it odd to tell a litvish woman to shave her head, since it is not a din, or even a chumrah, but merely a minhag of the chassidim (I think).
But, if you trust this person, and trust his daas torah, and he thinks it is a good idea for you to do it, then I reckon you should do it.
If you don’t, I don’t know why you go to him.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it is more nuanced than that. But it’s a starting point for thinking about it.May 30, 2011 6:47 am at 6:47 am #773163shlishiMember
If you were me, what would you do?
If I were you, I wouldn’t have been asking this question here since I would have already shaven.May 30, 2011 6:56 am at 6:56 am #773164
re: “If I were you, I wouldn’t have been asking this question here since I would have already shaven”
Shlishi- the Rebbe didnt say I must.
I assumed that by observation (my husband’s black hat) the Rebbe would see clearly that we’re not Chassidish. Im sure many Litvish people go to him for Brachos. I didnt expect that the shaving advice would be given to non Chassidish people.
In addition, I sense that my husband would not be thrilled by my shaving (at best he’d accept it), but wouldnt ever admit it.
A friend said to try it for a few months, and see if I see any positive changes. The Rebbe never said I have to commit to it forever.May 30, 2011 7:00 am at 7:00 am #773165
Oh, I didn’t realize you were asking only on your behalf and not on behalf of your husband.
This would be a very big deal to your husband, I think you should let him decide. Tell him you are willing to do it, (if you are), but I would say to only do it if he really wants to, not if he is only willing to accommodate you.May 30, 2011 7:15 am at 7:15 am #773166s2021Member
I dont understand how a female is capable of doing such a thing to herself. No matter how normalized the minhag becomes… how could a healthy person not be traumatized to see herself in such a state? To watch as your locks of hair fall to the ground..?? Im horrified just thinking about it!May 30, 2011 7:21 am at 7:21 am #773167HaLeiViParticipant
It’s very obvious that he knows you are not Chassidish. He wouldn’t tell you to do something you already did.
Decide what you want, but I don’t think you should test it.May 30, 2011 8:01 am at 8:01 am #773168tunabeigel123Member
It’s very obvious that he knows
you are not Chassidish. He
wouldn’t tell you to do
something you already did.
BTW most chassidishe ladies i know (family members) don’t shave their head, if they would i’d really feel bad for themselves and husband.May 30, 2011 8:17 am at 8:17 am #773169PosterMember
tunabeigel123, dont feel bad for them or their husbands. They are used to it. Just like secular pple say “I cant imagine how married women cover their hair! They take their beautiful natural hair and always cover it, in the heat etc…”
When u r used to something it is normal for you.
Many pple have seen tremendous yeshuos from shaving their hair.May 30, 2011 9:49 am at 9:49 am #773171amichaiParticipant
I am not speaking against the rebbe. I am sure there are other ways to bring brocha to your family without doing something so drastic. to name a few, shmiras haloshon, 2 halochos daily, being ready for shabbos 15 min. b4 the time, greeting pple you wouldn’t neccesarily speak to. etc. find something that is on your level. be in reality. speak to your husband on something you can learn together, 5 min. a day. that will give you hatzlocha.May 30, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am #773172mikehall12382Member
Ask your rabbi, but if you go to a rebbe prepare for the answer you may receiveMay 30, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am #773173TikkunHatzotMember
Either way of what you decide to do, please keep us informed.May 30, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #773175HaLeiViParticipant
When a Tzaddik advises you to do something, it doesn’t mean that you can pass on this great idea with its promise. The main reason why it would work would be on his say-so.May 30, 2011 1:16 pm at 1:16 pm #773176
The Skulener Rebbe is known to give this advice to women. My daughter in law’s friend had been diagnosed with a brain tumor(something she kept secret and did not tell her family about). She consulted with the Skulener Rebbe Shlita who gave her the same advice and she followed the advice. She too is not Chassidish but considers herself and family Heimish. She is B”H healthy and fine and is building a beautiful family.(The Rebbe says that cancer=kain sayar, meaning no hair).(I know you B”H did not fall into that test). This friend told my daughter in law whose family has a minhag and does shave, to discuss her feelings about it because her(freind’s) family would be opposed to it. Yes, it is not an easy undertaking.If your husband is very against it then consult with your Rav whom you asked shailos and discuss with him. Hatzlochah Rabboh!May 30, 2011 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #773178hanibParticipant
mikehall: like/ agree/ +1
pick which answer you choose. :0 i’m too confused.May 30, 2011 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #773179ZeesKiteParticipant
I saw a most marvelous story about the war, one Rebbe told the women (or maybe it was their minhag) to shave. Every single one that did made it out alive! I don’t recall the place though.
I don’t know how these things work, but obviously there’s a big segulah / power to it.May 30, 2011 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #773180lil BMember
Its a tough call. But i will say does this Rebbe know you personally? I have a family friend who follows their Rebbe but the Rebbe knows the family and all situations. If the feeling of shaving your head doesnt sit right why not go back to him and say that you and your husband are having a hard time dealing with it is there somehting else to be done. You cant do soemthing if there is a possibility your husband will have a hard time looking at you now matter what a Rebbe says its your husband that would have to see you every day. And please answer this does the Rebbe KNOW you and your husband well enough to make such a disition?May 30, 2011 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #773182
When a Bracha (blessing) is needed, going to a Torah leader whose overall approach you are most comfortable with is appropriate.
Expect a Bracha to be accompanied with advise and the advise has to be compatible with Halacha (Torah law) and you.May 30, 2011 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #773183
“since it is not a din, or even a chumrah”
this chumra is to prevent a ????? of a knot in a single hair, very difficult to discover when combing even with a fine-tooth combMay 30, 2011 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #773184
this chumra is to prevent a ????? of a knot in a single hair, very difficult to discover when combing even with a fine-tooth comb
Interesting. (That was why I appended (“I think)”.
In any event, it is not a chumrah which is brought in the shulchan aruch, rema, shach, taz.May 30, 2011 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #773185msseekerMember
How about a pshara: cut your hair real short.May 30, 2011 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #773186
For those married the advice also has to be compatible with your spouse.May 30, 2011 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #773187HomeownerMember
I saw a most marvelous story about the war, one Rebbe told the women (or maybe it was their minhag) to shave. Every single one that did made it out alive! I don’t recall the place though.
So the reason my grandmothers and my aunts went to the gas chambers is because they didn’t shave their heads?
What an offensive and disgusting implication!
Think before you post!May 30, 2011 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #773188talking stamMember
One of the most beautiful things about Yiddishkeit is our diversity even among the frummest Yidden. If you are chasidish, your belief is that you become closer to Hashem through following the Rebbe’s advice to the T, since the Rebbe is on a higher level than we will ever be. On the other hand, if you are Litvish, you believe that you become closer to Hashem through your own cheshbon hanefesh, sometimes with guidance from a Rav, but that ultimately you are making your own decisions about which chumros to take on (in addition to the minhagim of your family) to help you grow spiritually.
I understand your dilemma because on the one hand you understand the greatness of the Rebbe and want a brocha and advice from someone on such a high madreiga, but on the other hand your being litvish means your not used to the Rebbe’s absolute authority in something that is not strict halacha or minhag (at least not your minhag.) The answer I can give you (and I hope it helps you have more clarity) is actually a litvish way of looking at it, that you have to make a cheshbon hanefesh and decide for yourself if this is a chumra you want to take on, or even to try at all. You asked the Rebbe for advice for a reason, so in your cheshbon hanefesh you might want to decide if there is a different chumra that seems more fitting for you, or if indeed you find after much introspection that shaving your head will benefit your (and your husband’s) ruchnius growth.May 30, 2011 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #773189BSDMember
My wife is hesitant to go with me to the rebbe for this very reason. He is known for this. Having said that, the skulene Rebbe is an ish kadosh vitahor, a remnant of the previous doros. It is a privilage to be able to see him. May he have arichas yummim vishunim.May 30, 2011 6:39 pm at 6:39 pm #773190always runs with scissors fastParticipant
WHen a very holy man like the Skulner Rebbe gives an answer to YOUR QUESTION ( you were after all searching for truth- he just delivered the message) …its not to be taken lightly.
Emunas chachamin means that we believe/know they see things we are not aware of through ruach hakodesh. They dont “make it up as they go along”.
I just realized from your post that you are probablly a woman!
I fully encourage you to start shaving. THis is a seriously heilig zach. THe brachos and the protection you will have from this are going to be tremdous. THe tzinus, the hishbua it will have over your family, household, your children. There is no telling how far taking a thing upon yourself will take you- FOr Good!
WHen the rabbonim instituted this practice by making a tachuna many hundreds of years ago, across Europe, they forsaw the need Klal Israel has for this. (not that I am fully enlightened about their reasons). However, I do know that it must be great because the yetzer hara will bring forth arguments in your mind why not to do it.
And they are really trivial arguments afterall. Because if to a married jewish woman the hair is anyways irrelevant since its under cover, what do you care if its gone or not?
Let me tell you soemthing. Many many many years ago, I was a young lady in my early 20’s ‘searching;. i had gorgeous long hair. It was really pretty.
And I went from that to a short hair cut and then one day I just did it! shaving! I decided that that was the right thing to do and I became a chasidishe house wife too!
Don’t think too much into it, or your head gets in a logical battle ground, and your heart will find it hard to do the holy thing.
No one has to know you are doing it! You anyways cover your head, so ……
Hatzlucha and much bracha !!!!May 30, 2011 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #773191ZeesKiteParticipant
(had your coffee today?) Did I say that? Did I imply that?? Yes, I thunk before posting Are you so against me writing that someone had an extra zchus and was saved thereby??? WOW!!! (my screen name won’t allow me to write more..)May 30, 2011 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #773192
“And I went from that to a short hair cut and then one day I just did it! shaving!”
Now I finally understand your screen name 🙂May 30, 2011 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #773193chocandpatienceMember
Homeowner: “So the reason my grandmothers and my aunts went to the gas chambers is because they didn’t shave their heads?
What an offensive and disgusting implication!”
I don’t see where that is implicated. A group of women followed the direction of their Rebbe and they were saved. That’s all that I see implicated.May 30, 2011 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #773194HAKOL TOVMember
I agree with arwsf.
If you asked and this is what he told you then follow his advise. The Skulena rebbe isnt just any rebbe he is a malach alokim. You never know what this might protect you from. I am sure that it will be very hard for you in he beginning but I doubt that you will regret it!
Hatzloche in whatever you choose to do!May 30, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #773195MDGParticipant
Ain kli machzik bracha ela ha’shalom (the only vessel to contain blessing is peace).
If the proposed action will effect your Shalom Bayis, then the bracha won’t come. In fact, other brachos may be lost.
When Hashem told Moshe to go free Am Yisrael, he still asked permission from the people around him. Same with Yaakov – he asked before he went.May 30, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #773196
This might seem petty, but how would I explain at the Sheitelmacher. Many Chassidish women do it. NO Litvish women do it. It would be very unique…..Similar to a Litvish woman wearing seamed stockings….May 30, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm #773197always hereParticipant
groisnaches~ what I find very poignant is that you & your husband had already received a bracha from the Rebba, shlita, and yet:
“and on my way out, just before leaving the room, I asked if there’s anything I can take upon myself for special Hatzlacha with important things. ” … you asked for it, you got it.
as has been said before here on this thread: if you seek the advice of a Rebba, be prepared to receive it.
(I don’t mean to sound cold & insensitive.)May 30, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm #773198
I’m sure there are many Chasidishe Sheitelmacher’s who are more than familiar with it.May 30, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #773199MDGParticipant
“However, I do know that it must be great because the yetzer hara will bring forth arguments in your mind why not to do it. “
With that line of logic, all kinds of things could be considered great, even bad things, just as long as you have doubts.
“You never know what this might protect you from.”
That could be said about superstitions also.
Ask your husband and your Rav. Don’t fall prey to emotional arguments.May 30, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #773200me tooMember
Look it at this way.
The Rebbe gave you an ugly stone to wear as a Shmira.
It is also very possible that the Sheitelmacher came across this phenomenonMay 30, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #773201always runs with scissors fastParticipant
Groisnachas-You have asked a valid question which truly reflects a weak point in our charachter as a Jewish Community. So many times we find ourselves wondering and worrying what the neighbors may say. But there comes times in one’s life when you have to make a move, take a stand and act for your own self interest, and NOT GIVE A CARE what others may think.
Its none of her business. You do NOT owe her an explanaion in the first place. When you remove your hair covering in front of her, you learn to do it very discreetly, quickly switching into the next thing you’re throwing on. And if/when she sees there is no hair there anymore you do not explain. If she is so bold or rude as to question you what you did to yourself, you remain silent.
Silence sometimes is the strongest answer. sometimes it means “none of your business”. YOU do not owe anyone an explanation. In fact, if you were to lower yourself to giving out explanations, then she might laugh and turn to her neighbors and say “did you know Mrs. So and So shaved off her hair just cause some Rebbe told her to!!!”
SOmetimes you learn to just be strong in order to do the right thing. SOmetimes people do laugh and you learn to be strong through the cackling, and then learn that after a while the cackling dies down, and that deep down they are really in admiration of you after all.May 31, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am #773202Dave HirschParticipant
I agree with many of the above posters.
Shaving is merely a Minhag (the Chasam Sofer actually does mention it in his responsa Y”D 195 – citing the reason of ?????) and is a hard undertaking for a woman. However, being that you asked, and it is the Skulener Rebbe whom you asked, I feel that you are compelled to either go back and ask once more or do as you were told. He isn’t just another rebbe… rather a pious, devout and saintly man. He is known to many as a miracle man (literally). “Just throw away your TV…” etc.May 31, 2011 1:26 am at 1:26 am #773203
Ok, back to the other reason Im hesitant. My husband is as Litvish as you can get, having gone to the best of Litvishe Yeshivos, and humors me by even going with me to Chassidishe Rebbes occasionally. He’s a Talmid Chochom himself. I doubt if even one of his really top Roshei Yeshivos wives shaved. He’ll be the one cackling AT ME, thinking I lost it (not only my hair)!
If I cut my hair really short, is that disrespecting the Rebbe? Really short is one thing, shaved/bald is another.May 31, 2011 1:48 am at 1:48 am #773204
“NO Litvish women do it.”
“If I cut my hair really short”
Why not ask the Rav if this would be acceptable?May 31, 2011 1:55 am at 1:55 am #773205
The Chasam Sofer (see Dave Hirsch above) isn’t Chasidish.May 31, 2011 2:01 am at 2:01 am #773206
“The Rebbe said to shave my head.”
Did your husband hear this?
If so, what was his reaction?
Shaving, or even cutting your hair short may be disrespecting him and his Roshei Yeshivos.May 31, 2011 2:05 am at 2:05 am #773207
Josh: She wrote in the OP her husband is willing to go along with her shaving.May 31, 2011 2:42 am at 2:42 am #773208
Pac Man, I checked the string more carefully and she speculated, “In addition, I sense that my husband would not be thrilled by my shaving (at best he’d accept it), but wouldn’t ever admit it.”
Based upon this, she should consult very carefully with her husband before taking any action.
Fortunately, even if she would take a vow to shave her head every month; her husband will have until sunset on the day he hears about the vow to nullify the vow.
This thread has shone a bright light on the importance of this law of nullifying vows.
No one is allowed to take on unilaterally stringent customs of another community where potential vital interests of their spouse can be affected.May 31, 2011 2:46 am at 2:46 am #773209Leon NormansonMember
If i were to be in your position, I would be in touch with my Rav and follow his psak halacha.May 31, 2011 3:22 am at 3:22 am #773210Leon NormansonMember
This question reminds me of a story that happened a while ago, by a Rebbe from a different community. A bochur came in with a question that he has a choice between two yeshivos which one he should choose. The Rebbe didn’t answer. A short while later he decided he’ll ask again, still no answer. He figured maybe the Gabbai (A holy man in his own right) would be able to help him. He asked him, tell me the truth when you entered the rebbe’s room, had you made up you’re mind already? The bochur said, Yes. I actually prefered one yeshiva over the other. The Gabbai said, That’s the reason you didn’t recieve an answer. If you want the Rebbe to guide you, you have to totally detach yourself from your what you want! The end of the story is that he asked again, and the Rebbe told him exactly what to do!
Now pertaining to your story with the Skulener Rebbe, I personally don’t think that not shaving would be considered going against what the Rebbe said, Since it was a voluntary “Kabbalah”. But keep in mind that next time before you ask, you should be ready to Mekabel whatever the Rebbe sais, even if it means, going bald…!May 31, 2011 3:22 am at 3:22 am #773211BSDMember
Homeowner- You may owe ZK an apology. All she said was that these women may have survived because of their meritorious deed- I don’t know how you inferred from her words that whoever fails to do so should go to hell. A pack of reds (or Virginia Slims) will do you wonders.
groisnaches- Why not give it a test drive and see how it feels for both you and your husband. It’s not permanent you know. And hey-you might even like it. Showers will take a fraction of the time, your shaitel will fit like a glove, and heaven help me if my wife reads this post!May 31, 2011 3:35 am at 3:35 am #773212May 31, 2011 3:59 am at 3:59 am #773213Dave HirschParticipant
The Chasam Sofer doesn’t endorse the Minhag. The questioner refers to the Minhag to which the Chasam Sofer replies about the issue of Chatzitza (for a Kallah before the Chupa).
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