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Fear of idolatry sparks wig ban in Israel

Reuters, UK
May 14, 2004 • Friday May 14, 2004

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An ultraorthodox Jewish sage has issued a ritual ban against natural hair wigs from India, saying they may have been made from tresses shorn from women during Hindu ceremonies, Israeli newspapers report.

Many Orthodox Jewish women, who adhere to rules of modesty by allowing only their husbands to see their natural hair, responded to the ruling by switching to synthetic wigs or hats, the Yedioth Ahronoth and Haaretz dailies reported on Friday.

The edict, issued by the spiritual leader of an ultraorthodox sect, said some hair in wigs sold in Israel may have come from women who took part in Hindu haircutting ceremonies, which was tantamount to idol worship.

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