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Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Rav Menashe Klein Wearing Tefilin On A Toupee
If someone wears a toupee, must he take it off when putting on Tefilin Shel Rosh? The Tshuvas HaRashba (1:30), which is not in accordance with the other Rishonim, proves from the Yerushalmi that having a Chatzitza, a separation between your head and your Tefilin Shel Rosh, is not a problem.  It is only a problem by Tefilin Shel Yad.  However, says Rav Menashe Klein (Mishneh Halachos 6:8), that at best the Rashba only holds this B’Di’eved and even so he concedes that the Rishonim before him disagreed.  Furthermore, the Rashba says that his opinion is L’Halacha but not L’Maaseh.

Another possible heter says the Mishneh Halachos is a Pnei Aryeh (6) who says that if you put white powder in your hair, it is not a Chatzitza since it is for beauty, and anything put in the hair for aesthetic purposes in not a chatzitza.  Similarly, says Rav Menashe Klein, maybe a toupee, which is meant to enhance your appearance, is also not a chatzitza.  However he dismisses this argument saying that you cannot compare powder, which disappears and a toupee, which is very thick.

L’Maskana he says that the Shela HaKadosh holds that even if you put ashes in your hair for aveilus Zecher L’Churban, you must wash it off before putting on your tefilin.  The Machatzis HaShekel (OC 27:4) says that even excessively long hair is a Chatzitza.  Although some disagree with this Machazis HaShekel, says Rav Menashe Klein, certainly when it comes to a toupee, all would agree that it is a chatzitza.  If after explaining to someone the problem with a toupee for Tefilin the person insists on putting Tefilin on top of a toupee, he definitely shouldn’t make a separate bracha on his tefilin shel rosh.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

This article has not been reviewed by the posek of the AskRevach section, Rav Peretz Moncharsh.  Any questions regarding this topic and Halacha L’Maaseh may be asked to him at 
RELATED ARTICLES:balding  chatzitza  halacha  Rav Menashe Klein  Shela HaKadosh  tefilin  toupee

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Visitor Comments: 2

Sl, 2011-07-10 10:54:20
Rav Moshe in the Igros Moshe OH 4 siman 40:18,says to make a bracha at home without the covering and when in shul to wear on top of it without making a bracha.
RD, 2011-07-10 16:50:10
The Mishnah Berurah (27:16) also addresses this sheila. He holds that one may not wear his tefillin shel rosh on top of a toupee, but if one is embarrassed to remove his toupee in public, he should wear Tefillin privately without the toupee (Halacha Berura). Likewise, Rav Ovadia Yosef holds that a bald man who wears a toupee must remove the toupee when wearing tefillin shel rosh. If he is embarrassed to do so in the presence of the other worshippers in the Bet Kenesset, then he should put on tefillin at home before coming to Bet Kenesset and recite shema with the tefillin. He should then go to Bet Kenesset and wear the tefillin over the toupee. Both R' Yosef and the Igros Moshe address the issue of men who get hair transplantation surgery, in which grafts are taken from one part of the head and surgically implanted in the area of hair loss. Igros Moshe O.C. 4:40-48 says that a toupee that is attached to the head permanently is not a chatzitzah; he permits such a person to make a brocha on his tefillin shel rosh. R' Yosef says that someone with hair grafts may consider his new hair as part of his body. Therefore, he may wear his tefillin shel rosh on his hair. As long as the artificially-placed toupee or hair grafts are permanent and cannot be removed, both Reb Moshe and R' Ovadia Yosef hold that there is no problem.

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