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The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body like men wear a talis3) concealing the triangular space between head and shoulders, and the split between arms and torso. This applies even today.4

According to R' Moshe Feinstein5 a woman may select any posek she wants, even if her husband is a posek. Indeed, no wife of any of these poskim followed their husband's psak. It is also the prevalent custom not to follow this, although some do.6

Which poskim would they be following?7


1. Written kol koreh by R' Weiss with R' Fisher, R' Rabinowitz, R' Halberstam, R' Bernsdorfer, and R' Ulman.
2. Biur Halacha on Siman 75: Veda shekol ze (...) le kula alma (...) overes al das yehudis...
3. Rambam Hilchos Ishus Perek 13 & 24, Shulchan Oruch Even HaEzer Siman 73.
4. Diyuk in Rambam ibid. shenohagu bnos yisroel and not shenohagin i.e. it doesn't change according to current custom.
5. Written by R' Leib Tropper in the name of R' Feinstein's son.
6. At least in Bet Shemesh, Jerusalem, Kiryas Joel, London, Monsey, and Montreal. E.g. one of the two Shomer Emunim Rebbetzins, and R' Shlomo Brevda's daughter-in-law.
7. It would seem that they would be either later than the Mishna Berura, or that he did not know (or consider) them.

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Related (and possibly undercutting my premise there): judaism.stackexchange.com/q/29085/5 –  Seth J Aug 2 '13 at 5:06
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Igros Moshe YD 1:81. –  sam Aug 2 '13 at 5:54
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These signs are quite ridiculous and this whole discussion is quite ridiculous! –  Yehoshua Aug 2 '13 at 11:43
    
See Rashi in Shabbos Daf 80a d"h "b'irnois" –  Yehoshua Aug 2 '13 at 11:46
    
@sam: I am not sure what you are trying to say. I"M there permits gentile clothing as long as it is not preitzusdig. I.e. there is no obligation to look Jewish, although it is preferable. Tzniusdige non-Jewish garments (e.g. chador or apostolnik instead of redid) are fine. R' Pesach Eliyahu Falk brings that too in Oz vehadar levushah 1:I:4. –  NBZ Aug 4 '13 at 14:28
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1 Answer 1

There are too many assumptions in the question for me to formulate an acceptable answer. I suppose I could identify poskim, but I will not. Hopefully, I have waited until the bounty on this question has expired.

I would assume (correctly) the many, many Ashkenazic poskim who indeed maintain that a redid is not required. I believe that the redid is an Arabic clothing, and reflects Rambam's specific (culturally based) interpretation of the gemara which speaks of a kalta (a sort of basket-hat, according to Rashi) as an insufficient level of head covering. Maybe they are holding like the Shiltei Giborim who permits wigs as a sufficient level of covering to the reshut harabim.

Maybe they are holding like the Rambam, in the following diyuk. He says, in Ishus 24:

וְאֵיזוֹ הִיא דָּת יְהוּדִית, הוּא מִנְהַג הַצְּנִיעוּת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְאֵלּוּ הֶן הַדְּבָרִים שְׁאִם עָשָׂת אֶחָד מֵהֶן, עָבְרָה עַל דָּת יְהוּדִית: יוֹצְאָה לַשּׁוּק אוֹ לְמָבוֹי מְפֻלָּשׁ, וְרֹאשָׁהּ פָּרוּעַ וְאֵין עָלֶיהָ רָדִיד כִּשְׁאָר הַנָּשִׁים, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשְּׂעָרָהּ מְכֻסֶּה בְּמִטְפַּחַת; אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה טוֹוָה בַּשּׁוּק, וּוֶרֶד וְכַיּוֹצֶא בּוֹ כְּנֶגֶד פָּנֶיהָ עַל פַּדַּחְתָּהּ אוֹ עַל לְחָיֶיהָ, כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשׂוֹת הַגּוֹיוֹת הַפְּרוּצוֹת; אוֹ שֶׁטּוֹוָה בַּשּׁוּק, וּמַרְאָה זְרוֹעוֹתֶיהָ לִבְנֵי אָדָם; אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה מְשַׂחֶקֶת עִם הַבַּחוּרִים; אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה תּוֹבַעַת הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ מִבַּעְלָהּ בְּקוֹל רָם, עַד שֶׁשְּׁכֵנוֹתֶיהָ שׁוֹמְעוֹת אוֹתָהּ מְדַבֶּרֶת עַל עִסְקֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ; אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה מְקַלֶּלֶת אֲבִי בַּעְלָהּ בִּפְנֵי בַּעְלָהּ.

Note he says מִנְהַג הַצְּנִיעוּת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל, so we can perhaps make a diyuk that some group of women cannot suddenly redefine it in their generation and are thus free to do whatever they want. But once it has been redefined (through the fluid development of minhag) as a thing women do in order to be tznius in public, then people in the present can look to the practice of women in the past. (I don't know that we should make the diyuk at all. Must we cast all instances of מקום שנהגו as specifically past rather than present tense.)

Note we can make another diyuk, that Rambam also says וְאֵין עָלֶיהָ רָדִיד כִּשְׁאָר הַנָּשִׁים, and there is not on it a redid like the other women, meaning that he is operating in a framework where other women are wearing redids, that not having it is a violation.

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I think--and the OP can correct me if I'm wrong--that the question is asking whose authority are the wives of the members of Eida HaChareidis following such that they don't follow the psak of their husbands? –  Daniel Aug 22 '13 at 13:31
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@JoshWaxman thank you. Concur this question has far too many assumptions. BTW Rabbi YH Henkin shlit'a also points out that elswhere in Ishus, Rambam talks about what a man must provide for his wife. He writes "and give her a redid, in places where that's expected." Which implies that where it isn't, she doesn't need one. –  Shalom Aug 22 '13 at 13:43
    
Ah, Daniel, thanks. I just reread the question and see the words "no wife of any of these poskim". I would first want to establish then that these poskim actually hold this, from more than a kol koreh (which can be written by anyone, and often does not make fine distinctions). –  josh waxman Aug 22 '13 at 23:12
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