[For some reason, my previous blog post, a criticism of the recent ban by some rabbis on renting and selling homes to non-Jews in Israel, did npt appear on some RSS feeds. Here it is.]
By now, everyone knows about the terrible Chillul Hashem caused by Heidi and Mendy on The People's Court. The explanation offered in VINis plausible and may absolve them, in the eyes of man if not the judge, of attempting to take the cleaners to the cleaners. For what it's worth, I believe the VIN write-up and give Heidi and Mendy the benefit of the doubt. It's important to keep in mind that "The People's Court" is not actually a court of law. The litigants agree to appear before the "judge" as a binding arbitrator. It is also worth recalling that the point of the show, like any show, is to provide entertainment.The judge's tirade at the end was certainly entertaining, whether or not it was just.
I still fault Heidi and Mendy for two things: the first is appearing on the show in the first place, as has been noted by many. The second is appearing wearing the wig she was wearing. In hindsight, it's easy to see how wearing a clearly expensive wig could cast aspersions on the whole story. From a tactical point of view, it probably would have won more points had she been wearing a kerchief of some sort.
Lest one argue that it is inappropriate to wear a kerchief to court, well, this is America of the 21st century, and folks can (and should) wear whatever they want on their heads as a religious expression. Don't believe me? Well, one rebbetzin wore a kerchief to the White House Hannukah party. Meet Rabbi Uri and Dahlia Topolosky of New Orleans (full disclosure: they're friends of ours; and he's a UMD alum - go Terps!):