October 18, 2009 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #590606theShtaygerMember
Looking for advice from the YWN oylam:
What is the correct way to deal with a child who, unfortunately, does not take the inyan of wearing a hat and jacket seriously. Both during davening and in general. There is a fear that this lack of seriousness will lead to worse things down the road, loy oleynu.October 18, 2009 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #663219
theShtayger: Seek counsel from your Rov. Your concern is well justified.October 18, 2009 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #663220haifagirlParticipant
I don’t want to be flippant, but, did Moshe Rabbeinu wear a hat and jacket?
As a community we have been putting far too much emphasis on what a person wears and not enough on what a person does.
Years ago a friend of mine described what she was looking for in a potential mate: black hat, black suit, beard. I once suggested she go out with a particular man who I thought she had a lot in common with. She really didn’t want to because he didn’t wear a black suit, he wore a sport jacket, and he wore a kippah srugah. It was a long time ago, and I don’t remember the conversation exactly, but one day she mentioned his name in reference to something, and I replied something about not being able to contact him because he was learning with his chavrusah. She replied, “He learns?” as if that was something she couldn’t imagine someone doing if he wasn’t dressed all in black. BTW, they have been married for about 15 years now.
Does your son daven? Does he learn regularly? If he does, I wouldn’t worry about his attire.October 18, 2009 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #663221cholentkugelkishkeMember
theShtayger – speak to a chinuch expert. This is a tough question, and I don’t think it’s for the CR.October 18, 2009 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #663222
If you make a big deal out of it and force him, it WILL backfire. I have seen it happen more than once.October 18, 2009 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #663223JaxMember
such a question would make a perfect question to present to the Yated’s Chinuch Round Table!
Do ask a higher authority then us CR members!October 18, 2009 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #663224
Did someone just ring a higher authority?October 18, 2009 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #663225JaxMember
Joseph: don’t get too excited, the higher authority was not you!October 18, 2009 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #663226
To Jax: thanks for both your responses.
I think that unless we have a generations long mesorah of levush (and even then…)what we have to emphasize is the need to daven “kempt” as opposed to unkempt – tucked in, laces tied. That is clearly understandable as kavod appropriate and necessary. If one’s son is doing that, and davening with kavana and sincerely, one is way ahead of the game.
When you ask someone experienced and wiser, make sure to include all details necessary – age, milieu, etc.
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz would also be a good person to contact.
May you, or whoever, see great nachas.October 18, 2009 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #663227
Also meant to ask, any sensory issues? A dear friend whose son has Aspergers had to deal with this.October 18, 2009 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #663228theShtaygerMember
I will submit this shayla to a ruv as recommended.
I was looking for advice from fellow yidden who may have had some exposure to this problem. How to answer questions like: “What did people do before they invented hats and jackets?” “I dont like dressing that way”. etcOctober 18, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm #663230
Shtayger, I said before that I have seen situations like this one, I would just advise you to focus on the positive traits of the boy, compliment and praise him in aspects that he does well in. It is probably a phase and if you make a bigger deal out of it he will get more stubborn and pull away from you.October 18, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #663231Feif UnParticipant
You realize that the black hat/jacket lifestyle is not for everyone. You say “in general”, but there is no inyan to where it when not davening – that’s just a shtus that came about recently.
If your child is keeping shabbos, keeping kosher, and putting on tefillin every day, be happy for that. Pushing him can make him stop with those also.
Yes, I’ve had exposure to this so-called problem. The real problem is when people tell you you’re not frum without the hat and jacket.October 18, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #663232oomisParticipant
“What did people do before they invented hats and jackets?” “I dont like dressing that way”. etc “
Unfortunately there IS no real answer to that that will ever satisfy the child who does not feel connected to this type of levush. There was a time when the frummest of the frum wore turbans or long robes (no sox) or fishermen’s caps amd knickers, and CERTAINLY no Borsalinos or suit jackets. That I can promise with no doubt. Many of our young people feel the stress put on the levush is hypocritical, especially when they hear of “frum-looking” people committing financial fraud.
I agree that too much emphasis is often put on this, to the point that a young man who does not follow the dress code is deemed almost irreligious by foolish people. However, the issue you are describing is partly the natural rebellion of a child and partly a reaction to some other feeling of negativity associated with this mode of dress or to the formal rituals of Judaism. The more you push, the more he will push back. I think the best advice is to speak to someone (NOT necessarily your own Rov), who is experienced in dealing with kids who have off-the-derech issues (NOT that I believe that the failure to wear a hat and jacket signifies being off OTD, just that it indicates a rebellion against the outward religious accoutrements of your circle). Have you tried ascertaining what his objections are? Can it be that he dislikes his rebbie or some other aspect of school, and is reacting to that by “blaming” the hat and jacket (as symbols of his dislike)? Or is it simply that he does not feel the need to wear these things in order to be frum? If so, and if you live in a Yeshivish world, it is obviously going to be more problematic than if you are in a neighborhood where frum kids come in all manner of (tzniusdik) dress.
Obviously this means a great deal to you, but I would tread cautiously. You don’t want to see your son turn this into a snowball effect and alienate him altogether. Talk to him, and mroe improtant, LISTEN and hear what he is saying.October 19, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am #663233lesschumrasParticipant
Your concern should be waht is best for your son, not what the friends in your circle will say.
My grandnepew went thru thst stage. My niece, who is yeshivish, decided to let him go thru his ” pink shirt’ stage without drawing a line in the sand because he continued to learn, and showed no rebellion in other areas.
The phase eventually passed and now he is in High school, well adjusted, happy and a top learner.October 19, 2009 1:23 am at 1:23 am #663234pookieMember
i dont always wear a hat or jacket and i think my tefilos are answerd just as wellOctober 19, 2009 1:35 am at 1:35 am #663235mazal77Participant
I think that, not everyone is capable of wearing a hat and jacket all the time. I think though, as a parent myself, don’t push the issue. Try to keep him motivated. Try the subtle approach. Maybe find tapes on the subject and play them at home or when he is in the car. My son just mentioned that he learned in Shulchan Aruch that a man should wear 2 coverings when you daven. Although my son mentioned that is what he learned in Shulchan Aruch, but is not sure how the REMA paskens(we are sefardi).October 19, 2009 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #663237Feif UnParticipant
mazal: He didn’t say it bothers him only during davening, he said “in general”.
There is really no reason to wear a hat and jacket the entire day. It’s a shtus that came about recently.October 19, 2009 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #663238cherrybimParticipant
Anyway, his advice to them is to leave it alone because if you take away this outlet, the child will always seek another outlet that’s worse than the original outlet.October 19, 2009 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #663239
So what’s the problem? The father can just tell everyone he wears his tzitzis inside. That way nobody will be none the wiser.October 19, 2009 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #663240cherrybimParticipant
Chochim: you missed the point.October 19, 2009 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #663241
Me? I think I got your point. I was being sarcastic. The parents obviously care more for reputations than they do for their children. This was a way for them to still maintain their prestigious reputation.October 19, 2009 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #663242
Truthsharer, I think the point is that a person should teach their children to be hypocrites. The black hat is a custom and tzitzit is a halachah, so while he may be showing everyone that he is wearing a black hat its what’s in the inside that’s important.October 19, 2009 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #663243
The purpose of the the hat and jacket is “lo shinu es malbushayhen” – we want to dress differently than the seculars.October 19, 2009 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #663244SJSinNYCMember
…by copying the outdated fashions of the world.October 19, 2009 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #663245mepalMember
Interestingly, the higher you go in society by the non-Jews, the closer you’ll find them looking like a yeshiva guy. At least when they work, you will find your average bosses, managers, CEO’s wearing a suit.October 19, 2009 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #663246
…. by changing our dress.October 19, 2009 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #663247JotharMember
Mepla, that was the point. Yeshivish way of dress evolved (or devolved) from the Slabodka standard of dressing in “conservative elegance”, to look like the respected goyim. This elevated the stature of yeshiva bochurim throughout Europe.
Hats and jackets for davening do have halachic basis (how you dress in front of an important person is by wearing a jacket, the hat from kavod or the idea you need a kisui kaved, or a version of ituf with the tallis). That said, sometimes it’s better to let them have little pleasures of rebellion and stave off bigger ones. Ask your LOR of course.October 19, 2009 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #663258squeakParticipant
What? I kind of like the sound of “mepla” better. Goes well with spaghetti,October 19, 2009 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #663259BemusedParticipant
Please. I think you didn’t mean that question.October 19, 2009 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm #663263YW Moderator-80Member
I just got here. Sorry that got through. Thank you for pointing it out.October 20, 2009 1:19 am at 1:19 am #663266Joe katzMember
wearing a jacket is definitely more important then the hat. coming from the perspective of the kid there is no real reason to were the hat it’s all kabbala and no matter what you explain to them t probably won’t work. what will happen is in yeshiva he will have to wear one and as he gets older yeshiva will be most of his day so he probably will be wearing the hat and jacket 24/7. Or he may never end up wearing his hat. But as it has been said, it’s more important to be a MenchOctober 20, 2009 1:24 am at 1:24 am #663267Joe katzMember
By the way, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz would be a great person to contactOctober 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am #663268A600KiloBearParticipant
In Mesivta Derech Avyrois d’Creedmoor, it is very easy to avoid this problem. So that inzerer yingelach dress in the way of inzerer Admou”r all wear bright red straitjackets and orange garbage bags over them.October 20, 2009 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #663269
What is the correct way to deal with a child who, unfortunately, does not take the inyan of wearing a hat and jacket seriously
If that’s the biggest problem in your teen’s life, then you’re doing fine.
The WolfOctober 20, 2009 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #663270
“If that’s the biggest problem in your teen’s life, then you’re doing fine.”
You don’t mean to say that one should ignore their biggest chasoron, even if this is what it is, do you?October 20, 2009 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #663271
Re Wolfishmusings: I agree, the problem is the rest of the world. The boy may not be in a school setting that feels that way, etc.; and you can’t discount the possibility that there’s a subtext there of dealing with a real, imperfect world without getting disillusioned.October 20, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm #663272aaryd621Participant
i know a person who went off the derech because his parents were constantly criticizing him for not wearing a hat.
EDITEDOctober 21, 2009 3:24 am at 3:24 am #663273oomisParticipant
“The purpose of the the hat and jacket is “lo shinu es malbushayhen” – we want to dress differently than the seculars. “
That doesn’t cut the mustard, Joseph. The goyim ALL dressed that way (AL CAPONE dressed that way!) in the early to mid part of the twentieth century. Watch any film noir, and you will see fedoras, black suits, white shirts and ties. It has zero to do with “lo shinu…” And today, ALL businessmen dress this way. That’s why the honchos are referred to as “the suits.”October 21, 2009 3:41 am at 3:41 am #663274Just-a-guyMember
And now they don’t dress that way, so its distinctive and identifies someone as Jewish.
No businessmen, except frum yidden, wear large Borsalino hats. Goyische and secular businessmen wear different color suits, shirts, shoes, etc.
Anyone who works in business in NY could pick out a frum Jew vs. a gentile “suit” 10 times out of ten, even without the kippah.October 21, 2009 3:45 am at 3:45 am #663275
Who cares how goyim dressed amulege tzaytin. All we care about is how Bnei Torah dress today.October 21, 2009 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #663276
Me: If that’s the biggest problem in your teen’s life, then you’re doing fine.
Joseph: You don’t mean to say that one should ignore their biggest chasoron, even if this is what it is, do you?
Actually, that just might be the best course.
Let’s face it Joseph, no kid is perfect. Every kid has some chisaron, however small — right? Are you suggesting that we should always be nitpicking our kids over some detail? IMHO, constantly criticizing a child is probably the best way to lose them.
I’ve always believed that the key to good parenting is to know which battles to fight and which to simply let go and say that they aren’t worth the effort. If you fight a battle* over every issue, then the child does not learn to distinguish between what is truly important and what is simply preferred behavior. They quickly pick up on the attitude that they can never be good enough because there is always some issue that their parent is trying correct and even if they do correct one, the parent will just go to the next “fault” on the list.
Furthermore, it sounds like the OP’s son is a teen. Teens need to find their own way in life. While a parent can make suggestions, a teen will quickly resent it if something is enforced from “on high.” Some things (such as school attendance, for example) may need to be enforced anyway – but others should probably not be pushed.
I don’t know the OP or his son, but I would make the following general comments and advice:
1. As I said earlier, if this is your son’s biggest problem, then you’re doing fine. If he’s otherwise learning, not doing drugs or getting in trouble, well-adjusted and friendly, happy and keeping the mitzvos, then you’re well ahead of the game.
2. If wearing a hat and jacket is that important to you, then your best bet at this juncture in life is to influence him by doing. I read a quote in the book “Off the Derech” that always stayed with me. The author (Faranak Mangalese) quoted someone (whom I don’t remember off the top of my head) as saying that many parents don’t realize that as their kids turn into teens, their job (vis a vis keeping the mitzvos [and influencing behavior in general]) has changed from management to sales. When your kids are teens, you can’t force your behavior on them (and, one could argue, if you have to do so, then you’ve already lost the battle). Far better to let your son see, by example, how important the idea of wearing a hat and jacket are to you. By him seeing how important it is to you, you have the best shot of influencing his behavior at this point in his life.
3. Ask yourself this question: If, for whatever reason, he decided to eschew wearing a hat/jacket for good, but otherwise was a fine person who kept the mitzvos, would it be so terrible? Twenty years hence, would you view your parenting job as a “failure” if that was the result? I’m going to assume the answer to that question is no. If so, then learn to focus on what is *truly* important for you to consider your parenting job a success. Meanwhile, refer back to what I said in the last point about how to positively influence him.
* By battle, I don’t mean an actual fight even necessarily mean a heated argument. I mean exerting parental influence to change behavior.October 21, 2009 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #663277jphoneMember
****”What is the correct way to deal with a child who, unfortunately, does not take the inyan of wearing a hat and jacket seriously.”****
Has anyone ever explained “the inyan” of wearing a hat and jacket during davening?
****”Both during davening and in general”****
Is there an “inyan” to wear a hat and jacket “in general”?
****”There is a fear that this lack of seriousness will lead to worse things down the road, loy oleynu.”****
If this is your concern, not wearing a hat and jacket is the least of your problems with this boy. Does he take tefilla seriously? Does he take YOU seriously?October 21, 2009 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #663278
It says in the Mishne Brurua to wear a hat and jacket by davening and bentching. Hilchos Tefiloh, Siman 91, sk 4, mb 12 (megulah)
Regarding the halacha requiring a Yid to wear a jacket and hat for davening and bentching, I believe it is derived from Chullin 138, from a discussion of the Kohein Gadol’s turban (the mitznefes). Also see the Shulchan Aruch OC 282:2. Mishnah Berurah 8:4, citing the Ba”ch, requires two head covering for all of davening.
(Rav Herschel Schachter cites the Pishchei Teshuvah who in turn cites the Shlah that it is necessary from the point of view of atifah, being cloaked while being aware of G-d’s presence.)October 21, 2009 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #663279
It says in the Mishne Brurua to wear a hat and jacket by davening and bentching. Hilchos Tefiloh, Siman 91, sk 4, mb 12 (megulah)
The MB specifically states that that one must wear a hat specifically because that’s the way one would greet an important person (and certainly HKBH).
However, in today’s world, many would meet with an important person without a hat. The sociatal reasoning behind the CC’s halacha has changed. His point is that one should not treat HKBH any worse than you would an earthly important person — which is a valid point to make. But if it became common to great important earthly people without a hat, then there is no longer a reason (according to the CC’s logic) to require a hat when “meeting” with HKBH.
And, furthermore, it’s obvious that we don’t completely hold of this anyway, since, if we did, we should all wear our finest suits during davening (I would certainly wear my finest suit to meet with an important person). Since none of us do that, it’s obvious that we don’t hold like the CC’s reasoning on this today.
The WolfOctober 21, 2009 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #663280
Wolfish, Your drasha may be agreeable or disagreeable. But do you have a more current written Psak Din you can cite negating the aforementioned Mishna Brura? THAT is the bottom line.October 21, 2009 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #663281haifagirlParticipant
Thank you WolfishMusings. It really bothers me when people learn a halacha (or worse, a minhag), but don’t learn the reasoning behind it. Then they can’t figure out when they’re in a different situation, the halacha/minhag doesn’t apply.October 21, 2009 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #663282
Why do I need a more current p’sak din? The MB explicitly states it. He says the reason you need for a hat. If the reason is gone, the the need is gone as well.
The WolfOctober 21, 2009 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #663283
1. The MB doesn’t say IF this condition disappears YOU can decide to do otherwise.
2. It is YOU who decided the aforementioned condition disappeared. The halachic authorities may disagree with your contention.
3. Therefore, you need a Psak Din negating what you maintain is abrogated.October 21, 2009 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #663284
The MB doesn’t say IF this condition disappears YOU can decide to do otherwise.
I don’t think it has to. If someone says “Do X for reason Y” then it’s understood that if reason Y no longer exists, then you don’t have to do X.
It is YOU who decided the aforementioned condition disappeared. The halachic authorities may disagree with your contention.
It’s society in general. Most people who meet with important people today no longer wear hats.
In any event, even if you’re correct (and I don’t think you are) I still think this is a side issue. Considering what I wrote above (about the potential to “break” a child if pushed too far) I think what I wrote stands — if this is the worst thing your kid does, then you’re in good shape.
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