What’s with Velvet Collar Kapotes?!

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    I’m a yeshiva bochur, and I just noticed some rebbeim (here and there) wearing velvet on their kapote’s collar. None of the rebbeim in my yeshiva do this so I have no idea who to ask what does this signify…

    What’s with these velvet collar kapotas. I’ve seen Rav Lau SHLITA wearing it, and some other rabonim (including Rav Herzog).
    From what I know, when someone wears velvet on their Bekishe, it’s usually the Rebbe/Rov or his sons.
    Lubavitchers who are wearing Kapotes don’t even have this velvet collar idea.
    All of a sudden, you go to the Litvak world, and you see here are there Rebbeim wearing their Kapotes with the back of their collar made with velvet!
    What’s going on here? Does anyone know? If you have velvet on your Kapote’s collar, does that mean your a big Rav or something?

    Oy, the horrors of entering the Litvak yeshiva world from a chassideshe background.

    The little I know

    What an interesting question! I have a better one. What’s the truth about the person inside the kapote? Is he truly someone of stature, a talmid chochom, a tzaddik, a role model for all of Klal Yisroel? When we meet our Maker after 120, we do not ascend with velvet collars nor with the numbers of followers. Our generation is obsessed with chitzoniyus. How tragic that we ignore the rerality of our Divine purpose to fulfill the Ratzon Hashem and the gloify Him in all we do. So we are busy glorifying ourselves, and pretending that all this is holy.

    Reb Eliezer

    The best is a chassidishe litvak which adds some lebedigkeit into them.


    TLIK: Since when does one need to be on any particular madreiga to wear a Kapote? Do you need to be on a certain madreiga to wear a Yarmulka, too, in your esteemed opinion?


    I’m probably dating myself but does anyone recall when then Chief Justice William Rehnquist was concerned that some court observers might not be aware that he was the “gadol among gadolim” and used a fashion statement adding a black velvet collar and four gold stripes on each arm of his black robes. He later protested that the sartorial statement was less a reflection of his insecurity and simply a whimsical emulation of the Lord Chancellor in his favorite Gilbert and Sullivan opera “Iolanthe”.

    Perhaps the velvet collars you see on some kapotes are simply a manifestation of an inner yearning among the Litvish to share in the fashion statements available to their chassidishe brethren and distinguish themselves in a sea of black hats w/o being too obvious and raising an issue of tzinius through a visually jarring change in uniform. We all know that behind many ltivish is a chassidish waanabee.


    Ujm, it’s mechzi k’yuhara to wear the clothing of a rosh yeshiva. It’s like the glima that the sefardi rabbonim wear.


    Avira: It’s different than wearing a bekeshe?


    another type of inflation. If everyone goes back to wearing triangular hats and turbans, then Rebbes/Chacham could just wear black hat/multi-colored turbans. Otherwise, soon yeshiva ketinah will introduce velvet so that kids do not feel lower, and the Rebbes will have to go for gold …


    Ujm, by chasidim all of them wear beketishes. An example by them would be wearing peltz


    To Gadolha the Explorah “We all know that behind many ltivish is a chassidish waanabee.” I don’t know any litvish who wants to be anything but litvish.




    Avira, I may be mistaken, but I think there’s some Litvish Hamon Hoam that wear a Kapote.


    ” I don’t know any litvish who wants to be anything but litvish..

    You’ve never been on 13th Avenue on a hot, muggy summer day and observed some guy in a short sleeve white shirt and black pants turn around and gaze backwards, his eyes full of longing. at some sharply attired chusid in an elegant fur shtreimel, striped bekeshe and those really cool long white socks. I wouldn’t expect them to say anything out loud but deep inside, you know what they’re thinking.





    It is not our fault that the whole world copied Litvishe levush!

    Authentic!? I saw Rambam’s photo – he does not look like you at all. Moshe did not recognize what R Akiva was teaching, but at least he recognized him. Moshe probably would pass you on the street and go around, just in case you are a Zoroastrian magi or something.

    Yabia Omer

    The little I know is 100% right. And the most authentic is probably Teimanim no?

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