Yeshivish Clothing

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  • #1887712
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Simple,
    My point about traditional dress. The Yeshivish clothing is the same idea as the Amish, Maasai, Saami, the gho in Butan, or the traditional dress in Sardinia. This is the clothing we wear, for no other reason than we wear it. At one point it was not distinctive. A certain fashion stayed in place, even as the people wearing it slowly modernized. There was no identification when it was a regular means of dress, and there should be no meaning to it today. Whatever meaning there is, cannot be from the clothing associated with the activity. Because all these groups are doing the same activities as people who do not have a distinctive mode of dress. The only meaning comes after the fact that the group wears it. And they could make up whatever meaning they want. Who cares?

    #1887727
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Simple,

    “Were Rav Avigdor Miller ztz”l and all the other Gedolei Yisroel wrong in putting meaning into it?”

    “AllA?!? Who are the others? Doesn’t “putting meaning” into it mean, that it does not really have any meaning on it’s own? Whatever motivations Rav Miller had for the essay, is not my concern. I trust him, that he knew what he was doing. And, does any of this make the case that there should be some meaning associated with yeshivish clothing today?

    #1887800
    asimpleyid
    Participant

    well yeah obviously there’s only meaning after a group gives it meaning. nobody’s going to say that a white shirt itself is chashuv. and all the other gedolim would be every single rosh yeshiva or moised that makes its bochurim wear white shirts, because by doing so they’re subscribing to this idea. (i’m not saying that anyone who didn’t isnt a gadol) so this means that every single rosh yeshiva out there be it sefardi litvish or chassidish (outside of yu chofetz chaim and mizrachi places, and even by cc they mandate wearing a hat, and a lot of yu bochurim do wear hats as well). and when these are the people that put meaning into a black hat, our rabbonim and our gedolim, we can absolutely trust that its justified.

    this makes the case that there should be meaning associated with yeshivish clothing, because again, it gives a person what to identify with and standards to uphold for himself. i know people first hand that were able to get out of certain situations because of the white shirt and black pants. its an expression of how religious a person is.

    “Whatever motivations Rav Miller had for the essay, is not my concern. I trust him, that he knew what he was doing.” it should be! because he wrote for it a very obvious reason, he wrote it very clearly so people should understand that levush is not meaningless. that’s exactly the point of his essay. that people should feel the chashivus of when they walk around dressed like a ben Torah and understand who and what they’re identifying with then they do so. it is abundantly clear what he’s trying to accomplish in his essay

    #1888451
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Simple,
    Having a white shirt rule, does not mean the Rosh Yeshiva thinks it has a meaning. Some things just are the way they are, without any idea behind them.

    There is no reason to make a case for an applied meaning here. It just clothing. Just wear it. In Yeshiva one is (At least should be.) identified by their studies. The fact that their clothing was constructive at some point, does not imply anything beyond that point.

    It could very well be that Rav Miller zt”l intended the opposite. The levush has no meaning. Since people tend to look for meaning in random places, he made up some positive thinking that could go into our standard clothing. His point is that they should think more. Not just dress the part.

    #1888533
    asimpleyid
    Participant

    “this makes the case that there should be meaning associated with yeshivish clothing, because again, it gives a person what to identify with and standards to uphold for himself. i know people first hand that were able to get out of certain situations because of the white shirt and black pants. it’s an expression of how religious a person is.” please respond to this

    in response to: “It could very well be that Rav Miller zt”l intended the opposite. The levush has no meaning. Since people tend to look for meaning in random places, he made up some positive thinking that could go into our standard clothing. His point is that they should think more. Not just dress the part.”
    youre right about thinking more for sure, but definitely not about the dress part. ” It’s the
    great achievement of demonstrating our loyalty to Hashem with
    our clothing, our externalities, that has given the Am Yisroel the
    merit to continue to exist. And therefore, the more we use our
    clothing and externalities to serve Hashem, the more we preserve
    the existence of the Am Yisroel forever and ever. ” theres no reading in between the lines over here. it’s clear as day what he’s saying. he’s saying very clearly that its both dress the part and think the part.

    and why would a yu boy every put on a hat? or really why would anyone ever wear a hat? if it really didn’t matter then the yeshivos would have changed it by now, or better yet they never would’ve done it in the first place. the fact that they all made a levush and kept it shows that it means at least something, otherwise they could have just made a dress code of you must wear a collared shirt or look mentschlech. why does rav chaim want people to wear payos? why did the chazon ish want people to wear payos? why is that when rav hutner ztz”l heard that the temanim called their payos simanim he started growing them? its pashut, levush. makes. a difference. it isn’t everything, not even close, but does something for sure.

    #1888637
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    This was my response to that.

    “There is no reason to make a case for an applied meaning here. It just clothing. Just wear it. In Yeshiva one is (At least should be.) identified by their studies. The fact that their clothing was constructive at some point, does not imply anything beyond that point.”

    I am agreeing with your point. There are times when it has a positive effect. The same could be said for a raincoat. [It helps people stay dry in certain situations.] There is still no reason to wear a raincoat when it is not raining. But if that works, (Everyone else wears them or whatever reason.) then go right ahead and wear it. But it still is the same raincoat. It is a lie to say clothing is an expression of how religious one is. I did not think you meant it like that.

    #1888653
    Sam Klein
    Participant

    The famous pine line says “DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER”

    the problem is we do. A person-sadly-gets judged by most people by his/her look. How handsome does he look? How well built and fed does he look? When a person looks at the outside of a house interested in buying he judges THE ENTIRE HOUSE by how the house looks on the outside and honestly that’s very sad cause the condition of the inside of the house can be brand new and updated ammenities etc…. Then what the old outside 50 year old house looks like. When a person enters a ballroom for a fancy event. His physical human mind IMMEDIATELY JUDGES in the first minute he’s at the event how much he’s getting for the ENTIRE NIGHT from the food to the entertainment to the services etc….

    May we all stop judging people by how they dress and know that it’s a person’s inside that really counts

    #1888662
    asimpleyid
    Participant

    @sam klein of course we shouldn’t judge, but we do. we naturally do, thats how it is. and the Torah knows that, it says dan lkaf zchuas, mashma that youre going to judge somebody no matter what, so judge positively. when you see an 80 year old man with a frock and an uphat and two bochurim walking behind him youre going to think hes a choshuve rosh yeshiva or something along those lines. is that bad? is that wrong? and more than that, if a person wants to be seen as ben Torah then he should dress like one. if not, then not. the nature of people is to judge.

    you also didnt give me an answer about rav chaim or the chazon ish or rav hutner. “There are times when it has a positive effect.”. so you are maskim. if it has an effect on how other people view said person, then its a two way streak. the person is going to also view himself differently, and therefore hold himself to different standards because of the levush he’s wearing. you aren’t thinking realistically. why is that kiruv rebbeim tell bts not to put a hat on so fast? why don’t flip outs who wear hats and jackets have to deal with the same thing that their friends who don’t wear them do? when this guys old friends see his payos and his hat and jacket they know that he stands for something else so he won’t be invited to do the same things as before, otherwise the “raincoat” would simply never work. the very fact that it works it all shows that there is an inherent chashivus and expression of religiosity in wearing it

    #1888946
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Simple,
    You keep switching. You agree that yeshivishe clothing does not have any meaning before it is worn by yeshivaleit. Then it can not have an “inherent chashivus”. Then you switch right back to only an “expression of religiosity in wearing it”.

    I disagree with that also. There is nothing being expressed by yeshivishe clothing. It just is that way. The fact that people perceive some symbolism in the black hat, does not change what it is. A dress hat. No more, no less.

    To quote what I wrote above. #1880070 “I heard directly from one Rosh Yeshivah (He was as highly regarded as a yeshivshe daas torah as one can be.) that there is no reason to where a white shirt or a black hat. [Of course he expected his talmidim to wear them.]”

    #1888987
    Sam Klein
    Participant

    Everything we wear has a reason behind it. A yarmulka or as others call it a kippa. Which brings me to my point each kind of clothing has SOOOOOO MANY kind of that same clothing for people that come from so many different backgrounds and raised in different ways. From the velvet yarmulka to the knit to the leather ones etc…. And each person wears his type that he grew up wearing on his level and in his family.

    Going to tzitzis, there are the regular white ones then there are people with just one string of blue and others with more all with their own minhagim in which they were raised in how their clothing dress code should be and there’s nothing wrong with their level their all kosher and orthodox just some are more serious or for different backgrounds etc…..

    Same works for regular clothing to hats which others including hasidic switch that over to streimels or spudicks etc…. On shabbos for various reasons

    #1888988
    asimpleyid
    Participant

    it’s not contradictory at all. the white shirt itself is meaningless, it could have been a blue or yellow shirt, who cares. but now that the world put chashivus into it, it now has chashivus. the same as anything. things only have value when people put meaning into it and then it has value (except for Torah). why does gold have value? because people made it valuable. care to explain rav hutner rav chaim and the chazon ish? pretty sure the chazon ish even held that people should be wearing reklech. still waiting on that. also waiting on why kiruv rebbeim tell baalei teshuva to wait before waiting on a hat. i know a bt whos been wanting to put one one for months but his rebbe kept telling him no. if it’s “just a dress hat” then why would that be?

    so please explain to me why my friends who go home with payos hat and jacket don’t have problems with
    people talking to them inappropriately or inviting them to inappropriate places, while the boys who kept their levush from before all have these issues? if what you’re saying is true, then it should make zero difference. it should be “okay this guy likes to wear a dress hat very nice, very cool. so you wanna go to to x y or z?”. when they see his levush change they realize he stands for something else now, that he identifies as a ben Torah so he doesn’t want to talk about or do these things. and then you know what? when that boy looks in the mirror he sees the levush a ben Torah and he’s going to have the mindset of a ben Torah. i’ve seen it plenty in my life.

    “The fact that people perceive some symbolism in the black hat, does not change what it is. A dress hat. No more, no less.” so gold is just a piece of metal. diamond is just some compressed carbon. the fact that people decided it looked pretty and made it expensive does not change what it is. compressed carbon. no more, no less. while you are right to some extent, there is a reality in the world that now it has more value because people gave it value. otherwise gold and diamonds would be dirt cheap, like any other rock. the only thing that has value no matter what people do is the Torah. other than that everything is inherently meaningless until meaning is put into it.

    #1892013
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Sam,

    Those reasons are attached to the clothing. They are not the reasons behind the clothing itself.

    #1892014
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Simple,

    Who said the world put chashivus into it? It is the same shirt as before. That was exactly the point the Rosh Yeshiva I quoted before was trying to make.

    Gold has value because it does not rust. And lasts better and longer than common metals. Same for diamonds.

    The Chazon Ish is in line with the tzaavah of Reb Avrohom Danzig: the author of Chayai Adam. There was a point in history that yidden thought that way. About everything. So what?

    People attach all kinds of silly ideas to the black hat. There is no reason for someone who is growing without one, to get mixed up in it.

    Ask your friends. I am the opposite. I get invited to all these places, with my hat, jacket. and white shirt. Maybe your friends can’t separate their clothing from who they are. A pity.

    I am saying the opposite. People giving a “reality” to something that has no distinction, is propaganda. Such a “reality” would have to come naturally from the surrounding culture itself.

    Day and night has meaning all by itself. And so do a million other nouns. Adjectives need context.

    #1892070
    asimpleyid
    Participant

    copper bronze and brass also never rust because of the low iron content and they last a very long time as well, but they aren’t expensive. gold is expensive because it’s pretty and popular. yet it was the standard currency for hundreds of years (prob more forgot my history) across the world. when i say meaning i don’t mean it like a word definition, i mean value people give it.

    “The Chazon Ish is in line with the tzaavah of Reb Avrohom Danzig: the author of Chayai Adam. There was a point in history that yidden thought that way. About everything. So what?” explain this please. are you maybe more enlightened than the chazon ish, rav hutner, rav chaim, rav avigdor miller (if you want me to i can find more rabbonim who are in support of this idea) and every single chassidishe rebbe?

    “People attach all kinds of silly ideas to the black hat. There is no reason for someone who is growing without one, to get mixed up in it.” mixed up in what? it’s just a dress hat. nothing to get mixed up in. then a lot of times you have rebbeim telling their talmidim to wear a hat. there should be no such decision making if levush made zero difference

    “Who said the world put chashivus into it? It is the same shirt as before. That was exactly the point the Rosh Yeshiva I quoted before was trying to make.” the world gave chashivus to it when every single chassidishe sefardi and litvishe yeshiva requires it. the fact that it became the standard in the yeshivishe world now gives it chashivus. also please don’t quote me an anonymous rosh yeshiva from the ywn coffeeroom. i don’t know if that’s the most reliable source of information out there.

    #1892135
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    We seem to agree that clothing does not make it’s own meaning. I think it has to come from the surrounding culture. You seem to say, that meaning can be put into it intentionally. That is our disagreement.

    Rav Miller’s essay does not support your theory. It points to specific clothing being silly. (The mets cap.) People could attach serious thinking to their clothing. But they do not. You have even attempted to make that argument with the yeshivishe levush.

    In the old world, there was a lot of importance attached to many trivial matters. Therefore, everything in life was attached. Changing your outfit could lead one to being excommunicated. It is not like that today. And it is a poor argument that we are inferior because of it.

    The fact that it is required points to how shallow it is. If it really meant something, than the value of it could be taught. Then, people would want to wear it. Only because it is meaningless, it has to be “enforced”. Clearly, meaning still has not been put into it. If your friends want to make meaning out of it, they can go right ahead. But who is to stop them from attaching some awful meaning to it?

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