June 18, 2010 4:36 am at 4:36 am #591795
What is the meaning of wearing the traditional “yeshivish” uniform of black and white?
What’s the meaning behind a black hat and why are some girls machbid on only marrying a guy who wears a black hat, white shirt, tzitzis hanging out…?
Does it make a guy any less committed to yiddishkeit if he wears colored shirts and only a black hat on Shabbos?
I guess what I’m asking is: What does a guy’s levush truly represent about him???June 18, 2010 4:52 am at 4:52 am #1056006
you are asking two seperate questions here.
A. What is the purpose and meaning of the “yeshivish levush”?
B. What does it say about someone when they choose to dress like and identify with certain groups?June 18, 2010 5:20 am at 5:20 am #1056007
Yes and no.
I need help articulating why I find it important for the guy I marry to wear the yeshivish levush, because I don’t know how to explain its significance in words a “lay person” can understand. And if a guy is redt to me who wears a black hat only on Shabbos and colored shirts during the week, is that a chisaron on his part?June 18, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #1056008
L613, all it says is that he doesn’t subscribe 100% to the yeshivish dress code. However, usually you can extrapolate that it means he is not 100% yeshivish, more yeshivish oriented.June 18, 2010 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #1056009
is that a chisaron on his part?
Are you marrying the man or the uniform?
The WolfJune 18, 2010 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1056010
I know a guy who weats colored shirts but gives a daf yomi shiur and is probably makpid on halacha and some chumrahs that others who wear the full regalia. Rabbi Reisman once said that when he was engaged someone commented to his future father in law about his hat not being an up at. His father in law responded that he is more worried about what is under the hat then the hat direction. There are more important factors in deciding on a spouce than the color of their clothes.June 18, 2010 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #1056011
Much like any other uniform or standard, it shows who you identify with and what basic expectations people can expect to see in you.
Do “colored shirt / no hat on shabbos balei batim” have a daily shiur? Of course they do.
Do “black hat / tzitis out balei batim” learn a minmum of 3 hours a night after work? Not always.
But the expectation is, the hatless guy has a television at home and the black hatter does not not. Sticking to a dress code gives you something to idenitfy with and be identifed by. Not a guarrantee, but at least an expectation.
And there are no “golden standards” What is right for me / my family, may be viewed as extreme by others and vice versa.
But like Wolf said, marry the man not the suit. I’m more “yeshivish” now than I was when I walked down the asile. But it was an inner growth, so it took root and holds firm in challenging times as well as in the “kosile bais medrash”
Don’t worry about needing to explain why you made the choice you did / will. If the fundamentals (davening, middos, temper, patience, ect) are secure, all else is immaterialJune 18, 2010 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1056012
Wolf has a point; the dress only shows where he puts himself now, not his direction.June 18, 2010 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #1056013
i agree 100% BP totty
Clothing is an external thing, however it is VERY symbolic. It shows who you want to represent yourself as and who you want to be. However there are many cases of pple who aren’t “black hatters’ yet very very frum. I know of someone who’s from South Africa who would wear sandals and shorts in the summer no problem -(VERY NOOOT yishivish) however they are very frum and have real yiras shamayim. When this person moved to E”Y they caught on right away and now dress the part.
However my opinion is that once a teenager girl/boy who comes from a yishivish home is already dressing differently, it is very significant, and it already has gone far. I know of someone who dressed totally yishivish and everythign who had REAL basic questions and struggled with yiddishkeit. There were no outer signs. B”H they sorted themselves out but once they are already dressing in a certain way, it shows they’ve been struggling for a long time, not a recent thing. I’m not talking about kids who want to be “with it” and cool. I’m talking more like – kids at riskJune 18, 2010 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #1056014
Look at it this way:
Don’t look at the hat, looks at what’s in his head.
Don’t look at the shirt, look at what’s in his heart.
Don’t look at the shul, look at his personal avoda.
Don’t look at the yeshiva, look at his personal learning.
Don’t look at the suit, look at the person within.
In shidduchim, probably more than anywhere else, the dictum of Chazal of “??? ????, ?? ????? ?????, ??? ??? ??? ??” (Do not look at the container, but rather what is in it) is extremely important. It’s too bad too many people look at the kankan and never look at the person inside.
The WolfJune 18, 2010 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #1056016
what world do you people live in? to deny the significance of association is absurd.June 19, 2010 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #1056017
My theory is that in smaller communities, where everyone knows each other, we don’t need clothing or labels to identify each other. Everyone can be at their own level without proving it to anyone else. It’s a much more ‘real’ way of living and relating. When you have a huge Jewish community, you need your labels and clothing to identify who you are. I could never live like that long-term. It’s so fake and impersonal. I have heard, although there are no real statistics (not that most quoted statistics are not skewed) but that out of town communities have a lower rate of kids going off the derech. This could have something to do with it along with many other factors such as each person being needed and valuable and not seemingly indispensable like in larger communities (which are usually not communities).June 20, 2010 3:05 am at 3:05 am #1056018
i see I got a subtitleJune 20, 2010 3:21 am at 3:21 am #1056019
ramateshkolian, Au contraire. I believe its the opposite. In town where you have gedolim, tzadikim, batei medrashim, roshei yeshiva’s, etc. all over the kedusha spills over to the populace. Since it is so common to dress like a Yid, no one is embarrassed to look like a real Jew. And when you see your neighbors dress up, rather than down, it encourages you too to do so. OTOH, out of town (which I think may have an even greater OTD percentage; you see it more in town because there are so many more Yidden in town) in many towns (NOT all out of town, towns) the whole town is on a lower madreiga and they don’t have who to look up to to improve their matziv.June 20, 2010 3:55 am at 3:55 am #1056020
The present “yeshivish levush” is a recent innovation.
See pictures of bochurim from the best pre WW2 yeshivas in Eastern Europe.June 20, 2010 4:31 am at 4:31 am #1056021
The WOLF is 100% correct. In todays world the color of the shirt means nothing. I went through the Yeshivah system and I know plenty black hat white shirt whatever guys who need that uniform like a luch in kup. Instead I would look more at other factors like
Yarmulka size- I think it says something about ones Yiras Shomayim
Neatness- If the guy looks shlumpy he doesnt respect himself and isnt such a mentsch.
How he carries himself. Is he arrogant, self absorbed, condescending, rude…?
The true litmus test for a guys frumkiet in my opinion is as follows:
Find out his shul manners.
If he davens with Kavannah and doesnt talk by davening, in all likelihood the guys is gold. If he respects the shul, his fellow daveners, and takes Davening seriously it means he has Emunah and a deep connection to Hashem. Usually the daveners and those who wont talk by Davening are much frummer and more “REAL” about their Yiddishkiet.
If you can get this info on a guy it will save you hours of senseless shidduch calls.
Im sure most of the guys will agree with me, but again, a lot of “frum” people talk by davening so they wont like what I am saying. However if you are honest you will agree that the Modern Orthodox looking guy without the hat that Davens the long Shemoneh Esrei and listens quietly to krias Hatorah is probably a lot frummer than the Yeshivish looking guy who talks through most of Davening and Krias Hatorah.June 20, 2010 5:35 am at 5:35 am #1056022
Really? The kedusha spills out into the streets? interesting? Most of my friends from ‘in town’ places would NEVER raise their kids there in a million years. They hate the labeling, the shallowness of yiddishkeit, the ‘institutional’ feel to the institutions, the competition. How can a teacher pay enough attention when the class sizes are so big? How can you feel important when you’re one of so many? That’s just the beginning of the problems. When I visit in town places (including big out of town communities) I don’t feel too much kedusha. And I don’t think someone with a kipa srugah or different head- gear OOT is embarrassed to look like a Jew- they look just as much a jew as a black hatter. Lower madraiga? Look at the ahavas Yisrael and love and connection in out of town places. How can Moshiach come if we are so involved in our ‘own’ community that we can’t even seem to notice that something like 85% of Jews BARELY KNOW THEIR JEWISH. Let’s put it this way, you don’t need Project Inspire in most OOT places for a reason. People are not afraid to bring their fellow Jew into their homes and hearts. Is that a lower madraigah??????June 20, 2010 5:51 am at 5:51 am #1056023
ramateshkolian, I’m not sure what planet your dreaming of. The fact is NY is getting bigger and bigger with so many out of towners moving in here for shidduchim, and all the other amenities of Yiddishkeit available nowhere else in chutz laaretz. Why do you think so many Gedolei Yisroel shlita, Roshei Yeshiva shlita, Rebbe’s shlita, past and present choose NY as the home for themselves & their kehillos, Yeshivos, Chasidim, Batei Medrashim, etc.? Because of the kedusha you will not find anywhere else in chutz laaretz (with the possible exception of Lakewood.) Klal Yisroel are all one. I am surprised you can’t feel the achdus of many in one.June 20, 2010 7:29 am at 7:29 am #1056024
myfriend – i happen to know for a fact that a lot of singles feel very lonely in NY BECAUSE there are so many people and it becomes very impersonal. I am a very proud out of towner and i can’t imagine raising kids in “in town” places with all the labeling and pressures.Visiting is ok, but to live? Even when i visit my relatives tell me you can tell from a mile away im an “out of towner”.
Cloting makes a big statement but i agree 100% with “wll informedyid”. unfortunately there are plenty of “frum” people who aren’t really as frum as those who don’t dress exactly yishivish. Plenty who have swinging payis and beards, or down hats, all black suits who speak in shul …
Regarding the “yishivish” garb in general, that’s because klal yisroel always dressed differently, that we are different then the goyim. But it doesn’t make someone any frumer because of their garb. Maybe it’s “yeshivish” but frum? The ultimate is to have both. That one dresses the part and is REALLY frum, tocho keboro.June 20, 2010 7:40 am at 7:40 am #1056025
sofdavar, Is that why so many of the out of towners move to NY for shidduchim? Apprarently they all feel its better here. So many out of towners have become proud New Yorkers. So many more out of towners are still becoming proud New Yorkers. So many more are moving into NY, than the other way. Obviously there is a good reason for this, and it has been happening for a long time already.
Why do you think so many Roshei Yeshivos, Rabbonim, Gedolim, and Rebbes make NY their home??June 20, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am #1056026
I’m curious as to the mesorah for the levush. All pictures that I’ve seen of the big pre-war European yeshivas show bochrim in all styles of hats, suits and shirts. The only black and white is the photgraphJune 20, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #1056027
“Because of the kedusha you will not find anywhere else in chutz laaretz “
please correct me if i am understanding you wrong, but are you caiming that, outside of eretz yisrael, kedusha only exists in ny and maybe lakewood? there is no kedusha in the hundreds or thousands of other jewish communities around the world? i find that very hard to believe. some of the holiest people i know are NOT from ny or lakewood.
“Is that why so many of the out of towners move to NY for shidduchim”
many people move to NY for shiduchim because there are more people here, and it cuts down on traveling expenses, and because it will mean less time away from work/learning. many of those people move when they get married.
as for “yeshivish l’vush” being a must, i feel that it is just another way to label people, and i dont like it at all. where i grew up, the boys could wear any shirt they wanted to yeshive, as long as it for three criteria- long sleeves, lutton down, and solid in color. my community has turned out MANY talmidei chachamim.June 20, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm #1056028
Yes, you are understanding me wrong. I was talking about quantity, not exclusivity.
As far as yeshivish l’vush labeling people, well that’s the point (and this has nothing to do with location.) The Rabbonim and Talmidim davka want to be labeled as a Ben Torah. That’s why Bnei Torah always dressed as Bnei Torah. The precise uniform of Bnei Torah changed over the years, but Bnei Torah certainly always dressed to show they are Bnei Torah.June 20, 2010 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #1056029
myfriend – you are obviously a very proud NYker, however i know for a FACT that the reason many single out of towners move to NY is SOLELY and PURELY for shidduchim purposes. I know of a few who actually moved back home because they hated NY so much. Obviously i can’t make a generalization about it but a nice majority is there for shidduchim and NOT cuz they like it. I think it’s difficult to like NY after growing up and living in an out of town community.June 20, 2010 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #1056030
sofdavar, some may have moved back, but most love New York and stay around. Many out of towner move to NY after they are married. The fact is there are many thousands of former out of towners currently still happily living in NY, saying they would never move back out of town.June 20, 2010 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #1056031
i this day and age us yidden need
a distiction of who we are. In a
world of assimilation, which all starts
from changing the levush it is very
kiday to stick to the “yeshivish
dress”. In rashi it says that in Mitzrayim
they did not reach 50 levels of tumah
for 3 thing that t hey did not change
one of them is clothing. although putting
on a blue shirt may not be a big deal,
it is kidey to use it as
a distinction from us to themJune 21, 2010 2:24 am at 2:24 am #1056032
The focus of “yeshivish levush” seems to be on separating from others that are not as right wing frum.
This is done by having boys that have just become Bar Mitzvah dress as true Klei Kodesh should. This puts young boys on such a “pedestal”.
Is this being done to make them look down on Baalei Batim, so that they do not “chas veshalom” aspire to become like them???June 21, 2010 2:40 am at 2:40 am #1056033
At risk of outing myself, I have to say I miss living OOT. I’m not even in NY, but close enough to know that once my kids iyH are safely and happily on their own, I want to go somewhere else, not necessarily where we were, but OOT still. I miss OOT middos…June 21, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #1056034
To Josh31: good point. Also, by putting this pressure to conform on the kids at such a young age, we are putting them in a terrible position if they need some breathing room that is well within the parameters of healthy Jewish living. At that point, they see it as all or nothing; if they want to wear a striped or knit shirt, or wear – gasp – khaki pants, even if a dark, conservative, cut vs. wool or a blend, they may feel that they may as well do who knows what else.
I have nothing against white shirts after bar mitzvah, but it should be totally voluntary. Our kids have to know that at whatever age, if they walk into a shul in clean clothes, tucked in, laces tied, in a way that is b’kovodik, Hashem will listen just as well.June 21, 2010 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #1056035
I live “in town” but agree with the out of towners.. I think that “in town” there is a lot of looking down at others and more shallowness. I’ve been to out of town places and find that the people there in general are so much more accepting and friendly. I don’t know that stats of kids going OTD in town vs. out of town, but I’d be really surprised if the stats OOT were higher.
That is NOT to say that there isn’t loads of chesed and goodness being done in the ‘in town’ places, because there is. However, I am sure that OOT, there is just as much chesed being done.June 21, 2010 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #1056036
I disagree. So many OOT’s have this inferiority complex. Some will talk down in-towners any opportunity at hand. If they were secure about their place, they wouldn’t need to look down at in-towners.
And honestly speaking do you have all the Bikur Cholims, Gemachs, Hatzaolah, Shomrim, Tzedaka organizations, Chaveirim, medical referral societies, Medical assistance organizations, etc. etc. — countless chesed organizations of all sorts oot like you have in NY? I don’t think anywhere in chutz l’aaretz compares to NY in chesed.June 21, 2010 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #1056037
The reason we in towners have all those organizations is because there are so many more people that #1 are able to volunteer and #2 need the services! When you have a much smaller OOT community, you don’t have the either one of those nearly to the extent that an in town community has.
And chesed is not confined only to official organizations. There are many other ways of doing chesed. For example, true Hachnasas Orchim, inviting people to your home regardless of whether or not they fit your specific level of frumkeit etc, is much more common, IMHO, in an OOT community than in an in town one.June 21, 2010 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #1056038
Even on an individual level the chesed in town is literally incomparable. The frum population of NY is so much less homogeneous than almost anywhere else. You have all types of frum yidden. And the massive amount of Hachnosas Orchim in town is something truly to behold. You have families constantly inviting baalei teshuva’s, visitors from OOT, less frum folks, etc. over for Shabbos, Yom Tov, and even weekday meals and visits. It is truly a Kiddush Shem Shmayim of the 1st degree.June 21, 2010 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #1056039
Why is there a joke then, that circulates, where someone is walking in Bklyn on Shabbos, and says Good Shabbos to the person passing by. The person stops, turns back, and says “Do I owe you money or something?”
That is NOT to say that this is the case in all, or even, in many, situations. But the fact is there is truth to that joke. I don’t think you would find that joke applicable in OOT.June 21, 2010 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #1056040
And in terms of Hachnasas Orchim in town being incomparable – In my family, my mother loves to invite people over for Shabbos. We have guests over all the time, so I know Hachnasas Orchim in town can be amazing.
However, we have had guests who have been georesis, of different skin color, who were welcomed in our house with open arms. But they told us that almost no one else would invite them -because of their skin color. Didn’t matter that they were full fledged Jews. People just didn’t want to ‘expose’ their kids to that, or didn’t want their neighbors to see. What is Hachanasas Orchim then? Inviting only people who are like you? I think this ideology is much more common in the ‘in town’ world.June 21, 2010 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #1056041
Then perhaps you haven’t yet had the Zchus to meet the many NY families who constantly have over as guests people some people want to stay away from — the people who roam around aimlessly, have no family and friends, are mentally disadvantaged, don’t maintain the proper hygiene, etc. People who may otherwise be shunned are given closeness, support, and Yiddishkeit.June 21, 2010 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #1056042
“I know of a few who actually moved back home because they hated NY so much.”
Very few. Many of the intermediate and smaller towns which at one time had Orthodox populations; are now virtual frum ghost towns because eventually the children left and settled in the New York general area. There must be somethings New York has to offer which is not found OOT.June 21, 2010 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #1056043
I’ve had the zchus to meet very FEW people like that, and I have met many people who are NOT that way. I am not in any way saying it doesn’t exist. I’m just saying that I think growing up in town does give one a certain bias towards people who don’t dress/think exactly like they do, and they don’t open their hearts and minds to them.
Please understand that I am not talking on an individual basis at all, nor am I negating the fact that a tremendous amount of chesed is done ‘in town’ all the time. I am simply saying that I personally believe that those who are OOT are more open to others, on a general basis, than those who hail from ‘in town’ places.June 21, 2010 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #1056044
“I’ve been to out of town places and find that the people there in general are so much more accepting and friendly.”
It’s a myth. People are the same people everywhere. It only stands out more in Borough Park or in Yerushalayim because you expect more.
The reason New York is the model for the world in terms of chesed organizations and is the address for just about every frum national tzadaka, is because the generosity of New York yiden as a tzibor cannot be matched anywhere.June 21, 2010 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #1056045
There must be somethings New York has to offer which is not found OOT.
Which could be shidduchim, business and other reasons. It doesn’t reflect on the level of yiddishkeit.
I think that there are advantages and disadvantages for the city and for OOT for gashmius and for ruchnius.June 21, 2010 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #1056046
the.nurse, then all I can say is perhaps you are hanging out in the wrong circles. Where I am, in the heart of frum NY (flatbush/BP/kensington), this is not only common but the rule. Chesed surrounds us all in town.
The fact there is every shade of frumkeit and levels of frumkeit and people of every kind of frum hashkofo under the sun in NY, in fact makes New Yorkers more open-minded and understanding of people not like them. OOT often it is much more homogeneous.
The massive amount of Chesed, Torah, and Ahvas Yisroel in NY most certainly does reflect the strong Yiddishkeit to be found in town.June 21, 2010 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #1056048
here we go again under the guise of a different thread GENERALIZING. myfriend i beg to differ, i’m still gona hold my opinion and i have LOTS of examples to prove my point but i’m scared i will reveal my identity. Yes there are many more chesed org. and stuff like that because of the huge community there in “in town” places. and i personally know of some people who benefited greatly from these org. However there are many other things that come along with living “in town”
Once a very very choshuv person visited the place were i live and commented to one of the poskim in the community that they see the kedusha on the kids faces, that the kids have more derech eretz because they are raised in a calmer more relaxed atmosphere, and not raised on the street. I’m NOT saying that kids in “in town” places don’t have d”e… etc. i’m just saying a story.June 21, 2010 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm #1056049
“…why are some girls machbid on only marrying a guy who wears…”
Machbid = Makbid + MachmirJune 22, 2010 4:08 am at 4:08 am #1056050
wow i find this conversation hard to understand on sooo many levels!
the way i see it as a shidduch-aged girl,there are those who will always bash NY, “in-town”, whatever you want to call it, without really knowing what they’re talking about or having experienced the wonders of the kehillas here first hand. I’m not saying that we’re perfect; then again, no one is. I am sure that just as there are all different types here in NY, types you might not want your kids to be friends with or whatever, there are the same types out of town. I think the real difference here is that since we’re talking about more people, there is naturally more of each type, making it more obvious.
I get offended when i meet people from out of town and they’re surprised that i’m from NY; they tell me that they would’ve never have guessed because i’m not the “type”. And what exactly is the “type”?? I have a large group of 20 friends who are exactly like me, and i’ve gone to bais yaakov camps and met other NY girls who are like me as well. It is time to stop stereotyping and start opening up our eyes to CHOOSE to see the good!
🙂 glad i got all this off my shoulders, it was long in the coming!!June 22, 2010 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #1056051
“What is the meaning of wearing the traditional “yeshivish” uniform of black and white?”
“I guess what I’m asking is: What does a guy’s levush truly represent about him???”
It all starts with “Don’t separate yourself from the community”
Indeed, many of the minhagim of dress came from our holy fathers in Europe. We don’t have reshus to go out from their derech. “Minhag avoisanu b’yodainu”.
A person has to make himself part of the klal. If he doesn’t, you have to understand what the problem is. Is he a baal gaavah and wants to stand out or be different? There are acceptable ways to do that. Is he not committed? Does he not understand the value of sholom? These are big questions to the guy who can’t dress properly or wants to make some kind of statement.
Part of being a frum Yid is making yourself conform. There is plenty of room on the inside for unique hashkafa and personality, but if you can’t dress like a mench, *you* have a problem. If you can’t conform to levush, Torah lo kol shekain?June 22, 2010 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #1056052
Vitameatavegamin, with a name like yours, I can see why people are surprised, especially since you’re young.
Who’s the Lucy fan in your family? 😉June 22, 2010 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #1056053
Something I wanted to add to the topic:
Whats the big deal about what the guy wears before he is married when most Kolel guys put on colored shirts (almost all change how they dress) once they start working?
Wouldnt you rather marry someone who knows who he is and doesnt change with the tide? Wouldnt you say for a Kollel guy to start changing once he goes to work is a sign that he wasnt that serious about his “shtarkkeit” to begin with?
A guy who wears the colored shirt before marriage and is working will likely dont change once he is married. He is frum, he davens with minyan, goes to a shiur or has a chavrusah…what you see is what you get. Isnt that preferable to a girl? Or do most girls prefer to let others do their thinking for them?June 22, 2010 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #1056054
yo my parents would flip but i wear jeans wen no1 i knw will see…but then infront of my parents i wear black hat and white shir its all about the look at least i look frum to all that matterJune 22, 2010 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #1056055
Peerim – was the “yo” really necessary?June 22, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm #1056057
my parents would flip but i wear jeans wen no1 i knw will see…but then infront of my parents i wear black hat and white shir its all about the look at least i look frum to all that matter
That’s terrible. All that means is that you are being taught to lie.
Life’s too short to live a lie. Either live the yeshivish dress, or else let your parents know how you truly feel about it.
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