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  • fsdah3
    There is a relatively small group of Orthodox Jews known as Hasidim. They have built communities all around the world, including in the United States and are
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 21, 2004
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      There is a relatively small group of Orthodox Jews known as Hasidim.
      They have built communities all around the world, including in the
      United States and are easily recognizable by their distinctive dress
      and the style their hair is worn.

      The clothing that the men wear is associated with the nobility of
      18th-century Poland, but the style in which men wear their hair and
      specifics of their prayer shawl are Jewish and based on the Torah, the
      first five books of the bible, said to have been written by Moses.

      There are six articles of clothing typical in a Hasidic males
      wardrobe: a wool beskeshe (a suit with long tailored jacket) usually
      black, but could be dark blue or dark gray and a fedora (felt hat) for
      everyday wear. For Shabbat and other holidays, a black silk or satin
      beskeshe is worn and a streimel (circular hat made of fur) is worn.
      Most importantly, a prayer shawl with fringes on the corners (called
      with tzitziyot) is worn daily under their white shirt.

      The practice of religious Jewish males (not just Hasidic Jews) wearing
      a head covering dates back several thousand years when only free men
      were allowed to go bareheaded. The Jews adopted this practice as a
      reminder that they were servants of God. It has become a way that the
      Jewish people show reverence to God, "Cover your head, so that the
      reverence of Heaven be upon you" (Shabbat 156b). Those who wear a hat
      usually also wear a kippah, yarmulke, or skullcap under it. There is
      no special significance to the colors or designs in which kippah is
      made, except that white ones are usually worn during high holiday to
      signify purity. The kippah was originally an indoor hat and a regular
      hat was worn over it when outside the house. Many Jews today still
      wear both a kippah and a hat or cap. In other branches of Judaism the
      kippah is also worn, and is considered less formal that the fedora or
      streimel, which are worn by the various branches of Orthodox Jews. It
      is common for Hasidim to wear brimmed hats inside the house and even
      at the dinner table. This is not considered rude. In fact, if you are
      a man and come to a Hasidic table without some type of a head
      covering, you will be asked to put one on.

      The Torah commands "You shall not round the corners of your heads, nor
      mar the edges of your beards." For this reason many Orthodox men, most
      notably Hasidic Jews, do not shave their heads nor cut their hair very
      short near the area above their ears. The rest of their hair is
      usually cut very short, as it is more comfortable under a hat. Before
      the age of three, a boy's hair is not cut. At that age however, his
      hair is cut except for side curls, or payos. The length for payos
      varies, but the minimum is long enough that you can grab a hair and
      curl it around towards its own root, many Hasidim wear them longer.
      Some men curl them and let them hang in front of their ears; others
      tuck them behind the ears or up under their hat or kippah.

      Aside from the length of their sidecurls, there is little
      self-expression in the dress of the Hasidic male. Clothing is one of
      the ways that they purposely set themselves slightly apart from the
      rest of the world.

      Hasidic women, on the other hand have a reputation for dressing quite
      fashionably, including wearing makeup and jewelry. The only real
      requirement is that their dress be modest, not tight or revealing in
      any way. The clothing must reach to the collarbone in front, and to
      the nape of the neck in back. Long sleeves are required (for men and
      women.) Dresses or skirts are required, but pants are considered men's
      clothing and are forbidden by Torah. Married women also are required
      to cover their hair. A wig is often worn, but scarves and hats are
      also used. There is no requirement for women to shave their heads
      after they marry, but many women choose to keep their hair cut very
      short. They believe that they should conceal their bodies in long
      clothing and their hair with wigs or other coverings so that their
      "sexual energy" will not arouse men. For Yom Kipper, many women wear
      only the color white, as it signifies purity.
      It is rare that you will see a Hasidic man and woman that are not
      married to each other touch, even to shake hands. It is also very
      uncommon for unmarried men and women to look into another's eyes.
      There is a high regard and respect for the other sex. They, both men
      and women, consider their bodies to be sacred and not for everybody
      else's gaze or touch.
      Rabbi Benzion's Twerski says, "The hope is that the garb will
      influence (the wearer) and bring about the things that Hasidic Jews
      hold dear: joy, intensity in service, kindness to others, love of the
      Torah."
    • reb_yoshi_4u
      Hello, My name is Yhoshua and I am interested in researching the evolution of Jewish/CHasidic clothes from 1780 until today. My greandmother tells me our
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 8, 2004
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        Hello,

        My name is Yhoshua and I am interested in researching the
        evolution of Jewish/CHasidic clothes from 1780 until today. My
        greandmother tells me our clothing has changed considerably even from
        what her father wore in the early part of the last century. (Shirts
        button all the way down now, they used to only have three or four
        buttons at the top. They wore boots on weekday, we wear shoes, etc.)
        I tried looking up recources in the local library but was at a loss
        as to where to start, and could only find pictures from the early
        part of the last century (1900).

        Could anyone help?

        BTW, the post below has a few inacuracies. Bekishes are not made
        from wool. We don't wear wool. They are made of cotton or satin. ANd
        the oft repeated rumor that our clothes are based on Polish nobility
        is not really true. The Jewish people arrived in Poland with a
        distinctive dress which probably became somewhat Polishized, but
        remained distinctive. ALso, the four cornered garment (the only
        garment we wear made of wool) is worn above the shirt and below the
        vest in most groups. FIdoras are only worn by Lubavitchers, the rest
        of us wear broad brimmed hats called Yontifhots.

        --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "fsdah3" <fsdah3@u...>
        wrote:
        > There is a relatively small group of Orthodox Jews known as Hasidim.
        > They have built communities all around the world, including in the
        > United States and are easily recognizable by their distinctive dress
        > and the style their hair is worn.
        >
        > The clothing that the men wear is associated with the nobility of
        > 18th-century Poland, but the style in which men wear their hair and
        > specifics of their prayer shawl are Jewish and based on the Torah,
        the
        > first five books of the bible, said to have been written by Moses.
        >
        > There are six articles of clothing typical in a Hasidic males
        > wardrobe: a wool beskeshe (a suit with long tailored jacket) usually
        > black, but could be dark blue or dark gray and a fedora (felt hat)
        for
        > everyday wear. For Shabbat and other holidays, a black silk or
        satin
        > beskeshe is worn and a streimel (circular hat made of fur) is worn.
        > Most importantly, a prayer shawl with fringes on the corners (called
        > with tzitziyot) is worn daily under their white shirt.
        >
        > The practice of religious Jewish males (not just Hasidic Jews)
        wearing
        > a head covering dates back several thousand years when only free men
        > were allowed to go bareheaded. The Jews adopted this practice as a
        > reminder that they were servants of God. It has become a way that
        the
        > Jewish people show reverence to God, "Cover your head, so that the
        > reverence of Heaven be upon you" (Shabbat 156b). Those who wear a
        hat
        > usually also wear a kippah, yarmulke, or skullcap under it. There is
        > no special significance to the colors or designs in which kippah is
        > made, except that white ones are usually worn during high holiday to
        > signify purity. The kippah was originally an indoor hat and a
        regular
        > hat was worn over it when outside the house. Many Jews today still
        > wear both a kippah and a hat or cap. In other branches of Judaism
        the
        > kippah is also worn, and is considered less formal that the fedora
        or
        > streimel, which are worn by the various branches of Orthodox Jews.
        It
        > is common for Hasidim to wear brimmed hats inside the house and even
        > at the dinner table. This is not considered rude. In fact, if you
        are
        > a man and come to a Hasidic table without some type of a head
        > covering, you will be asked to put one on.
        >
        > The Torah commands "You shall not round the corners of your heads,
        nor
        > mar the edges of your beards." For this reason many Orthodox men,
        most
        > notably Hasidic Jews, do not shave their heads nor cut their hair
        very
        > short near the area above their ears. The rest of their hair is
        > usually cut very short, as it is more comfortable under a hat.
        Before
        > the age of three, a boy's hair is not cut. At that age however, his
        > hair is cut except for side curls, or payos. The length for payos
        > varies, but the minimum is long enough that you can grab a hair and
        > curl it around towards its own root, many Hasidim wear them longer.
        > Some men curl them and let them hang in front of their ears; others
        > tuck them behind the ears or up under their hat or kippah.
        >
        > Aside from the length of their sidecurls, there is little
        > self-expression in the dress of the Hasidic male. Clothing is one of
        > the ways that they purposely set themselves slightly apart from the
        > rest of the world.
        >
        > Hasidic women, on the other hand have a reputation for dressing
        quite
        > fashionably, including wearing makeup and jewelry. The only real
        > requirement is that their dress be modest, not tight or revealing in
        > any way. The clothing must reach to the collarbone in front, and to
        > the nape of the neck in back. Long sleeves are required (for men and
        > women.) Dresses or skirts are required, but pants are considered
        men's
        > clothing and are forbidden by Torah. Married women also are
        required
        > to cover their hair. A wig is often worn, but scarves and hats are
        > also used. There is no requirement for women to shave their heads
        > after they marry, but many women choose to keep their hair cut very
        > short. They believe that they should conceal their bodies in long
        > clothing and their hair with wigs or other coverings so that their
        > "sexual energy" will not arouse men. For Yom Kipper, many women wear
        > only the color white, as it signifies purity.
        > It is rare that you will see a Hasidic man and woman that are not
        > married to each other touch, even to shake hands. It is also very
        > uncommon for unmarried men and women to look into another's eyes.
        > There is a high regard and respect for the other sex. They, both men
        > and women, consider their bodies to be sacred and not for everybody
        > else's gaze or touch.
        > Rabbi Benzion's Twerski says, "The hope is that the garb will
        > influence (the wearer) and bring about the things that Hasidic Jews
        > hold dear: joy, intensity in service, kindness to others, love of
        the
        > Torah."
      • Tara Maginnis
        Thre is a good out of print book A History of Jewish Costume by Alfred Rubens, that is a good basic overview of Jewish dress (mainly in Europe). It sells at
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 8, 2004
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          Thre is a good out of print book "A History of Jewish Costume" by
          Alfred Rubens, that is a good basic overview of Jewish dress (mainly
          in Europe). It sells at reasonable prices on alibris.com Alibris also
          sells Threads of Time; Artistry in Jewish Costume by Ruth Eis, which I
          have not seen. Going to Alibris and typing in Jewish Costume in the
          advanced search "any word" section gets the best selection of books.
          However, I'd also look up early illustrated travel books that cover
          Poland and adjacent countries. Lots of travel books showing the
          "curious dress of the inhabitants" in plates were produced from 1600
          to the mid-1800s for nearly every region of the world, particularly
          Eastern Europe. Very often these will include plates showing the
          clothes of minority groups within those countries that have
          interesting clothes (this is why every book of travels to Turkey has
          LOTS of plates of Jewish dress, and every book of travels to Russia
          includes Siberian Animistic shamen. I bet anything that books of
          travel to Poland always include at least one plate of Jewish dress in
          the region, so getting in to see rare book collections that have old
          travel books might be worth the time for looking up early examples.

          Weirdly, I have a rather worn out, but still nice Hasidic dress coat
          of silk made in NYC, which I was astonished to find (incorrectly filed
          under women's coats) at the Value Village Thrift store here in
          Fairbanks Alaska. Except for the fact that it is in a wonderful heavy
          slipper satin, it is cut just like a loose fitting Albert Coat of c.
          1850-1920, although from the style of the tag, and some minor sewing
          details inside the coat I'd judge it to actually be from somewhere
          between 1945-1955. What is odd about this is that we have no community
          of Hasidim anywhere near here. We have Mennonites, we have Old
          Believers, we have an assorted bunch of super-conservative dressing
          Christians, we have a smattering of Hindus and Moslems who wear
          traditional dress, we even have a few Torah-Observant Nazarines, but
          I've no idea how this coat got here. I'm used to picking up used bits
          of the other sort of dress at Thrift stores (and used to some of the
          shoppers dressing in the clothes of these assorted groups), but this
          coat seems to have traveled it's way here all on it's own. Lorraine
          insists that the coat and I were destined to meet each other despite
          obsticles, because I love Albert Coats (indeed I wear black "duster"
          coats as they call the fashionable female equivalents) and was always
          curious about these satin ones.

          --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "reb_yoshi_4u"
          <reb_yoshi_4u@y...> wrote:
          > Hello,
          >
          > My name is Yhoshua and I am interested in researching the
          > evolution of Jewish/CHasidic clothes from 1780 until today. My
          > greandmother tells me our clothing has changed considerably even from
          > what her father wore in the early part of the last century. (Shirts
          > button all the way down now, they used to only have three or four
          > buttons at the top. They wore boots on weekday, we wear shoes, etc.)
          > I tried looking up recources in the local library but was at a loss
          > as to where to start, and could only find pictures from the early
          > part of the last century (1900).
          >
          > Could anyone help?
          >
          > BTW, the post below has a few inacuracies. Bekishes are not made
          > from wool. We don't wear wool. They are made of cotton or satin. ANd
          > the oft repeated rumor that our clothes are based on Polish nobility
          > is not really true. The Jewish people arrived in Poland with a
          > distinctive dress which probably became somewhat Polishized, but
          > remained distinctive. ALso, the four cornered garment (the only
          > garment we wear made of wool) is worn above the shirt and below the
          > vest in most groups. FIdoras are only worn by Lubavitchers, the rest
          > of us wear broad brimmed hats called Yontifhots.
          >
          > --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "fsdah3" <fsdah3@u...>
          > wrote:
          > > There is a relatively small group of Orthodox Jews known as Hasidim.
          > > They have built communities all around the world, including in the
          > > United States and are easily recognizable by their distinctive dress
          > > and the style their hair is worn.
          > >
          > > The clothing that the men wear is associated with the nobility of
          > > 18th-century Poland, but the style in which men wear their hair and
          > > specifics of their prayer shawl are Jewish and based on the Torah,
          > the
          > > first five books of the bible, said to have been written by Moses.
          > >
          > > There are six articles of clothing typical in a Hasidic males
          > > wardrobe: a wool beskeshe (a suit with long tailored jacket) usually
          > > black, but could be dark blue or dark gray and a fedora (felt hat)
          > for
          > > everyday wear. For Shabbat and other holidays, a black silk or
          > satin
          > > beskeshe is worn and a streimel (circular hat made of fur) is worn.
          > > Most importantly, a prayer shawl with fringes on the corners (called
          > > with tzitziyot) is worn daily under their white shirt.
          > >
          > > The practice of religious Jewish males (not just Hasidic Jews)
          > wearing
          > > a head covering dates back several thousand years when only free men
          > > were allowed to go bareheaded. The Jews adopted this practice as a
          > > reminder that they were servants of God. It has become a way that
          > the
          > > Jewish people show reverence to God, "Cover your head, so that the
          > > reverence of Heaven be upon you" (Shabbat 156b). Those who wear a
          > hat
          > > usually also wear a kippah, yarmulke, or skullcap under it. There is
          > > no special significance to the colors or designs in which kippah is
          > > made, except that white ones are usually worn during high holiday to
          > > signify purity. The kippah was originally an indoor hat and a
          > regular
          > > hat was worn over it when outside the house. Many Jews today still
          > > wear both a kippah and a hat or cap. In other branches of Judaism
          > the
          > > kippah is also worn, and is considered less formal that the fedora
          > or
          > > streimel, which are worn by the various branches of Orthodox Jews.
          > It
          > > is common for Hasidim to wear brimmed hats inside the house and even
          > > at the dinner table. This is not considered rude. In fact, if you
          > are
          > > a man and come to a Hasidic table without some type of a head
          > > covering, you will be asked to put one on.
          > >
          > > The Torah commands "You shall not round the corners of your heads,
          > nor
          > > mar the edges of your beards." For this reason many Orthodox men,
          > most
          > > notably Hasidic Jews, do not shave their heads nor cut their hair
          > very
          > > short near the area above their ears. The rest of their hair is
          > > usually cut very short, as it is more comfortable under a hat.
          > Before
          > > the age of three, a boy's hair is not cut. At that age however, his
          > > hair is cut except for side curls, or payos. The length for payos
          > > varies, but the minimum is long enough that you can grab a hair and
          > > curl it around towards its own root, many Hasidim wear them longer.
          > > Some men curl them and let them hang in front of their ears; others
          > > tuck them behind the ears or up under their hat or kippah.
          > >
          > > Aside from the length of their sidecurls, there is little
          > > self-expression in the dress of the Hasidic male. Clothing is one of
          > > the ways that they purposely set themselves slightly apart from the
          > > rest of the world.
          > >
          > > Hasidic women, on the other hand have a reputation for dressing
          > quite
          > > fashionably, including wearing makeup and jewelry. The only real
          > > requirement is that their dress be modest, not tight or revealing in
          > > any way. The clothing must reach to the collarbone in front, and to
          > > the nape of the neck in back. Long sleeves are required (for men and
          > > women.) Dresses or skirts are required, but pants are considered
          > men's
          > > clothing and are forbidden by Torah. Married women also are
          > required
          > > to cover their hair. A wig is often worn, but scarves and hats are
          > > also used. There is no requirement for women to shave their heads
          > > after they marry, but many women choose to keep their hair cut very
          > > short. They believe that they should conceal their bodies in long
          > > clothing and their hair with wigs or other coverings so that their
          > > "sexual energy" will not arouse men. For Yom Kipper, many women wear
          > > only the color white, as it signifies purity.
          > > It is rare that you will see a Hasidic man and woman that are not
          > > married to each other touch, even to shake hands. It is also very
          > > uncommon for unmarried men and women to look into another's eyes.
          > > There is a high regard and respect for the other sex. They, both men
          > > and women, consider their bodies to be sacred and not for everybody
          > > else's gaze or touch.
          > > Rabbi Benzion's Twerski says, "The hope is that the garb will
          > > influence (the wearer) and bring about the things that Hasidic Jews
          > > hold dear: joy, intensity in service, kindness to others, love of
          > the
          > > Torah."
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