Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shtreimel is not a Chasidishe Levush

                                                                                                                                                                                   לז"נ ר' יהושע חזקיהו (גמ' חכם,בעל שם טוב)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  בן ר' אברהם זצ"ל
                                                                                                                                                                                                  כ"ב טבת תשע"ד

In Yerushalayim there are Yidden
called Perushim. They are descendants
of the Talmidei Hagra and Misnagdim. They
Daven Nusach Ashkenaz and follow most
Minhogie Ashkenaz.
Some of them wear on Shabbos, Shtreimel
and Kaftan (no Gartel).

When asked, why Misnagdim wear Shtreimels,
most will answer wearing a Shtreimel is a Minhag
Minhag Yerushalayim,  not only the Chasidim
who wear Shtreimels and Kaftans.

Going back in history,up to the end of the 18th  century
there were practically no Ashkenazi Yidden
living in Yerushalayim. The first Ashkenazi
Yidden in Yerushalayim were the Talmidei Ba’al
Shem (1780) and  Talmidei Gra  (1808). Until then, the only
Yidden in Yerushalyim were Acheinu Bnei Sforad.
The Sefardim in those days never saw even
a picture of a Shtreimel. So when and how
did the Shtreimel become a Yerushalmi Levush?

The Aruch Hashulchan* (O.Ch. 551:11) writes
“ In the previous generations (In Lita/Russia)
on Shabbos they wore Shtreimels and silk
Kaftans. Later on the government forced them to
change their way of dress to hats and short
R.Yakov Lipschutz zt”l (Zichron Yakov) in his
description  how Brisim were performed in the
early days in the Lita, writes “They placed the
father’s Shtreimel on the head of the little boy who
brought in the baby.

Here again, we see that even in the Lita,
the Misnagdim wore Shtreimels.
It was only after the government 
made them change to regular clothing, did they 
stop wearing the Shtreimel & Kaftan.

For some reason the Chasidim managed
to hold on to their original Levush.

The Talmidei Hagra arrived in Yerushalayim
before the decree in Russia ( to change their
style of clothing). They all wore Shtreimels
and their descendants continued on with
the same Levush.
Hence the Shtreimel is not an exclusive
Chasidishe Levush but a European
Jewish Levush, which was brought over from Europe to
Yerushalayim by both the Chasidim and Misnagdim.

*This piece of history is Nogeah L'Halacha

re wearing Bigdei Shabbos on Shabbos Chazon

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