Rav Wosner: Can A Litvak Wear A Shtreimel For Davening On Purim?

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rav-wosnerAs we all know, Purim is a time when people – even adults – dress up. Thus, a Litvak might wear a shtreimel if he so chooses in the Purim spirit. The halacha clearly states (Orach Chaim 91), though, that one must daven in the manner in which one appears before important people. Thus, Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, renowned senior posek, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chachmei Lubin and author of the multi-volume Shevet Halevi, was asked (Shevet Halevi 10:18:1) if it is permitted to daven Minchah or Maariv on Purim while wearing a Purim get-up.

Revach.net records Rav Wosner’s response. Rav Wosner says that the exterior garments of a person are not what the halacha is concerned about. Standing in front of important people refers to one’s demeanor and attitude. It refers to the way one stands before the King of all kings. Thus, in this case, if one is davening with respect and seriousness and in accordance with the halacha, and one’s head is covered k’halacha, then, says Rav Wosner, it doesn’t make a difference what kind of hat or clothing one is wearing.

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  1. According to this psak, there is no longer any reason to wear a hat and jacket to davening. The main reason given is that you’re supposed to dress as is you’re going to someone important, but according to R’ Wosner, that’s not the case.

  2. When people realize that the tefillos one offers on Purim are niskabel even more than those of Yom Kippur, they will think twice about what they wear for the occasion.

  3. This implies that a sober individual dressed like a clown davening thoughtfully with proper respect, seriousness, demeanor and attitude is properly mekayem his chiyuv of tefilla, while a shikkur who’s davening with his hat and jacket shuckling and chuckling vigorously is not as the halacha states that “Tefilosoi Toieva.”

    How can one properly be mekayeim his Chiyuv of Birchas Hamozon at the seudas Purim if he is also mehader in his chiyuv libesumei “Ad Deloi Yoda” at the seudah? Someone suggested that a sober individual be moitzi the imbibed individual, but the problem of tefilosoi toievah still remains with his kavonoh to be yoitzeh.

  4. Firstly, this is an inane question to ask a Gadol. Why do people waste the Gedolim’s precious time with this shtus??!

    Secondly. I resent the term “misnaged”. It is a historical fallacy. It was the chasidim who went “misnaged”, or opposite, the prevalent Ashkenazic practices in the 17 and 1800’s. It was they who went against the norms of the day. Yet another example of revisionism in history. I much prefer the term “Litvish”, although that connotes only those from Lita.

  5. sorry to break it to you, but the misnagdim gave themselves the name “misnagdim” it wasnt given from the chasidim. yad hachasidim al haelyoinah!

  6. To Frum Face:

    Don’t try to change the facts. I would suggest you do some research before you make such inane and misnagdish comments. You remind me of Holocaust revisionists who will do anything to propagandize their lies.

  7. Ok guys, sorry. Whoever coined the phrase does not change the facts of my original post. Regardless, my main point was not who coined the phrase, but if it should be used at all.

    As a proud Jew, who happens to be litvish, I do not appreciate the term “misnaged” which does nothing to promote achdus. We all realize that chasidus is not a passing phrase, and that there are many, many gedolim and tzadikim who identify with chasidus.

    All stripes of Jews have what to learn from the other. There are ma’alos in all of the frum circles. As long as we stay true to Hashem and His Torah, and follow the Shulachan Aruch, we will be ok.

    I say Potato, You say “Potahto”
    I say Baruch, You say “Booreech”…

    Simchas Peerim to all!

  8. Wherever the source, it’s the Litvaks who have the misnagdish connection. Truth is though that in this day and age there aren’t so many people who are AGAINST chassidim as a whole.

  9. I think its slightly unfair to say that chasidim wear shtrimlich and misnagdim which B.t.w. Dont exist today but thats a side issue or should we try to classify it as yeshivishi only wear hats and jackets but come on is reb alyashiv or lihavdil bein chayim lichayim reb sz aurbach zatsal or rabbi swadron zatsal
    Are they chasidim and so a shtraimil or kneitch hat is not what defines us and we could wear whichever hat we wish as long as we focus our davening to the melech malchei hamaluchim biaima ubiyiru and so yes maybe asking rabbi wosner on this matter is considered wasting his time

  10. Well you can’t have misnagdim when most people have a chassidish relative or some kind of chassidish lineage. There’s very few pure litvaks left.

  11. Maranan Horav Elyashiv Shlita and Horav Kanievsky Shlita have both Paskened that it is better to daven Beyechidus than without a hat and jacket

  12. Actually, ‘Kol Hamishane, Yado al Hatachtona’- the Chasidim were the ones who changed things – cf Chayei Adam Hilchos Kibud Av V’em

  13. It is well known that one of the great chasidic masters said that althogh the cas
    chasidim should have been called misnagdim however the chassidim had great syatah dishmayah that the litvaks decided to call the chasidim – chasidim and thus giving the name misnagdim to the litvaks

  14. One thing is for sure that no matter whatyou are wearing during Davening , one should be very respectfull not to use or touch his cell phone or blackberry during Davening.
    It is crazy and horrible whats going on with these gadgets in the Shuls

  15. Moshe didn’t wear a shtreimel and jacket. This is all shtus, we should focus on what’s in our heads not on them. For those revisionists out there, look at pictures of the Mir yeshiva bochurim from the 1930’s (real photos not photoshopped) , plenty of them wear different colored shirts and suits.

  16. What does it matter which hat is worn by whom? Does this question really call for so much diyun batel?

    The KBH is NOT worried about our headgear, but He IS worried about how we treat each other.


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