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God doesn’t care if you wear a black hat

The RaHaF ZT”L in his sefer nefesh hahesh brings down a story of a man who left his body and went to the beis din sehl mala where he spoke to God about gaining entry into Olam Habah:

I saw a long table that was catered by someone I would have never eaten by in my physical body, it was laid out for all to see and everyone was standing around scratching their heads wondering how a triangle-K caterer got this gig when he came up to the heavens.

God sat at the end of the table eating herring and kichel, talking in Torah to some of the clean shaven folks with knitted yarmulkes, can you imagine that? Imagine the pain I felt when I had to step onto end endless line, let me tell you, this was worse than any DMV youve ever been to, there was no information desk. There was only an infinitely long line of black hats stretching for eons, angels poured us drinks, but we noticed that they didnt have four hechsherim on them so no one took any the angels looked pleased with this result.

Then I noticed this really quick moving line of people, they all looked different, sure there were some black hat wearers on it, but I saw kippah srugas, women and even a few folks not wearing yarmulkes, I even saw a woman wearing pants and not covering her hair. Our line had no women on it, I assumed because we were the most frum of everyone, I assumed that ours was separate because we were most frum, I assumed it was moving by so slowly because we all had so many mitzvos that it took forever to weigh the scales, watch the video of our lives and receive the obvious entry into gan eden, but this is not what happened.

It seemed like forever, but I finally got my turn, I noticed that the guy before me looked a little shocked, he adjusted his hat, brim down this time and walked solemnly along to his destiny I wondered if all those stories about us sitting in the bleachers while we watched the gedolim learning in the heavenly beis medrish were true, I really hoped I got a good seat.

God didnt speak to me, he had a mediator and it wasnt really a he, someone may say it could have been a she. I asked the mediator if she thought was tznius that I was talking to God via a woman, how they could allow women into such a holy place. God laughed and everything shook, he made the mediator disappear, I heard nods of approval coming from the line behind me, my black hat brethren knew it was untznius was it true that God gave us yetzer harahs even in the heavens.

Why are you shaking like that? God roareddo you think shuckeling is something that is appropriate to do when standing in front of a king?

I had no idea what to say, I honestly thought the faster and more violent you shook during prayer, the better it was, I had seen the other holy people doing it. I see here in the ledger that you were kind to your in laws Very important to be kind to those you hate, but what about all of the goyim and non-black hat Jews you disparaged at the shabbos table? You could have told divrei torah instead

I tried to speak, but he wouldnt let me, I felt like Pharaoh having his heart hardened. I wanted to ask him about speaking against those who were evil, the goyim who didnt keep the shiva mitzvos, the Jews who didnt keep shabbos, but my mouth was froze as God roared at me again. You stole, cheated and lied you cared more about what your fellow man thought than I and for that I sentence you to the mandatory 11 months at the all you can eat Kiddush with long arms tied to the wall

Unfortunately the sefer hanefesh of the RaHaF was lost, so most people continued to wear black hats regardless of the fact that God didn’t care and besides the RaHaF also known as Rav Heshy Fried Shlita wrote his sefer hanefesh at a time when black hats were worn by the goyim as well, so they may have been a fashion statement rather than the halacha l’maissa they have become today.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Sholom December 30, 2010, 9:36 AM

    First! Pretty hilarious.

  • Avrumy December 30, 2010, 10:07 AM

    Point well made.
    Reminded me of the joke about G-d serving tuna salad to the pious Jew in heaven.

  • Philo December 30, 2010, 10:39 AM

    The RaHaF ZTL

    Um, why did you make yourself dead? You could be “RaHaF Shlita”.

    • Philo December 30, 2010, 10:44 AM

      whoops – hadn’t read all the way through

      <ithe RaHaF also known as Rav Heshy Fried Shlita

      I see you were resucitated

  • Philo December 30, 2010, 10:42 AM

    God laughed and everything shook

    God is Santa? Who knew!

  • Yechiel December 30, 2010, 11:01 AM

    One of your best. I really have never understood this black hat thing. Back in Minnesota we wore a cap when we were cold. Warmth was the key not the color. I was taught that men take their hat off when entering a room or in the presence of a woman.

  • Yankel December 30, 2010, 11:10 AM

    With all due respect (if that amounts to any at all) this was f#%@ing retarded.

    Sorry for not appreciating the humor, but the number of idiots out there who actually truly relate to this chreft and think this way, is too big for me to smile.

    With full acknowledgement that I will sound cliche with the following, the above pshetel has an uncanny resemblance to christian thought.

    No. G-d does not consider you a better Jew if you shuckle wildly. But if it helps you concentrate and you don’t shuckle because it’s weird, you won’t make the “good” line.

    No. It is not good to talk about the bad things goyim do instead of divrei Torah. But if it will instill in your children and family a resentment and disgust for the anti-G-d culture which is a threat to them, then it’s your obligation to.

    No. G-d does not care if you wear a black hat.
    But if wearing a black hat will cause you to be able to live a life in a community which will prevent you and your children from developing the above mentality, then yes, He does want you to wear a black hat.

    To address (what I believe is) the main point of the article, that G-d really only wants you to be a “Good nice and honest person” and try to keep halacha if possible, all I can really say is “It’s simply not true”. It might sound very flowery and ‘love-and-peace’-like, but this was not the way of life which we accepted when we stood around the mountain.

    True. If you are rotten to the core and a jerk to everyone, then the fact that you keep the strictest standards of kashrus won’t somehow make you a “Good Jew”, but you do have the level of kashrus you keep. That can’t be taken away from you.

    Likewise, no matter how nice of a guy you are, if you don’t try to keep the Mitzvos, all of them, there’s now way you’ll end up on the “Good” line. You’ll be a “nice guy” with a completely wasted life.

    • Mahla December 30, 2010, 11:35 AM

      Those were good points, Yankel.

    • A. Nuran December 30, 2010, 11:36 AM

      You’re right. God wants you to be a murderous, hateful, dishonest, genocidal rapist. You’ve admitted it. Hell, you’ve been proud of it.

      That’s why God as you have created Him in your own image cannot, must not be acknowledged let alone worshiped by any decent person.

      • Yankel December 30, 2010, 12:30 PM

        I see you totally missed my point, but to reply to your points directly…

        G-d wants you to live up to the image he drew up for us in his Torah. Not the one some puny human mind ‘imagines is good’. The fact that one is not a “Murderous, hateful, dishonest, genocidal rapist” does not mean by that virtue alone he or she lived a good life.

        And as I’ve said to you before, there is no reasoning with one who can actually convince himself that he’s more righteous than G-d.

        I don’t know if you realize it, but your opinions only make sense for someone who doesn’t believe in the Jewish tradition of Torah. And I’ll actually admit, that for a world where there is no Torah from G-d, and where all humans are called upon to make their own assessments of how to live life and what one’s purpose is, your views of “right vs wrong” and “admirable vs despicable” are beautiful and filled with good and truth.

        But we live in THIS world, where we Jews believe we have a pre-written blueprint of how life should be lived, and what is good and what is evil. So perhaps you should save your wisdom for someone like yourself, who can’t fathom that his intellect is incapable of comprehending all it takes to make proper judgement as to what G-d wants from his creatures.

        Side point… Hesh wrote the post from an Orthodox Jewish perspective. The points you make oppose him as well.

        • Heshy Fried December 30, 2010, 1:59 PM

          Correction – I wrote it from the Skeptical yet orthodox Jewish standpoint, but you knew that already.

          • Yankel December 30, 2010, 8:24 PM

            If it were meant for anyone other than halacha abiding Orthodox Jews, then what would be the message in “Women wearing pants and no hair covering” and “Men without yarlmukas” being close to G-d? Why would this be a surprise to anybody conservative or secular?

            And yes, I’m aware of the Skepto-Dox attitude. (At least the one you ‘put on’ for the audience).

        • kissmeimshomer December 31, 2010, 3:02 PM

          Sir, just be aware that you may have some points, noone is saying there is no value or reason for a black hat, however the point being made seems to be a stab at those who believe with conviction that their way, they way of black hats and degrading non jews, is the absolute best way. I think Heshy is open minded enough not to lum all the black hat wearers into one “line” as he pointed out, the other line had black hat wearers as well. Take a lesson- just open up a bit. I don’t believe all or even most religious jews are horrible people either, inasmuch as i disparage them on my own blog. For me, its a way of ventiing. But that’s an entirely different topic.

          • Yankel January 2, 2011, 5:18 AM

            I’m with you Reb Yid, I’m just trying to even out things a bit.

    • Steve December 30, 2010, 12:07 PM

      Says the above poster (Yankel): “No. G-d does not care if you wear a black hat. But if wearing a black hat will cause you to be able to live a life in a community which will prevent you and your children from developing the above mentality, then yes, He does want you to wear a black hat.”

      Um…isn’t your statement mashma that one would not be able to live in the mentioned community if he did not wear a black hat? That sounds like quite an intolerant community to me, and I wouldn’t want my kids anywhere near that. The whole point of the article was to speak AGAINST people like that. I want my kids in a Jewish environment; an attitude like that is anti-Torah and anti-Jewish.

    • shmul December 31, 2010, 10:08 AM

      brother your taking the hesh too literaly. he’s just pointing out things that are often over emphasized in the frum community. it may be a little extreme but thats what satire is

    • Ariel January 6, 2011, 12:10 PM

      No. G-d does not care if you wear a black hat.
      But if wearing a black hat will cause you to be able to live a life in a community which will prevent you and your children from developing the above mentality, then yes, He does want you to wear a black hat.

      The problem is that not wearing a black hat is enough for that community to prevent you from living with them in the first place. G-d definitely does not want that.

  • ur an ass December 30, 2010, 11:13 AM

    ”I honestly thought the faster and more violent you shook during prayer, the better it was”

    seriously dude, i for one am not that religious, there are stuff i like and dont like.
    but dont try to ridicule it, no one likes that..ur posts lately seem to have poor taste alot against religion; judiasm. is ur problem u ran out of material to blog about? ur need to start writing about food?

    really not nice. some things should be kept top urself and not said.

    • DRosenbach December 30, 2010, 6:50 PM

      Whether the post as a whole was good or not I will not debate — but you picked the worst line to complain about. According to Wikipedia, satire is “holding vices, follies and shortcomings up to ridicule with the intent of shaming those involved into self-improvement and rehabilitation,” and that’s exactly what this line embodies. Heshy is no doubt deriding yuhara (pomposity), something that Chazal do all the time. Until Heshy changes the name of this blog to FrumCynic, complaints like this are unwarranted.

    • RFZ December 31, 2010, 10:18 AM


  • cs December 30, 2010, 11:29 AM

    Would’ve been funnier had you not mentioned your name at the end. The mechaber’s acronym and the name of the sefer were good enough for anyone with a wit to figure it out. And I would have loved to read the comments inquiring as to the authenticity of the sefer!

  • like December 30, 2010, 11:29 AM

    good post!

  • CCMSM December 30, 2010, 11:58 AM

    Where did you hear this story from?

    According to Wikipedia (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_eschatology), for Olam Haba “The Gemara (Berachos 18b) relates several stories of people who visited cemeteries and either overheard conversations among dead people or actually conversed with the dead themselves, and received information that was later verified as factually correct”.

    Did you hear this story at the cemetery from dead people? Is it verified as being factually correct?

  • Stan December 30, 2010, 12:00 PM

    Yankel, “we” did not “accept” anything when “we” stood around a mountain. “We” stood far away from the mountain under threat of death if “we” got too close, and “we” agreed to let Moses be the mediator between “us” and the God with whom he purported to communicate. Some of “us” were doubtful. At which point Moses had his goon squad, the Levites, slaughter the doubtful. With the approval of the God with whom M0ses was purportedly communicating. The author of Exodus was telling “us” that whatever God is, it does not fit the testicular Mosaic template that has fixated the superstitious authors of Midrash that some of “us” blindly accept. The central point of Heshy’s piece was right on.

    • John December 30, 2010, 12:23 PM

      interesting yet bizzare fairy tale. i like how it takes a few elements from the torah and is combined to a story that has little semblane to what Jews believe. You dont believe in the stroy as presented in the torah and passed on generation to generation? fine do what you want, but i dont get where your silly rant which is even sillier than heshy’s original one fits in. Can you help?

      • Yankel December 30, 2010, 8:34 PM

        The point is, this article was written from a frum person’s perspective, trying to shed light on who are the people that really live life according to G-d’s will.

        Why insecure self-hating Jews feel the need to express their denial of their tradition here, is beyond me. Your comments belong on the “athiest vs realist “threads.

    • Poshiter Yid January 3, 2011, 5:56 PM

      Koifer mamash!

      The “author” was God Himself! Take your vile apikorsis and go! Every single Jew accepted Torah from God not Moshe!

      • John January 3, 2011, 6:03 PM

        simpleton, are you the same “poshiter yid” who was repeating nonsense about there not being cause and effect, on Slifkin’s blog?

        • Nate January 5, 2011, 4:32 PM

          The cause of everything is God. Dont be a troublemaker John.

          • John January 5, 2011, 6:38 PM

            im not being a trouble maker, it was god who caused me to write that i couldnt help it.
            question 4 u: if god is the casue of everything, why bother saying it if god wanted me to know what you were thinking i would without you telling me??
            (this is more geared towards “poshiter yid” who belevies there is no such thing as casue and effect whatsoever, he said those exact words)

  • Chani December 30, 2010, 5:23 PM

    Reminds me of the old joke –

    A man died and went to shemayim. He finds a huge banquet about to begin. A malach comes up to him and asks him what he’d like to eat. “I don’t eat except at home, thanks anyhow” the man says.

    “Oh, you can eat here – Eliyahu HaNavi was the shochet” replies the malach.

    “Who’s the mashgiach?”

    “Why Moshe Rabbeinu himself is the mashgiach!” exclaims the malach.

    “Nu, so in that case, I’ll just have the vegetarian plate.”

    • OfftheDwannaB December 30, 2010, 5:34 PM


      • DRosenbach December 30, 2010, 6:53 PM

        From what I recall, the joke was that it was a choice between shor habor and the livyasan, and the guy finished with, “Um…I’ll have the fish.”

  • Yoreh K'chetz (aka Phil) December 30, 2010, 6:18 PM

    Hats & beards, I wonder if ZZ Top has good seats reserved…

    • DRosenbach December 30, 2010, 6:53 PM


    • Chris_B January 4, 2011, 3:59 AM

      Reminds me of The Simpsons episode where they go to NYC

      Bart upon seeing 3 Orthodox Men: “ZZ Top! You rock!”

      Orthodox man: “meh, maybe a little…”

  • madison hudson December 30, 2010, 8:27 PM

    Really nice looking template you have here. i wonder, where can i got it too

  • Rodney December 30, 2010, 11:42 PM

    An instant classic. Thank you. It is Frum and Satire. Well done.

  • Chris_B January 4, 2011, 4:00 AM

    Classic post!

  • Eben July 12, 2012, 11:07 AM

    The only reason any one gets upset is because they’re afraid of missing out on that all you can eat Kiddush

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