Dear Heshy: Why do you always bash black hats?

Hesh,

Been reading your blog for quite some time and I’ve always wondered what you had against black hats? As someone who was never really part of the yeshivishe velt like yourself (you mentioned that you went to Rochester and besides for the fact that Chofetz Chaim is the most left wing in the yeshivish world, Rochester isn’t even technically in the Chofetz Chaim system and was always known as a reject school) how can you really bash something you never really took on or took part in. They have forced you to wear a hat for davening, but you never truly wore the yeshivish levush or uniform. The black hat is a wonderful minhag yisroel that has transformed the frum community in so many ways. 

If you go to the army they make you shave your head right? It’s part of the uniform right? Do we really have such a reason for it? Not really, but everyone does it, from the higher ups to the privates…the frum community is the same way. If you look at real authentic ehrliche yidden you will see that they all have one thing in common. They all cover their heads with a hat on top of their yarmulke. This is no coincidence, did you know that the first thing the Reformers did was to do with away with wearing hats inside? This was a way to make the service similar to the church and since they weren’t wearing them inside, eventually the fences crumbled and it led to them not wearing any head covering outside. I’m not sure why we wear black hats, but it’s a tradition that is thousands of years old. The Tur brings down that Og Melech Habashan himself wore a fedora to fit in with the regular Jews even though he was a giant. It is also brought down that Avraham Avinu had an amazing mesiras nefesh to wear a black hat in the desert and that the malachim recognized him when they went to visit him because he was wearing a size 8 borcelino.

This is besides the point. I am not trying to prove to you that hats are a worthy minhag and that they are good for the frum community to continue holding by, but rather I’m trying to prove your common misconception that hats are not in our mesorah, because obviously they are. Chazal say that one of the reasons the brothers were jealous of Yoseph was because he had a feather in his hat. It was black of course.

Black hats separate the real frum Jews from the fakers, I know a lot of your fans don’t want to hear the emes, but it’s true. Rabbis, shochtim, mashgichim, yeshiva bochrim and anyone of trustworthiness is usually found wearing a hat. Several famous talmidei chachamim don’t wear hats because of heterim, Paysach Kron comes to mind, his constant yarmulke adjustment was the reason for that, he has a terrible itch you know?

In all seriousness, do you trust someones kasharus if they don’t wear a hat? Go find me a rav hamachshir that doesn’t wear a hat, or a shochet for that matter. There is a reason for everything and although wearing a hat has sometimes been considered taykoo, halacha moshe m’sinai or a chok – many people with proper bitachon and emunah go through great mesiras nefesh to uphold this worthy tradition that spans thousands of years.

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