Monday, November 17, 2014

The Black Hat Stats

People are judged by their choice of attire. Whether they like it or not, whether they are in style or not, it the skirt is too long or too short-it is human nature to judge base on looks. I, myself, choose cars, books and other items based on their esthetic alone. 
So, even though I used to be a firm believer of 'who cares what headcovering the guy wears?' I have changed my mind based on experiences. 
For example, you cannot say a guy with a black hat is frummer than a sruga or a tzitzis out is frummer than colored shirt. However you CAN say that someone who wears a shtreimel has a certain type of lifestyle (chassidish) and someone who wears a knitted kipa on Shabbos has adifferent  lifestyle (mizrachi). 
Which brings me to the 'black hat'. I'm from a black hatter family and am looking for a black hatter type guy. What I'm not understanding though, and what I'm reallt trying not to be judgmental about is why-if someone is from a 'black hat' type background, would they stop wearing the hat completely. Is it because they don't feel they are 'frum enough' or is it because they are too modern? I'm open to all explanations in order to understand. 
on a separate note: I just wanna say that it used to be black hat meant something, as did a 'learning boy'. Obviously there are many 'actors' these days and I have come to see that it's not always the hat that makes the person. I am however, curious to know why someone would remove it from their lifestyle. 
All explanations are more than welcome. 


  1. I don't not wear a black hat completely, but during the week I choose to wear other forms of head coverings instead of it. 1) its more convenient. 2) it does make a statement that I am not a yeshiva bachur. I have my own mind and do my own thing. I actually stopped wearing my hat during my last couple years in yeshiva. To me its about independence. I still use something to cover my head in addition to my yarmulka, but why do I need to be like everyone else?

  2. For me its about independence. Instead of wearing a black hat I choose to wear other forms of head covering. To me its about being able to do my own thing while achieving the same end goal. I don't like conforming, never have. Thats just one way I express it.

  3. Man, I miss blogging... Been so long... But this is a topic that I can relate strongly too, so I'll give it a go and hope this acts as a catalyst to get me back in the game.

    My immediate and extended family all wear hats. I think I have one cousin who married a guy who doesn't always wear a hat for every minyan. I'm definitely the black sheep of the family when it comes to black hats (and ya, I guess most other things too).

    Growing up, I wore a hat. All throughout high school, beis medresh and for quite some time after I left yeshiva.

    I stopped because, to me, wearing a hat is a completely hashkafic matter and if I'm not a part of that hashkafic group, then there's no obligation for me to wear it.

    To further explain the previous sentence: I've gone over the halachos dozens of time searching for the "halacha" of wearing a hat, and discovered, that, er, it's not a halacha to wear a hat. "Good" and "Proper" (terms used in two of the three places where the Shulchan Aruch discusses a double covering for davening) yup, but not a halacha.

    Back on point, the hashkafos I have are- if I were to be forced to categorize myself- more on the right-wing spectrum, but not "classic" right-wing by any means.

    I no longer wear a black hat because, simply, I just don't feel the need to. It isn't a halacha, and I don't belong to the community that believes one should. Someone who is completely right-wing I believe should wear a hat, because that is part and parcel of belonging to that community. Not only that, but the right-wing community would argue that it is, in fact, a halacha.

    If my wife were to insist I wear a hat all the time (and not most Shabbosim as I currently do), I'd do it. Because then I'd have a reason to wear one.

    I'm not against wearing a hat, I just don't care one way or the other, and it's nice not having to worry about "Do I have this? Do I have that?" on my way to shul.

  4. As someone from your so-called "black-hat family" I stopped wearing one in 12th grade, and haven't worn one since (7+ years?).

    My reasoning is quite simple...I don't classify myself with the Yeshiva crowd (aka: Black Hatters) that lives in my neighborhood.

    I am a lot more modern then them. I watch TV, I use the internet, and yes, I even learn from time to time.

    But I am NOT a black-hatter based on my neighborhood, and those living around much so, that I don't identify with them, and as such, I won't wear a black hat, because yes, I want to be differentiated from them.

    It doesn't make me "less frum" or "rebellious", it just makes

    The way I've always seen it: An @$$hole in a black hat, is still an @$$hole when he takes it off. And similarly, a nice guy without a black hat, is still a nice guy when he puts on a hat.

    The hat doesn't make the person.

    (On the flip side, if I daven for the amud in a more "Yeshivish" shul, they require I cover my head, in which case I'll put the talis over my head (even though I am not married) or borrow a hat if no talis is worn.......)

  5. When my brothers got married, it was close after leaving yeshiva, so their weddings were just full of black hats everywhere. But now my family, as a whole, no longer wear black hats so zealously. We aren't yeshivish, we're heimish, dammit. Our neighbors are heimish too, and they aren't always so frantic about the hat either. Maybe it really is now more a token of the yeshivish world now. Times change, as well as the symbolic attire.