Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Putting On a Hat

In the past it was almost universally accepted that a hat was worn on important occasions to indicate respectability. Since a person should be dressed for prayer in a dignified manner, the halachah required one to wear a hat for tefillah (Mishnah Berurah 91,12). This halachah is extended to reciting Birkas Hamazon, Kiddush and other important tefillos as well (Mishnah Berurah 183,11).

During the twentieth century, society shed many previously accepted traditions, and today wearing hats is no longer universally accepted. Nonetheless, many Jews still maintain the custom to wear a hat for tefillah, when their heads are not covered with a tallis. Someone who generally wears a hat for tefillah should not pray without it, unless he will not be able to pray with a minyan at a later time (Igros Moshe 3,68, and Rav Shlomo Zalman Aeurbach as cited in Halichos Shlomo 2,15).

Some halachic authorities maintain that since wearing a hat is no longer common practice, one isn't required to wear one for tefillah. In places where it isn't customary to wear a hat, men should instead have a special kippah for tefillah that covers the greater part of one's crown. Each person should make a special effort to honor Hashem with his garments as much as possible (Responsa Tzitz Eliezer 13,13).

Partitioning One’s Heart

Tefillah is called the service of the heart, and during prayer we elevate our hearts to the highest level possible. One of the ways we do this is by ensuring that “one’s heart should not see one’s genitals.” We accomplish this by making a separation during prayer, between the upper part of one's body and the lower half (Shulchan Aruch 74,1).

A man who wears a belt for prayer has fulfilled the aforementioned obligation. Even if he does not wear a belt, underwear that has elastic or even one’s regular pants are sufficient to fulfill this obligation. If a man recited Shemoneh Esrei without a partition, he does not repeat his tefillah (Biur Halachah 74,1).

According to the Shulchan Aruch, women are not obligated to create a partition (Shulchan Aruch 74,4). However, some authorities write that women are also included in this halachah (Bach 74). Therefore, if possible, they should try to have a partition between the upper and lower halves of their body during tefillah (Taz Yoreh De’ah 200,3).


Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 


ARTICLES ON MIKETZ AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Divine or Not?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Just in Keitz
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

The Light of Torah
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5763

> In the nick of time
Shlomo Katz - 5770

Sing His Praises
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

A Tale of Two Pharoahs
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

ArtScroll

Performances and Customs
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Bit By Bit
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Superficial Light
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

To Fergin Or Forget
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Non Negotiable Part II
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Dreamers and Doers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Hanukkah
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5775

Yehuda, Yosef and Chanukah
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Yosef Recognizes His Brothers
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information