Thursday, January 19, 2006

Myth #1: Lubavitchers wear black hats

I used to think that Lubavitchers wore black hats.

Being in Tzfas and witnessing one of the world's most lively and
cohesive bunch of Lubavitchers, I have changed my mind. It's become
pretty clear to me that Lubavitchers definitely DO NOT wear black

Because a Lubavitcher doesn't wear a black hat, he doesn't have to get
it cleaned by a professional. Nor does he have to always put it in a
special place when he comes home everyday. When a Lubavitcher travels,
he doesn't have to bring his hat box. For what hat?

Because a Lubavitcher doesn't wear a black hat, he doesn't have to buy
a hat cover for when it rains. You won't see a Lubavitcher with a
plastic bag over his hat. Why? Because he's not wearing one! Pouring
rain can't change that.

Because a Lubavitcher doesn't wear a black hat, he never asks "Oh, is
this going to be a hat function?".

Because a Lubavitcher doesn't wear a black hat, a Shadchan will rarely
be caught asking "Does he wear a black hat?" and if the Shadchan DOES
let it slip, she'll probably get a response like "What do you mean?".

Because a Lubavitcher doesn't wear a black hat, it's not on any dating
girls list of 'things to look for" in a guy.

Because a Lubavitcher doesn't wear a black hat, a teacher from the
Yeshiva will not see his student out of class and interrogate him as
to why he's not wearing one.

Because a Lubavitcher doesn't wear a black hat, he doesn't have to take it off if he is enjoying a
cigarette, hanging out with girls, or dancing to non-Jewish music. He doesn't have two personalities - the "hat me" and the "non-hat me".

I have noticed a few exceptions, some rare occasions when a
Lubavitcher actually DOES wear a black hat.

When a Lubavitcher finds himself davening Mincha with a diverse group
of people, he sees someone not wearing a head covering. All of a
sudden, he thinks "Hey, I'm wearing a hat!", takes it off, and places
it on his hatless fellow Jew.

A Lubavitcher also wears a black hat when he is taking pictures in the
President's Oval Office. The President will say something like "You
know, you can take your hat off" and the Lubavitcher will respond,
"What? My hat? Oh, that's okay. Thank you, Mr. President, but I think
I'll keep it on."

A Lubavitcher realizes he is wearing a hat when he is on the street
helping people put on Tefillin and someone asks him "Why do you Jews
always wear black hats? Do you all think you're Rabbis or something?"
The Lubavitcher touches his hat, goes "oh, this thing?" and explains
to his new friend that the hat has nothing to do with any sort of
religious level, and one should never make that mistake. He then
places the hat on the boy and helps him with the tefillin.

A Lubavitcher can refer to other people as "black hatters" without
confusing people. When the term "black hatter" is used, everyone knows
they're not talking about Lubavitchers.

Why? Because there are people who wear black hats and there are people
who wear black hats.

And Lubavitchers? Well, they just don't wear black hats.


Anonymous said...

Well said.

The beginning of all knowledge and wisdom is to be able to call things by their proper name. Good call.

10 points for the thought and another 10 for delivery.

- G

nahama said...

woot! another 10 pt.s! (towards whatever it is these pt.s are going ipod anyone?)

i would really like to know your inspiration for this peice...
pray share.

[i think i'm gonna go find me a hilltop...]

keep it real,

Mimi said...

"Nahama" (love it),

I love getting your comments, you should just know.

As per your interest in the inspiration for this piece, I can't say it came from one specific thing, but I can attempt to analyze.

I personally feel a sense of pride when I see a Chabad Rabbi or Bachur. There's something about the beard and black hat that gives me a warm feeling - I have only good associations. And yet, if I think about the black hats that swarmed my neighborhood of Har Nof last year, there are none of the same positive feelings or associations.

So, with this piece, I tried to subtely (and perhaps comicly?) pick at what I have percieved to be the difference.

It amazes me that you can have two similar things, so alike in exterior, yet worlds apart at thier essence.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the soul of Chabad, the underpinnings of what we SEE as Chabad. There are a lot of interesting things to notice if you're in tune.

And I'm always left feeling insanely proud.

You get me?
Do share any further insight.
Glad to have you on board :)


Saad said...


I can't wait for myth two, three, four and more.

"From the forest itself. . .
"chop 'em down, chop 'em down. . ."


Mottel said...

Keep it up!

the sabra said...

now that's an interesting way of lookin at things. i appreciated that one, kol hakovod!

Mafia Man said...

very well written!

YS said...

Bravo! Well said. If you don't mind I may link to this. Chabad is cool. Why do I use the word cool? Because cool is someone who had the self confidece to be themselves.

a random shana said...

Well said:) That was pretty awesome:)

Anonymous said...

I am a Lubavitcher bochur and I do not wear a black hat nor any other hat. What is the author talking about??

If this is intended as an awareness campaign to get guys to wear hats, then why not be blunt about it? why all the cryptic?

My suggestion: If it is indeed important, then write an article explaining the importance of wearing a hat.

I think it is far more important and critical to discuss the Lubabitch girls' attire and attitudes before discussing the boys. I believe that the obsessive mimicking of and indulgence in holywood celebrities is where it all begins.

Remember: a boy will always try to please the girls, and if it requires lowering his standards, then it is likely that he will do so...

Elyse Navidad said...

Mr. Anonymous, I think you missed the entire point.

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed mimi's writing immensely. at times, though i felt a note of disparagement to those who do wear black hats ;.
to anonymous two comments up- I totally understand what you are saying. and agree about the hollywood thing.
and i believe in the thing about standards being set by the girls
but what of context... mimi is saying something different here... and btw really- do you wear a hat