Thursday, May 12, 2005

What should you wear for davening?

Today's daf (Shabbas 10) has the din that a person needs to be dressed properly for davening. The gemara states that a person cannot daven without a gartel (belt) based on the pasuk of הכון לקראת אלוקיך. The poskim explain that this means that a person needs to be fully dressed and ready to speak to the king.

RHS told over a funny story from R' Schwab. He was going to daven mincha and there was a businessman wearing a suit. The man had forgotten his gartel, so he took his tie off and used it as a gartel. R' Schwab commented that what the man did was incorrect. Nowadays, a gartel is a minhag, it is not part of a person's dress. However, a tie is an integral part of a person's dress (for businessman) and for many people if they are not wearing a tie they are not fully dressed. Therefore, the man would have been better off leaving the tie on and not davening with a gartel as the gartel is stam a minhag while the tie could be min hadin.

RHS mentioned a story about RYBS (in Nefesh Harav) that at some point the Rav stopped wearing a jacket for shacharis during the week. One of the talmidim asked him why? He explained that he started wearing R' Chaim's old tefillin, and the batim were very large so he couldn't put his arm with the tefillin on them into the sleeve. So what? He said that no one would walk around in the street or to meet an important person with their jacket on like that (one arm not in) and therefore he thought that it was more kavod not to wear the jacket at all.

In YU and other places, many people have a minhag to wear a jacket for davening. However, they wear any old light jacket (windbreaker). This minhag seems very difficult, the idea of wearing a jacket is this din of being fully dressed, wearing an ordinary light jacket would not seem to fulfill this din.


Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

It Talmudic times people often wore nothing besides a long shirt-like garment. You know, like the question about what a Scotsman wears under his kilt e.g. nothing. Our dress is completely different.

bluke said...

Yes, according to some rishonim that was part of the reason for a belt to provide a separation between the heart and the lower part of the body.

bluke said...

Yes now a gartel is just a minhag. There is no halacha l'moshe misinai to wear a agrtel, the gemara says that you are supposed to be fully dressed the example was a gartel which at the time was needed to be fully dressed.

Regarding the tie first of all the man probably was wearing a belt. In any case, because we have tight fitting undergarments there is no problem of libo roeh es haerva ith our clothes, your underwear makes the separation.