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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Tradition? Tradition!

Baynonim has an interesting post about traditions passed on from our ancestors, that may conflict with the current in vogue traditions. The comments are worth reading. Here's what I had to say:

Here's a coupla comments on the tradition biz:

1. When I moved out here, I davened only Nusach Ashkenaz. All the minyanim here are Sfard. I tried to keep Ashkenaz for a coupla years, but finally just gave up. Yom Kippur is really different. You know what? Big deal.

2. Over sukkos, we do the lulav in shul. I was taught to do it one way. The Rabbi here does it REALLY DIFFERENTLY. For a while I still did it my way. One year the Rabbi got up and said, basically, that it looks really bad to have a few guys swimming upstream, and really detracts from the beauty of the service.
He's right; watching all the lulaving waving in unison is truly a sight to behold. Maybe it was like this in the Bais Hamikdash. I got over it. I still do it my way at home, and teach the kids the same.

3. I stand during the repetition of the shmoneh esrei. Most people at the shul sit. I insist that my kids stand as well.

4. I don't wear any special hat. My kid's school requires a hat (black or chassidish) at Bar Mitzvah age, and a jacket. I've bought two Stetson's for the boys. They wear them to shul, but if they forget them, I don't make them go back for them, and when we're on the road, it's their choice. Does it look strange to
see the two boys with hats walking with their father without a hat? Maybe. Do I care what people think? Not so far.


Shira Salamone said...

I confess to being somewhat puzzled by what appears to be the current dress code in the Orthodox community. I may be mistaken, but my understanding is that the Torah shebichtav doesn't mention anything about any male covering his head unless he was a Cohen officiating in the Mishkan. I assume that the tradition of men covering the head is rabbinic in origin. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) But surely there were neither Stetsons nor schtreimels in the days of Rashi or Rambam. So why is a man who covers his head with a good old-fashioned kippah suddenly not considered frum enough?

Personally, I find it ironic. In my parents' generation, which was still fighting against anti-Semitism in employment and for acceptance as real Americans, men wore hats because kippot were too obviously Jewish. Now, men wear hats because kippot aren't Jewish enough.

PsychoToddler said...

Excellent point.

Adam Ragil said...

Shira, I like that.