By a bochur
Dear COLlive readers,
I learn in a large Chabad Yeshiva, and am very shocked by the talk amongst the bochurim, and talk on different Whatsapp groups, to make changes to the “Chabad dress code.”
There are many bochurim who are petitioning the hanhalas of various yeshivas, in the US and Israel, to allow bochurim to wear a Russian style kasket rather than a black fedora.
The Chabad dress code: dark pants, white shirt and black fedora, is what makes us stand out as a Chosid, wherever we are. We make a statement wherever we go, without having to say even one word. It tells all those we encounter we are Chabad, we are Chasidim, and we are representatives of the Rebbe.
The fedora has come to represent Chabad in many ways, including pop culture. But it’s more than that. It’s a symbol of our Rebbe and our connection to him.
The Rebbe once said he’d rather wear a hat with a down brim and have 10,000 not yet frum people join Chabad, then wear a streimel and have other chasidim join.
We wear the hat proudly as soldiers in the Rebbe’s army and to change it for convenience or reasons of price is wrong.
Bochurim should be taking pride in the way they dress, and it shows a serious issue with all of us if Chassidishe bochurim are trying to make major changes.
And it’s a slippery slope. If bochurim start doing this, where does it end? Where do we draw the line on Chassidishe Levush?
Why is a kasket any different than a beanie? Or a ski cap? Where does it end?
If we talk convenient, should we wear short kapotes? Or none at all? Suits are cheaper, after all.
And why should bochurim wear white shirts? Should we wear colored shirts? Polo shirts?
How do we educate the younger generation about being different as Lubavitchers and being proud of it?
We’ve been hearing for years that tznius for women is about the spirit of the law, not the letter. Here too, there may be nothing wrong with a kasket according to law, but it’s definitely not in the spirit of Chabad and Chasidishkeit.