01 Mar What is that furry, circular hat that some Orthodox Jewish men wear?
The shtreimel (שטריימל) is made of real beaver fur and is usually first received by a man from his bride’s family — the hat can be very expensive so this is a wedding gift. The man wears the shtreimel only once he gets married, and even then, on shabbes, holidays and other special occasions. Believe it or not, there is quite a bit of fashion trends around these hats. In recent years the hats have gotten taller, and nice peaks (shpitzen) of the fur mean the shtreimel is fresher and nicer.
Edit: someone mentioned that the fur might be mink, not beaver.sheds light:
“To make one shtreimel can take up to 400 tails of various breeds of mink, sable of fox – the scrap of the fur industry.”
And while we are quoting: “But at a cost of up to $4000 each, it can be a profitable one too.”