Here is an answer from history:[1] Paraphrased and copied (with some abbreviations) from a paper by Glenn Dynner (who was my teacher at SLC): In 1845, Tsar Nicholas of Russia decreed a ban on traditional Jewish clothing, because “Traditional Jewish attire was now deemed clannish and visibly repugnant, while Jewish hairstyles were said to encourage the spread of the scalp infection known...

I gave a tour of Hasidic Williamsburg to a group of Mennonites, which are similar to Amish but maybe in some ways less insular. I think. That's how they explained it to me. Notice me in the jacket without a pretty hand sewn dress! I look so bad. So much like a shiksa, a bad Jewish girl. But wait. They are all not even Jewish! The...

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...

There's been a lot in the news recently about how Hasidic women dress for swim. This comes amid a controversy in Williamsburg over if the Metropolitan Pool should offer hours especially for women, catering to Hasidic women who will not swim in a coed pool. Yesterday the city announced that it will keep the women's hours, albeit only four instead...

https://youtu.be/sX2rm-jLLFY Among my circles, we often discuss the inaccurate portrayals of Hasidim in media. From books to movies, or especially movies, it seems secular media can’t get it right. The minor details; the garb, the clumsy Yiddish, are often most jarring to natives. I thought it would be interesting to look at media closely and try to point out what I...

Hasidic women customarily wear a head covering after they get married. There are various types of head coverings, and each type is different not only in appearance, but also in degree of stringency. Yet the headgear doesn’t really reflect a woman's piety, because it is determined by what the family tradition is. What the mother wears, the daughter wears. On...