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Author:  Koppel Greenberg
E-mail:  not available
Date:  8/20/2003 11:03:00 AM
Subject:  Proper Dress
Message:  Dear Rabbi Abadi,

I am a bit confused. I am trying to become more religous and have found your website to me most enlightening. However, there seems to be large conflicts expressed on many different issues which lead me to become somewhat cynical about the whole thing. It seems as if one could do anything they want ultimately because there is a so called legitimate source for everything. I now have a Rabbi whom I trust and she is helping me deal with this. On the matter of proper dress while praying, can you please let me know what the minimum acceptable attire is to show the appropriate respect.
   
Reply:  The ones that run from Rabbi to Rabbi to get the easiest of each are, as you have realized, not kosher. There is a system set up within the Torah allowing each Qualified Rabbi to determine & decide certain laws, within reason. Not to change anything, but rather to clarify the meaning and understandings of the laws, and thus possibly differ from another Rabbi's understanding of that same law, causing us to have two opinions that are both right. Each person, each community, each group, should have their designated Rabbi, and should follow 100% of his opinions. People who want to take the easiest of each Rabbi should just do what they want and then go to Church and say confession, it's even easier that way. Don't be cynical about the system, because the system was created properly. You can be cynical about the people. You work on learning what is right, and striving to achieve that. Don't look at what other people do, it's irrelevant.
The attire for praying should be a completely clothed to a point that one would go out in the street dressed like that. That means men should wear a shirt, pants, shoes, socks, and a Kippah. The shirt can be a T-Shirt, & the pants and all can be anything that people would wear in public. Does not need to be fancy, does not need to match. Women can wear a dress, pants, a skirt & top, etc... Even if there are clothes that you wouldn't wear because of other reasons, if it is worn outside in public it's OK. For example, if a woman doesn't wear pants outdoors, but others do, then it is OK for her to pray in them at home, even though she herself wouldn't wear pants outside.
AA

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