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Author:  isaac saide
E-mail:  isaacsaide@yahoo.com
Date:  9/30/2003 3:54:00 PM
Subject:  hats
Message:  rabbi, where did this wearing a hat come from ? does halacha require it or is it a custom and if one is required to do through custom shouldnt sephardics wear turbans , like the rambam?
   
Reply:  I'm right there with you on the turban idea. We are Sephardim and we cannot get away with the Al Capone style. That's an Ashkenazi dress. We need to get more of an Arafat look!
The law requires us to dress in a way that people normally would dress in public. Today hats is a has-been. It does help to bring a sort of more serious respectful aura to Amida/Shemona Esrey, but the majority who are just blabbering incoherently, the hat is meaningless. The requirement does not exist. If one wants to wear one, I would suggest that he prays with concentration, knows the meaning of each word, and goes without distractions for at least 6 months before going up that level. Until then, don't be so ultra-religious. With the hat on , the negative aspects of ones prayers get magnified. Oh he's so religious, why can't he pray normally.
AA

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