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Author:  Ari
E-mail:  not available
Date:  10/14/2003 9:12:00 AM
Subject:  hat during davening
Message:  It is a well known idea that students from more "yeshivish" yeshivos wear a black hat during davening, while students from a slightly more modern backround do not, and not because they simply dont want to wear it, but more out of principle. What are the rationales for both sides?
- Also, as far as writing on chol hamoed, although there is a strong basis not to, is there any reason to allow it for schoolwork; notes in class etc, assuming that the student will suffer (albeit slightly) if he doesnt write?
   
Reply:  1) The ones that wear the hat do so based on a misunderstanding in their reading of the Mishna Berura that states that one must wear a hat. It clarifies to say that it should be the hat that is worn in the street. The reason for this law is based on the Pasuk, "Hikon Likrat Elokecha...," which says to dress up when going before God. The Mishna Berura is saying that we must dress up the way we would go in public, and since we do not go in public without our hat, we must wear our hat for the prayers. Today, hats are not a fixed part of our daily dress code, and therefore not a requirement for prayers. Some covering is however required, like a Kippah.
2) It is OK to write with a pen, since it is not "Milechet Umnut," (a skilled labor), however computer printing would be a problem.
AA

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