Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fidel, but to what?

Why do I keep seeing young men everywhere in Fidel Castro hat-and-beard combinations? Is this a political statement? Is it a way for observant Jewish men to look hip without breaking the hat regulation (which surely has a more precise, Talmudic name)? Is it a way to be a hipster while rejecting the ironing hours necessary for hipster-hair? In any case, not a fan.


Glenn said...


The tradition is that jewish men cover their heads when thinking about G-d, or by extension, jewish law. Observant Jews believe that one is always thinking about G-d, so therefore one always covers one's head.

(this has nothing to do with why orthodox married women cover their hair--separate and unrelated issues)

And, people wear hats because they like them, not to "get around" a particular halachah or minhag. You can cover your head with a hat, a prayer shawl, or a kipoh, whatever.

Hope that helps.


Phoebe said...


It would help, except that I already did know the justification for the hats. What I don't know, but I suppose could Google, is if there's a commonly-used name for the rule. Somehow saying 'the hat rule' or 'the hat custom' feels inadequate.

Petey said...

"is if there's a commonly-used name for the rule. Somehow saying 'the hat rule' or 'the hat custom' feels inadequate."

The technical term, translated from the Hebrew, is the "god deplores bald spots, and given that he's looking down from the sky, it's all he sees, so hide yours!" rule.

And given that amending the constitution to change the rule would require agreement from three quarters of the states, I think we ought to just get used to it.

(Also worth noting for those seeking shortcuts into heaven, god is not a fan of bowlers or stetsons. Pick a more fashionable hat to best please him.)

Petey said...

And well off-topic for this thread, but quite on topic for the blog, check out this.

You think Palin is too Volksiness? Mitch McConnell is in trouble in Kentucky, and is trying to anti-Jew his way back to the Senate. (With some weird anti-Italian cross-pollination thrown in to avoid the ADL.)

Kentucky is uber-Palin country.