Re: Chassidic dress #general

Brandler Institute of Chasidic Thought <bict@...>

On 2002.08.25, Bernard Rosinsky <> wrote:

I have pictures of family members at the turn of the 20th century
(some end of 19th century). I know that it is possible to categorize
a tradiional Jew by his clothing: Is he a Chassid or a Mitnaged and
if a Chassid, what group he belonged to. Is there a reference book
that can help me determine where I should categorize my ancestor?
Though nowadays it is usually possible to ascertain Chasidic
affiliation by dress, it is important to note that one hundred years
ago it was not only the Chassidim who wore a particular dress,
rather it depended generally on specific geographical location and
sometimes social status (i.e., a rabbi would have a specific type of
dress) the Chasidim were the ones who chose to retain the
traditional dress and thus are there only ones wearing for instance
Polish/Galician traditional Jewish clothing. On the other hand
there were very few Misnagdim in Poland at the turn of the century,
most were in Lithuania, although many Jews in Polan and Galicia were
not Chasidic per se, they were not opposed to Chassidus and would
occassionally even visit a Rebbe.

Avraham Heschel
Brooklyn, NY

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