Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

[SCJ FAQ Logo]
< Q11.1.9 TOC Q11.1.11 >

Question 11.1.10:
Dress: What is the large high ceremonial hat that the Rabbi wears in the synagogue called?


There isn't one. Many traditional Rabbis tend to wear fedoras, but then, so do most of the congregation as part of formal Sabbath wear. Some with more Chassidic leanings would wear a Hamburg, a felt hat with a flatter brim, no pinches in the hat itself like you would find on a fedora. Chassidim themselves tend to wear fur hats. Those communities from Russia and eastern Poland wear a "spodik", a brown (nearly black) fur hat that is taller than it is high. Those from Hungary, Galicia and therabouts wear a "shtreiml", an almost disklike hat whose center is felt surrounded by a brown mink ruff. But these are worn by the entire community for the Sabbath, and aren't specific to Rabbis.

At one point in time, during the 19th and early 20th century, cantors -- the ones trained in the melodies and meanings of prayer -- tended to wear high Cantorial Caps. They were actually elaborate versions of the style of Yarmulka worn amongst Latvian Jews. (The plainer version looked something like an old seargent's hat or cooks cap, but in black.)

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

[Prev ?]
[Sect Index]
[Next ?]
[Prev Sect]
[Global Index]
[Next Sect]
  [Reading Lists]  

© (c) 1993-2005 Daniel P. Faigin <>