Shabbat Mincha – No Ties

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

There is an interesting Rashi and Ran in Nedarim that notes a custom for women to remove their Shabbat jewelry on Shabbat afternoons towards the end of the day.[1] Based on this, the Shu”t Gur Aryeh Yehuda[2] argues that the requirement to wear Shabbat clothes is no longer in force from late afternoon onwards. In fact, there is a custom among certain Chassidim who generally wear flowery or colorful bekeshes on Shabbat to wear a plain black bekeshe from mincha time until the conclusion of Shabbat.[3] The Erech Shai[4] says the reason one is not required to wear Shabbat clothes at this time is to recall that Yosef, Moshe, and David passed away Shabbat afternoon. Indeed it is for this reason that Shabbat afternoon has a slightly mournful flavor to it, a topic which will be dealt with in a future post.

Other authorities dismiss the alleged source from Rashi and Ran in Nedarim that there is no longer a requirement to wear Shabbat clothes during the later hours of the afternoon. These authorities argue that the Nedarim citation, if halachically admissible at all, applies only to jewelry just like it says and can not be extended to include any other Shabbat clothing.[5] Indeed, the Magen Avraham rules that one should not remove one’s Shabbat clothes until after Havdala.[6]

However the Tzitz Eliezer[7] argues that it is possible that the Magen Avraham may not truly hold that one is required to wear one’s Shabbat clothing until after Havdalla. So too, the Machatzit Hashekel[8] seems to imply that it was common to remove one’s Shabbat clothes in the afternoon. It is also suggested that removing one’s Shabbat clothes is only permissible if one continues to wear at least one Shabbat garment along with the other clothes one changes into. This would be consistent with the Chassidic custom cited above where it is implied that it is only the Shabbat bekeshe which is removed while the other Shabbat clothes, such as the pants and shoes, continue to be worn until Havdalla.

While the sources cited above are somewhat dubious, unclear, and should not be followed halacha l’maaseh, I just may have found some kind of source or limud zechut for the widespread subconscious North American “minhag” of not wearing a tie (and other dress-down practices) when going to the synagogue for mincha on Shabbat afternoons.


[1] Nedarim 77. All sources cited are taken from Shalom Rav, Shaar Hahalacha, 7:7.

[2] OC 13.

[3] Cited in Shalom Rav, shaar hahalacha, 7:7.

[4] OC 262.

[5] Orchot Chaim, OC 300:2.

[6] OC 262:2

[7] Tzitz Eliezer 14:34:2.

[8] OC 262:2

About Ari Enkin

Rabbi Ari N. Enkin, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh, is a researcher and writer of contemporary halachic issues. He is the author of the “Dalet Amot of Halacha” series (8 volumes), Rabbinic Director of United with Israel and a RA"M at a number of yeshivot. www.rabbienkin.com

63 comments

  1. “No matter how many times I visit certain communities, I never cease to be surprised when some people act as if Shabbos ends at lunch and, after they finish eating, walk around in more casual clothes…”

    http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2005/09/shabbos-attire-ii.html

  2. Moshe Shoshan

    big improvement in your citing sources in the text of the article. yiyasher koach.

  3. Moshe-

    Thanks for noticing it. I am going through withdrawal. 😉

    Ari Enkin

  4. Curious —

    Thanks for that!

    Ari Enkin

  5. In the community in Israel where I live, there is a widespread practice (esp. among bnei eidot mizrach) to change out of Shabbat clothes in the afternoon, in particular a different shirt. So you may have just provided a limud zechut for that practice as well.

  6. 1- Perhaps it started from someone being chosheish for the Yerushalmi, which appears to conclude that qesher shel qayamah (a permanent knot) is any knot that outlasts Shabbos. Bows can be untied with one hand (Mishnah Shabbos 15:1)

    2- In reality, I think the “minhag” of not wearing a tie for Shabbos minchah comes from the laudable practices of (a) the Shabbos nap and (b) racing to get to shul on time for a short davening.

  7. The sefer by the Rav Weil on shabbos (principally against the magen avrohom) has something interesting on the shabbos nap!

  8. Shachar Ha'amim

    I think that people changed out of their shabbat clothes in the afternoon b/c they smelled by then

  9. how come the tie isn’t chukos hagoyim to begin with? what functional purpose does it serve?

    and how come many don’t tighten the tie all the way? (i understand the argument to wear a tie to look respectable, but leaving it loose turns this upside down and people end up looking more shlumpy than had they not worn it)

    should people who don’t wear shoelaces on shabbat wear a tie?

  10. Ties are a pain in the neck.

  11. william gewirtz

    i can imagine that groups that follow a clock based version of rabbeinu tam and daven mincha 60 minutes after sunset and then extend shabbat well beyond that, might have a more legitimate basis for a modified practice.

    or perhaps the custom of an ostentatious bekeshe or jewelry is a fulfillment of oneg shabbat and excessive levels of oneg are restricted for reasons of enforcing moderation.

  12. R’ Micha-

    Great theory! I like it.

    Ari Enkin

  13. William – putting on the tie/bekeshe is kavod shabbat. Taking it off is oneg shabbat.

  14. As received from Rav Arie Folger:

    Hi,
    >
    > You wrote:
    > In fact, there is a custom among certain Chassidim who generally wear
    > flowery or colorful bekeshes on Shabbat to wear a plain black bekeshe
    > from mincha time until the conclusion of Shabbat.
    >
    > That is demonstrably wrong. It’s the other way around, the flowery
    > tish bekishe is only worn at meal times and on Shabbat afternoon (when
    > going to eat shaleshiedes in shiel). The usual justificaion is that
    > the flowery tishbekishes are made of a cheaper, easier to clean,
    > harder to stain fabric, though nowadays, when hardly anyone wears a
    > silk behishe (they are now all polyester, except for the most
    > expensive regular bekishes), that no longer rings as true. The design,
    > however, undoubtedly hides stains a bit, and tishbekishes are often
    > unlined, so they remain easier to clean than the warmer, lined,
    > regular bekishes.
    >
    > You further wrote:
    > This would be consistent with the Chassidic custom cited above where
    > it is implied that it is only the Shabbat bekeshe which is removed
    > while the other Shabbat clothes, such as the pants and shoes, continue
    > to be worn until Havdalla.
    >
    > Sorry, but that is pure, high quality, unadulterated nonsense.
    > Chassiedim would never go anywhere on Shabbos without a top clothing
    > item. Even in the weekdays many won’t be seen without a langreckel or
    > at least a regular suit, but on Shabbes, they’ll always wear a
    > bekishe. The tishbekishe is every bit as much a Shabbesdike garment as
    > the regular bekishe (and some chassidim just wear the former, perhaps
    > because they want some color in their lives – some tishbekishes are
    > adorned with bright colors subtly woven into the black fabric).
    >
    > I may be a nouveau Jecke, but I grew up in a mixed environment with
    > many Chassiedim.
    > —

    MY RESPONSE:

    I am not as familiar with Chassided minhagim as Rav Arie is. He may very well be correct.

    As I noted in the footnotes — I saw all this in the sefer “Shalom Rav”. I have no further information.

    Ari Enkin

  15. …continued.

    Ultimately however, it is the Rashi and Ran which is the main point of the post.

    Ari Enkin

  16. It would be nice to have a theoretical underpinning for the original jewelry custom (other than the custom was noted)
    KT

  17. Rafael Araujo

    When I was a learning in EY, I was invited by a friend to Yeshivat Birkat Moshe in Maalei Adumim. I remember one ram of the yeshiva started leil shabbos with a jacket and tie (and large kippah serugah). Shabbos morning, he only had the jacket and by shabbos minchah he was jacketless. Maybe he believes that this minhag is progressive over the course of shabbos? 🙂

  18. Ari,

    You should give your analysis more credit. While I can’t comment on whether these sources should be taken halacha l’maaseh, I don’t think your sources are dubious or unclear. While there is ample room to reject the no-tie conclusion, I think you provided a very reasonable and plausible limud zchus for a practice that many people including yours truly have often ridiculed as Zilzul Shabbos.

    I find Micha’s Yerushalmi limud as a “Hashgacha Pratis” limud, i.e. I doubt this was the intent of those first people to neglect putting on their ties for Shabbos mincha, but Providence has Jews doing something that has halachic merit. Micha’s second answer has far more merit from a real-time “Wissenshaft” Sperber-like perspective.

    Shalosh Seudos, the Shabbos afternoon meal, is called “Seudasa D’Zeir Anpin”. According to R Shimshon Pinkus, this kabbala-based phrase refers to the Six Days of the week. I.e. On Shabbos afternoon, the soul of the Jew begins to focus on the week ahead. In an ideal world, this would mean that we begin to think of how to bring the Kedusha of Shabbos into the weekday. But regardless of particular mindsets, one undoubtedly has Yemos Hachol on the brain. While this wouldn’t justify the lack of Kovod, it does explain it.

    Great post.

  19. Why do you assume that ‘shul clothes’ are synonomous with ‘Shabbat clothes’? Shabbat morning in many shuls feels like a more formal occasion and so it is appropriate to wear e.g. suit and tie. This may not apply to mincha. IIANM, the true requirements for bigdei shabbat are clothes that are worn exclusively on Shabbat. One could wear e.g. a white shirt and pants outfit that one wears only on Shabbat, thus honoring Shabbat and being comfortable and less formal at the same time.

  20. how come the tie isn’t chukos hagoyim to begin with? what functional purpose does it serve?

    For the history of tie, see here:

    http://www.shop-usa.info/TIE_HISTORY/tie_history.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necktie

    Long story short: the tie’s origins was a garment to stop sweat from your face dripping into your clothes and was (mostly) worn around your neck/ under your shirt. It also originally marked where you were from. Now, worn over your shirt, the decorative and cultural element of the tie is why it remains.

  21. Arnie Lustiger

    Sometimes, even the most valiant efforts to be melamed zchus can be for nought. In our community, the majority of MO men change to polo shirts, shorts and sneakers after lunch. This is also the designated time for their teenage sons to go out and play basketball (unless they have just returned from their year(s) in Israel). An accurate litmus test of school affiliation is how both parents and kids dress on Shabbos afternoon – those from the local RW school do not dress down.

  22. HAGTBG:

    ” Now, worn over your shirt, the decorative and cultural element of the tie is why it remains.”

    ok, so then why isn’t chukos hagoyim?

  23. R’HAGTBG,
    Depends whose definition of chukat hagouim you go by – IIRC the GRA would be on your side, others not so much.
    KT

  24. R’ Arnie,
    I call it hoisted on (by) your own petard – when we make yiddishkeit so much about do bees and don’t bees, it makes it much harder to say everything that is permitted need not necessarily be done.
    KT

  25. JOEL RICH:

    “do bees and don’t bees”

    ?

  26. “Do bees”–I think Joel is referring to what a fool believes.

    I went to a right-wing yeshiva. Wearing a “black hat” was required. (Other colors, such as grey or even green, were permitted back then.) If you didn’t have one, you’d be sent home.

    However, in the month of June, it was perfectly OK to switch to a straw hat. This was in the 1960’s. I have the sense that this is no longer the case.

  27. ok, so then why isn’t chukos hagoyim?

    Is that not the same with every article of clothing? Why do we wear a shirt instead of a 4-cornered garment. Why wear socks?

  28. See Piskei Teshuvos 262:3 for sources of the minhag to wear bigdei shabbos for Melaveh Malka.

  29. HAGTBG:

    shirts and socks serve a purpose. even though “traditional” alternatives exist, shirts and socks still serve a purpose.
    the tie doesn’t serve any purpose (assuming not required to wear one for professoinal reasons)

  30. Sorry I can’t help my quirks -http://www.tvacres.com/insects_bees_dobee.htm

    KT

  31. the tie doesn’t serve any purpose (assuming not required to wear one for professoinal reasons)

    What do you mean by “purpose”? What is the purpose of the shirt? What is a the purpose of a tie?

    Is a white formal shirt the same as a polo shirt? Is the later the same as a T-Shirt. No, even if its same material. Each serves many purposes.

    A tie, by cultural standards, adds dignity and formality to the outfit. Depending on the tie you wear it can tell others a bit about yourself (e.g. serious tie verus whimsical). It can make you look slimmer.

    At the end of the day, all our clothing is a combination of need and culture. This is without exception; there is no distinctly Jewish clothing – only clothing deviating from the cultural norms. If you are in a temperature controlled room you could probably do your job as easily in your underwear (or even less) as in your clothes. If you want to say the tie is “chukos hagoyim” you may as well raise the issue with pants as well.

  32. Rabbi Enkin commented,”As I noted in the footnotes — I saw all this in the sefer “Shalom Rav”. I have no further information.”

    Perhaps before posting it might be worthwhile to do further research. These “Kol Bo” type sefarim often sacrifice scholarship for brevity, trying to include as many sources as possible, often taking them out of context, misquoting, etc.

    It’s a problem in many popular seforim today as well as in your posts.

  33. As Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff has stated repeatedly, we often fail to realize how often our traditions are based on non-Jewish sources. For instance, show me one Jewish source for the shtreimel?
    He further states that if you want to appear as following authentic Jewish tradition in clothing then you must look to and follow the customs of Yemenite Jews who to this day have escaped “contamination” of their tradition by outside non-Jewish influences.

  34. Frummie-

    I did do further research and looked up every single source cited (except one). The only issue is whether or not the chassidishe minhag cited is real. The sefer I saw says it is, Rav Arie Folger says it cannot be.

    Again, the thrust of the post remains valid regardless.

    Ari Enkin

  35. MiMedinat HaYam

    1. shtreimel — polish nobility clothing (note — polish and nobility is an oxymoron.)

    2. yemenite clothing — they had no choice — the local arabs are probably even more lowlives than the poles.

    3. my personal minhag is to wear only a tie, with no jacket when i go to “perek on the lawn” (a suburban minhag) and mincha. would i be consideredd “dress up?” or “dress down?”

    4. “was (mostly) worn around your neck/ under your shirt.” — so we should wear tuxedos on shabat.

    5. “Depending on the tie you wear it can tell others a bit about yourself (e.g. serious tie verus whimsical).” some ppl in my shul have a minhag to wear donald duck, etc ties.
    ” It also originally marked where you were from. ” — someone in my shul has a minhag to wear star trek ties (and he has an interesting collection of them).

    6. seriously — what about the kabbalistic minhag to wear (all) white clothing on shabat?

  36. I might post on #6 some time soon.

    Ari Enkin

  37. Seems R’ Folger thinks you were saying that some folks remove their bekeshes altogether in the afternoon. I thought you meant that they switched bekeshes but kept the rest of their clothing as-is.

  38. I must add the Kohen Godol was not allowed to wear any ‘tamai’ clothing. See how the red thread was made.
    The ‘tachash’ had to be a kosher animal.
    How one can wear a shtreimel or silk clothing and call it holy baffles me.
    Even hats made from rabbit fur doesnt sound right to me.
    Each time one touches them dont you have to go to the mikva.
    Synthetic ones must be the correct ones.

  39. MiMedinat HaYam

    if the origin of this post is women removing jewelry, should we insist on their removing their nose rings, and other body piercings, (supposedly) common in those days?

    sorty nose rings were for men.

  40. Shalosh seudot is the will of wills that is why people remove the “devils knot”. as tosfos in cagigah says shabbos mincha corresponds to leasid lavo where there will be no separation between the moach and the lev. The rest of the week even shabbos we are like esav. It is only our heads that have a connection to holiness, worthy of burial alongside the patriarchs. The tie represents that I have never really been able to have shabbos in my heart until now. as the kotzker says we say vsamtem es devaray haelah al levavchem not bilevavchem. let the words be on our hearts , so when our hearts begin to soften the words will be right there to flow in.

  41. ‘the widespread subconscious North American “minhag” of not wearing a tie ‘

    I vaguely recall seeing somewhere a Rashi that says that a permanent knot is a knot that lasts till the end of Shabat. Hence, no tie for Shabat afternoon minchah.

  42. The galuti black hat, the shtreimel need to be replaced by a new Eretz Yisraeli mode of dress such as worn by HaRav David Bar-Hayim.

  43. We indeed should have Jewish modes of dress, but ones that are more in line with current realities. Machon Shilo is right on when it comes to this.

  44. David-

    That’s right. I mean they switch into the weekday/plain black bekeshe. (though R’Folger says this custom does not exist)

    Ari Enkin

  45. Rafael Araujo

    “he galuti black hat, the shtreimel need to be replaced by a new Eretz Yisraeli mode of dress such as worn by HaRav David Bar-Hayim.”

    Kindly stop your propagandizing.

  46. many women I know wear a hat (or wig) to shul on shabbat, then change in to a scarf at lunch. the main reason being that hats/wigs are uncomfortable. From what I understand ties are too. So I guess I’d like to see a little more substantiation of the assumption that if something uncomfortable is considered “dressed up” such that one does it for part of shabbat, one is therefore obligated to do it all of shabbat.
    I think the underlying question is, is there something wrong with treating shabbat morning shul as more “formal” than the rest of shabbat if that has come to be its cultural meaning? If so, what?
    I also agree that the shabbos nap plays a large role in people’s reluctance to get re-dressed up in their fanciest. (Not to mention that when I wake up from my nap I am usually accompanying a toddler to the park – not exactly time for my nicest suit, though i do wear “shabbat clothes.”)
    It is telling about the crowd here (in a good way) that this topic has not led to the usual rants about “shabbos robes…”

  47. 1. Rabbi Shechter has quoted the Rav ZT’L as saying that unless you are going to sleep one is required to wear bigdai shabus the whole entire shabus

    2. i grew up with chassidim my whole life and still live and pary with them and at like the man said
    “It’s the other way around, the flowery tish bekishe is only worn at meal times and on Shabbat afternoon (when going to eat shaleshiedes in shiel)”.

  48. it seems the solution is not to wear ties in the morning either – then there is no problem of inconsistency 🙂
    (but seriously, again, who says it’s not “bigdei shabbos” just because it’s not a tie? I am aware that, in reality, not many of the shorts-wearers have special shabbos shorts. but they could, no?)

  49. R’ Arie Folger,

    Isn’t it a minhag of some yerushalmi groups (like chasidei Dushinsky) to wear the yerushalmi kaftan (the golden bekishe, zebra) for most of shabbos but a black bekishe for seuda shlishis?

  50. i have special extra-expensive shabbos shorts (100% white linen) that i lounge around in only on shabbos.

    another issue to consider is whether it is true kavod for shabbos to be sweating like a pig in a suit and tie and hat on a 90+ degree day, or whether the weather should impact shabbos dress (though u should probably wear at least pants to davening).

    also balance what wearing uncomfortable clothing will do to your other mitzvah observance, such as helping your wife with the kids, and learning torah (if uncomfortable, u may just decide to sleep all shabbos so you don’t HAVE TO wear bigdei shabbos, which of course would make the whole point worthless).

  51. MiMedinat HaYam

    men remove their ties because they are not eating seudat shlishit with their wives, but in shul. (to mix posts)

  52. Who is the ShuT Gur Aryeh Yehudah?

  53. Rafael Araujo

    “also balance what wearing uncomfortable clothing will do to your other mitzvah observance, such as helping your wife with the kids, and learning torah (if uncomfortable, u may just decide to sleep all shabbos so you don’t HAVE TO wear bigdei shabbos, which of course would make the whole point worthless.”

    Yes, that is exactly what black hatters and chassidim do every Shabbos because of their dress – sleep Shabbos away. In fact, I insist, when my wife asks me to serve the Shabbos food for the seudah, that I can only do it while wearing suit, hat and tie. I have never seen anybody wearing a hat, or shtreimel remove it at the shabbos meal. Doesn’t exist.

  54. just to be clear, i was not implying that black hatters/chasidim sleep shabbos away. just for me personally, it makes it a little easier to do other things when i’m not sweating/worrying my clothes will get ruined. each person should decide for themselves how to balance the different halachic ideals.

  55. Rafael,

    Since when is expressing a position on proper modes of Jewish dress “propagandizing”? I find it much more “propagandizing” when childrens’ books have pictures of biblical figures wearing black hats.Dressing in an Eretz Yisraeli fashion makes a lot more sense than imitating modes of fashion from Poland.

  56. Steve-

    Funny you ask that. As I noted in a comment above, I said that I looked up all sources “inside” expect one. It is this one that I did not find inside. It does not seem to be on Hebrew Books.org and their are many works known as “GA”Y”.

    My guess is that the author is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryeh_Judah_Leib_ben_Moses_Teomim

    Regards,

    Ari Enkin

  57. R’ Ari,

    Don’t underestimate our national treasure! 🙂

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1619&st=&pgnum=16&hilite=

  58. I’d like to see a source in Chazal or Rishonim for the shabbat AFTERNOON nap from those lamenting the terrible practice of the MO to change into polo shirts shabbat afternoon.

  59. Melech-

    There are sources for this.

    Also: Shabbat is said to be roshei teivot for “Sheina B’Shabbat Ta’anug”

    Ari Enkin

  60. Ok, I’m listening. Let’s hear the sources in Chazal or Rishonim (pre-Lurianic kabbalah), for shabbat afternoon sleep before minchah.

  61. Aw man! Youre disqualifying anything after the 1500’s?!?!

    If I come up with something pre-chassidut, pre-Arizal, Ill report back to you.

    A

  62. Well, I have to disqualify anything pre-Ar”i since he slept for like 3 hours on shabbos afternoon! And I’ve never seen a reliable source that the Ar”i played pick up basketball in the Tzfat alleyways.

    Anyway, in all seriousness, what I’m getting at is that perhaps we look askance at playing basketball b/c that’s not ta’anug and the ta’avah for the middle aged and older men who make the rules and set the social standards by which others are judged.
    It becomes a circular argument: We know wearing polo shirts is bad b/c the torah true don’t wear polo shirts. Because it is accepted that wearing polo shirts is bad, if someone does, they are separating themselves from the torah true. But that’s an artificial construct.

  63. Amen Melech, polo shirts can look very nice, and are worn by important people at work in the summer.
    I was wondering why several of my friends at mincha this shabbos were wearing somewhat shlumpy black hats but not ties. would think logically that a tie is more “bakavodik” than a hat, but a hat has been deemed to be the bakavodik garb without much logic.
    if i went to meet an imposing monarch in a time like today, where ties are the respectable article, as opposed to black hats (especially indoors), there wouldn’t be much to consider. But i think one of the great things about hats is that it saves time and bitul torah, since now people don’t have to think about what looks good or respectable, since an article is automatically deemed to be most respectful, and can just be thrown on.
    Theoretically, it would have been funny if the populace had instead chosen a nike t-shirt as the holy accessory.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: