Sunday, March 8, 2009


It was really nice to see all the positive response to my Haveil Havalim-in other words, I'm gratified that no one left any nasty comments. Meanwhile, in more important news, there was recently a request for a post about my yeshiva sweaters and since I'm an obliging fellow I think I'll write about them. Besides, I really don't have anything better to write.

The first sweater I got for yeshiva was the green Land's End number we've all come to know and love over the last few months. I got it when I was in ninth grade and wore it religiously throughout the winter months. The main problem with it was that it was a pain to take off before shacharis and put on after. At one point I tried solving this issue by purchasing a Land's End white sweater shirt (heavy flannel I believe) that would have performed admirably, but the principled principal of the school (Rabbi Mordechai Friedman) said I couldn't wear it in yeshiva, and since most of my time was spent in yeshiva I figured that I might as well return the thing. Oh well.

When I entered shiur aleph zal in YOEC I began to wear a new covering, a black and gray pullover sweater thingie with an essentially useless very short length zipper in the front. Every morning in the winter (snort!) months after breakfast I'd go to my room and put (pull?) this pullover on and wallow in it until it was time to go to sleep. While it was a nice covering and all it did lack to things I considered essential: a hood, and a full frontal zipper. Both these needs were remedied with my next purchase, at Sam's Club, of a green sweater-type thingie which featured both these ingredients, among other joys, including two pull-string things by the hood which facilitated fiddling. Around this time I also got a pair of dark green trousers at Land's End which went quite well with the sweater. I know, y'all are asking, "How could a chassidishe bochur like TRS (and I really was chassidish back then) wear green trousers?!" The answer is that the year before in smicha there was a bochur by the name of Shmuelie Friedman who owned a similar pair of pants, and since every Minnesota Friedman has instant chassidish cred I figured I was safe. Unfortunately those pants only lasted a year (the seat did done split-I have no idea why, because the food was terrible) so the next year in Morristown it was just me and my green sweater. My chavrusa used to call me "the tortoise" or else "the cow" and would often inquire if I had eaten enough grass that morning. Of course, he made mouth motions like a fish, and he was English, so I wasn't too perturbed by these comments. There were only two disadvantages with this sweater: it was too bulky to wear with a suit jacket, thus necessitating a time-wasting maneuver every mincha and maariv, and it also, I thought, was not befitting a Shliach of the Rebbe.

There followed a long and hard road (about two months) in YHSTC in which I alternated among several classier sweaters, all of which had to be taken off every morning before tefillin and out on after (for I was then sleeping in the dean's basement, and needed the sweater at night), and all of which didn't quite make the cut. Salvation came in the form of Century 21 in downtown Manhattan, where I purchased a gray sweater vest, perfect for use with tefillin and classy enough for a Shliach.

And this year? The vest isn't quite warm enough, and the green sweater has once again come forth to prominence. If I'm wearing a shirt that doesn't need ironing then it is that which I wear, while iron-needy shirts get the vest? Makes sense? Probably not. You see, I can wear a decent shirt by chassidus without a sweater, so I can put on the green following morning prayers. However, if my shirt is too wrinkled for polite company, then I needs have use of the vest for chassidus and davening. And now you know.


Anonymous said...


Just like a guy said...

and that was constructive how?

Real and Wright said...

So basically, you have one sweater per season.
And another thing: how is it that the vest was fine in Minnesota's tundra weather, but its not warm enough for Morristown?

Just like a guy said...

I did a cost/benefit analysis and the convenience of the vest outweighed the lack of heat. In morristown though, where the form is mere steps from zal, the sweater is worth it.

le7 said...

Cute post.

Then again I'm a girl.

I wish I had such a bare bones wardrobe.

Actually I take that back. I had a bare bones wardrobe in Tzfas and I was ready to jump off the metzudah.

bonne said...

hah! Cow.
I, like Le7, wish I could be satisfied with such a simple wardrobe. Laundry must be a breeze.

Just like a guy said...

le7: thanks.

Sara: simple is good.

Batya said...

What a complicated dress code.

I thank G-d for making me a woman.

Just like a guy said...

Complicated? Wearing the same thing for two years straight?

Anarchist Chossid said...

Alter Rebbe was right.

Anonymous said...

About what?

I wish the eilem the joy of their colossal hangovers.

Anarchist Chossid said...

About what?

About clothes, of course.