Apr 22, 2018

First World Problems in Vizshnitz

שטריימל עם שפיציםThe Vizshnitzer Rebbe spent some time in his Shabbos drasha to students in his yeshiva system going on the attack against the phenomenon of people buying the new style of shtreimel that has points, or "shpitzim", at the top - the mink fur is combed and set brushed upwards with the top coming to points, kind of looking like the tips of flames going up.

The rebbe told the students that he does not want boys from Vizshnitz buying these shtreimels with shpitzim, they are disgusting, and they look like the old shtreimels they used to wear on Purim. If everyone would refuse to by these before they get married, the shtreimel makers would stop making them.
source: Behadrei

I don't know much about shtreimels and which group of hassidim wear which shtreimels, besides for a few basic rules, but I have seen this often as they are common in a community I sometimes spend time in in Jerusalem. I thought they look nice (much nicer than in the picture included), though I could never identify which Hassidic sect they were associated with - I assumed it was just general hassidim without a specific rebbe. Most of the time, members of a hassidic sect wear specifically shaped and designed shtreimels, as per each groups specifics. This is also why it surprises me a bit to see the Vizshnitzer Rebbe warn his talmidim like this - why aren't they wearing the classic Vizshnitz shtreimel, whatever that may be? All these chassidim generally stick to the rules wearing the same glasses as the rebbe, the same shtreimel as the rebbe, same shoes as the rebbe, etc and now it seems the hassidim are getting caught up in some sort of fashion race in the realm of shtreimlech, instead of sticking to the rules and standards. I find that interesting, and even a bit surprising.

Further, I am somewhat impressed that this is such a serious problem that he has to express his concern about it. Online we call such things #firstworldproblems or #WhiteWhine - meaning, poor guy, he has nothing else to complain about other than that his Ferrari got a scratch on it, or something like that. Baruch Hashem one of the most pressing issues facing that community's new grooms is which shtreimel to buy and not anything much more serious than that..







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