Our BS, eh?

A Canadian's musings on life in RBS-A (Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph), Israel and whatever else I feel like writing about.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shabbos Crocs

What has happened to dressing up for Shabbos Kodesh? Suit, tie, Shabbos shoes, etc. When I was growing up in the FFB world, everyone dressed nicely for Shabbos.

Over the years I've watched people (whom I would think know better) dressing more and more casually on Shabbos, both here in EY and in Chu"l. In EY, people are naturally more casual, particularly when it comes to ties. OK, I can deal with that, it's a cultural thing. And maybe so even in Chu"l people have started to dress casually, not just on Fridays but all the time. What I don't get is when someone who DOES wear a tie both Fri night and Shabbos morning, loses the tie at Mincha. Is it any less Shabbos by then?

But the most blatant example of dressing down for Shabbos that I've seen is when it comes to shoes. I bet if I think about it real hard I could remember my first pair of Shabbos shoes. When I was really little, my mother didn't want to have to keep up with 2 pairs of shoes as I (supposedly) grew. So I didn't have separate weekday shoes and Shabbos shoes, I had one pair of shoes, which had to be menschlich enough for Shabbos, so they couldn't be sneakers either. They were these leather soled lace up shoes. Ever hear the Bill Cosby routine on his shoes when the front of the sole separates and makes a flapping noise when you walk - and you can even pick up a penny without bending down! That's what I had. I think it was in 2nd grade that I finally got my first pair of sneakers and separate Shabbos shoes. I remember how proud I was that I finally had my own pair of shoes - just for Shabbos! That was part of Shabbos - wearing nice clothing, not doing things on Shabbos afternoon that would ruin your Shabbos clothes, but not changing into weekday clothes either. And Shabbos shoes.

What has happened to Shabbos shoes? I see men coming to shul in Neot with no socks, women in beach flip-flops. And of course, everyone's all time favourite - Crocs! And not conservative dark coloured ones either. One guy I know now comes to shul with no jacket or tie and aqua Crocs. But this Shabbos was a first for me. A guy came to shul - chassidishe dress all the way: No streimel, but the unkempt beard, bekishe, gartel were all there....=and Crocs. I'll give him credit, at least they were black. But I don't get how it has become acceptable to come to shul in shoes you'd go to the beach with. Would you attend a business meeting that way? OK, maybe this guy had some need to wear loose fitting shoes, and this is not his usual choice of Shabbos footwear. I'll grant him the kaf zechus. But overall, I don't get how people come dressed for shul. It has certainly become way less casual than the way I was taught. And I'm not from the shtetel in Europe or the 1930s either. I hope someone can explain this to me, because to me it's an affront to the kavod Shabbos should receive.

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