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Bekishe

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File:Hasidim.jpg
A bekishe, or beketshe (Yiddish: בעקעטשע), is a long coat, usually made of black silk or polyester worn by Hasidic Jews, and by some non-Hasidic Haredi Jews. Most Hasidim only wear them on Shabbos, Jewish holidays, or at weddings and other such events. During the week, most Hasidim wear a rekel, which is made of wool or polyester, looking like a regular double-breasted suit, only longer. Many Hassidic rabbis wear a bekishe during the week. In such a case, they will wear a fancier bekishe for Shabbos, often lined with velvet or some color other than or in addition to black.

There are two main types of Bekishe. The Zaiden (silk) Glatt (plain, lit. smooth) Bekishe is solid colored, and is usually worn for Friday night and Saturday morning prayers. For Shabbos meals, the patterned (less expensive) polyester Bekishe, with an attached belt, also known as an Ess Chalat or a Tish Bekishe (Yiddish), is worn. The Tish Bekishe is also worn during the Shabbos afternoon prayer service and the night after Shabbos. Some non-Hassidic Orthodox Jews wear a Tish Bekishe at home during the Shabbos meals. Many Hassidic Rebbes, mainly of Hungarian lineage, wear Tish Bekishes with various colors, usually either, blue, silver, often with black.

Almost universally the Bekishe is black, the notable exception are the gold bekishes worn by Yerushalmi Haredim such as Toldos Aharon, Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, Dushinsky, Neturei Karta, Shomer Emunim, Pinsk-Karlin, Karlin-Stolin, and many but not all in Breslov, as well as other non-affiliated Yerushalmi Haredim such as the Perushim. It should be noted that only those members of these movements centred in Jerusalem or one of the Jerusalem-affiliated suburbs such as Beitar Illit, Ramat Beit Shemesh or Modi'in Illit wear these gold coats. Those who live further away, for example in Bnei Brak, Ashdod or outside of E. Israel, wear black bekishes like most other Hasidim, as do some of those who live in Jerusalem. The gold bekishe is generally seen as a family tradition. In most groups, it is only worn after marriage; before marriage, either a black bekishe or weekday-style clothing is worn on days when a bekishe is usually worn. Some of those who wear the gold bekishe switch to black on Shabbos afternoon before mincha; this is seen in for example Dushinsky and with many of the Prushim.

Most married Chabad hasidim wear a long black Kapoteh (frock coat) instead of a bekishe. The Kapoteh, besides its unique waist seam construction, has four buttons in the front (as opposed to six on the front of a bekishe), as well as slit in the back, which is lacking on the bekishe. The Kapoteh can be made of either wool or silk.

Many Hassidic Rebbes wear Samet (velvet) or Strohkes (velvet piping), symbolizing tefillin, on the bekeshe. (As is pictured above.)

External links

hu:Bekisheru:Бекеша

Many Grandparents give this to their grandchildren after their Bar Mitzvah. This happens after the High Holy Days.

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