Friday, December 10, 2010

Tefillin vs. fashion

"Nothing fits me!," I complained to an old friend. "Everything's baggy across the shoulders and a little too tight across the bust. What am I supposed to wear?"

"Wear knits," she said. "They stretch."

True, knits might fit me better, contracting where I don't need room and stretching where I do. But knit sleeves don't stretch quite enough to be shoved up above my elbow and stay there for the half-hour or so that it takes me to say Shacharit (Morning Service), and even if they do stay up, they'll get all stretched out on the right arm, where I lay tefillin.

I'm not sure I've ever mentioned to this particular girlfriend the fact that I lay tefillin every weekday morning. The topic has simply not come up. But, knowing this particular girlfriend, that may be just as well. She'd probably roll her eyes and conclude that I've become hopelessly religious.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with being hopelessly religious?

Fri Dec 10, 01:54:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

That depends on the crowd. This conversation took place at our old friends' Chanukah party, and the folks who usually attend that party are generally not the most observant, though some of them (including the hosts) keep kosher.

Sat Dec 11, 11:22:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Susan B said...

It isn't clear from your post where you're saying your morning prayers.

If you say them at home, I'd suggest you put on an appropriate top, say your prayers, and then change into your knit top or whatever you want to wear for the day.

If it is at shul, I'd suggest wearing an appropriate top for the service, and bringing a knit top or whatever that you can change into in the synagogue restroom after the service.

At my synagogue, once a month we have "Torah on the Trails." We go on a short hike in the morning, study Torah, then return to the synagogue in time for morning services.

On those days I hike in a t-shirt and hiking boots, then change into less casual clothing in the synagogue restroom for services.

It's a tad inconvenient, but it works for me!

Sun Dec 12, 03:35:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Susan, I pray at home most mornings. But I'm always running late, and generally don't have time to change after davvening. If I could just get my act together in the morning, changing my top after davvening would be a good idea.

Sun Dec 12, 08:45:00 PM 2010  
Blogger YS said...

Men have this problem as well.
Solution number one would be short sleeves. Or, if you are uncomfortable with the informality of that, wear some sort of layer that you can just take your arm out of that sleeve for the two minutes it takes to put on the tefillin and then put it back in so the tefillin come from the inside of the sweater.

Tue Dec 14, 12:01:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

YS, short sleeves are the perfect solution--but not when it's 20 degrees Fahrenheit! I find it much easier to lay tefillin in summer clothes.

Tue Dec 14, 01:31:00 PM 2010  

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