We’ll take off our shtreimls if you put on more clothes…

I'd rather go nude than take off my shtreiml

I'd rather go nude than take off my shtreiml

Most of the world is perfectly fine with Pamela Anderson taking off her clothes. I admit I am. So are most of the Israeli men oggling her figure while the blond bombshell visits Israel this week as a judge on the Israeli version of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’

One might assume correctly that Israeli Hardeidim would feel otherwise, and indeed when Anderson visited the Kotel she managed to cover herself appropriately enough not to rile its self-appointed guardians.

But Anderson’s agenda in Israel was not limited to television appearances. She is an advocate for PETA’s anti-fur efforts and as luck would have it Israel’s Animal Welfare Law bans the import of real fur products.

The catch?  The bill has been stymied by United Torah Judaism’s MK Moses, a Shtreiml-wearing Belzer Hasid. Shtreimls are those funny looking fur hats worn by many men in several hasidic sects. And many a hasid is loathe to set aside their beloved head pelt. So what if its 90 degrees in the shade in Mea Shaarim? It would be sacrilege to shun the shtreiml.

And so it would seem that Anderson’s efforts to try and convince the Haredim holding up the bill to give up their shtreimls are for naught… Doubly so because if anyone is going to avert their eyes and ears from the charms of this shalicha, its Hareidim.

There are of course a multitude of other sorts of fur hats worn as well, notably the spodik, worn mostly by Gerers. The Gerer Rebbe, however, issued a chumra on the purchase of actual fur spodiks, as they are a sign of ostentation. Gerers wear phauz fur spodiks. Say that ten times fast…

So there is precedence of adopting altern-hat-ives among hasidim.  If she really wants to get the Hasidim to take off their fur, Pamela should maybe offer up the possibility of dressing tznius all the time… Or better yet, threaten not to and to parade around the Kotel again. The Hareidim would of course have a predictable response, but it might also have an unintended consequence- thousands of Chilonim thronging to the Kotel…

Ironically, there’s a wonderful related post on this by YESHA spokesman Yisrael Medad. And some nice pictures too, one of which is above.

6 Responses to “We’ll take off our shtreimls if you put on more clothes…”

  1. I was gonna make a joke, but couldn’t decide which one I wanted to make. I leave it each reader to pick their favorite:

    “I don’t think it’s nice to make of 17th century Polish fashion reenactment clubs.”


    “I don’t think it’s nice to make fun of sexual fetishes. So what if some chareidim have a fur fetish?”

    David A.M. Wilensky · November 9th, 2010 at 12:48 pm
  2. Shtreiml pron:

    adam davis · November 9th, 2010 at 3:29 pm
  3. Siberia in Safed? om

    Cheliyahu · November 9th, 2010 at 7:55 pm
  4. The real message of animal rights groups: Religious morality and animal rights don’t mix. Why else the obsession with nudity?

    formermuslim · November 10th, 2010 at 9:55 am
  5. Doesn’t the photo show a spodik and not a shtreiml?

    themicah · November 10th, 2010 at 3:26 pm
  6. it does appear to be a spodik, but I could not find any real nudity with a shtreiml that was more appealing.

    Adam · November 15th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik