Frock Coat - Modern Use - Orthodox Jewish Wear

Orthodox Jewish Wear

In the Lithuanian yeshiva world, many prominent figures wear a black frock coat also known as a kapotteh (accompanied by either a Homburg or fedora hat) as formal wear. In recent years many Sefardi rabbis also wear a similar frock coat. The frock coat amongst Jews is usually reserved for a rosh yeshiva, (maybe also the mashgiach and other senior rabbis of the yeshiva) and other rabbis such as important communal rabbis and some chief rabbis.

Most married male Lubavitcher Hasidim also don frock coats on Shabbat. All Hasidim also wear a gartel (belt) over their outer coats during prayer services.

Most Hasidim wear long coats called rekelekh during the week, which are often mistaken for frock coats but are really very long suit jackets. On Shabbat, Hasidim wear bekishes, which are usually silk or polyester as opposed to the woollen frock coat. The bekishe and the rekel both lack the waist seam construction of the frock coat. Additionally, bekishes can be distinguished from frock coats by the additional two buttons on front and a lack of a slit in the back.

Part of the slit hem in the back of the frock coat is rounded so as to not require tzitzit. The buttons are usually made to go right over left on most Jewish frock coats, particularly those worn by Hasidic Jews.

In Yiddish, a frock coat is known as a frak, a sirtuk, or a kapotteh.

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