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Where did the minhag of wearing a gartel come from?

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I believe based on my learning Yalkut Yosef, Helek 4 vol. 2 siman 301 you may not wear a Gartel on Shabbat because of carrying (of course most places have Eruvin and what places are Reshut HaRabim etc. and all the stipulations of Eruvin). –  Hacham Gabriel Dec 18 '11 at 23:57
    
@HachamGabriel That does not seem to be the common practice. Can you explain that? Also, couldn't you just wear the gartel to shul? –  Daniel Aug 7 '12 at 3:19

3 Answers 3

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 91:2) states: "One must wear a gartel (Heb. ezor) while praying, even if he has a belt (to hold his pants up - Mishnah Berurah sec. 5) so that his heart doesn't see his private parts; this is in order [to fulfill the dictum], 'Prepare [yourself to meet your G-d, O Israel]' (Amos 4:12)."

Mishnah Berurah (sec. 4) qualifies this ruling as applying only to someone who regularly wears a gartel throughout the day, though he concludes that it's a mark of piety ("middas chassidus") to put one on for prayer regardless.

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There is a machlokes in Tosefos Shabbos 9b whether one one wears a gartel to avoid libo roeh es hoerva (his heart seing his ervah) or for hikon likras E-lokecho Yisroe-l (Prepare to greet Hashem, O Israel).

The simple explanation is like the second opinion.

A Gartel is an expression of seriousness toward prayer in that it is a major time of spiritual growth.

In Chabad, bochurim (unmarried men) wear a gartel under their clothes so that their Gartel should not attract attention. In addition to that, a married man wears a gartel when praying, similar to a warrior preparing for battle by girding himself, we too, in our battle against the Yetzer Hora (evil inclination) should gird ourselves.

This is consistent with the Zohar that calls the time of prayer a time of battle-"SHAAS TZELOSA SHAAS KEROVA"

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"In Chabad bochurim wear a gartel under their clothes": not where I come from (Crown Heights). Many bochurim do wear a key belt, but the reason given is to make their tzitzis lay flat (because according to the Alter Rebbe, when the beged is creased it's lacking its minimum shiur), not as a gartel. –  Alex Jun 24 '11 at 6:04
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@Alex You are both speaking of the same thing. The gartel under the clothing (in Crown Heights and Worldwide) has turned into something also practical by using a keybelt. It is worn all the time for the reason that you described from the A.R. S.A. It is also considered the Second Gartel. –  user1292 Mar 7 '12 at 21:58
    
Can someone source the Zohar that's quoted in the answer? –  Gavriel Dec 14 at 20:29

It says because of the verse "Hachon Eschem" Which is why in chabad they start wearing a gartel at marriage

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what's the connection between "Hochen Eschem" and marriage? –  Menachem May 31 '11 at 16:20

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