I wear a hat to davening normally.

Is it better to daven with a minyan without a hat or without a minyan with a hat?

  • The Alienu Lshabeach says that for Yeshiva Bochrim irs better without a minyan with a hat Aug 27, 2010 at 13:09
  • 1
    TBDE, They claim that Rav Chaim Kanievsky said like you say the AL says, but Rav Chaim has also been known to say "Do not believe anything they say in my name!"
    – Yahu
    Aug 31, 2010 at 5:27
  • 4
    Who's the "Alienu L'Shabeach?"
    – Shmuel
    Nov 29, 2011 at 7:24
  • @ShmuelL A collection of stories arranged in the order of the Parshas HaShavua by Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein. I've heard that it's known for exaggeration. (link)
    – b a
    Feb 15, 2013 at 6:05
  • Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: Halichos Shlomo (Tefillah, 2:15)
    – user11969
    Feb 16, 2016 at 14:46

5 Answers 5


If appearing at the minyan without hat would disturb the other people (or their standard practice), then you have a question.

Otherwise (e.g. most people at shul don't wear hats), this should be straightforward; daven with the minyan. Shulchan Aruch says "one should strive very much [yishtadel me'od] to daven with a minyan." You won't find anything about hats till 200+ years later, the Chayei Adam talking about birkas hamazon.


You should be dressed for prayer as you would be for when you go out in the street, or possibly like you would dress when going in front of someone important.

The mishna berurah states: And in our times one has to wear a hat on his head by davening like he goes in the street and not just a yarmulke because [currently] that’s not the way to stand in front of important people…. And it all depends on the minhag of the places.

So you would have to see if the minhag is to now wear a hat. Either way it shouldn't take precedence over minyan.

  • 3
    Sources, please, for your first ("...street") and last ("shouldn't...") statements?
    – msh210
    Apr 22, 2011 at 2:28

If this is a practical question, CYLOR. It is a machlokes:

Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Sheilas Rav p. 194) says better to daven alone with a hat than daven with a minyan without a hat:

enter image description here

On the other hand, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo Tefillah 2:15) says if there is no alternative minyan, which is generally an option: אולם מוטל עליו לברר הדבר, כיון שבדרך כלל מצויים עוד מנינים לתפלה, one should not miss davening with a minyan due to not wearing a hat.

enter image description here

  • RSZA says it's better to daven with the minyan without a hat... more like you should only daven with a hat unless you won't find another minyan. Same takeaway, but I think the emphasis matters.
    – shmosel
    Nov 29 at 3:21
  • @shmosel Point well taken and edited for clarity.
    – NJM
    Nov 29 at 4:53

The Rabbinical Journal Hamesivta quotes R' Yisroel Belsky that we don't follow what the gentiles consider "the way to dress by a king" but the way that the Rabbis decided (his proof is that in the past the custom was to take of ones hate when greeting people). Therefore, we still follow the din mentioned in M"B (and others).

Moreover, if one doesn't where a tallis, one needs it for the din of "Atifa". (see Aruch Hashulchan by a din torah and by birkas hamazon that a hat is instead of atifa).

  • 1
    jack, Welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for this information! Could you please edit your answer to include both the information in this answer and in the other one? Also, it would be great if you could replace the raw links with citations and expand a bit on the consequences of these citations?
    – Isaac Moses
    Jul 5, 2011 at 20:40
  • 1
    This is a very interesting he'ara, but is it an independent answer or a comment on Ariel K's?
    – WAF
    Jul 5, 2011 at 21:56
  • Perhaps one could make the claim that a hat is an absolute form of respectful clothing, irrespective of the current style. But the MB seems to imply that the current time and minhag do matter. Also, the particular hat that people wear now is just from the gentile style of a century ago. I think people should go back to the more authentic turban.
    – Ariel K
    Aug 30, 2011 at 17:24

According to HaRav Shlomo Zalman Orbach (source BN coming soon) it is better to Daven witha Minyan then to miss Tefila because of a hat and jacket.

  • 1
    source?????????????? Feb 15, 2013 at 6:26
  • It's in the Mishna Berura Dirshu somewhere just I can't find it. Feb 15, 2013 at 15:17

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