Why is wearing a hijab (for women) or turbans or other towel on the head (for men) not common for Israeli Jews if the weather conditions are similar as in other countries in the region?

I mean, a lot of people in the desert has such clothes to protect them from the sand and sun etc.

So, why the Jewish clothes are so different?


Or do Jews wear similar colthes as Arabs e.g. 1000 years ago? Do the Jewish women wear hijab 1000 years ago?

  • Lot of assumptions here. Assumptions that all those clothes are based on weather conditions, that Israel has the same conditions as surrounding areas, that turbans are common in surrounding countries, that all, or even many, Jews wear the garb in the linked pic... – Hod - Monica's Army Jun 16 '13 at 22:26
  • @HodofHod None of those assumptions are that bad. They are unsupported but that doesn't make them wrong. – Double AA Jun 16 '13 at 22:29
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    @DoubleAA Right. Meant to say that. :) I do think some of them are wrong, though. – Hod - Monica's Army Jun 16 '13 at 22:53
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    The Mishna in Shabbat 6:6 mentions Jewish women in Arabic lands being able to walk around veiled on Shabbat, so it stands to reason that such head-gear is cultural and not environmental (were it the latter, it would have applied to women in Palestine as well, where the Mishna was written). I would assume the same for the kefiyyah and the hijab, etc, and have seen pictures of Jews of the Old Yishuv wearing such garb. The niqab, however, is a religious Islamic head-dress, though one adopted by certain fringe elements in Bet Shemesh. – Shimon bM Jun 17 '13 at 1:14
  • I don't understand two of the close votes. Off topic I get because this is about Israel not Judaism. – Double AA Jun 17 '13 at 11:44
  1. Jewish clothes have tended to mirror the clothes of people around them. In Iran around the early 20th century, for instance, they wore clothes like this and this; Jews from Ethiopia traditionally wear clothes like this, and this.

  2. The photo you have is a photo of one particular sect of Eastern European Jews at one particular point in time (post-1920s). Most Jews do not currently dress like that. And though they might be from Israel, the style of dress is not - it's from Eastern Europe. Here's a photo of some typical Israeli Jews. As you can see, they mostly dress in a Western style since the overwhelming culture in Israel is from Europe, not the Mid East.

  3. I can't give a very good definition of hijab, but from what I understand, it's clothing used for modesty of women specifically within Islam. As far as I understand, this has nothing to do with sand or desert sun. Ask over at islam.SE if you want to know more.

  4. Turbans have nothing to do with towels (and very little if anything to do with sand). They're headgear that have all sorts of different cultural meanings to many different cultures.

  5. 1000 years ago, around the year 1013, the Jews of Arabia wore clothes similar to non-Jewish Arabs, and the Jews of Europe wore clothes similar to non-Jewish Europeans (note that Spanish and German dress was very different in 1013). The Jews of China (if they were around yet) wore clothes similar to non-Jewish Chinese, and the Jews of Persia and India wore clothes similar to non-Jewish Persians and Indians, respectively. The Jews of Africa wore clothes similar to their neighbors, and the Jews of the Maghreb, theirs. As happened in the rest of the diaspora.

  • Though turban type headgear seems to have been worn by Jews at some point such as the priests in the Temple – Double AA Jun 17 '13 at 11:42
  • Not sure if I should post a huge batch of pictures from the last hundred years or so which shows Jews wearing turbans and other "arab" styled clothing. – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Jun 17 '13 at 14:37
  • @MoriDoweedhYaAgob not really worth it. But why is the word "arab" in quotes? I think this style of dress is actually Arab. – Charles Koppelman Jun 17 '13 at 14:56
  • Mori Gafih wrote in one of his books that the Arabs in Yaman took the way of tying the turbans from the teimoni Jews for it was very beautiful. While theirs were not, therefore making Jews the the the turbans like Arabs and Arabs like Jews. The way I was tied was like the Turban of the kohen jodhol in the beith hamigdosh. – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Jun 17 '13 at 17:11

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