The fur hat worn by Hasidic Jews on the Sabbath, festivals, and other festive occasions. This kind of fur hat was worn by the Polish aristocracy when the Hasidic movement grew in the eighteenth century, as can be seen from prints of Polish noblemen, and was adopted by the Hasidim as a dignified head-covering suitable for wear on special occasions. Eventually the streimel became the specific Hasidic form of head-gear and various mystical ideas were read into it, for example, that the thirteen tails of which it is composed represent the thirteen attributes of divine mercy. The majority of the Hasidim do not don the streimel until their marriage, when the father-in-law gives it as a present to the young bridegroom, but among some groups even small boys wear it. Some groups wear the spodek, a high fur hat, instead of the streimel.
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.