Social & Cultural Norms

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This entry will use the term "Chareidi" as a self-identification, i.e. people who identify themselves as Chareidi will generally subscribe to the following social and cultural norms. This does not purport to be a list of halachic guidelines.

A specific community may be more specific in its norms.



The one deciding piece of clothing which makes a statement about what religious social group one belongs to, is the kippa (more commonly used than yarmulke here). For Chareidim, a plain black velvet kippa is the standard. Some wear black cloth kippas. An very small minority, usually more modern, may wear leather ones. A knitted kippa is a clear statement that one does not identify himself as Chareidi.

Most Chareidi men wear white button-down shirts, regardless of if they are kollel men or working. A small minority may wear colored or other shirts.


While it is still the norm for Chareidi women, especially from Ashkenazi Yeshivish backgrounds, to wear a sheitel (a wig; in Hebrew called a pe'ah), it has become increasingly acceptable even in those circles to drop the wig in favor of a tichel (cloth head covering, in Hebrew: mitpachat). The level of acceptability may vary from community to community.

Skirts covering the knees is standard, and in many communities is expected to cover halfway between the knee and ankle. Longer skirts may be frowned upon as "street dress," though there are communities where it is acceptable to adhere to the psak of many rabbonim who require full-length skirts.

In general, it can be said that these norms and standards are subject to change with the times, where people who self-identify as Chareidi slowly include a wider range of dressing habits and practices.


State of Israel

In general, the Chareidim have an ambivalent attitude towards the secular state. They will not celebrate Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day), and do not ascribe religious significance to it, at least not on a practical level.


An overwhelmingly large percentage of Chareidim do not have cars or driving licenses, and are heavy users of public transportation. It seems that among Anglo Chareidim, there is a higher percentage of car owners.


It is not considered mainstream for yeshivah students to get a license before they get married. In most instances, it can be grounds for being expelled from yeshivah! This may not be the case in the more Anglo communities, but make sure to check!

In many Chareidi communities (even some Litvish), it is rare for women to drive, and in others (especially the more Anglo), it is perfectly acceptable.


The locally-grown produce in the various halachic borders of Eretz Yisroel are subject to

Kashrus Agencies

There are several well-known kashrus agencies here. Virtually all Chareidi communities rely on the Eidah Chareidis hechsher, though some may have issue with specific policies in relating to Shmittah and shechitah (meat), and will use alternative hechsherim for specific products.


There are several issues of halachic dispute, with practical ramifications for consumers.

In general, Heter Mechirah is considered unacceptable in most Chareidi communities. The big kashrus agencies are divided in opinion about Yevul Nochri (produce from gentile fields) and about the halachic Shmittah borders of Eretz Yisroel.



Though the general practice of most Chareidim here is to use the Electric Company's electricity on Shabbos, there is a significant amount of Chareidim who don't. This can be true for whole kehillos - "Chazon-Ishnik", "Brisker," etc., and also individual families who themselves are machmir even from within kehillos who are not. The alternatives include connecting to community-wide generators, battery-powered lighting, or a rechargeable single-home battery system.