05 – Detailed Laws of One’s Dress for Prayer

Those whose profession requires them to wear work clothes and it is difficult for them to change before praying are permitted to pray in their work clothes, because for them, these articles of clothing are not considered disgraceful. Nevertheless, in situations in which they have time to change their clothes, they should try to come to prayer in more respectable attire.

One should not pray in pajamas (Mishnah Berurah 91:11). However, a person who is ill is permitted to pray in pajamas, because it is accepted that one who is not feeling well wears pajamas, even when important people come to visit him.

One should not stand in prayer wearing a raincoat, boots and gloves, because that is not the way to stand in front of important people (Mishnah Berurah 91:12). Yet, when it is very cold, it is permissible to pray in a raincoat and gloves, because this does not offend the respect due to prayer. Additionally, in a place where everyone regularly wears boots, one may wear them while praying.

Young boys and members of kibbutzim, who regularly walk around in shorts, even when important people come to visit them, are permitted to pray in that manner. However, the chazan must cover his legs until below the knee, because a person who wears shorts is called a poche’ach and is not allowed to lead the prayer service (see chapter 4:4).

Sometimes, a person is in a place where people normally dress less formally, such as a vacation spot; there, even those who always wear suits may wear just shirts without a jacket. In such a situation, whoever is not embarrassed to walk around without a suit, even before distinguished people, may also pray that way.

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