Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Did you know that kittel is a German word, and that it means a “(house)coat” or “smock”?

Did you realize that kittels have no pockets? Do you know why? Symbolism! A Jewish groom wears a pocketless kittel to symbolize that he’s marrying for love, not material possessions. A Jewish man wears it on the day of his transition to the Heavenly Multiverse to symbolize that he can’t take anything with him but his deeds.


Now, as the first time a Jewish man wears a kittel is his wedding day and the last is his judgment day, I realize there’s a joke in here somewhere about the chuppah being the beginning of the end, but I won’t dare voice it.

Did you learn that kittels must be white, but can be made of any material? Many kittels are made of linen, and most talittot are made of wool. Combining the two would be a major shatnez problem. Wearing one on top of the other is no problem at all!

Did you think that kittels are grape-juice proof? At least I thought so, for decades of Passover seders after I got married. Then I learned the hard way how mistaken I was.

Fun fact: I originally thought the word prompt said “kvittel,” and I wrote several versions of what the lifecycle of a kvittel is once it’s placed in the Kotel. I noticed my error and did teshuva really quick.


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Martin Bodek is an avid marathoner, Daf Yomi participant, Wordler, vexillologist, halvah aficionado, author of parody haggadot (you may have some), and a sit-down comedian.