Why do we wear a black hat more than any other type of hat? What’s the big deal with a black hat?
Very good question. And the answer is that if all the בני תורה would wear yellow hats, then we should all wear yellow hats. Color is not important. The main thing is to identify with the בני תורה, with the frummeh. A black hat is a tremendous זכות.
You know that a boy approaching בר מצוה gets a pair of תפילין that costs five, six, seven hundred dollars – even more than that – and he also gets a black hat. To me, the black hat is no less than the תפילין. No less. The black hat shows that, “ושים חלקינו עמהם” – “I want my portion, my lot, in life to be together with the frummeh, together with the צדיקים.” It’s so important!! ושים חלקינו עמהם. “I want to be together with them!” It’s so important to demonstrate that you identify with the בני תורה, with the frummeh. And therefore, wearing a black hat is an extremely great achievement. When a boy in our shul puts on a black hat, I give him a mazel tov as if he’s putting on תפילין. That’s how important it is.
And therefore, you shouldn’t waste that opportunity. Every time you put on your hat, you should think, you should say out loud, “ושים חלקינו עמהם.” Don’t let your mother or your wife hear you, though. She might think something happened to you. But say out loud, “Thank you Hashem for placing my lot with the frummeh.” And a wife or a mother or a sister is no less. Whenever she sees her husband, her son, or her brother wearing a black hat, she should say to herself, “Boruch Hashem, my lot is with the frummeh, the צדיקים of כלל ישראל.” Yes, wearing a black hat is a tremendous achievement.