What is the purpose of a gartel?
An interesting question. A gartel, that’s the belt that some put around their waists when they’re praying. And the purpose is to show decorum. Like people who approach a king, they used to put on a belt out of modesty and decorum. So some have the custom to put on a gartel when they approach Hakodosh Boruch Hu to pray.
Now, those who don’t wear a gartel follow the idea that it depends on the times. In those places or in those times where it’s not considered dignity — let’s say if we would take a black necktie and tie it around our waists now to go to speak to a king, it wouldn’t be considered decorum – so we don’t do it.
However, the chassidim who do wear a gartel are saying, “We disregard the styles. We follow what was considered dignity in the olden days.”
TAPE # 52 (July 1974)